NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors has recalled 1.3 million Chevrolet and Pontiac models in North America for power steering failures that are tied to 14 crashes and one injury in the United States, the company said Tuesday.
The recall affects 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007-2010 Pontiac G5 models sold in the United States, 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit vehicles sold in Canada, and 2005-2006 Pontiac G4 models sold in Mexico.
Detroit-based GM told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the recall Monday after concluding its own investigation first launched in January 2009.
The NHTSA opened a separate investigation on 905,000 U.S. Cobalt models in January 2010 after receiving more than 1,100 complaints on power steering failures, 14 crashes and an injury.
GM vice president of quality Jamie Hresko said the investigation revealed that the problem develops over time, and is more likely to occur in vehicles whose warranty has expired.
GM spokesman Alan Adler told CNNMoney that the condition tends to impact vehicles that have been driven 20,000 to 30,000 miles.
While the company is developing a solution to fix the problem, Hresko said drivers can maintain control of the vehicle even after losing the power steering function.
"Recalling these vehicles is the right thing to do for our customers' peace of mind," he said. "While greater steering effort under 15 mph may be required, if the customer experiences loss of power steering assist, it is important to note that the vehicle can still be safely controlled because the customer can still steer the vehicle."
He noted that when the power steering feature fails, a chime will sound and the "Power Steering" message will display to alert drivers.
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