Multiple GM Recalls Announced For Steering, Transmission & Drive Shaft Issues

While General Motors execs prepare to go before Congress in the morning to explain why it took more than a decade and at least 13 deaths to issue a recall on more than two million vehicles, the carmaker announced three new, separate recalls — totaling nearly 2 million vehicles — for potential problems with the power steering, transmission, and drive shaft.

The recall involves a number of different GM models from a wide range of model years:

2010 Chevy Cobalt
2009-2010 Chevy HHR
2004-2006, 2008-2009 Chevy Malibu
2004-2006 Chevy Malibu Maxx
2005-2006, 2008-2009 Pontiac G6
2008-2009 Saturn Aura
2004-2007 Saturn Ion

Some of these vehicles — most notably the Ion and the Cobalt — are already involved in the ignition-related recall.

According to GM, “there may be a sudden loss of electric power steering (EPS) assist that could occur at any time while driving.” The loss of EPS makes it more difficult to control the vehicle and may increase the odds of being involved in a collision.

There are multiple reasons why the EPS in these vehicles could fail. For example, the Cobalt, Ion, and HHR vehicles need a replacement power steering motor. But it gets more complicated for the other makes and models.

Certain cars will need just a replacement torque sensor assembly, while others will need that assembly plus the power steering motor, and a third subset requires a replacement power steering motor controller unit. It all depends on the model years of the vehicles and when they were produced. More specific details are provided in this PDF.

Alas, replacement parts are not yet available, so GM will need to do the recall process in multiple steps. First, it will begin notifying affected owners in mid-April, followed by a second letter when dealerships finally have the parts and can make the repairs.

Now we know why GM issued that stop-sale on unsold Chevy Cruze vehicles last week.

The carmaker is recalling 174,000 model year 2013-2014 Cruzes with 1.4 liter turbo engines over concerns that the right-front half shaft may fracture and separate.

If the half shaft fractures and separates while driving, the vehicle would lose power and coast to a stop. If a vehicle with a fractured half shaft is parked without the parking brake applied, the vehicle could move unexpectedly. Either condition increases the risk of a crash.

Again, GM has no parts to fix this problem, but will begin notifying affected owners by the end of April. Concerned owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-866-694-6546.

Here’s another recall affecting a number of different makes and models:

2014 Chevrolet Silverado Light Duty Regular Cab, Double Cab, and Crew Cab 1500 series
2015 Suburban
2015 Tahoe
2014 Sierra Regular Cab, Double Cab, and Crew Cab 1500 Series
2015 Yukon and Yukon XL vehicles equipped with a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission (feature code MYC).

These vehicles may have a transmission oil cooler line that is not securely seated in the fitting. If the line is not securely seated and transmission oil leaks from the fitting, the oil could contact a hot surface and cause a vehicle fire.

Owners of affected trucks will begin being notified by the end of April. Chevy owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-866-694-6546 and GMC owners may contact GMC at 1-866-996-9463.

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