The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: ERRATIC FUEL GAUGE

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA02028

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 30, 2002
    • Date Closed: December 30, 2003
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline
    Fuel System, Other:Storage:Fuel Gauge System

    Summary: ODI opened ea 02-028 to review complaints of consumers reporting that their fuel gauge was incorrectly displaying the amount of fuel in the gas tank.the fuel gauge receives an electrical signal from a fuel tank sending sensor circuit card.a float arm in the tank moves electrical contacts that rub against the card as the level of fuel rises and falls.disruption of the electrical signal (such as caused by corrosion of the circuit card) will cause incorrect readings to register on the fuel gauge.GM reported in their response to ODI dated January 13, 2003 that the primary cause of erratic fuel gauge operation is excess elemental sulfur in fuel.GM reported that abnormal levels of sulfur sporadically occurred in certain parts of Canada and the U.S. resulting in reports of fuel gauge malfunction.GM modified the sending sensor for vehicles built after October 2000.it made a second sensor modification for vehicles built after January 2003.GM also issued a customer satisfaction campaign (GM number 00101) in December 2000 for U.S. customers in the state of Maine and issued several service bulletins informing dealers of the availability of sensors with improved corrosion resistance.the complaint trend indicates that complaints peaked in late 2000 to early 2001.warranty claims declined since peaking in April 2002.based on the number of complaints and the indication of a declining trend, further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

  2. INVESTIGATION: ENGINE STALL DUE TO FUEL STARVATION

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE02066

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 06, 2002
    • Date Closed: November 03, 2003
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery:Fuel Pump
    Fuel System, Other
    Fuel System, Other:Delivery:Fuel Pump

    Summary: ODI opened PE02-066 to evaluate the scope and consequence of engine power-loss due to fuel starvation induced by in-tank modular fuel pump strainer restriction.the subject pumps use an external 'sockż strainer to filter fuel flowing to the pump inlet.this filter can sometimes become clogged, resulting in a reduced flow of fuel to the engine.GM has subsequently modified the strainers to reduce this restriction.analysis of the ODI complaint database shows that despite these restrictions, the subject vehicles stall at a rate that is comparable to those of many peer vehicles.additionally, none of the relevant warranty repair rates exceed 1% at 36 months of exposure.one related crash involves a stalled vehicle that was rear-ended on the roadway, while the remainder involved minor collisions or scrapes.the sole injury consisted of bruising from a low speed frontal crash. Given these circumstances, further expenditure of Agency resources is not justified in this matter.the preliminary evaluation is therefore closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.the Agency will take further action in the future if warranted.

  3. INVESTIGATION: ERRATIC FUEL GAUGE

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #SQ01002

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: January 26, 2001
    • Date Closed: September 30, 2002
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: There is no summary currently available