General Motors Recalls Almost 800,000 Pickup Trucks Over Power Steering Failure

The issue affects certain 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.

Bloomberg Finance LP

General Motors has initiated a recall of nearly 800,000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks worldwide over concerns that the power steering system could temporarily fail without warning during operation, potentially causing drivers to lose control and crash, according to Reuters and documents posted online by the NHTSA.

In other words, the amount of effort needed to turn the wheel could fluctuate dramatically mid-maneuver as the power steering cycles off and on. The automaker notes that the issue is particularly prevalent during low-speed maneuvers and can be accompanied by the failure of other systems, including the radio, StabiliTrak, door-lock cycling, air conditioning, or cruise control.

The documents point to a problem in the computer maintaining the proper voltage for the power steering system, especially during "events that demand high current," which prompts the system to shut down until the minimum voltage is restored. 

The recall affects 690,000 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras on the road in this country built between January 29, 2013 and September 4, 2014, plus 80,000 in Canada and 25,000 in other markets. Reuters notes that General Motors claims it made changes for the 2015 model year that have prevented the problem from recurring since then. 

Fortunately for GM, the fix is reportedly limited to a reflash of the electronic power steering software to be performed at Chevrolet and GMC dealerships. The automaker says they don't have any reports of accidents or injuries caused by the problem, and there's no word on a recall timeline yet.