Suzuki is recalling 46,549 2006 model year Grand Vitara (shown) and 2005-2006 XL-7 SUVs for a potentially defective hydraulic power assist steering pump. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the defect involves a plastic tension adjuster pulley for the drive belt that operates the steering pump and A/C compressor. Heat stress can apparently cause said plastic to deteriorate over time, which could lead to pieces of the pulley breaking off. The broken pieces can get lodged between the pulley and drive belt, possibly dislodging the belt and making it more difficult to steer.
Owners of affected vehicles can take their XL-7 or Grand Vitara to the nearest Suzuki dealer for a free repair, where the steering pump drive belt tension adjuster pulley will be replaced. Hit the jump to read over the official NHTSA press release.
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
SUZUKI / GRAND VITARA 2006
SUZUKI / XL-7 2005-2006
Manufacturer: AMERICAN SUZUKI MOTOR CORP. Mfr's Report Date: JUN 07, 2010
Component: STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:PUMP
Potential Number of Units Affected: 46549
SUZUKI IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR MODEL YEAR 2006 GRAND VITARA AND MODEL YEAR 2005-2006 XL-7 VEHICLES. THE TENSION ADJUSTER PULLEY FOR THE DRIVE BELT THAT OPERATES THE POWER STEERING PUMP AND AIR CONDITIONER COMPRESSOR (IF EQUIPPED) HAS AN OUTER PORTION THAT IS MADE OF PLASTIC. REPEATED HEAT STRESS CAN CAUSE THE PLASTIC MATERIAL TO DETERIORATE AND PIECES OF THE PULLEY CAN BREAK OFF.
BROKEN PIECES OF THE PULLEY CAN GET CAUGHT BETWEEN THE PULLEY AND THE DRIVE BELT, CAUSING THE DRIVE BELT TO COME OFF AND RESULTING IN THE DRIVER NEEDING INCREASED EFFORT TO STEER THE VEHICLE INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE POWER STEERING PUMP DRIVE BELT TENSION ADJUSTER PULLEY FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE JUNE 25, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SUZUKI AT 1-800-934-0934.
SUZUKI SAFETY RECALL NO. SB. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .