General Motors is recalling more than 690,000 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups from the 2014 model year. Documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that some of those vehicles may be at risk of losing power steering in certain situations.
As is often the case these days, the problem is rooted in glitchy software--specifically, the software in the trucks' electronic power steering assist module. The issue may cause a quick loss of power steering, followed by its sudden return. NHTSA's defect report explains the issue more fully:
"Events that demand high current, such as low speed turns, can cause temporary low voltage conditions. When the system voltage drops below 8.8 volts for more than 1 second—e.g., during low-speed turns—EPS assist is disabled until voltage returns to 9 volts for a minimum of 40 milliseconds, at which point EPS assist returns."
The loss and sudden return of power steering could cause drivers to lose control of the steering wheel, increasing the chance of a crash.
The recall affects the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2014 GMC Sierra 1500. Records indicate that 690,685 of those vehicles are registered in the U.S.
Owners of those vehicles will receive recall notices from GM, asking them to schedule service appointments at their local dealerships. Dealers will update the software on the electronic power steering assist module at no charge.
If you have additional questions about this recall, you're encouraged to contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020 or GMC customer service at 1-800-432-8782 and ask about recall #17276. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #17V-414.