GM Acknowledges Power Steering Problem On Cars
48 Percent Of Steering Complaints Filed Are For GM Cars
Forty-eight percent of steering complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are for GM cars.
More than a million cars made by General Motors on the road right now can potentially lose power steering. There have been accidents and injuries because of it. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini looked into the problem months ago. Now, GM is finally taking action.
Beverly Sinkular owns a 2006 Pontiac G6. She says the power steering repeatedly fails. One time, her granddaughter was in the car when she lost control of the wheel and was nearly in an accident.
"I was struggling with it," she said.
That is when she began having serious concerns that her power steering malfunction might happen to other Pontiac G6 owners. She was right.
CBS 2's investigative team uncovered hundreds of G6 owners with power steering failures. We discovered that 439 steering complaints involving the 2006 Pontiac G6 have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The reports were filled with complaints of repeated power steering failures; drivers losing control of their vehicles; accidents, and even injuries.
Owners complain the car is dangerous, repair costs are not being covered, and they say a recall is needed.
"It's just a horrible thing for anyone to have to go through," Sinkular said.
When CBS 2 showed Sinkular the giant pile of G6 complaints, she asked, "Why isn't Pontiac doing something about it?"
Before contacting CBS 2, Sinkular says she went to her dealership and was told her power steering malfunction was an isolated failure. She was forced to pay $630 to get it fixed.
"They told me that it wasn't a recall and I was no longer under warranty, so therefore, it's my bill," she said.
Sinkular thinks there may be more G6 model years affected. Her neighbor has experienced similar problems, except with his 2009 model. The man, who does not want to be identified, says his power steering has not gone out yet, but the warning light goes off intermittently.
When asked if she believed an investigation was warranted, Sinkular responded, "Absolutely."
CBS 2 contacted GM about Sinkular's case, as well as the hundreds of other complaints we found.
A spokesman acknowledged that there have been steering problems since the company switched from a hydraulic to an electric system, and admits that 48 percent of steering complaints filed with NHTSA are for GM cars.
The GM spokesman also said there is no safety issue because the cars can be controlled during power steering failures.
However, to satisfy customers, they are extending the warranty on 1.1 million cars, so if the power steering fails, the repair costs will be covered. Letters to vehicle owners are being mailed by GM.
In Sinkular's case, GM refunded her repair cost, but she is still concerned.
"I'm afraid that there's going to be a terrible, terrible accident with it," she said.
The extended warranties will cover the 2005, 2006 and 2008 models of the Pontiac G6, Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx; the 2008 Saturn Aura and the 2004-2007 Saturn ION.
The previous safety recall from February 2010 covers the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt; 2007-2010 Pontiac G5; 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada), and 2005-2006 Pontiac G4 (Mexico).
Location: lat: 38.897605896 N, long: 77.0365219116 W
Originally Posted by reverttheclown
so if we bought the car used from a dealership we won't be getting the letter? and if we don't get the letter are we still covered?
If you bought the car used from the GM dealership I would think that should get the letter. I bought mine from Carmax and they gave me a number to call to let Pontiac know that I bought the car so they could inform me when they have recalls like this. I just never bothered to call. If you don't get the letter you should be covered, but it would be nice to have if the dealer gives you grief.
2005 G6 GT
K&N drop-in filter, Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30, 50% tint all around, other than that completely stock
Called the dealer. They said $99 diagnostic fee which will be waived if that particular sensor is the problem. He said there are 4 sensors that control this particular problem. The computer stores the "error" codes for this problem and they will check it out 9-2-2010 when I bring it in. I hope the covered sensor is the defective one.
2006 sedan 4 cyl. I have had repeated (daily almost) problems with the power steering lately. Shut the car off/on several times and tug on the steering wheel, finally breaks free.
just so i know when it comes my time...what are some early warning signs or symptoms i should be lookin for
There are no symptoms (sucks). Just locks and "power steering" (no kidding!) comes on the radio w/chime. All or nothing. You can still drive with major arm workout.
It can happen while your driving, when you first get in the car and turn the key or even if you leave it warming up and come back out.
There is a in between syndrome you might keep an eye on.
Sometimes the car will pull to the left if you let go of the wheel and steer much easier to the left and much harder to the right but it is not enough to trip the radio warning, and when you shut the car off, the steering wheel will spin a 1/4 to 1/2 turn by it self rather than just doing nothing like it's supposed to. You may have this condition as an early warning of a potential problem or it may just happen in between its full lock out fits.
Right now with me it's like russian roulette everytime I turn the key and even if it starts ok it could happen three times on the way to work or be fine all day. This crap should have been addressed long ago.
It's in the shop as I write this and we will see how it goes. At least I can assume that Pontiac has determined the proper fix as many people have encountered the shotgun method by mechanics due to no accurate info from the factory. I couldn't bring it in before because they would have to keep/drive the car until it appeared and once shut off and restarted it could be fine for a week then happen 4 times a day. I was hoping the damn part would just fail, then they would know what to fix.
We shall see. I would like to track down the part#'s to double check their work if they say it is a sensor that is not covered I want the part back. Good luck
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