The recall bug that’s been going around seems to have infected General Motors as well. They are recalling 1.3 million compact cars in North America, citing problems with the power steering. The problem has been linked to 14 crashes and 1 injury as of yesterday. The models affected are the US market 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, the Canadian market 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit, and the Mexican market 2005-2006 Pontiac G4.

Affected vehicles can still be ‘safety controlled’ but will require ‘greater steering effort’ at speeds of under 24km/h. The problem is the poweer steering system, but the vehicle will warn you when the power steering system fails. A chime will sound and a “power steering” message will flash on the dashboard.

But here’s the funny bit – they aren’t really being so gracious about it. GM is actually blaming Toyota for the power steering problem. It seems that the defective power steering system contains parts manufactured by Jtekt Corporation, which is partly owned by Toyota – 22.5 percent. Yes, there is some form of connection there, but the propaganda is really being taken too far isn’t it? GM even claims the recall may cost around US$100 million. But aren’t you supposed to do some kind of check on the design of the components you source as part of your procurement system?

“This is a case where, yes, we would blame a partially Toyota-owned supplier. The supplier had not met all requirements for reliability and durability. So we will have to see who takes financial responsibility. But this is a risk you sometimes take when you buy a complete system from a supplier,” said GM’s Bob Lutz at the Geneva Motorshow.

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