GM Recalls 1.3 Million Cars in U.S. To Fix Power Steering | Edmunds

GM Recalls 1.3 Million Cars in U.S. To Fix Power Steering


Just the Facts:
  • General Motors is recalling 1,340,447 vehicles in the U.S., including older versions of the Chevrolet Malibu, because there may be a sudden loss of electric power steering assist that could occur at any time while driving.
  • GM told Edmunds it is "unaware of any confirmed fatalities consistent with a loss of power steering assist," but it is "aware of some crashes and injuries that could be related to the loss of power steering on these vehicles."
  • GM said it now has recalled nearly 7 million vehicles worldwide this year in a push to respond more aggressively to safety problems.

WASHINGTON General Motors is recalling 1,340,447 vehicles in the U.S., including older versions of the Chevrolet Malibu, because there may be a sudden loss of electric power steering assist that could occur at any time while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"In the affected vehicles, there may be a sudden loss of electric power steering (EPS) assist that could occur at any time while driving," said NHTSA in its summary of the problem. "If power steering assist is lost, greater driver effort would be required to steer the vehicle at low speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

This latest recall includes:

Chevrolet Malibu: All model-year 2004 and 2005 and some model-year 2006 and 2008-'09 cars.

Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model-year 2004 and 2005 and some 2006 model-year cars.

Chevrolet HHR (non-turbo): Some model-year 2009 and 2010 cars.

Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model-year 2010 cars.

Saturn Aura: Some model-year 2008 and 2009 cars.

Saturn Ion: All model-year 2004 and 2007 cars.

Pontiac G6: All model-year 2005 and some model-year 2006 and model-year 2008 and 2009 cars.

GM told Edmunds it is "unaware of any confirmed fatalities consistent with a loss of power steering assist," but it is "aware of some crashes and injuries that could be related to the loss of power steering on these vehicles."

"GM is continuing to review potentially relevant records," wrote Alan Adler, a GM spokesman, in an e-mailed message. "Based on the information we have analyzed to date, we are aware of some crashes and injuries that could be related to the loss of power steering on these vehicles. GM is continuing to analyze this data."

He added that for the first quarter that ended Monday, GM issued 13 safety and noncompliance recalls with a worldwide total of 6,991,122.

"We expect to have the U.S. population breakout in a few days," Adler wrote.

The automaker said it will now take a $750 million charge in the first quarter to pay for the growing number of recalled vehicles.

In this latest recall, GM dealers will replace either the power steering motor, the steering column, the power steering motor control unit or a combination of the steering column and the power steering motor control unit. Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts would be eligible for reimbursement.

GM will also provide lifetime warranties on the electric power steering motor on more than 405,000 vehicles, including the 2003 Saturn Ion and the 2006-'08 and some 2009 non-turbocharged Chevrolet HHR, that are not being recalled.

"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 of GM Global Vehicle Safety, in a statement. "We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough."

GM said the 2004-'07 Ion, the 2009-'10 HHR and the 2010 Cobalt are included in previous recalls for defective ignition switches.

GM expects to send owners an interim notification of the recall around April 28. When parts are available, owners will be mailed a second letter. Owners can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438; Saturn at 1-800-553-6000 and Pontiac at 1-800-620-7668.

Edmunds says: Parts are not currently available for vehicles involved in this latest GM recall. If you have immediate concerns, it's best to contact your dealer.

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