General Motors has issued a recall concerning select full-size SUVs and vans that may contain a faulty power steering gear shaft. Vehicles in question include the 2012 Chevrolet Express van and GMC Savana as well as the Chevrolet Suburban and its sibling, the GMC Yukon XL. The potential number of vehicles affected is expected to be 6,159 when all is said and done.
GM believes the steering gear pitman shaft may be at the route of this latest recall. The steering gear may not have been properly hardened during production and as a result, it can fracture causing a complete loss of the ability to handle the vehicle. In other words, if the metal used to produce the steering gear isn’t treated correctly, it’s more susceptible to breaking when going over a bump in the road. The chances of the steering gear shaft breaking can also occur as a result of the front suspension having to hold up these heavy duty vehicles and the heavy weight that comes along with it.
This recall is for the part that links the steering rack (the item that physically turns the wheels when you turn the steering wheel) to the power steering box. As you turn the wheel, the pitman shaft is moved by the steering box allowing the wheels to turn in a desired direction. If that main link, the power steering pitman shaft, breaks, the ability to turn the vehicle will be lost.
General Motors has just begun contacting customers in possession of vehicles with a faulty power steering gear. The automaker will have the recalled vehicles inspected and the parts replaced free of charge. For those who are concerned by this recall, you can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by calling (888) 327-4236 and reference campaign number 12055.