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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Chevrolet Recalls 413,418 Cruzes For Fire Hazard


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 25, 2012

    Two months after NHTSA opened an investigation into the 2011 and 2012 Chevrolet Cruze due to fires, General Motors has announced a recall for 413,418 Cruzes for the 2011 and 2012 model years that were built in the United States through May 2012.

    The recall affects the Cruze’s engine shield located underneath the engine. The worry is that any fluids that might leak from above and land on the shield could collect and possibly ignite.

    Dealers will modify the Cruze’s shield and take around 30 minutes to complete.

    Also, GM is recalling 249 Cruzes that could have partially completed welds in their trunks.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    GM Recalls Chevrolet Cruzes for Safety Modifications

    DETROIT – 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.

    In a separate safety recall, GM will inspect certain cars included in the first recall to assure all welds in the rear compartment were properly applied. Omitted or partially completed welds in up to 249 cars may affect the fuel tank strap secondary brackets attachment to the floor structure and a sub assembly to the rear floor pan.

    There are no known crashes, injuries or fatalities related to either recall. Only Cruzes built in Lordstown, Ohio, and sold in the United States and Canada and several hundred exported to Israel are affected.

    "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," said GM vice president of Global Quality Alicia Boler-Davis. "We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by these actions."

    All Cruzes with manual and automatic transmissions built in the United States from September 2010 through May 2012 are included in the engine shield modification.

    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.

    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.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary investigation in April of this year as a result of two engine compartment fires in 2011 model year Cruzes and later added the 2012 model year.

    Modifying the engine shield will take about 30 minutes in a Chevrolet dealership service department and will be conducted free of charge. No parts are involved and customers are encouraged to make an appointment with their dealer at their earliest convenience. Owner letters will mailed be beginning July 11. Inspection for the possible missing welds takes only a few minutes. In confirmed cases, the repair would take about three hours.


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    I just am surprised that the engineers did not think about a heat shield that could accumulate grease, etc which would cause it to start a fire. This seems like something that should have stuck out like a soar thumb.

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    Just drill a hole in the bottom of it to allow the fluids to drain?

    Considering that the fix does not include any parts, it sounds just like your suggestion. Drilled Holes to allow fuilds to drain out.

    Course this still makes me think it is a poor engineering job as you have a heat shield that can smoke when it gets oil and other stuff on it.

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    During development testing, the engineers are probably not thinking that a messy oil change guy could eventually cause an owner to lose his car to fire.

    ALTHOUGH... the Cruze was on sale elsewhere for what, two years before it came to America? If the same shield is used in other markets, it should have been caught earlier.

    Modifying the shield should be sufficient, hopefully.

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