The Problem: In 2004-2006, 2008, and 2009 Chevrolet Malibu; 2004-2006 Malibu Maxx, non-turbo 2009-2010 HHR; 2010 Cobalt; 2009-2009 Saturn Aura; 2004-2007 Ion; and 2005-2006, 2008-2009 Pontiac G6 models, the electric power steering could suddenly fail at any time. Non-assisted steering would still work, but at low speeds in particular would require much more driver effort and increase the risk of a crash.
The Fix: GM will first notify owners of the recall, and then later mail instructions for repair once parts are available. Depending on the model and malfunctioning parts, dealers will replace the power steering motor, the steering column, the power steering motor control unit, or some combination of the aforementioned parts. Some vehicles affected were previously recalled for the same issue. Models not included in the recall—2006-2009 non-turbo Chevrolet HHR and 2003 Saturn Ion—will also receive lifetime warrantees for electronic power steering motor replacement parts. Some of these vehicles also fall into GM's wide-ranging ignition switch recall.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: Over 1.3 million vehicles will be included in this latest recall.
The Context: Just three months into 2013, GM has instituted 13 safety recalls, and a total of 6,991,122 vehicles were recalled worldwide. In the past five full years (2009-2013) combined, GM has recalled nine million vehicles. The highest number of recalls came in 2011, when 23 issues prompted the recall of 840,821 vehicles. The year 2010 witnessed the most vehicles recalled, with four million vehicles potentially affected by a total of 21 cases.