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Auto blogMon, 31 Mar 2014 16:53:00 EST
When it rains, it pours. General Motors has announced yet another major recall, covering 1.3 million units in the American market over concerns that the power steering could suddenly fail. As reported by The Detroit News' David Shepardson, GM has now recalled nearly ten times as many cars as it did all of last year.
It's important to note that should this problem arise in these cars, the steering won't fail completely, however, power steering could suddenly stop functioning. Manual steering would still be possible, but as GM says, there's an increased risk of accidents, particularly at lower speeds.
Like the ignition switch recall, this latest problem covers a wide range of vehicles from Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac. Normally, we'd give you the full rundown in paragraph form, but the variety of models and model years means a list is just easier. So, have a look, directly from GM's press release:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed its investigation into faulty electric power steering motors affecting 334,728 Saturn Ions from 2004-2007, because General Motors has issued a recall for them. The group's research found that the part failed at a high rate in the vehicles.
GM recalled over 1.3 million vehicles a few weeks ago, including the Ion, because the power steering could suddenly fail. If broken, the cars could still turn, but it took greater effort. The automaker is also covering 96,324 2003 Ions with a lifetime warranty for their motors, but it's not immediately replacing them.
NHTSA opened its investigation into the motors in September 2011, and it found 4,787 complaints and 30,560 warranty claims that showed failure for the Ion alone. It estimated a complaint rate of 14.3 incidents per 1,000 vehicles and warranty claim rate of 9.1 percent. The investigation also found evidence of 12 crashes caused by loss of steering, two of which resulted in injuries.
After its decision to euthanize Oldsmobile, General Motors knows exactly what happens when it mothballs one of its brands: GM loses market share to the competition. The General is trying to stop history from repeating itself with Saturn customers by offering $2,000 on the hood of every car and crossover donning the ringed planet badge. Automotive News says the offer actually started on February 2 and runs until the end of March. To be eligible for the $2,000 bounty Saturn owners must have leased or purchased their Saturn at least six months ago. Interestingly, those owners don't even have to turn in their Saturn to be eligible for the cash.
AN reports that research company R.L. Polk says even before Saturn went on the endangered species list, it lagged other GM nameplates in the all-important aspect of customer retention. The mass exodus from Saturn loyalty predictably intensified at the end of 2008 as customers became anxious over the future of the brand. For its part, GM insists that all Saturn warranties will be upheld and customers looking for service can still go to a GMC, Chevy, Buick or Cadillac dealership.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments