Steering problem prompts GM recall
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
GM recently announced that it was recalling 54,686 trucks and SUVs for an issue with the vehicles' steering column.
The recall includes a slew of models, including the Chevrolet Avalanche, Express, Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban; the Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT, and Escalade ESV; and the GMC Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL and Savana. All vehicles are 2013 models and were manufactured between Nov. 7 and Dec. 18, 2012.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the vehicles may have been built with a "fractured park lock cable or a malformed steering column lock actuator gear in the lock module assembly."
This defect could allow the vehicle to roll away unexpectedly because it can be shifted out of park after the key has been removed from the ignition or without the driver pushing on the brake pedal.
Alan Adler, a GM spokesman, says no injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of the defect. Most of the vehicles affected are still on dealer lots, and will be fixed before being sold to consumers, Adler said.
GM will contact owners of the affected vehicles by mail starting on Jan. 22. The news of this recall comes just a few weeks after GM recalled 119,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks from the 2010 to 2012 model years. The vehicles were found to be missing a latch on the hood, leading to the possibility of the hood opening while the trucks are in motion.
Feds say hybrids need to be noisier
Federal regulators say it may be time for hybrid and electric vehicles to pump up the volume.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week that it is proposing minimum sound standards for hybrid and electric vehicles as a way to make pedestrians more aware of them as they approach.
Because those vehicles don't rely on traditional gas or diesel-powered engines at low speeds, they tend to be much quieter, making them hard to hear amid ambient street noise. The proposed standard, mandated in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, would require that the vehicles are audible among a wide range of street noises whenever traveling under 18 miles per hour.
At 18 miles per hour and faster, the NHTSA said, vehicles make enough noise that pedestrians and bicyclists can hear them without added sound.
The NHTSA said every automaker will have "a significant range of choices" about what sounds it picks for its vehicles, as long as it meets certain minimum requirements. The agency is sending its proposal to be listed in the Federal Register and the public will have 60 days to comment.
They even put out a series of sample sounds, which seem to sound a lot like other vehicles.
The regulation requires that whatever sound is used, it increase in volume and pitch depending on the speed. And hybrid and electric vehicles will need some kind of sound when they are idling and in reverse as well as moving forward, the NHTSA said.
If the proposed rule is finalized in a timely fashion, a 3-year phase-in could begin in September 2015.
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