General Motors is issuing an auto defect recall for nearly 6,300 police cars nationwide because the electric power-assisted steering in these vehicles can fail. According to an Associated Press news report, the recall covers Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit vehicles from 2014 to 2016 model years. General Motors says the corrosion on a connector is causing the steering failure. If this happens, the cars will still have manual steering. However, it requires more effort to turn the wheel and increases the risk of a crash.
GM says so far no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of this recall. The company says the problem is occurring because police cars often run 20 hours a day and heat can build under the hood when the vehicles are idling. When the recall begins, dealers will replace the steering gear control unit. The problem with the steering was discovered after an Illinois police department complained to the automaker about power steering losses in its fleet.
The Danger of Power Steering Loss
It is critical that the power steering system in the vehicle works properly. When a power steering system malfunctions, the loss of steering can have catastrophic consequences. When injuries occur as a result of steering malfunction, the automaker, parts manufacturer, distributor or dealer may be held liable. In this case, the automaker says the loss of power steering could make the vehicle much more difficult to steer, increasing the risk of a crash.
Steps to Take
If your vehicle is part of a safety defect recall and if you are unable to have the recall work done or have it done without charge, there are a number of steps you can take. First, contact the dealer service manager. Explain the situation identifying the work that is required as part of the safety recall.
If you have the manufacturer’s notification letter, that will help explain your concern. If this doesn’t help, contact the manufacturer. You can find a toll-free number for the automaker on your notification letter. If that fails, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You can write to NHTSA, call them toll-free or e-mail them.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an auto defect, it is important that you contact an experienced California auto products liability attorney who can help hold the negligent manufacturer accountable and help you seek and obtain maximum compensation for your losses.