General Motors informed the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) today that it would recall more than 1.3 million vehicles in U.S. which may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist. If power steering assist is lost, a message displays on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds to inform the driver. Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering, but greater driver effort would be needed at low vehicle speeds, which could increase the risk of a crash.
Models subject to safety recall are the:
- Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some 2006 model year
- Chevrolet Malibu: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
- Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles
- Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): Some model year 2009 and 2010 vehicles
- Saturn ION: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles
- Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
- Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall
Depending on the vehicle, the automaker will be replacing free of charge either the steering column, the power steering motor, a combination of the steering wheel and the power steering motor control unit or the power steering motor control unit. Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts would be eligible for reimbursement. Additionally, 309,160 non-turbocharged Chevrolet HHR models from the 2006-2008 model years (and several hundred 2009 models) and 96,324 Saturn ION vehicles from 2003 model year, which are not subject to these recalls will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of electronic power steering motor.
Jeff Boyer, Vice President at General Motors Global Vehicle Safety said, with these lifetime warranties and safety recalls, we are going after every vehicle, which may have this problem, and we are going to make it right. We have recalled some of these cars before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough. The 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHR, the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and the 2004-2007 Saturn ION are included in previously announced recalls for ignition switches, which might not meet General Motors specification for torque performance. Repairs for the power steering assist and ignition switch may need separate dealership visits depending on parts availability.
The automaker expects to take a charge of up to $750 million in the first quarter, mainly for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This amount includes a previously disclosed $300 million charge for 3 safety actions announced on 17th March and the ignition switch recall announced 25th February.
General Motors Co. and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and has leadership positions in the world’s fastest growing and largest automotive markets. General Motors, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, Baojun, Holden, GMC, Opel, Jiefang, Wuling and Vauxhall brands.