GM Recalls 2011 Chevrolet Cruze For Steering Wheel Issue

April 12, 2011
General Motors [NYSE: GM] has announced a major safety-related recall for its 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan. According to the automaker, during manufacturing the steering wheel might not have been properly fastened to the steering column and could potentially detach, leading to a loss of control.

About 2,100 vehicles are being recalled, but GM emphasizes in recall notification that it considers this to be an isolated issue. The automaker reports that it has already inspected 650 Chevy Cruze models on dealership lots and showrooms and found no such issues.

There has been a single (isolated, GM believes) incident in which the steering wheel detached from the steering column on March 14. The driver at that time "was able to guide the vehicle to the side of the road," said GM, with no crash and no injuries. According to GM, the particular vehicle involved in this incident had its steering wheel swapped during assembly, but the replacement hadn't been properly fastened.

GM has already begun notifying owners of the recall, and owners will be advised to bring their vehicles back to the dealership for an inspection.

If the effort sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the Cruze's predecessor, the Chevrolet Cobalt, which was recalled last year (with its sibling model, the Pontiac G5) for an issue with failure of their electric power-steering system. At the time our companion publication The Car Connection reported on this recall last year, there had been 1,132 reports of steering failures.

In most other respects, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a world better than the Cobalt; it stands as one of our top-rated compact sedans, with excellent ride quality, comfort, and fuel-efficiency but a rather conservative exterior and driving experience.

Cruze owners with any questions are encouraged to call Chevrolet, at 800-630-2438, or check in at the GM Owner Center. The might also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.

[NHTSA ODI]

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