Chevy Cruze Recall Affects 2011 to 2012 Model Years Due to Engine Fire Risk
General Motors issued a voluntary recall of its Chevy Cruze on Friday, June 22, 2012. The recall affects 413,418 vehicles sold in the United States, 61,299 in Canada and 701 in Israel.
The recall covers 475,418 2011 and 2012 Chevy Cruze sedans that were built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant from September 2010 through May 2012. It’s the car’s fifth recall since it arrived in showrooms nearly two years ago, raising questions about the sedan’s reliability.
GM said that the recall was due to an engine fire risk. The company said that fires can ignite when fluids drip onto a plastic shield below the engine. The problem occurs mainly when oil is spilled and not properly cleaned up during oil changes.
GM pinpointed two possible scenarios where the engine could catch a fire.
1. Improper engine oil change procedures on these vehicles can result in the spilling or dripping of oil. If oil contacts hot engine or exhaust system surfaces, and the engine shield, the shield may ignite and burn, resulting in a possible engine compartment fire.
2. In Cruzes with manual transmissions, continuing to drive with a completely worn clutch may cause hydraulic fluid to be expelled from the clutch housing vent hole. Under certain circumstances, the fluid could be burning as it exits the vent hole. If it contacts the engine shield, the shield may ignite and a fire may spread to the engine compartment.
GM currently knows of 30 fires caused by the problem. Flames engulfed and destroyed cars in two cases reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, no injuries have been reported, spokesman Alan Adler said.
GM will start notifying car owners starting July 11 about when to bring cars to local dealers to eliminate the risk of engine fires. Dealers will then cut the shield to let the fluids drain to the pavement. The repairs take about 30 minutes and are free. No parts are involved and customers are encouraged to make an appointment with their dealer at their earliest convenience, the company said.
Meanwhile, GM added that there is a separate recall for the same models where they will check and assure all welds in the rear compartment were properly applied. The company noted that it will only take a few minutes to check and three hours if they will be subject to repair. GM says 249 of them have welds missing from a bracket that holds the tanks which could possibly leak and cause fires.
“The most important thing for our customers to know is that we are proactively working to assure the Cruze is the safe and durable car they purchased. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by these actions. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by these actions, ”GM vice president of Global Quality Alicia Boler-Davis said.