DETROIT – General Motors said Monday it is recalling more than 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist.

If power steering assist is lost, a message displays on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds to inform the driver.

The loss of power steering won't disable the vehicle, because GM says the vehicle will revert to manual steering, though much more effort would be required by the driver to turn the vehicle at low speeds, increasing the possible risk of a crash.

Models subject to safety recall are the:

  • Chevrolet Malibu: All 2004 and 2005, some 2006, 2008, and 2009 cars.
  • Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All 2004 and 2005, and some 2006 model year cars
  • Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): Some 2009 and 2010 vehicles
  • Chevrolet Cobalt: Some 2010 vehicles
  • Saturn Aura: Some 2008 and 2009 vehicles
  • Saturn ION: All 2004 to 2007 vehicles
  • Pontiac G6: All 2005, some 2006, 2008, and 2009 vehicles

Depending on the vehicle, GM will replace free of charge either the power steering motor, the steering column, the power steering motor control unit or a combination of the steering column and the power steering motor control unit.

Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts would be eligible for reimbursement.

The 2004-2007 Saturn ION, the 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHR and the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt are included in previously announced recalls for ignition switches that may not meet GM specification for torque performance. Repairs for the ignition switch and power steering assist may require separate dealership visits depending on parts availability.

In addition, 309,160 non-turbocharged Chevrolet HHRs from the 2006-2008 model years (and several hundred 2009 models) and 96,324 Saturn IONs from the 2003 model year that are not subject to these recalls will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of the electronic power steering motor.

"With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right," said Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM Global Vehicle Safety. "We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough."

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