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GM Recalls Another 1.3 Million Cars for Steering Failures

General Motors has issued yet another major recall, this time calling back 1.3 million small and medium sized cars over a concern that the power steering system could lose the power assist - making it much more difficult to drive and possibly increasing the chances of an accident.

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.


G martin (not verified)    December 18, 2016 - 12:34AM

In reply to by LUIS GASTON RI… (not verified)

I'm not sure how they work in other countries but you should be aware that ONLY the least expensive part, the power steering motor is covered by the warranty.
The other two possible defective parts are not.
They are making me pay 1100.00 out of pocket to replace steering column even after I recieved letter in mail, power steering failed and I took to dealer.

David Wilson (not verified)    July 1, 2014 - 2:47PM

Now I just had your company inspect my car for this recall for a 2006 chevy malibu. The outcome of the inspection, to me, is highly objectionable. Reason being I do not appreciate implications of myself as a liar. Although the word "liar" was not mentioned, the spoken to representative tried to ensure my spouse that I purposely got into an accident to claim"free services". Also claiming that I did not give detailed information on what exactly happened. I dont know if its because people no longer understand short and to the point responses anymore or someone is trying to snake thier way out of taking consequences; by wording thier responses accordingly, having been informed they know more about cars than who they were speaking with. I believe, being one who has gave numerous suggestions to prefer a GM vehicle over another to countless buyers, and stood behind your company to countless unknown critics; I feel I was not given a fair inspection; and deserve a brand new inspection with someone who does not do business by mere assumptions of a customer who does not speak in proper form from his mouth. Instead will treat and respond to a cutomer as if they know just as much they do. A representative that will not tell one person one thing and another person otherwise..I left nothing out in my claim, and if they did not fully understand my explanations, all that needed to be done was to simply ask me to rephrase it. Not tell me "ok" and just figure and note that "oh well he didnt mention or speak clearly, so ima just put it down as he failed to provide detailed information.
How and who do I talk to, to tend to this matter?..I explained how there was an accident and I believed it to be cause of the steering assist. I did not state or claim it was definately that. I stated that after the steering wheel failed to turn coming into a sharp right turn in a residential area, giving me little reaction time to hit the brakes, went straight I into the fence. Being fed up with this randomly occurring problem, I then decided to do research on what would cause the steering wheel to react in such a way. 30mins later I seen a review on the vehicles recalls and saw there just been a recall for a power steering assist. Then researched what to expect when that power steering assist fails and Concluded that may be a big possibility. I stated I was not certain if that was so and if there was any way to find out if that was the problem or was it something else...can I get you guys to properly tell me what is wrong and who is at fault?...

walter barnott (not verified)    February 27, 2015 - 8:34AM

In reply to by David Wilson (not verified)

Someone I know had a bad experience with GM all the way to the corporate office when there ignition failed the mechanics who worked on the 2008 Chevy HHR wrote down that it was not a recall issue when a month later they issued a recall for the vehicle and had anyone owning a 2008 chevy HHR to bring their vehicles in to repair it.

rebecca (not verified)    December 17, 2014 - 10:41AM

My chevy hhr 2008 just started with the power steering shut off ramdomy on 12/14/14 we check the fuse and its fine. shut off the car and the next morning no problem for two day and now 12/16/14 and 12/17/14 i drive for 5 or 10 mins and i lose power steering. turn the car off and restart it and i have steering back for another 5 or 10 mins. I see now that this is a recall issue thou my car is not listed in that recall. I am not alone. I will need to have it fixed sooner than later as with children in the car this is a safty issue. I would hope that once this year car is put into the recall gm will refund us want we have to pay out.

tosha krug (not verified)    March 19, 2015 - 5:13AM

In reply to by rebecca (not verified)

I know this is after ur post. But was curious as to how u made out with this thru getting reimbursed.2008 chevy hhr thru 2010 is recalled for power steering problems. And the 2006 which is what i have is covered under a lifetime warranty. If anything i hope ive helped you out.

Lashandra Wright (not verified)    June 15, 2016 - 12:32AM

In reply to by rebecca (not verified)

I just started having problems with my power steering. Lord behold it did it while I was driving on a busy main street. That's crazy because I love Chevy's, but this makes me rethink the vehicles I purchase. I received the recall for the ignition switch and mechanism but not for the steering. Where can I go to get this service not at my expense. I thank God I did not get hit from inbound and outbound traffic. Smh...I am sad. Zion, Illinois

G mar (not verified)    December 18, 2016 - 12:28AM

Very unhappy with Chevy.
Power steering went out on 2006 hhr.
Was supposed to be covered under lifetime warranty.
I took into dealer and was told it is steering column and this is not covered.
Lifetime warranty only covers power steering motor.
Clearly that have stated defect could be in any of 3 components of steering system but only warranty the least expensive power steering motor.
Now being told I have to pay 1100.00 to repair out of pocket.
I have contacted two customer service reps and gotten no where.
What good is a lifetime warranty on defective parts if it doesnt cover all of the defective parts.
Not happy with chevy at all.
Will not buy another.
Clearly loss of power steering is dangerous article states they are going after EVERY car. Apparently not the 2006.
I will be filing a safety report.

susan money (not verified)    February 7, 2017 - 4:10PM

In reply to by G mar (not verified)

I had the same response regarding my 2007 HHR from my purchasing dealer. After 3 EPS repairs under the recall and the ignition repaired, the dealer said the steering column was the problem and it was not covered under the recall. ($120 for that diagnosis) Recently took it the other dealer in town, replaced steering column, DUH power steering problem not resolved.

danny (not verified)    July 1, 2017 - 1:08PM

2006 hhr power steering goes out when driving when restarted starts working then goes out again will gm fix this problem bought new 2006 walter Jackson in ringold ga

Terry McNally (not verified)    March 4, 2019 - 12:26PM

power sterring motor went out on my 2008 hhr with 105000 on it my wife almost got in a accident to hard to steir