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U.S. eyeing reports of Grand Prix steering glitch

WASHINGTON - Reuters reported that U.S. regulators said on Wednesday they have begun looking into reports of steering wheel lock-up in General Motors' 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received 18 reports alleging that "without warning, the steering rack and pinion (control mechanism) can either bind or lock up, which makes steering difficult."

The steering wheel turns the pinion, a gear, that in turn moves the rack, which is a toothed bar.

Of the 18 incidents reported to the agency, two involved crashes. In three cases, a dust cap had fallen off the cars' rack and pinion.

There were no injuries or fatalities reported in any of the incidents.

GM spokesman Jim Schell said the company is cooperating with the investigation.