GM recalls 700,000 pickup trucks for power steering failure

Hope you didn't skip arm day last week.


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.


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.