General Motors is recalling certain 2012 model year Chevrolet Suburban HD full-size SUVs and Express vans and certain 2012 model year GMC Yukon XL HD full-size SUVs and Savana vans over concerns about a potential steering gear defect.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site lists the total number of potential affected units at 6,159. Documentation (PDF) from General Motors lists the breakout by model, number of potential affected units and dates of manufacture as follows:
2012 GMC Yukon XLEnlarge Photo
- 2012 Chevrolet Suburban HD SUVs, 144 units, produced from February 7, 2012 through February 22, 2012
- 2012 Chevrolet Express vans, 4,260 units, built from January 27, 2012 through February 27, 2012
- 2012 GMC Yukon XL HD SUVs, 22 units, manufactured from February 7, 2012 through February 22, 2012
- 2012 GMC Savana vans, 1,733 units, built from January 27, 2012 through February 27, 2012
At issue is that the steering gear pitman shaft may not have been properly hardened and could fracture. If a fracture occurs and progresses completely through the shaft, loss of steering could result. This increases the risk of a vehicle crash.
The condition was discovered by the supplier during testing of steering gear units. During an analysis of the failed test parts, it was found that they were improperly hardened. General Motors was notified, a product investigation engineer was assigned, and GM facilities subsequently identified the dates the suspect parts were used in production, along with the corresponding vehicle identification numbers (VINs).
General Motors says that there are no reports of crash, injury or property damage and that “component testing suggests that a fatigue failure due to this condition would not occur for at least five months in service for the most severe usage.”
What General Motors will do
General Motors will notify owners and dealers will inspect the steering gear and, if necessary, replace the steering gear pitman shaft. The service will be provided at no charge to owners. The General Motors safety recall campaign No. 12055 is expected to begin on April 4, 2012.
In the meantime, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V112000.