G.M. Deems Steering Issue Unworthy of Recall

buick verano

Some drivers of Chevrolet Cruze, Buick Verano, and Chevrolet Malibu vehicles are finding that, after prolonged driving in which the steering wheel is in one position, the wheel can stick. Although vigorous turning of the wheel will correct the problem, it has caused some non-injury accidents.“Based on a very low rate of occurrence — ranging from less than

In July 2014, GM sent its dealers a technical service bulletin with instructions on how to repair the issue, specifying the repair should only be completed if the customer requested it. Owners received a notification letter in November 2014.“Based on a very low rate of occurrence — ranging from less than

Neither GM nor the National Highway Transportation Administration determined a recall was necessary. Alan Adler, a GM spokesperson explained, “Based on a very low rate of occurrence — ranging from less than one half to less than two incidents per thousand vehicles — and the fact that the condition is remedied when the wheel is turned, G.M. determined this was not a safety issue.”

Catherine Howden of the NHTSA told the New York Times in an email that “Based on the bulletin and complaint narratives, the symptoms described would be a brief, perceptible change in steering feel that has little to no effect on the driver’s ability to safely steer the vehicle.”

What auto manufacturers, regulators, and consumers see at the minimum threshold for a recall often differ both in regards to vehicles and other products. Few products are completely safe, especially if they are used outside of the expected use (as outlined in the instructions). The point at which a vehicle or product needs to be recalled or removed from the market is often highly debated (e.g., Buckyballs Magnets). What do you think is a reasonable litmus test? Should GM and the NTHSA have issued a recall over the steering issue?

via G.M. Deems Steering Issue Unworthy of Recall – NYTimes.com.


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My husband likes to tease me by telling me I must be an alien. When I worked as a faculty member in a Business school, colleagues from other disciplines liked to say, “She’s not one of them.” I choose to take these comments as compliments and attribute them to the contradictory characteristics that define me. Highly analytical and results-oriented, I also approach interactions and challenges with empathy, curiosity, and wonder. I see myriad possibilities and delight at considering how to implement them. Since they are based on a solid theoretical foundation, most of them are reasonable and effective. In brainstorming conversations, others often respond to me by saying, “I didn’t think of that.” At the same time, I enjoy learning from everyone I meet, and I want everyone leaving a conversation with me to feel like they have been heard with compassion. My hobbies include knitting, making jewelry, reading, and hanging out with my husband and dogs. I am a long-time vegan committed to social justice and animal rights.

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