General Motors Recalls 800,000 Trucks due to Power Steering Defects

Nearly 800,000 pickup trucks are being recalled by General Motors because they may suddenly lose power steering while the truck is being driven, and the sudden steering jolt may cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle, reports Fortune.

About 690,685 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500s in the United States, as well as 80,000 in Canada and 25,000 in other counties are the pickups that have been affected. The Silverados were manufactured between January 30, 2013, and September 4, 2014, and the Sierras between January 29, 2013, and September 4, 2014, reports the Daily Hornet.

The same models were impacted by a recall in 2016 that impacted 3.64 million vehicles with faulty airbag software.

Power Steering Issues

The problem has been associated with an issue with the power steering that can cause the trucks to lose electric power steering (EPS) and then be over-compensated by the return of EPS assist, notes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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The largest U.S. automaker said the 2014 model year trucks could suffer a temporary loss of electric power steering, particularly during low-speed turning maneuvers, according to documents disclosed by the NHTSA.

What Happens when the EPS Falters

“The loss and sudden return of EPS assist typically happens within a 1 second period and is caused by an electrical/software issue,” NHTSA said. “Events that demand high current, such as low speed turns, can cause temporary low voltage conditions. When the system voltage drops below 8.8 volts for more than one second, for example, during low-speed turns, EPS assist is disabled until voltage returns to 9 volts for a minimum of 40 milliseconds, at which point EPS assist returns,” according to the NHTSA.

The first occurrence linked to this issue was reported back in February, and the recall was ordered on June 22.

General Motors has yet to issue a recall schedule for dealers or owners, but said it will make necessary changes on the software and take care of reimbursements, according to the Daily Hornet.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, did not have details at this time, on whether crashes or injuries are linked to the recall. GM advised regulators that before the 2015 model year, it made changes to address potential sources of temporary low voltage conditions that may result in the disablement of the power steering.

Prior GM Recalls

Recently, General Motors has been recalling vehicles in large numbers. In September 2016, the company recalled almost 4,3 million vehicles worldwide after detecting a software defect which prevented airbags from deploying during a crash. In addition, the Takata airbag issue earlier in May 2016 had recalled 1.9 million vehicles, which further expanded by an additional 600,000 trucks in June 2016. These recalls impose an extra financial burden on GM.

General Motors is telling owners of the trucks involved in the recall to take their vehicles into a dealer, where they can receive free of charge, a software update to fix the issues, reports CNN.

The current recall is a sizable one, but not huge, and pales in comparison to GM’s biggest, when the automaker recalled 6.6 million cars with faulty engine mounts in 1971. The new recall also spotlights just how much cars have changed in recent years. GM says a software update is all that is needed to fix the issue, so the cost for the automaker is likely to be modest.

Child-Safety Seat Instruction Omission

About 30,000 model-year 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 regular-cab pickup trucks produced between May 5, 2016, and May 9, 2017, and model-year 2017, GMC Sierra 1500 regular-cab pickups produced between June 23, 2016, and May 9, 2017, were missing instructions in the owner’s manual. The omission was specifically on how to use the tether and Latch anchor systems for installing child-safety seats. Without instruction, child-safety seats might be installed and secured incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury in case of a crash.

New York State law requires that all children under the age of four ride in child safety seats and all children ride in child restraint systems until their eighth birthday, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Legal Information and Advice Concerning Automotive Problems

If you or someone you know has been injured by a recalled or defective vehicle, you may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact the personal injury lawyers at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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