General Motors has ordered dealers to stop delivery of MY2013-2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedans due to a possible airbag issue, according to a stop-delivery order obtained by Automotive News. Some the affected Cruzes were fitted with a "suspect" driver's side airbag inflator module that may have been assembled with an incorrect part.
Martin NeSmith, owner of two Chevrolet-Buick-GMC dealerships in south Georgia, told Automotive News that dealers were disappointed on the stop-sale order of their most popular car just when they getting some sales momentum.
The order means dealers have to stop sales of new and used MY2013 and MY2014 Cruzes "until further instructions are received … in the near future." The order also means continued headache for Chevrolet dealers who have been dealing with notices to stop sales of new and used vehicles, including those awaiting repairs.
GM spokesman Jim Cain confirmed the stop-delivery order, saying that the carmaker is trying to determine which vehicles were fitted with the suspect airbag inflator part to allow those unaffected sedans to be sold to customers.
Cain said GM should have clearer information this weekend so as to how many Cruzes were affected by the potential airbag problem. He said that GM is collaborating with its supplier to identify the parts in the affected vehicles so the carmaker could resume delivery.
He noted that it is still too early to disclose whether GM will issue a recall. Similar stop-sale orders in the past few months have led to callback.
The sale-stop notice freeze comes as Chevrolet dealers scamper to meet quarterly sales targets that would determine if they would receive paid bonuses ranging from $10,000 for a small dealership to over $150,000 for big stores under GM's Standards for Excellence incentive program.
NeSmith told Automotive News that it is difficult to meet the sales target if they could not sell the Cruzes, noting missing just one or two sedans could cost dealers several thousand dollars.
Chevrolet has disclosed that the new 2015 Cruze will be unveiled to the global public at the 2014 New York International Auto Show – now boasting of a revised exterior, enhanced levels of cabin convenience as well as greater connectivity. The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze now offers Apple Siri integration, Text Message Alerts, and OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot.
On the exterior, the styling tweaks take inspiration from the all-new Impala and the restyled 2014 Malibu. Inside, the new Cruze features more intuitive controls. Furthermore, the new Cruze comes with new voice-controlled elements that could enhance safety as the driver responds to text messages while on the move.
Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of passenger car and crossover marketing, remarked that the carmaker just made the Cruze -- an already great, versatile car -- even better. He noted that Chevrolet still designs, builds and sells the most compelling small cars, adding that the latest iteration of the Cruze offers more of the features, connectivity as well as efficiency that customers consider as important.
The visual tweaks implemented on the 2015 Cruze essentially refresh the looks of its LS, LT, RS and LTZ models. For instance, the Cruze’s dual-port front fascia adopts some styling cues from Impala and Malibu. The LED daytime running lights on the LT and LTZ trims of the Cruze are also inspired by the Impala and the Malibu, complementing the model’s swept-back headlamps. This allowed Chevrolet to give its sedan range a more cohesive look. The 2015 Cruze could also be specified in any of the new available exterior and interior colors.