DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The government is investigating whether General Motors should recall the Saturn Ion compact car for the same steering defect that affected the Chevrolet Cobalt, a similar car.
GM recalled the Cobalt in 2010 to fix power steering motors, which could stop working without warning. That wasn’t related to the current recall of 1.6 million Cobalts and other vehicles for defective ignition switches.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has gotten 846 complaints about power steering problems in Saturn Ions from the 2004-2007 model years.
A watchdog group, the National Legal and Policy Center, said Wednesday that GM should recall all 382,474 Saturn Ions.
GM spokesman Greg Martin wouldn’t discuss the Ion Wednesday. He says GM is trying to resolve its product reviews quickly and accurately.
This latest comes after, earlier this week, GM CEO Mary Barra announced the company is redoubling its focus on vehicle safety.
Barra on Tuesday said she expects to testify before congressional committees investigating the company’s handling of a faulty ignition switch that is tied to 12 deaths. Barra admitted that something had gone wrong in GM’s recall process and apologized for the deaths tied to the recalled vehicles.
Keith Crain of Automotive News says GM has “the worst credibility” at the moment.
“Right now, I’m afraid that General Motors has the problem that if there’s a difficulty with the latch on a glove box door, there are a lot of peopel who are going to demand that they recall those cars,” he told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil.
“It’s going to be very difficult for them to try to work their way out of it,” Crain said. “But they’re gonna have to and they understand that; and they’re making the changes that are necessary … they hope, so they can get some clear air.”
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