WASHINGTON – General Motors is recalling 3,150 2011-2012 model-year Chevrolet Captiva vehicles because of their potential to leak power steering fluid, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported. 

The recalled vehicles were manufactured from Oct. 9, 2009 through April 21, 2011.

Driving these vehicles with the transmission in manual mode and in first gear can cause the engine and power steering pump to operate at higher speeds than is typical. This increased pump speed can generate heat that’s transferred to the power steering fluid, resulting in power steering fluid temperatures that approach the power steering pump reservoir’s melting point. Prolonged exposure to elevated fluid temperatures can result in the reservoir leaking, which poses a fire risk in the presence of an ignition source.

To remedy the problem, GM will notify vehicle owners of the recall and dealers will replace the power steering fluid cooler with an improved version. There will be no charge for this service.

An advisory letter to vehicle owners, along with instructions, will be mailed out in January. When parts become available, GM will send another letter asking customers to take their vehicle to a GM dealer to have the repairs performed. The parts are expected to arrive at dealer locations in March 2012.

Vehicle owners can reach Chevrolet at (800) 630-2438.