GM recalls 1.3 million compact cars

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General Motors (GM) has announced that it is recalling 1.3 million compact cars to replace a motor in the power-steering system.

Vehicles affected are the 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt; the 2007-10 Pontiac G5; the 2005-06 Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada; and the 2005-06 Pontiac G4 sold in Mexico.

According to a statement, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was informed by GM about the voluntary recall on 1 March, after concluding an investigation that began in 2009.

The NHTSA opened an investigation on 27 January into approximately 905,000 Cobalt models in the US after receiving more than 1,100 complaints about the loss of power-steering assist, 14 crashes and one injury.

‘After our in-depth investigation, we found that this is a condition that takes time to develop. It tends to occur in older models out of warranty,’ said Jamie Hresko, GM’s vice-president of quality.

‘While greater steering effort under 15mph [24kph] may be required, if the customer experiences loss of power-steering assist it is important to note that the vehicle can still be safely controlled because the customer can still steer the vehicle,’ he added. ’When the condition occurs, both a chime will sound and a “Power Steering” message will be displayed.’

According to GM, plans to solve the problem are being developed and customers will be notified when the plan is finalised.