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 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Engine compartment fire

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12010

    Component(s): Engine

    Summary: In a June 21, 2012 letter to NHTSA, General Motors LLC. (GM) submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) identifying a defect in approximately 413,148 model year (MY) 2011 through 2012 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles manufactured from October 2, 2009 through May 31, 2012 (Recall 12V-288). According to GM, engine oil change procedures can result in spilling or dripping of oil on the engine shield.Also, manual transmission vehicles with a completely worn clutch may cause hydraulic fluid to be expelled from the clutch housing vent hole.If oil, debris or the burning hydraulic fluid contacts hot engine or exhaust system surfaces, and the engine shield, the shield may ignite and burn, leading to a possible engine compartment or vehicle fire.GM and its engine shield supplier, Hanwha, modified the engine shield to address factors that may contribute to engine compartment fire. The redesigned shields were completely implemented in production vehicles by June 2012.The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) analyzed complaint data provided by GM as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 25 unique Chevrolet Cruze reports indicating hot surface ignition due to engine oil or hydraulic fluid contacting hot manifold, exhaust surfaces and the engine shield.Four additional fires were identified that resulted from other or unknown causes, including 1 attributed to a missing oil filler cap.Three fires of unknown cause all involved vehicles equipped with 1.4L L4 turbocharged engines.ODI will continue to monitor field experience in Cruze vehicles equipped with that engine.Owners of the recalled vehicles are notified to take their vehicle to a GM dealer, who will modify the engine shield to prevent oil fluids from contacting the shield.Also, on vehicles with a manual transmission, dealers are to apply a protective tape to the electronic power steering wire harness to prevent any incidents related to this issue. This preliminary evaluation is closed.The ODI reports cited above can be viewed at under the following identification numbers (ODI Nos.): 10456338, 10453754, 10450556, 10446718.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Chapman Chevrolet / Cruze Engine Recall

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #AQ12002

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: October 15, 2012
    • Date Closed: October 20, 2014
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine:Gasoline

    Summary: NHTSA opened AQ12-002 to determine whether Chapman Chevrolet of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania complied with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 49 U.S.C.Chapter 301 (Safety Act) and its implementing regulations.The Safety Act requires, among other things, that a manufacturer notify its dealers of defects related to motor vehicle safety and non-compliances with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and, in turn, that a dealer not sell a new vehicle subject to a recall unless the recall remedy has been performed (49 U.S.C. 30120(i)). NHTSA issued an information request (IR) letter to Chapman Chevrolet on October 16, 2012.Chapman Chevrolet responded to this request on November 8, 2012.To gather additional information, NHTSA mailed an IR letter to General Motors LLC (GM) on February 25, 2013.GM responded to this request on April 1, 2013.NHTSA then issued a second IR letter to Chapman Chevrolet on July 2, 2013.Chapman Chevrolet supplied their response on July 30, 2013. NHTSA-s investigation indicated that Chapman Chevrolet sold and delivered 23 recalled vehicles that did not have the recall remedy completed at the time the vehicles were delivered to the customers.NHTSA therefore concluded that Chapman Chevrolet was liable for civil penalties for violations of the Safety Act, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30165.Under a Settlement Agreement dated October 1, 2014, Chapman Chevrolet paid compromised civil penalties in the amount of $50,000.This Audit Query is closed.