GM recalls 172K Cruzes

DETROIT – Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruzes again are part of the latest General Motors recall. This round brings to 4.8 million the number of cars GM has recalled since February.

GM announced the recall of 172,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars late Friday because the right front axle shaft can fracture and separate while being driven. If a shaft fractures, the wheels would lose power without warning and the cars would coast to a stop.

GM said it has warranty reports of several dozen shaft fractures. It is not aware of any crashes or injuries. Dealers will replace the shafts for free.

The recall affects cars from the 2013 and 2014 model years equipped with 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines.

Area dealers were among those issued a bulletin Thursday night to stop selling those cars, but the bulletin did not state the problem. The notice Friday night detailed the problem and allows dealers to replace the shafts and resume sales.

The recall also covers about 2,500 replacement shafts used to fix manual transmission Cruzes that were recalled last September.

Diane Sauer of Diane Sauer Chevrolet said the notices affected 15 of about 80 Chevy Cruzes on her lot. Sauer said Friday that such notices are common for all dealers from all manufacturers, and usually there is no long-term holdup in getting problems corrected and cars ready to go.

Greg Greenwood of Greenwood Chevrolet in Austintown said the notices affected about 15 Cruzes of the 60 that were on his lot Friday.

The Lordstown-built small car routinely leads sales of GM cars nationwide. The car also has been the top-selling new vehicle in the Mahoning Valley 10 out of the previous 12 months.

In addition to the Cruzes, GM announced Friday it would recall 490,000 late-model pickup trucks and SUVs because transmission oil cooling lines weren’t secured properly in their fittings. Transmission oil can leak from a fitting and hit hot surfaces, causing fires, the company said in a statement. GM said it knows of three fires and no injuries.

The recall affects Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks from the 2014 model year, as well as 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs. All have six-speed automatic transmissions.

The Silverado is GM’s top-selling vehicle and an important profit center for the company. The GMC Sierra also is among GM’s top sellers.

Dealers will inspect the transmission oil cooling line fittings and make sure they’re securely seated, at no cost to owners.

In all, GM has recalled 4.8 million vehicles since last month, two million more than the company sold last year in the U.S. The string of recalls for GM, topped by an ignition switch problem in compact cars now linked to 13 crash deaths, has embarrassed the company and sidetracked its new CEO, who started work just over two months ago.

GM has admitted knowing about the switch problem a decade ago, yet it didn’t recall any cars until February. The recall delay has brought two congressional investigations and probes by the Justice Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Recalls prior to Friday night’s were:

2.6 million small cars because their ignition switches can move from the “run” to the “accessory” or “off” position, which causes the car to stall and disables the air bags and power steering. The Feb. 13 recall includes 780,000 Lordstown-built Chevy Cobalts and Pontiac G5s with model years from 2005 to 2007, and the Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky from the 2003-2011 model years.

1.18 million SUVs because their side air bags, front center air bags and seat belt pretensioners might not deploy if drivers ignore an air bag warning light on their dashboard. The recall includes the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia (2008-2013); Chevrolet Traverse (2009-2013); and Saturn Outlook (2008-2010)

303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans (2009-2014) because the material on the instrument panel might not adequately protect unbelted passengers’ heads in a crash.

63,900 Cadillac XTS sedans (2013-2014) because a plug in the brake assembly can get dislodged and short, increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire.