Product Liability

GM recalls cars for power steering and software control updates

GM recall GM recalls cars for power steering and software control updatesGeneral Motors (GM) has announced two new safety recalls affecting more than 145,000 vehicles.

On Saturday the carmaker it was recalling 81,123 additional cars over potential problems with the electric power steering system, expanding a previous recall of 1.3 million vehicles for steering problems. The cars recalled Saturday include 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx, and Pontiac G6 cars.

According to GM, drivers of these vehicles may experience a sudden loss of power steering assist. The carmaker said that if the vehicle loses power steering, the driver will be notified by a chime and a message on the dash. The driver will still be able to steer the vehicle when it reverts to manual steering, but that steering will require greater effort, which could result in a crash.

GM says it knows of one crash resulting from the defect, but no injuries or fatalities.

Other vehicles included in the earlier included all 2004 and 2005 and 2006, 2008, and 2009 Chevy Malibus; all 2004 and 2005 and some 2006 Chevy Malibu Maxx; some 2009 and 2010 non-turbo Chevy HHRs; some 2010 Chevy Cobalts; some 2008-2009 Saturn Auras; all model year 2004-07 Saturn Ions; all 2005, 2008, 2009, and some 2006 Pontiac G6s.

About 69,600 of the additional vehicles recalled Saturday are in the U.S and the rest in Canada and Mexico.

GM also told dealerships to suspend deliveries of about 2,300 model year 2015 Chevy Trax and Buick Encore crossovers pending a safety recall to fix the potential loss of power steering in the vehicles.

On Thursday, GM said it is also recalling about 64,000 Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric cars for a software update that will prevent carbon monoxide emissions from building up in the event the driver forgets to shut off the vehicle.

The automaker said it is aware of two injuries related to the problem.

The recall covers model year 2011-2013 Volt hybrids. The software update will restrict the length of time the engine can be left idling, GM said.

In other news related to GM recalls, Beasley Allen lawyers representing Ken and Beth Melton in their case against GM over the death of their daughter Brooke announced they had reached a settlement with the company.

It was the Melton family’s claims against GM that blew open its 10-year cover-up of an ignition switch defect that caused many cars to lose power while in motion, resulting in a loss of power steering, anti-lock brakes, and air bag protection.

Brooke Melton died on her 29th birthday in March 2010 when the ignition of her 2005 Chevy Cobalt switched to the accessory mode while she was driving, causing her to lose control and collide with another vehicle.

The Meltons originally settled their case with GM in 2013 for $5 million. GM vigorously fought the lawsuit until the Meltons’ lawyer, Lance Cooper of The Cooper Firm in Marietta, Ga., produced evidence that the carmaker had known about the deadly defect for years and even attempted to fix it without alerting federal regulators or the public. The Meltons told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the cover-up, prompting GM to launch the largest automotive recall in U.S. history to repair a decade’s worth of dangerously defective ignition switches.


Beasley Allen
General Motors