Trucks

GM recalls 700,000 pickup trucks for power steering failure

Hope you didn't skip arm day last week.

Chevrolet

Chevrolet sold about 50,000 Silverado pickup trucks last month. So when you see a number as big as 700,000 in a recall, that only covers about a model year's worth of vehicles.

General Motors issued a recall for approximately 700,000 examples of two pickup trucks in the US, the light-duty 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra. The vehicles in question carry build dates between Jan. 29, 2013 and Sept. 4, 2014.

Not pictured: The massive forearms required to turn a modern truck without power steering.

Chevrolet

The problem comes from the power steering system. During low-speed maneuvers, the power steering may cut in and out, usually within a second. A sudden loss of power steering will make it more difficult to maneuver the vehicle, which could result in an increased chance of injury or a collision.

The defect can be traced to a voltage issue. The system voltage may drop below 8.8 volts during low-speed maneuvers, which will trigger a fault that disables power steering. When the voltage returns to above 9 volts, power steering will return. Other electrical subsystems may be affected, too, including the air conditioning, radio and cruise control.

All it takes to solve the problem is a quick reflash of the power steering module's software. This will allow the voltage to remain above 9 volts during low-speed maneuvers. The problem was remedied before the 2015 model year began. It's still unclear when GM will notify both dealers and owners.