Buick is recalling precisely 144 2013 model-year Encore crossovers over a steering wheel malfunction, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Apparently the steering wheel fastener may not have been installed properly, and could cause the steering wheel to separate from the steering column. Obviously, this isn’t safe.
Specifically, the affected vehicles were manufactured from Dec. 9 to Dec. 28, 2012 (check your vehicle’s build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb), and are equipped with a heated steering wheel.
But to tell the whole story, General Motors stated the following:
“GM North America was made aware of a steering wheel separation on a GM Korea manufactured vehicle similar to the Buick Encore assembled at the same plant. The investigation by GM Korea found that a part shortage led to certain Buick Encore vehicles to be built with non-heated steering wheels and later retrofitted with the required heated steering wheels. The vehicles requiring a retrofit had been quarantined. When they were retrofitted later, the required heated steering wheels were not properly fastened.”
GM will start notifying Encore owners beginning April 12, and dealers will replace the necessary parts for free. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.