In a statement, the automaker notes that drivers will know if the power steering assist is lost, because a message displays on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds as an alert. They add that steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering, but greater driver effort would be required at low vehicle speeds, which could increase the risk of a crash.
The GM models subject to the latest safety recall are the:
Chevrolet Malibu: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some 2006 model year
Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): Some model year 2009 and 2010 vehicles
Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles
Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
Saturn ION: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles
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Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall.
In addition, 309,160 non-turbocharged Chevrolet HHRs from the 2006-2008 model years (and several hundred 2009 models) and 96,324 Saturn IONs from the 2003 model year that are not subject to these recalls will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of the electronic power steering motor.
The 2004-2007 Saturn ION, the 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHR and the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt are included in previously announced recalls for ignition switches and which are blamed for 13 deaths, 12 in the US and one in Canada, that will the subject of a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday where CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to testify.