General Motors is issuing a vehicle defect recall for more than 81,000 cars because their power steering systems could suddenly fail making the cars harder to turn.
According to a news report in The New York Times, the action expands a recall from last March that covered 1.3 million vehicles in the United States.
GM officials say they are aware of one crash, but no injuries related to a defect in the car’s electronic power steering system.
The newly recalled models are the 2006-7 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx and the 2006-7 Pontiac G6. About 70,000 of the affected vehicles were in the United States.
GM Failed to Notify Consumers
The automaker’s investigation into this issue was prompted by reports from Canadian regulators who complained of power steering failures on cars not included in the original recall.
GM conducted the investigation last month and concluded that there was more than one reason that the power steering could fail. So, it turned out that the problem involved more vehicles than expected.
GM recalled the vehicles last March after years of trying to handle the problem quietly by dispatching technical service bulletins to dealers.
The alerts warned dealers of the problem and told them how to do the repairs, but only if an owner complained, according to a New York Times investigation.
However, vehicle owners were not notified as they would have been in the event of a recall.
Holding Automakers Accountable
It appears that General Motors officials knew that these vehicles were defective because they heard about consumer complaints.
However, they did nothing to let consumers know that their vehicles were defective and that the faulty power steering system could potentially cause a crash.
As auto product liability lawyers who represent victims of defective autos, we urge government regulators to look into GM’s actions in this particular case.
Why did they fail to issue a recall for the defective vehicles that were later brought to their attention?
Automakers often deliberately try to cover up defects so they can dodge a recall, which comes at a much higher price.
It’s the consumer who gets shortchanged and put in jeopardy when automakers fail to fix vehicle defects.