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NHTSA says it has received 508 complaints alleging the cars can lose power-assisted steering

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the power-assisted steering can suddenly fail on three Ford midsize car models.

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UPDATE: Autoblog spoke with Infiniti spokesperson Nick Twork, who clarified some of the details originally outlined in this story. First, all current Q50 models without Direct Adaptive Steering use hydraulic power steering. The proposed new system would be adapted from the previous G37S, which used a variable-ratio hydraulic steering rack. This is the one that could potentially be used in the Q50S for the 2016 model year.

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Automobiles keep getting more and more advanced, with computers playing an ever-increasingly vital role in their operation. But some things remain the same. Despite more advanced (if not necessarily better) technologies available, we still burn fossils to fuel our engines, we still check what's behind us in actual mirrors and (with few exceptions) we still turn a steering wheel mechanically connected to the front wheels to change directions. But that doesn't mean automakers aren't working at new

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened up investigations into more than 335,000 Chrysler Group vehicles, following reports of fires in Jeep Grand Cherokee models and rear wheel failures in the Dodge Ram 1500. According to documents posted to the NHTSA website, 106,803 Grand Cherokees and 230,000 2009-2010 Ram 1500s are being investigated.

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Back in November of 2010, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MEC) announced that it was actively developing what it claimed to be the "world's smallest and lightest" motor controller unit for electric power steering systems in automobiles. This compact unit is, according to Mitsubishi, half the size and 30 percent lighter than the company's current products, while offering equal power output.

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Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it's developed the world's smallest and lightest motor controller unit for electric power steering systems in automobiles. This compact unit is claimed to be half the size and 70 percent the weight of the company's current products. Despite its compact size, Mitsubishi Electric claims to have improved output power of its motor controller by roughly 30 percent through optimization of the electromagnetic design and an increase in the motor's coil dens

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In recent years, electric power steering systems (EPAS) have rapidly been supplanting older hydraulic systems as a means of reducing both weight and parasitic losses. Until now, most of the EPAS applications have been on small- to mid-sized cars.

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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo - Click above for high-res image gallery

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This week's recall woes come courtesy of the Pontiac G6, which is currently undergoing investigation by the lovable folks at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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