GM Recalls Chevy Cruze Because of Fire Hazard, Welding Defect

General Motors is recalling over 400,000 Chevy Cruzes–virtually all of the compact car models on the market and on the road today–because of a fire hazard involving the engine shield. Additionally, some Chevy Cruzes are subject to a separate recall involving the welding of the car’s rear compartment.

The automaker announced the recall after a preliminary investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into engine compartment fires in two 2011 Chevy Cruzes. The investigation revealed that the engine shield, a component part under the front part of the car that protects the engine, could trap oil that drips or spills when the vehicle’s oil is changed. Additionally, cars with manual transmissions might send burning hydraulic fluid from the clutch housing into the engine shield. Both scenarios pose a risk of engine compartment fire. To fix the problem, GM dealers will cut holes in the engine shields to allow fluids to drip through.

The recall affects all Chevy Cruzes manufactured between September 2010 and May 2012. Car owners will begin receiving notification letters from GM around July 11.

Additionally, some Chevy Cruzes have suspected problems with the vehicle’s rear compartments. GM dealers will inspect the welds of these cars and fix the welds if the rear compartment was not properly applied to the rest of the vehicle during the manufacturing process.

The Chevrolet Cruze replaced the automaker’s Cobalt in the 2011 model year. It was Chevrolet’s best-seller in 2011.

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