Cruzes’ Engine Shield Flaw Prompts Recall


General Motors will recall more than 400,000 2011 and 2012 model Chevrolet Cruzes in the United States because of an engine shield flaw that could trap engine oil or hydraulic fluid and lead to a fire.

The recall affects 413,418 Cruzes built in Lordstown, Ohio, and sold in the U.S. and Canada, along with several hundred exported to Israel.

Improper engine oil change procedures on these vehicles can result in the spilling or dropping of oil, GM said in a statement. 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.

GM also noted that in manual transmission Cruzes, continuing to drive with a completely worn clutch may cause the clutch housing vent hole to expel hydraulic fluid. Under certain circumstances, the fluid could be burning as it exits the vent hole, the company said. 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 2012 after reports of two engine compartment fires in 2011 model year Cruzes and later added the 2012 model year.

Chevrolet dealerships will modify the engine shield free of charge. GM said it will mail owner letters beginning July 11.

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