Things aren’t looking so hot for the Chevrolet Cruze, or maybe just the opposite depending on your perspective.
GM just announced that it is recalling all 413,418 of its 2011 and 2012 Cruze sedans because of a fire risk in the engine compartment. In all fairness, the recall doesn’t affect cars built after May, but that represents a negligible number compared to the overall figure. The decision comes after scores of complaints for the same issue were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about fires igniting in near-new cars.
“Improper engine oil change procedures on these vehicles can result in the spilling or dripping of oil,” GM said. “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.”
The automaker also said the necessary repair will take about 30 minutes and will be carried out free of charge.
“The 2011 Chevy Cruze was driven by our daughter. She was driving 35 mph when she noticed smoke coming out of the hood. She pulled over and in a matter of minutes the car was in flames,” one complaint filed with NHTSA said.
How so many vehicles could fall victim to “improper oil changes” is undisclosed. It also isn’t clear how Chevrolet plans to fix something it seems to be blaming on negligent service stations, but one way or another customers are being promised a solution.
News of such a widespread recall can’t be good for business and it leaves GM looking a little silly after receiving its best-ever performance in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study.
“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,” GM Vice President of Global Quality Alicia Boler-Davis wrote in a statement.