GM recalls around 5,00,000 Cruze sedans after reported incidents of fire in powertrain unit
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Leading car manufacturer General Motors has been compelled to recall its Chevrolet Cruzeafter reports of powertrain catching fire were received. Notably, Cruze is a popular offering by the car maker, which helped the company retain its small-car customers. This recall includes 4,75,000 units manufactured from September 2010 to May 2012 in the US. It involves the models built at the manufacturing plant located in Lordstown, Ohio. The recall is the fifth in row since its launch in 2010 and raises a big question mark on the reliability of the model.
The powertrain unit is said to catch fire due to drops of fluids spilling on a hot plastic shield located below the powertrain. According to the car maker, the problem arises only when the oil spills and is not cleaned properly during the changes. So far, the company has received reports of at least 30 such fires. However, the company spokesperson, Alan Adler maintained that there have been no injuries in the accidents. Recently, two cars were completely destroyed by the flames caused by the fire as per the officials from Federal Safety.
Starting from July 11, 2012, the company will notify car owners when to bring their vehicles to the nearest dealer for a free check-up and repairs, which would take approximately 30 minutes. GM said that the dealers will remove the plastic shield so that the fluid is drained on to the pavement. Company also reported that the Cruze sedan may also catch fire if they happen to have a worn-out manual gearbox.
Besides these, 61,000 units of recalled Cruze units also fall under another call-back by the company. Statistics show that the welds in a bracket that holds the tanks are missing from 249 of these units. According to the Federal Safety officials, due to this, in case of a crash the tanks may come loose, leak and cause fire. Adler said that the recall was an extension of GM's internal safety testing and the dealers have been instructed to secure the brackets using fasteners.
Out of the eight other models which were launched by GM in the second half of 2012, the company had to recall only two of them, which include the Mini Countryman and the Mitsubishi OutlanderSport. Executive Director, Centre for Auto Safety, a consumer group, Clarence Ditlow, said that the astounding number of recalls is a serious question mark on a new model and indicates low quality. He said, "You definitely don't want to see that many recalls on a new model.”
He further commented that five recalls in two years is minuscule compared to 13 recalls in the first two years of the company's 'X-Cars' from 1980, which included the Chevrolet Citation, Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Omega and Pontiac Phoenix.
Vice President, Quality, GM, Alicia Boler-Davis expressed regret on behalf of the company for the inconvenience caused to its customers. According to her, the American car maker is in the process to assure its customers that the sedan “is the safe and durable car they purchased.”
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