GM sues supplier over electric power steering problems

General Motors confirmed late yesterday that it is suing a major automotive supplier for compensation after spending more than $30 million to address consumer complaints over a problematic electric power steering system used in a number of its popular Chevrolet and Pontiac models.

GM is suing JTEKT North America, of Wixom, Michigan, over the power steering system that "had excessive gear backlash, thereby causing the columns to rattle under certain driving conditions."

The electric power steering system, used in the 2005 and later Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5/Pursuit and Chevrolet HHR, as well as the larger Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6 has been tremendously problematic for the Detroit automaker, resulting in an "unexpectedly high number" of owner complaints about noises. It is unclear if the suit will also address steering power failures and lockups reported by owners.

GM says it has already footed the bill for $30 million worth of warranty work and that it expects that figure to continue to climb.