GM Recalls New Full-Size SUVs for Power Steering Assist Failure

It feels like GM cannot catch a break. Recently, the company had to recall six million SUVs and pickups because of airbag inflators. Now, General Motors is once again looking to deal with a car safety issue. This recall might be for you if you are driving a full-size SUV from the 2021 model year.

GM 2021 SUVs have power steering assist problems

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Several 2021 GM SUVs have a software problem. It leads to a sudden loss of the power steering assist in as many as 27,000 affected vehicles. The problem may happen right when you start the SUV. As noted by, GM opened an investigation in April of this year.

A system failure typically results in the sounding of a warning chime. You will see an indicator light on the instrument panel alerting you to a problem. When the failure occurs right after starting, it is possible to stop the engine and restart the SUV. Doing so may turn off the warning light, but it does not fix the problem.

It gets dicey when you are on the road. The sudden loss of this convenient feature can cause some confusion on the part of the driver. As pointed out by the experts at GM Authority, you still have the ability to steer manually. Because this requires more effort, an affected driver may not make the needed adjustments in time to avoid a crash.

How to tell if your GM power steering has a problem and what to do when you are driving

Turning the steering wheel suddenly requires extra strength. As a result, it becomes difficult to take turns and navigate lane changes as easily as you did before. You can take some steps when the sudden loss of this power steering assist occurs as you are driving.

Switch on your turn signal to let other drivers know that you plan to navigate to the closest road shoulder. You can also honk your horn to emphasize that you have a car problem, not a typical lane change. Remember to brake in increments to avoid any fishtailing that you cannot counteract with steering.

General Motors dealers will replace steering gear motor kits or update faulty software

As with other mandated recalls, there is no cost to the vehicle’s owner for fixing the SUV. Rather than troubleshooting individual cars for the presence or absence of the power steering assist, dealers have the option to replace the entire kits on qualifying 2021 SUVs.

For the vehicle owner who has enabled wireless updates and accepted the terms and conditions of this feature, the company intends to update the software remotely. Therefore, you may be able to skip the trip to the dealership — unless you want to be certain that the fix is done right.

Is your SUV part of the car safety recall?

Who needs to visit their dealership for the steering gear motor kit replacement or software update? At this time, the affected vehicles are all 2021 model year larger SUVs. This includes the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.

Although General Motors intends to send out letters on August 2, it would be best if you did not wait to get the issue resolved. If you are unsure whether the GM recall applies to your SUV, visit GM’s recall center and enter the vehicle’s VIN. Connect with the brands’ customer service departments directly for additional information:

  • Chevrolet Customer Service 800-222-1020
  • Cadillac Customer Service 800-458-8006
  • GMC Customer Service 800-462-8782

Reference the GM recall number N212333901.

You might also connect with the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 for more information. The campaign number for this recall is 21V455.

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