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GM’s Saturn Ion Under U.S. Review Into Steering Flaw

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co.’s Saturn Ion is being investigated by U.S. auto-safety regulators following at least 633 complaints about sudden loss of power steering.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating about 384,000 Ions from model years 2004 to 2007, after reports of crashes involving injuries, the agency said today on its website.

The agency said it and the Detroit-based automaker have received reports of 11 crashes involving the defect, resulting in four injuries.

“Customers who have those vehicles have been notified,” said Alan Adler, a spokesman for GM, which discontinued the Saturn brand after filing for bankruptcy last year. “And if they have loss of power-steering assist, they can go to dealers and have that repaired,” he said in a phone interview today.

Earlier this year, GM recalled 1.3 million Chevrolet Cobalts and three Pontiac models in North America to fix power-steering systems following more than 1,100 consumer complaints about failures. NHTSA had previously opened an investigation into the vehicles after receiving reports of 14 crashes and one injury.

Jtekt Corp., a Japanese auto-component maker part-owned by Toyota Motor Corp., supplied the parts that triggered the earlier recall, GM’s North America President Mark Reuss said on March 2. Adler said today the same part is involved in the Ion investigation.

NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana declined to comment beyond the agency’s statement posted on its website.

GM was unchanged $33.61 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Greiling Keane in Washington at agreilingkea@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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