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NHTSA Investigating Steering Problem on GM Vehicles

WASHINGTON September 22, 2003; Dee-Ann Durbin writing for the AP reported that the federal government is investigating a possible steering defect that could affect 714,000 General Motors Corp. vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it has received 357 complaints that the steering in the vehicles locked up or lost power. In some cases, the vehicles became difficult to steer while making left turns.

The vehicles involved were built between Jan. 1, 1996, and Oct. 31, 1997, NHTSA said. They are: the 1996-98 Buick Regal; the 1997-98 Buick Century; the 1996-98 Chevrolet Lumina and Monte Carlo; the 1996-97 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme; and the 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue.

GM spokesman Jim Schell said the company is cooperating with the investigation. NHTSA's vehicle investigations can lead to a recall.

The vehicles have a steering rack identical to the one found in 1.1 million GM vehicles that were recalled last year for steering problems. The vehicles recalled were the Chevrolet Cavalier, Venture and Lumina; the Pontiac Sunfire, Transport and Grand Prix; and the Oldsmobile Silhouette. All of those vehicles were manufactured between 1996 and 1997.

Schell said GM did its own investigation and decided there wasn't enough data to expand the recall to the vehicles NHTSA is now investigating.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov