General Motors announced another whopping recall Monday on the eve of its CEO's testimony to Congress over safety lapses. This one covers more than 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. that may experience a sudden power steering loss.
GM says drivers will instantly know if the electric power steering system fails because a chime and dashboard message will appear. The car can be steered without power assist, but it can require a lot more muscle to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds. Because of the difficulty, the car could be more susceptible to a crash.
The recall adds to the number of Chevrolet Cobalts that were included in a 2010 steering recall. Chevrolet HHR and Saturn Ion, which are included the new recall, use the same power steering system.
In addition, the new recall includes the Saturn Aura, Chevy Malibu and Malibu Maxx and Pontiac G6 that were the subject of a 2012 recall in Canada over steering problems.
GM says it will replace, depending on what's needed — the power steering motor, steering column, or both.
There was even a recall of a recall. The latest recall also includes "service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall."
The Cobalt, HHR and Ion all are also part of GM's ignition switch recall, blamed for 12 deaths in the U.S. and one in Canada, that will the subject of a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday where CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to testify. GM says drivers may need to make a separate visit to dealerships if they have cars covered by both the power steering and ignition switch recalls.
Cars included in the new recall:
- Chevrolet Malibu: All from model year 2004 and 2005, and some from model year 2006, 2008 and 2009.
- Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. All model year 2004 and 2005, and some from 2006.
- Chevrolet HHR: Some non-turbocharged models from 2009 and 2010.
- Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles.
- Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles.
- Saturn Ion: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles.
- Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006, 2008 and 2009 vehicles.