General Motors has announced a recall of over 1.3 million vehicles after the company found a threat with its electronic power steering which could increase the risk of a crash. The fault of the electronic power steering affects models like the Chevrolet Malibu and HHR, and may cause drivers to experience a sudden loss of power steering.

It follows reports of allegations that a GM engineer ignored standards when approving design changes for faulty ignition switches, which has so far been linked to the deaths of at least a dozen people. The fault caused some engines to switch off while the car was moving and the company has been criticised for not recalling the cars earlier.

In that recall 1.6 million vehicles made before 2007 were recalled, covering a range of different models. The manufacturers of the switch, Delphi Automotive, say that redesigned versions used in 2008-2011 models still do not meet GM standards. Last month, GM announced the further recall of 800,000 2008-2011 models.

GM has linked the fault to 13 deaths, but in a report by the Center for Auto Safety, they put the number at 303. Senior Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said that early warning report data shows that 14 fatal crashes happened in the recalled 2008-2011 vehicles, “involving a potential problem with an airbag, steering, electrical or unknown component.”

Chief executive of GM, Mary Barra is due to testify before the House about the company’s actions on the faulty ignition switches.