U.S. probing power steering loss in Saturn Ion

* U.S. has 633 complaints of power steering loss

* Probe covers 2004-2007 model year Saturn Ion sedans

* Power steering is similar to that in a previous recall

DETROIT, Dec 17 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. auto safety regulators are
investigating reports of power steering loss and crashes in
2004-2007 Saturn Ion sedans made by General Motors Co (GM.N: ).

The cars’ electronic power steering systems are similar to
those in GM cars recalled last March.

The probe covers some 384,000 Saturn Ion cars from the
models years 2004 through 2007, regulators said in a notice
dated Dec. 15. They said they had received 633 complaints of
sudden loss of power steering, including reports of crashes and
an injury.

The cars have a “substantially similar” electronic power
steering system to that in more than 1 million Chevrolet Cobalt
and Pontiac G5 cars recalled in March, the U.S. National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

“Faults in the electronic power steering system may cause
the system to suddenly shut down, resulting in an increase in
steering effort and an EPS warning light,” the notice said.

NHTSA said more than a third of the complaints on the
Saturn Ion had been received in the past six months.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said the steering assist issue in
the Saturn cars would be covered under a special extended
warranty GM put in place in June. The rate of failure in the
Saturn cars was far lower than in the Cobalt, he said.

GM no longer produces the Ion, Cobalt or G5. The automaker
eliminated the Saturn and Pontiac brands in its
government-funded restructuring and launched production of a
Cobalt successor, the Cruze, earlier this year.
(Reporting by David Bailey; editing by John Wallace)

U.S. probing power steering loss in Saturn Ion