GM recalls Cruze sedan 2011-12 variants to modify engine shield (Photos)

General Motors is recalling about 500,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans 2011-12 model year, fearing certain fire concerns which are likely due to defective engine oil change procedures and possibility of fuel spill onto a plastic shield below the engine. Out of these 500,000 vehicles 413,418 are from the US while the balance 61,299 are from Canada and the company has asked owners to bring their vehicles in for free rectification of these defective parts even though there have been no reports of any excessive damages caused due to this faulty.

Fuel leaks can cause fires and the company will be modifying the engine shield to ensure that these leaking fuels do not accumulate in the engine compartment. Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had received reports of two instances of fire in the 2011 Cruze model while one was in the 2012 model of Chevrolet Cruze.

Owners will be receiving recall notices by mid July and will be asked to bring in their vehicles to fix the problem which may take just half an hour to rectify. Read the press release below for complete information.

Auto News Release

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.