NHTSA began investigating roughly 781,000 examples of the 2010-2012 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain compact crossover models after receiving complaints from owners saying the power steering system exhibited a “sticking,” condition and, in some cases, required increased steering effort.
GM issued a Service Bulletin for this problem in 2014 that instructed technicians to replace the original steering gear with a redesigned part that addressed the sticking condition. Investigators say they were satisfied with the results of the special coverage following the investigation and have thus elected not to issue a safety recall on these models. GM also offered extended warranties to certain customers whose vehicles exhibited this issue.
A GM spokesperson previously described the sticking condition as an “annoyance,” and said it did not pose a diect safety hazard to customers.
“In view of the special coverage, low rate of failure and low potential hazard to drivers, this preliminary evaluation is closed,” NHTSA said in a related document posted on its website this week, as quoted by the Associated Press.
The Service Bulletin indicated that affected vehicles “may have increased friction in the steering system,” which “could cause the steering wheel to stick in the straight-ahead position after driving long distances on a straight highway. The bulletin also noted that while the “steering wheel can be turned,” by the user when this condition arises, it “may require increased effort.” Repairs made under this bulletin were performed at no cost to Equinox or Terrain owners.
No further action will be taken by NHTSA on this matter.