Embattled General Motors, which is already facing congressional scrutiny for its safety record, recalled another 1.3 million vehicles Monday.
GM cited a power steering flaw that could cause "a sudden loss of electric power steering assist." The recalled cars date back to 2004 and include Chevrolets, Saturns, and Pontiacs.
GM said it informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recall at roughly the same time the company's new CEO, Mary Barra, was prepraing to testify before a congressional panel.
In a statement, GM said vehicles with this newly-disclosed defect can still be steered, but without power assistance.
"Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering," GM said. "But greater driver effort would be required at low vehicle speeds, which could increase the risk of a crash."
Depending on the vehicle, GM said it will replace the power steering motor, the steering column, the power steering motor control unit, or a combination of the steering column and the power steering motor control unit. The repairs will be free of charge.
GM said models subject to 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
Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall
If an owner has previously paid for repairs of these parts, GM said they will be eligible for reimbursement.
If GM follows its protocol for other recalls, such as the large ignition switch recall it announced last month, owners are likely to be notified by mail.
PREVIOUS RECALL: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/24982199/2014/03/14/gm-recall-repairs-on-hold-until-parts-are-delivered
"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," said Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM Global Vehicle Safety in the 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."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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