DETROIT General Motors Co is recalling 154,112 of its top-selling Chevrolet Cruze compact cars to check that the steering shaft was properly installed, the automaker said on Wednesday.
These cars represent all of the Cruze cars built at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio, from the start of production last summer through April 21 when changes at the plant were completed to keep the issue from reoccurring, GM said.
The cars were sold in the United States and Canada since last September.
Of those vehicles, more than 120,000 cars with an automatic transmission will also be inspected to ensure the transmission shift linkage was properly installed, GM said.
"Very few" of the vehicles should have either problem, and GM has made quality process changes to ensure neither error happens again, GM Vice President of Global Quality Terry Woychowski said in a statement.
A GM spokesman said the wider steering shaft issue was discovered when a customer lost steering control in a parking lot, but did not have an accident.
The issue regarding Cruze models with automatic transmissions was discovered when customers brought in their cars under warranty, GM said.
GM said no accidents or injuries had been reported in the Cruze recall.
The Cruze was GM's top-selling car in April and is instrumental to diversifying GM's lineup at a time of rising fuel prices. Only the Chevrolet Silverado sold more units for GM last month than the Cruze.
Aaron Bragman, an analyst with IHS Automotive, said he does not expect the recall to impact sales of the Cruze, which last year replaced the sales laggard Cobalt.
"Nothing's exploding. No one's in danger," Bragman said.
A manual transmission version, the Cruze Eco, gets 42 miles per gallon on the highway and the more-popular automatic transmission version gets 37 mpg on the highway.
Last month, GM recalled 2,100 Cruze cars to inspect for an improperly fastened steering wheel.
GM said it would file documents on the Cruze recall with U.S. federal safety regulators on Thursday, and that it would mail notices to customers beginning next week.
The inspection at Chevy dealerships will take about an hour, GM said.
The fix requires no parts and is a matter of realigning the steering shaft or shifting links, GM said.
Changes at the plant in Lordstown involve different tools used by workers and a change in procedure, GM said.
TRUCK, VAN RECALLS ALSO
GM, the largest U.S. automaker, also announced two other recalls. No crashes or injuries stemmed from any of the recalls.
The company said the nut on the windshield wiper motor crank arm could come loose on some 2011 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks, affecting 6,303 vehicles, including 4,674 trucks in the United States.
And it said possible brake fluid leaks prompted it to recall 8,723 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans for the model year 2011.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)