GM Recalls Another 1.3 Million Cars for Steering Failures
Needless to say, General Motors has dealt with their share of recalls lately and while much of the GM recall news has been devoted to the ignition failures which have forced new CEO Mary Barra to stand before the US Government, this new recall has nothing to do with the ignition cylinder failures. Although the ignition problems can cause a steering issue and some of the vehicles included in the ignition recall are also included in this new recall, this recall pertains specifically to the power steering system. It seems that in the 1.3 million affected vehicles, one or more components of the electric power steering assist system could fail and when that happens, the car will not have the same level of power assist.
Now it should be pointed out that when the power steering system fails to provide power assist, the cars CAN still be steered…it will just become a whole lot harder to steer the car. Particularly at lower speeds, the car can be very difficult to maneuver and that leads to an obviously increased chance of an accident. If you have ever driven a car with manual (non-power) steering, that is what you can expect when the power steering system fails in these 1.3 million GM cars.
The General Motors statement announcing this recall is a bit on the vague side in terms of explaining exactly what is causing this loss of power assist, but the automaker has explained that it could be due to a problem with the power steering motor, the steering column assembly, the power steering control unit or a combination of the power steering column and the power steering control unit. Regardless of which of those components fail, it will become much more difficult to steer the car at low speeds, although when driving at higher speeds it may almost be unnoticeable. However, with the increased possibility of accidents, GM isn’t taking any chances so they have made the decision to add these 1.3 million cars to their already lengthy list of recalled models.
"With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right," said Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM Global Vehicle Safety. "We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough."
There are a total of seven models included in this power steering recall across the Saturn, Chevrolet, and Pontiac brands. First from Chevrolet, GM will recall all Malibu sedans from 2004 and 2005 along with select units from 2006, 2008 and 2009 along with all Malibu Maxx 5-door (wagon) models from 2004 and 2005 in addition to select units from 2006. Next, select Chevrolet HHR non-turbo models from the 2009 and 2010 model years and select 2010 Chevrolet Cobalts - both of which are included in the ignition recall - are also affected by this problem. From the Saturn brand, select 2008 and 2009 Aura sedans and all Ion models from 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 are included in this steering recall. Finally, the all 2005 Pontiac G6 sedans along with select 2006, 2008 and 2009 models will need to have their steering systems inspected.
Also, General Motors has announced that select vehicles not included in this recall will now have lifetime warranties of the power steering system. Those folks who own a 2006-2008 Chevrolet HHR or a 2003 Saturn Ion will have lifetime warranties in case a similar steering problem creeps up - but those 405,000+ models will not actually be recalled.
GM hasn’t announced a timeframe for this recall, but considering their recent safety issues we can expect that the company wont delay too long before ordering these models back to dealerships around the country.