Feds Probe 17,000 Infiniti EX35 SUVs for Steering Failure

Nov 12, 2014 05:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Around 17,000 Infiniti EX35 SUVs from the 2008 model year are the subject of a federal probe after two owners complained that steering in their vehicles failed.

The steering shaft in the SUV can separate and result in a loss of steering while the vehicle is moving, Edmunds.com reported. No crashes, injuries or deaths have been connected with the probe, which is a preliminary evaluation of the issue and doesn't necessarily mean the model will be recalled.

The first consumer complaint alleged that steering failure occurred when the car hit 19,087 miles. The driver reported "play" in the steering wheel while the vehicle was going 40 mph and then complete loss of steering when the car was stopped.

"After slowing to a stop, the driver reported a complete loss of steering, with the steering wheel rotating 360 degrees without turning the wheel," said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration summary. "The vehicle was towed to a dealer and repaired, but the owner was not able to provide copies of the repair records."

For the second report, an owner said steering failure occurred at 75,312 miles.

"The driver reported that the steering became loose while driving home and completely separated after stopping in his driveway," said the NHTSA. "A service invoice provided by the owner indicates that the dealer replaced the steering column and shaft assembly after finding a failed steering shaft bearing."

In a separate investigation, the NHTSA is also examining 2013 Honda Accords for steering failure, a probe that involves 374,000 vehicles.

The NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation of the issue after identifying 24 complaints, each with a unique vehicle identification number, alleging that an Accord vehicle had power steering problems.

Some customers said that turning off and restarting the car seemed to fix the problem, while others said the issue was reoccurring even after the vehicle was restarted.

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