By on March 21, 2014

2007 Saturn Ion Red Line

One of the handful of models already under recall by General Motors over a defective ignition switch, the Saturn Ion faces additional scrutiny by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over failures traced to the vehicle’s electric power steering.

Automotive News reports the NHTSA received 846 complaints from owners of 2004 through 2007 Ions over the steering system, alleging a sudden loss of power steering due to a build-up of brush debris combined with oily material disrupting the system’s motor’s operation. The same issue affected the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, as well — all three shared the same steering system — leading to 16 crashes, two injuries, and a 2010 recall by GM of over 1 million vehicles.

However, the Ion was not included in the 2010 recall, nor did the NHTSA force GM to do so citing lack of sufficient evidence, moves National Legal and Policy Center president Peter Flaherty had trouble understanding as noted in a letter to CEO Mary Barra written this week:

We cannot understand the delay in recalling Saturn Ions, particularly in light of your recent statement that the ignition switch recall “took too long.” You also stated “terrible things happened.” An immediate recall of Saturn Ions will prevent additional “terrible things” from happening.

Though GM offered Ion owners a warranty covering the system for 10 years or 100,000 miles in lieu of a recall, 382,000 Ions would be included in the additional recall.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

59 Comments on “Saturn Ion Steering Woes Focus Of NHTSA Probe...”


  • avatar
    Halftruth

    It would have been easier to just deal with these problems instead of sticking their heads in the sand (or elsewhere). So who gets the nut on this one, old GM or the New-(Business as usual) GM?

  • avatar
    b787

    Ironically, the part in question was made by JTEKT, a Toyota owned supplier.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Sixteen crashes because of loss of power assist? Were the drivers involved steering the cars with one finger?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I was driving a car when the power steering rack literally broke turning left. Try it sometime. I could see this causing accidents if people don’t know what happened or do not know how to react to it.

      • 0 avatar
        Tomifobia

        The rack isn’t faulty: It’s the electric assist motor. And if something suddenly seems wrong with the car, apply the brakes. Unless it’s the brakes that feel wrong, of course.

        • 0 avatar
          Halftruth

          Gotta go with 28.. sudden loss of power steering can rob of you that extra second or two it takes to get out trouble. Happened to me once and it was an eye opener. I borrowed a friend’s car (a 77 Monte) and he hadn’t repaired the rusted out battery tray which of course meant the battery was free-floating. I went around a corner and the battery jiggled around, hit the inner fender/hood area (positive terminal) cutting the engine out. I nearly swiped a school bus as I simply was not expecting it. I can totally see this happening. And as far as “just hit the brakes” well, you will be two to three seconds into the situation which will be too late.

        • 0 avatar
          krayzie

          Try steering a modern car with an electric rack but with the power assist off (disconnect and reconnect the battery, the assist stays off until you do a lock to lock or drive it for a block) it’s alot heavier than older cars with no power steering.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “General Motors knew about a defect in its ignition switches eight years ago and changed the design of an internal part, but never told federal regulators or the drivers of its cars, according to evidence from a recent lawsuit filed by the parents of a Georgia woman who died in a 2010 GM car crash.

          ***In February the automaker recalled 1.6 million vehicles, saying their ignition switches could be accidentally turned from “run” to the “accessory” position while the car is being driven, shutting down the car’s power brakes, power steering and airbags. GM’s own figures have linked ignition problems to a dozen deaths.”***

          It’s not a “loss of power assist,” as you incorrectly stated.

          By GM’s own admission (after being forced to turn over decade’s old internal documents as a result of wrongful death litigation) it’s that – again, as admitted now by GM ITSELF:

          “Ignition switches could be accidentally turned from “run” to the “accessory” position while the car is being driven, shutting down the car’s power brakes, power steering and airbags. GM’s own figures have linked ignition problems to a dozen deaths.”***

          http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/gm-recall/gm-changed-ignition-part-without-telling-drivers-regulators-n54596

          I knew there would be people claiming the opposite or alternative “facts.” Maybe these people should do something like, oh I don’t know, READ WHAT GM HAS ITSELF ADMITTED.

          ***

          • 0 avatar
            Tomifobia

            “Power” steering still has a mechanical connection. “Power” brakes are still controlled by hydraulics. They are more difficult to operate when the power assist is cut off, but it still can be done. If somebody is unable to control a car under these circumstances, perhaps they shouldn’t be licensed to drive.

            http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2010/chevrolet/cobalt/recalls/

            “General Motors is recalling certain model year 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and model year 2007-2010 Pontiac G5 vehicles equipped with electric power steering. The driver may experience a sudden loss of POWER STEERING ASSIST that could occur at any time while driving.”

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            “Power” steering still has a mechanical connection. “Power” brakes are still controlled by hydraulics. They are more difficult to operate when the power assist is cut off, but it still can be done. If somebody is unable to control a car under these circumstances, perhaps they shouldn’t be licensed to drive.”

            Your entire statement is an example as to why punitive damages are not only morally justified, but necessary, in a system where consumers of products such as motor vehicles are dependent upon manufacturers to timely address known, potentionally life threatening (or in this case, known to have caused fatalities, already) defects in their products.

            I almost wrote that I would like to see you wrestle with the steering wheel & stab at the brakes of a vehicle traveling at 65 mph when the power to both systems unexpectedly cuts out (rendering the ABS and airbags inoperable, by the way) through no day,t of your own, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, actually, nor would any ethical, sensible person who understands the hazardous condition these power systems failures create in such a scenario.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I again invite you to drive a car with a broken power steering rack if you have never done so. There is a difference between something being possible and practical.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          There is a TSB in AllData describing issues relating to the steering rack design in 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prixs of which I own one. I do not recall the TSB number and a quick google search did not reveal it. However this link describes six owners of ’04 GPs complaining about severe power steering issues typically ending in replacement. GM being GM probably used the same rack across a number of models, but we would need part numbers to confirm this.

          http://www.carcomplaints.com/Pontiac/Grand_Prix/2004/steering/rack_and_pinion_problem.shtml

          EDIT: It may have been this one although I can’t see it via this website without forking over $$$. I was told my rack broke and I heard a popping/breaking plastic sound and then liquid leaking out. I subsequently replaced the rack.

          TSB #08-02-32-002
          NHTSA ID #10024713

          Date Announced: MARCH 01 2008
          Additional Info: How to Fix

          Summary: POWER STEERING LEAK (REPLACE POWER STEERING GEAR CYLINDER LINE AND ADD TIE STRAP) – WITH 3.8L V6 ENGINE (VIN 1 — RPO L26). *NJ

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      If you’re not used to it, the loss of power steering, especially in a front-driver, can be a challenge. You turn, and suddenly you’re fighting it.

      We have a GM U-Body van that lost power steering periodically. I’m not small and not weak and it was a challenge to get that thing to turn, even at highway speeds. I’d imagine a slightly-built driver without much experience would probably do some harm, especially if they panic and freeze up.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        Right. it’s going from 1 pound of force to 20, 30 or 40. So a 2,000% increase in required force is startling. Even confusing.

        On my Hyundai Tucson, the electric power assist sometimes needs more time to “boot up” than the engine. I’ll be backing out of the garage and feel the wheel basically IMMOBILE in my hands for a few seconds. The worst is when the assist suddenly comes on, and the 20 pounds of twist I’ve been appyling is enough to suddenly whip the wheel 90 degrees.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Tomifobia- Thanks for bringing some sanity to these posts!

      The problem discussed here is loss of power steering assist, period.

      Automobiles have failure which kill people. US law comprehends this technical eventuality by considering whether issues present an unreasonable risk to safety.

      Trial lawyers, sensationalist journalists and politicians use these kinds of issues for personal enrichment or aggrandizement.

      VW of America’s Lead Counsel wrote a book about how more people are actually killed driving to dealers to get recalls done than the supposed safety defect would ever cause. This is science and reality, which seems to be slipping away from way too many folks these days.

      This is not to say some vehicle issues don’t require immediate recall, even lock down of vehicles, but using 20/20 hindsight after years of exposure to blow these tiny rates into horrendous malfeasance is ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You keep spewing lies in the other thread, and now bring them into this one.

        For anyone who cares to see how disingenuous you are, they merely have to look at GMs own recall notice, or NHTSAs own findings prompting the recall.

        This is not about the loss of “power assist,” to the steering as you so disingenuously state it.

        It is about, as GM now officially, legally & administratively has admitted:

        A defective ignition cylinder that is able to tumble into the “accessory position” while the vehicle is being operated, through no fault of the driver, resulting in:

        1) Engine stopping;

        2) Loss of power steering;

        3) Loss of power braking;

        4) Inoperable air bags & ABS systems.

        • 0 avatar
          Tomifobia

          This is about the steering recall, not the ignition recall. Two separate issues.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          >Automotive News reports the NHTSA received 846 complaints from owners of 2004 through 2007 Ions over the steering system, alleging a sudden loss of power steering due to a build-up of brush debris combined with oily material disrupting the system’s motor’s operation. The same issue affected the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, as well — all three shared the same steering system — leading to 16 crashes, two injuries, and a 2010 recall by GM of over 1 million vehicles.<

          Isn't THIS story about a loss of power assist? Just because these cars have defective ignition switches, it doesn't mean they don't have problems with their power steering racks too. GM.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          Every detail I write with specific regard to the technical facts of the ignition cylinder are precisely and absolutely correct.

          The “defect” is low turning torque, relative to GM spec, period.

          The involvement and liability in crashes is all conjecture other than what we read from journalists. GM has specifically chosen the word “linked” rather than “caused” because it is accurate. Each case has its own facts. One, purportedly “caused” the incident.

          One in 1.6 million.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Let me try – no, let US try, if you are willing – to try this again, from scratch, but in a more simple, yet hypothetical form.

            (Let us assume that there are no other operative facts other than the fictional ones below existant.)

            ACME Corporation manufactures AC “power bricks” for use with consumer electronics. It has sold 1.3 million of these specific model power bricks over a 10 year period.

            ACME Corporation receives notice by 289 consumers of its AC power brick that this particular model power brick caught fire, allegedly spontaneously, and allegedly being used in what the industry would classify as “a use consistent with the normal & reasonable’purpose for which it was designed, marketed & sold.”

            2 alternate scenarios follow:

            1) ACME Corporation does nothing to investigate whether there is a manufacturing, design or other defect with this model of its power brick, deeming allegations of 289 spontaneous fires due to the use of a product that they have sold 1.3 million of “statistically insignificant” to warrant any such investigation from a business and/or legal and/or moral perspective.

            -or-

            2) ACME Corporation conducts an internal investigation and discovers that based on credible, industry appropriate testing, there is a common design defect inherent to this particular model power brick, which could lead to an overheating condition, sufficient to trigger combustion, but only given a particular set of conditions (e.g. if in usage for more than 19 continuous hours, within an environment that has an average ambient outside/inside temperature of 96 degrees Fahrenheit).

            In light of this finding, ACME Corporation removes supply of this AC Power Brick model from the retail chain of commerce, and changes the design of the AC Power brick so as to be able withstand continuous usage of a minimum of 150 hours in an environment having an average ambient temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit, but ACME does not notify owners of the problematic power brick of this fact, not do they initiate any recall of the product for modification or replacement.

            Would you deem it so that ACME Corporation should be legally and/or morally liable for damage or harm caused to consumers or their property as a result of using the “old” power brick in the event that theirs catches fire in a manner consistent with what ACME’s internal testing revealed could occur, either given scenario 1 and/or 2 above?

            Please explain your justification for your specific response.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Deadweight- With the facts you assume for your simple analysis, I am sure we can agree that choice two is most appropriate of the two choices.

            As a matter of fact, inside GM, my voice was usually one of the loudest in favor of taking care of customers with TSBs, field actions as appropriate For the record, I am not arguing against GM’s recall actions, and am not suggesting the company never has any liability in any case.

            I am trying to bring a voice of calm and reason to the discussion based on decades of direct experience in the processes involved in a carmaker trying to understand the product’s performance in the field. In many years of direct experience I saw no hesitation to address clear safety risks. I am confident that this issue was not put in front of senior leadership, though admittedly that is an assumption, since it was not within Powertrain’s arena.

            This issue is not clear until a trial lawyer spins his tale. Is there real technical merit- we can never know. The case was settled.

            The automobile business is not so simple as a power supply with the registered complaints you number.

            Vehicles are involved in crashes hundreds of thousands of times a year. A few years before I retired, GM had something like 120,000,0000 cars on the road world wide.

            I am completely out of the data loop these years, but there is no doubt that every large manufacturer can find records of vehicle deaths associated with airbag non-deployment, just as every manufacturer has vehicle fires and deaths.

            I don’t mean to trivialize any failure of a car to protect the occupant, but bring perspective.
            After over 7+ years of exposure of 1.6M cars there are now 30 some incidents and a dozen deaths linked to the switch. This is not at all like the example you posed in a far more complicated environment.

            My point throughout is simple- people actually engaged in the business of understanding field issues such as this do not have the luxury of a playbook prepared by a trial lawyer and sensationalized by journalists. The incidents are exceedingly rare and not clear cut.

        • 0 avatar

          > You keep spewing lies in the other thread, and now bring them into this one.

          Doc olds is like the equivalent of ruggles but for GM instead of dealership. However that doesn’t mean his points can’t be accidentally correct.

          When discussing safety, the odds matter, which factors into for example whether to buy anti-bear or anti-shark cream.

          In this scenario, the greater problem is there doesn’t seem to be consistent brightline rules as to determine the math one way or the other.

          Rules subject to arbitrary interpretation results in unnecessary confusion, which is the case here.

        • 0 avatar
          MadHungarian

          Why don’t we require that the air bags be operable as long as someone is still sitting in a seat, even if the ignition is turned off? I can think of multiple reasons, other than a defective ignition switch, why people might be occupying a car that is not running in a situation where they could get hit.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Airbags are active for up to 20 minutes after power is lost during the events of an accident, but yet airbag power is cut instantaneously if the switch is turned back to Accessory. That’s kinda stupid.

            But there’s no real reason to cut power from the airbags if the ignition switch is turned back to the Accessory position. A driver and passenger may be sitting, listening to the radio, before or after travel. Seat sensors still have to arm the airbags. I understand the parasitic consumption could kill the battery of a car sitting for days at a time, but at least keep the airbags active while the Accessory is still on. And keep them active for at least 10 minutes after the ignition switch is turned completely off and the key pulled out. `

          • 0 avatar
            ExPatBrit

            “And keep them active for at least 10 minutes after the ignition switch is turned completely off and the key pulled out. ”

            That seems like a pretty good idea (maybe accompanied by a blinking warning light on the dash).

            Does any manufacture already do this?`

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @Doc

        People can snark if they like but the GM I knew and you worked for generally built quality products. They should still care today if those products had a faulty part or faulty design. Issuing a TSB which I posted above and ignoring the problem is exactly why the Delta platform cars are now under recall. Suddenly losing power assist can and will lead to accidents, there is nothing sensationalist about it.

        Additional: Regarding the Ion specifically I have a tidbit to add. My 29yo brother was involved in his first accident ever last Saturday when he was driving my mother’s 07 Ion/35K. A careless driver with a suspended license in a Trailblazer cut across two lanes of traffic to make a left and he was in the second oncoming lane. They hit each other in the quarter panel, he thinks at 10-15mph after braking. I saw the damage on the Ion which looked minimal, we found out yesterday they are totaling the car. 07 I4 economy car 35K otc. Totaled. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the negative press with these recalls and known issues contributed to the decision to total it. Meanwhile my ’98 runs strong at 167 and his ’02 SL at 94.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        The trade in price of Saturn Ions has been in the toilet for at least 5 years. In 2009, I stopped by the local Saturn dealer to buy a plastic fastener for the fuse box panel.
        I stopped in the show room to see what they had, and took a test ride in a 2009 Aura. Not a bad car, and they were discounting it heavily. Since I didn’t need to keep the Ion if I bought another car, I asked to a trade in price and was offered $1500or the 2004 Ion with 106K miles on the clock. That would have barely covered the tax on the new Aura. When I asked why the trade in was so low, they told me “because of the mileage”. I wasn’t buying it since the Ion was in pristine shape, and I would never be able to replace it with a comparable car for that kind of money.
        Fast forward another 5 years and 130K miles and it’s still running like new. All in all a very cheap and reliable commuter car.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Recall every car with this faulty rack, not just the Deltas!

    • 0 avatar
      Tomifobia

      Since I can’t respond to your other post, I will do so here: This is an issue with the electric power steering assist motor. It has nothing to do with the steering rack assembly.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The “recall” may refer to the motor I am referring to the rack design which I believe is shared with other models but I can’t confirm without part numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        If that’s the case, and there isn’t a commonality with the wider recall, I apologize.

        My comments were directly prompted by the fact that I read Doc Olds’ statements here which were a cut & paste of his comments in the wider recall thread, where he was factually misrepresenting the results of the conditions that recall targeted components create in real world driving.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          Low turning torque relative to internal specification. Be careful!!

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          Don’t blame me for your misstatement! Actually, my first comment about this issue was free standing,unrelated to the ignition switch and 19 minutes after you brought the switch up.

          Everything I write is true, whether here or anywhere else.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    There has got to be a reason that the Saturn models were left out of the 2010 recall. Likely has something to do with GM’s infamous corporate governance.

    Production on Saturns were mostly wrapped up in 2009, with the exception of the Outlook. The Outlook ceased production in 2010 (allegedly).

    Perhaps the bean counters had something to do with GM washing their hands of Saturn once and for all and therefore leaving Saturn out of the recall.

    Hmm…

    • 0 avatar
      Tomifobia

      Doubtful. The Pontiac G5 was included in the initial recall, and that division was officially shuttered before Saturn was.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I do think it’s possible that New GM made some effort to wash their hands of everything related to that craptastic Ion.

      Whenever the NY Times obituary on GM appears, it will include some analyst saying, “in the end, making cheap cars badly cost GM everything it had.”

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        It is even way more simple than whether “old GM” did or didn’t make good/fair/poor products. Or whether did or didn’t deserve to be bailed out – IMHO.

        We continually see a pattern of behavior with corporations, whether GM or Firestone Tire (Broncos cases) or the ACME Supply Company (fictional), where a company receives real time, credible notice of a hazardous condition or defect in a product, component or material that is manufactured or incorporated into its own product, and yet despite this, does either a) nothing, b) nothing that can reasonably be expected to actually address the core problem, or c) actually tries to cover up the problem, to attempt to cover its a$$, in wilful disregard for consumer safety and even lives.

        It almost always seems the case that it’s the attempt, either aggressively or even in a somewhat more subtle manner, to cover the problem up or to insincerely blame others (including the customer), that truly leads to the most damage to the consumer AND the corporation, itself.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Bailing out GM was a mistake, so let’s bury them with a bunch of expensive recalls.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Just spitballing here, but a $10 billion fine against GM would nicely offset the money taxpayers lost in bailing them out…

    • 0 avatar
      BobinPgh

      But the government did not bail out GM because they made wonderful and necessary products. We bailed them out because what would happen to all of those unemployed people? Saving GM and the jobs probably avoided a revolution and anarchy in the streets.

  • avatar
    Fenian

    My wife’s low-mileage 2003 Ion, which we got rid of, had an electric steering problem that we went round and round with GM about. While turning, the steering assist would just cut out, leaving you fighting the wheel. The dealership could never duplicate it and GM was less than helpful. There were numerous other complaints online for 2003s and they were never included on any TSBs or recalls.

  • avatar
    Loser

    I wonder if Mary is ready give her two week notice.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Dear TTAC,
    So in your trawling of the recall list – why did you not report these?

    Potential failure of ABS and ESC in Lexus RX350
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14V054000

    Chrysler Accelerator pedals getting stuck
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14V032000

    Loss of power in Prius
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14V053000

    Chrysler RAM break problem
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14V034000

    Aisin gearbox problems
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14E004000

    Unexpected shutoff of BMW motorcycles
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14V065000

    But you just reported this one?

    Why not just be equal opportunity and report them all? Or why not subscribe to alldatapro.com and get the TSBs as well?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      This is a fair point, IMO, because unless I’m mistaken, TTAC adopted a policy of not reporting on recall notices, no?

      I realize that some recalls are broader than others, or that some recalls are more politically charged than others, but wasn’t this a policy adopted by TTAC?

      This is a genuine question, and not snark.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Carguy-they are just joining the feeding frenzy, plus have lots of GM haters.

      • 0 avatar
        ktm

        It’s not a recall coverage, but rather news about an NHTSA probe for GM’s failure to recall. Reading comprehension….how does it work…..

        “However, the Ion was not included in the 2010 recall, nor did the NHTSA force GM to do so citing lack of sufficient evidence, moves National Legal and Policy Center president Peter Flaherty had trouble understanding as noted in a letter to CEO Mary Barra written this week:

        We cannot understand the delay in recalling Saturn Ions, particularly in light of your recent statement that the ignition switch recall “took too long.” You also stated “terrible things happened.” An immediate recall of Saturn Ions will prevent additional “terrible things” from happening.”

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        …”the Ion was not included in the 2010 recall, nor did the NHTSA force GM to do so citing lack of sufficient evidence,…”

        Such decisions are based on data, evidence. There are many reasons for various populations with a common design to have different failure rates and even different failure modes at times.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    My 2004 Ion has just passed 240k miles with no power steering issues. I do remember getting a letter from GM stating that the warranty on the PS was being extended to 10 yrs/150K miles, but I was already past those limits.
    It would be nice if they recalled my Ion and replaced the power steering motor for free. I love recalls!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The picture is of an Ion Red Line, which was actually a pretty good car. It was quite quick, had absolutely awesome front seats, required only some simple modifications to the front suspension (and perhaps a different supercharger pulley) to make it truly competitive.

    And yet it rode very well; much better than the SRT-4 did.

    I almost bought one, but for the somewhat cramped back seats, an aversion to sedans and the absolutely brutal insurance cost it would have inflicted on a young male.

    The Ion was yet another fundamentally decent late-90s/early-00 GM car that got lost in translation, compromise and cost-cutting. The IRL doubly so: GM could have owned the sport compact scene with but a little more effort. They fixed the worst of the issues with the Cobalt SS, but by that point it was too late.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Power steering or electric steering going out is a serious problem, I’ve had two older cars in the past that would stall and shut off their power steeringbrakes, scary stuff, at least it was at lower speeds though. It didn’t matter if it was FF or FR.

    Is quality control issues like this why new ideas in the automotive world concern me, the ideas themselves sound good half the time (self driving cars), but the automotive world knack for hasty executions (Most Electric cars) often cause serious issues.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    The electric power steering boost cut out without warning on my ’09 Ford Escape Hybrid. Research indicates this also happens to non-hybrid Escapes and other Ford models that use the same or similar electric steering. A few weeks ago Ford issued a TSB for replacing the steering torque sensor. But, most of these failures, including mine, have involved the very costly replacement of the whole steering column assembly. This failure is by far most common on ’08 and ’09 model years. Ford has not yet issued a recall, perhaps because not enough of their customers have died as a result of this design defect.

  • avatar
    gglockster

    The steering fault happened to my then lady friend’s Ion. She was on her local commute in the Northern Virginia suburbs and basically she no longer had the sufficient strength to turn the wheel. She was able to get it into a mall parking lot, since rolling resistance is less. Her probability of an accident about 20 percent. If she had been on a more major road, such as the Beltway (which she had just exited 10 minutes earlier), then her probability of accident greater than 5o percent.

    I don’t know if GM fixed her lock problem at the same time. All GM would admit to was replacing the electronic power steering and extending her warranty. The repair was free. To me it would be kind of stupid for GM to not also fixing the steering wheel lock problem at the same time, since it was by then a known problem.

    I know about the steering problem because she called me to help her out. I thought maybe she had busted a power steering hose but was perplexed at how suddenly she lost steering control, but there were no fluid leaks underneath (I didn’t know it was electric steering). Since the wheel would turn if I put all my weight on it, something hadn’t locked and nothing looked physically broken. I told her to write GM to get reimbursed for the tow but I am not sure if she ever did.

  • avatar
    Mikey748

    Did you see thier pics on Facebook? Ed and BS show thier true colors allright, and they are white with a big meatball in the middle. Pictures show E.D. and BS hobnobbing with top guys of all Japanese automakers, last week in Tokyo. All you can eat GT-Rs and LFAs. Effing unbelievable. Meanwhile, TTAC has to get thier test cars from Alamo.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Mikey748, maybe they showed their true colors because they lived through the Detroit Bad era. Am I considered biased because I drove Detroit’s finest for more than four decades but switched to Toyota in 2008?

      How about when I bought for the wife a 2012 Grand Cherokee that was built by the UAW and imported from Detroit?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States