US ends GM steering investigation without seeking a recall

This Jan. 27, 2020 photo shows the General Motors logo. General Motors has lost a bid to avoid recalling about 727,000 small SUVs in the U.S. with headlight beams that can be too bright and cause glare for oncoming drivers. In 2019 the Detroit automaker petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to avoid a recall, saying the problem didnt affect safety for surrounding vehicles. The petition covered GMC Terrain SUVs from the 2010 through 2017 model years. But the agency denied the request in a document posted Thursday, March 3, 2022 on the Federal Register website. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – U.S. safety regulators have closed an investigation into sticky power steering on thousands of older General Motors SUVs and will not seek a recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says GM in 2014 issued “special coverage” to fix the problem on the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and other models. The coverage replaced a steering gear with an improved one.

The agency said a recall isn't needed because of the coverage and low complaint and warranty repair rates.

The agency opened the probe in June of 2020 into steering problems affecting an estimated 781,000 of the SUVs from the 2010 through 2012 model years. Increased friction could make it feel like the steering wheel is stuck.

But GM said the SUVs could still be turned, although with more effort than usual.

“In view of the special coverage, low rate of failure and low potential hazard to drivers, this preliminary evaluation is closed,” the agency wrote in documents posted Wednesday on its website.