Another Recall for GM's Chevy Cruze
The beleaguered auto giant, General Motors, has suffered yet another setback in the recall of over 413,000 Chevy Cruzes. Up until 2008, when the company was edged out by Toyota, GM proudly held the title of world's largest auto manufacturer. Then financial woes hit and GM was forced into filing bankruptcy in 2009. Struggling out of that bankruptcy in September of 2010, GM unveiled their strongest hope for recovery: the Chevy Cruze.
The gamble paid off, as the Cruze became the top-selling small sedan in the United States from May through September of 2011. In fact, the Cruze was named Car of the Year in 2011. The celebration was short-lived, however as the Cruze was subject to five recalls in its first two years, raising serious concerns about the safety and reliability of the car. The NHTSA noted that of the eight new models unveiled in the second half of 2010, only two, aside from the Cruze, had labored under recalls.
As far as this latest recall, GM issued a statement which said in part:"General Motors will recall 413,418 Chevrolet Cruzes in the United States for the 2011 and 2012 model years to modify the engine shield under the vehicle. This change will help prevent any liquids from being trapped in the engine compartment, where a fire could start and spread." While all Chevrolet Cruzes sold in the U.S. fall under the recall, approximately 53,000 of those fall under a second recall as well concerning a loose fuel tank strap. In this instance, a critical weld is missing from the bracket which holds the fuel tank in place, meaning it could dislodge during a crash, more easily catching on fire.
The larger recall centers around an engine shield which can trap liquids—such as hydraulic or engine fluids—leading to a serious fire hazard. Officials of GM believe the problem primarily occurs during oil changes when oil is spilled and not cleaned up. Additionally, some Cruzes with worn-out transmissions have been found to leak fluids onto the shield. The "fix" for this is to cut the plastic shield in a way that will allow the potentially hazardous fluids to freely drain rather than remaining in the shield. Recall notices will go out in the next couple of weeks, probably by mid-July, prompting owners to take their Cruze into a GM service department. The engine shield fix should take less than half an hour, although those vehicles with a missing bracket weld will find themselves waiting for several hours as the defective brackets are properly secured with special fasteners.
Although Alicia Boler-Davis, General Motors Vice-President of Global Quality, assures all Cruze owners that "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," many in the auto industry feel this many recalls in such a short amount of time could hurt GM. On the flip side, the Cruze is nowhere close to reaching other records set for auto recalls-- the Chevy Citation, Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Omega and the Pontiac Phoenix each suffered thirteen recalls in their first two years on the market. Still, at least thirty fires have been reported by Chevy Cruze owners, although thankfully no injuries have occurred. GM may have to do some fancy footwork to convince the public that the Chevy Cruze is truly worthy of its 2011 Car of the Year designation.
Know your legal rights! If you or someone you love has been injured due to a defective Chevy Cruze or any type of car accident, our Montlick and Associates attorneys are committed to seeking the best possible outcome for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your car accident claim. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.