General Motors recalls another 1.3M vehicles

 

General Motors on Monday recalled another 1.3 million cars on the eve of hearings on Capitol Hill that are expected to be contentious.

The new recalls involve mid-to-late 2000's model GM cars that have faulty power steering mechanisms, the company said.

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"If power steering assist is lost, a message displays on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds to inform the driver," GM said in a statement announcing the latest recall. "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 models that are affected include 2004-2009 Chevrolet Malibus, 2004-2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxxes, 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHRs, 2010 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2008-2009 Saturn Auras, 2004-2007 Saturn IONs and 2005-2009 Pontiac G6s.

The additional recalls come as GM was already facing criticism from lawmakers in the House and Senate on its earlier warning about 1.6 million vehicles that were having problems with their ignition switches.

GM CEO Mary Barra is slated to testify Tuesday before the House and Wednesday before the Senate about why the recalls were issued after the cars were more than a decade old, in some cases.

Barra has defended her actions since taking over the company earlier this year.

"As soon as l learned about the problem, we acted without hesitation. We told the world we had a problem that needed to be fixed," Barra said in written testimony that was submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"We did so because whatever mistakes were made in the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now and in the future," Barra said. "Today’s GM will do the right thing."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also been criticized for the late-model GM recalls.

Acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman is expected to blame GM for delayed recalls in his testimony before the House committee on Tuesday.

"GM first provided NHTSA a chronology of events on February 24, 2014. The information in GM’s chronology raises serious questions as to the timeliness of GM’s recall," Friedman said in written testimony that was submitted to the panel. "As a result, on February 26, NHTSA opened its present investigation, a timeliness query.”

GM Vice President for Global Vehicle Safety Jeff Boyer said Monday that the automaker, which is the largest car company in the U.S., was being proactive with its latest recall.

“With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right,” Boyer said in a statement. “We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough.”