Below is the response I received this morning from the Service rep @ the dealership pertaining to the steering/grinding issue:
"Not sure about weather. We drove the car today, noise was there after driving 20 minutes. We put the vehicle in the air and checked underneath. There was a small rub spot on the fuel tank. We adjusted the metal line and put a rubber insulater on it and drove again. No noise this time. We will try again in am."
I will keep everyone posted when I hear back from them tomorrow morning. Something tells me, though, that the problem still exists.