General Motors’ (GM) recall woes continue and this time defective power steering is the culprit. Just last year, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks were recalled for defective air bags. Then in August of this year, a recall of almost 800,000 of these same truck models was announced for power steering system failures. The recalled trucks were sold mostly in the United States, with a smaller number sold in Canada and other markets. While this recall is far smaller than last years’ recall (which affected 3.64 million cars), the defect could lead to disastrous results if not addressed.
Last year’s recall of these same GM pickup trucks was related to a software glitch that caused a failure in the deployment of the car’s front airbags. This resulted in at least one death and three injuries from crashes. The latest recall was issued because the trucks were found to have faulty electric power steering systems that suddenly lost power without warning.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that when a car uses large amounts of electric power, the power steering system may become disabled with no warning. If a truck’s power level drops below 8.8 volts for more than one second, then the power steering system could fail. This increases the risk of a crash because the driver may lose control when the power steering fails and then kicks back on – even if it lasts for just for one second. The loss of electric power steering is a concern especially during low speed turns or other times that there is a high current demand. The driver is exposed to the greatest risk of losing control of the steering wheel during these high current demand situations.
The good news for GM is twofold: repairing this defect involves a simple software update and the cost is likely to be minimal. A reset of the computer mechanism will stop the power steering system from drawing higher energy and triggering faults in the system. More importantly, there appear to be no reported deaths associated with the faulty power steering in these models.
The good news for consumers is that GM fixed the problem before introducing its 2015 models. It should be noted, however, that GM has had complaints about loose steering in other truck models. GM has yet to issue a recall for trucks affected by that complaint.
If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury due to a defective vehicle, please contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP immediately to discuss your rights. Call 888.777.1776 right now, for a free, confidential, and personal consultation with one of our attorneys or contact us online.