So, what’s the rub? Owners of the 2013-2014 Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Malibu have claimed that their steering can stick in one position after driving for a long period of time, according to The New York Times. So far, over 50 owners have filed complains to NHTSA.
Last July, GM sent dealers a service bulletin telling them how to fix the problem– but only on the condition of a customer complaint. The General also alerted customers with a letter last November, saying that the wheel could potentially “stick in the straight-ahead position”.
As it turns out, the problem can be fixed through a simple software update and is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles from when the vehicle was new.
In an email to The Times, GM spokesperson Alan Adler said a recall was unnecessary.
“Based on a very low rate of occurrence — ranging from less than one half to less than two incidents per thousand vehicles — and the fact that the condition is remedied when the wheel is turned, G.M. determined this was not a safety issue,” he said.
Catherine Howden, a spokesperson for NHTSA, also cemented GM’s claims saying: “based on the bulletin and complaint narratives, the symptoms described would be a brief, perceptible change in steering feel that has little to no effect on the driver’s ability to safely steer the vehicle.”
“When terms like ‘notchy,’ ‘stick,’ ‘slip’ or ‘feel’ are used, it does not indicate a meaningful increase in steering effort,” she added.
Jeff Boyer, GM’s new Global Safety Chief, told reports last year that, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers in the vehicles they drive.” Meanwhile, CEO Mary Barra has publicly declared that she wants GM to be “the safest (car company) in the industry.”