NHTSA Widens Investigation of Engine Fires in the Chevrolet Cruze
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has broadened its investigation of Chevrolet Cruze engine fires to include the 2012 model year. Last month, NHTSA made clear that it was inquiring about 177,000 2011 Cruzes after getting complaints of two fires that destroyed two vehicles. The agency has posted the documents on its Web site, which says it would be investigating the 2012 model too. According to Alan Adler —GM spokesman, about 370,000 vehicles are now included in the preliminary investigation, up from the earlier 177,000.
Earlier in a letter, NHTSA requested data from the automaker by May 11. Out of 12 questions raised by the agency, GM responded to 10, and got an extension on the other two. However, any documentation regarding the automaker’s response was not available on NHTSA’s website. Although the Cruze has not been recalled, these investigations by U.S safety regulators can lead to vehicle recalls. Event though there are no reported injuries or accidents resulting from the fires being investigated, Adler said that the automaker also investigates about several fires. He refused to comment about the number being investigated.
One of the complaints regarding the safety issues of the Cruze was filed on April 29. According to the complaint, flames burst out through the front of a 2012 Cruze while traveling at about 45 miles per hour. No harms were reported, and the fire department was called to extinguish the fire. Last month, General Motors sold around 18,205 Cruzes, which is down 28 percent from the same month last year. It shows a drop down in its business compared to the previous year.
Besides, General Motors is recalling 4,304 Chevrolet Malibu Eco cars sold in the United States to reset a unit that controls airbag deployments. However, no crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue. According to GM, they identified this problem while testing the car in which a car performed extreme maneuvers. Letters will be mailed to car owners on June 1 giving instructions to have the resetting done at no cost at a dealer.