24 Mar

GM Recalls Buick Sedan Due to Power Steering Defect

Warren, Mich. – Mar. 24, 2017 – General Motors Co. has recalled more than 2,000 Buick sedans due to a serious power steering defect. The recall impacts LaCrosse models produced between August and November 2016, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

Affected vehicles include electric power steering connector cables that may not be properly sealed. These unprotected features are vulnerable to corrosion and could fail due to extreme oxidization or the development of high resistance, which can cause melting. This poses a serious risk to drivers, as the sudden loss of power steering can hinder vehicle operation and lead to crashes. No accidents or injuries have been attributed to the defect.

Timeline of Events

GM engineering personnel performed two separate wire-harness assessments at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly factory on Oct. 8 and Nov. 1, 2016, according to the NHTSA. The evaluations targeted Buick LaCrosse models produced at the facility. The vehicles were found to contain unsealed EPS connectors. GM immediately modified its production workflows to address the mistake. Two day later, one vehicle systems engineer at the plant submitted a report detailing the issue. The automaker immediately launched a formal investigation into the defect Dec. 10, 2016.

Inspectors reviewed the faulty connectors and discovered that the OEM parts provider, Delphi Automotive Systems, had provided cables with badly crimped seals. GM personnel were able to remove the connectors without using tools or extreme force. The Safety Field Action Decision Authority division reviewed the results and called for an official recall Feb. 16.

The Solution

GM has ordered dealers to replace faulty EPS connector seals, free of charge. However, the automaker has yet to release an owner notification period, according to NHTSA records. Affected owners are encouraged to contact Buick customer service should they need more immediate help.

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