GM recalling 2011 Cruze to check steering shaft, automatic transmission linkage

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 5, 2011

Because of potential problems with the steering shaft and automatic transmission linkage, all its 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedans are being recalled by General Motors. Approximately 129,000 vehicles are covered by this recall. GM seeks to ensure that the steering wheel is correctly installed to the steering shaft, regardless of the transmission.

GM spokesman Alan Adler clarified that this action is not related to its previous recall of 2,100 Cruze sedans for improperly fastened steering wheels that could detach from the steering column.

GM has also issued a separate recall of all automatic-transmission Cruzes involving the transaxle. There’s a possibility that the shift lever seems to be in Park when it is really in gear. As a result, the vehicle may roll away when the parking brake isn’t used.

This recall covers about 100,000 automatic Cruze sedans. GM claims that there are no crashes or injuries that took place because of either issue. The vehicles that are still in the dealer lots will be inspected before getting sold.

GM is urging customers to get in touch with their dealerships and to set an appointment for inspection. For more information, you can contact Chevrolet at 800-630-2438 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s hotline at 888-327-4236.

Take a look at the US version of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, recently unwrapped at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. Created as a global car and modified to comply with regulations in the United States, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze should defy preconceptions of a compact car in North America. This compact sedan leverages the brand’s design and engineering talent across the world -- Asia, Europe and North America – offering a whole new level of quality and attention to detail as well as quietness.

This is quite evident on the use of premium materials inside the new Cruze as well as on the precise tolerances between its body panels. According to Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet product marketing manager, the new Chevrolet Cruze features amenities, roominess and a quietness usually found in larger cars. Brooks added that the new Chevrolet Cruze has a roomier interior and more cargo space than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, building a car that could shake up the compact segment. Brent Dewar, GM Vice President for Chevrolet Global brand, quipped that the Cruze -- already a hit in Europe and Asia – is now coming to America to break the status quo.

He added that the Cruze -- as well as the Volt EV – is the latest tangible example of how Chevrolet is working on new products ranging from gas-friendly to gas-free units. Chevrolet will produce both the US and Canadian versions of the Cruze at its Lordstown site in Ohio, in which the brand injected $350 million in investment to cater for their production. US sales of the vehicle will commence in the third quarter of 2010.

With over four million miles of quality and durability testing already logged, the new Chevrolet Cruze is one of the most real world-tested GM vehicle prior to its launch in the US. Moreover, the Cruze now features fuel-efficient small-displacement four-cylinder engines.

A new Ecotec 1.4L I-4 turbo engine with variable valve timing should allow the 2011 Cruze to deliver a best-in-segment fuel economy at up to 40 mpg on the highway. A 1.8L engine is also available. These powerplants are mated to either a six-speed automatic gearbox or a manual transmission. Offered in three trims -- LS, LT and LTZ – the new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze features an array of standard and available equipment.

Passenger safety comes in the form of 10 standard air bags -- frontal, side-impact, roof rail head curtain airbags and rear seat side airbags as well as new knee air bags. It also features electronic stability control with rollover sensing and standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes. Customers could choose from three wheel sizes: 16 inches, 17 inches and 18 inches. Suspension setup is MacPherson strut suspension on the front and Watts Z-link suspension on the rear.

In addition, the new Cruze features rack-mounted electric power steering, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar, as well as Bluetooth, USB connectivity and navigation system. A leading infotainment system is provided for all models of the new Chevrolet Cruze, as complemented by a stereo system with MP3 playback capability, six speakers and an auxiliary jack. Customers may also avail of a premium Pioneer sound system and a USB port for iPod operation.

Brooks remarked that the Chevrolet Cruze is designed to provide features they wanted. He said that these features – like the leather and heated front seats and 16-inch aluminum wheels as well as power locks and power outside mirrors – could be availed "at a very competitive price.”

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