Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and General Motors have recalled a total of more than 110,000 vehicles to fix flaws in vehicles equipped with electric power steering (EPS) systems.
In the larger of the two campaigns, Transport Canada says that more than 79,000 examples of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra pickups have EPS systems that could cut out and almost immediately start working again, and that the sudden change in steering effort could cause the driver to lose control and cause a crash.
GM is instructing its dealers to update the EPS system's control software. The manufacturer says that if the EPS does fail, a warning message would show up in the vehicle's instrument cluster; the same fault could also affect other vehicle systems, including the driver information centre, air conditioning, stability control and cruise control.
In vehicles sold between 2011 and 2014 and equipped with EPS, the alternator (the device that keeps the battery charged and powers electrical components when the car is running) could fail suddenly, stalling the engine. Transport Canada says that could lead to a crash, the disabling of various safety systems and may also present a fire risk.
FCA's Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers will inspect the alternators in the affected cars and replace the component where necessary.