The Chevrolet Cruze was first introduced in 2008. It was available as both a compact sedan and a hatchback. However, the model was discontinued after the 2019 Cruze in North America. The Lordstown assembly plant was sold to Lordstown Motors and the Ramos Arizpe Assembly starting building the Chevrolet Blazer instead.
The Chevy Cruze was a short-lived car with its fair share of problems and complaints. Keep reading below as we look at some of the most frequent complaints and offer some solutions for each.
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The 2018 Chevy Cruze sedan has three recalls listed with the NHTSA, along with more than seventy complaints. Here are some of the top malfunctions. Additionally, the NHTSA lists the same recalls and similar complaints for the 2018 Cruze Hatchback model.
When General Motors built this Chevy Cruze, it may have been missing some bolts on the start/stop accumulator endcap. Without these bolts, a transmission fluid leak can occur, leading to an increased chance of a car fire.
Other transmission issues have occurred as well. It doesn’t matter if the six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, the complaints have been rampant.
During production, GM didn’t apply the right amount of coating to the rear brake caliper pistons of some Chevy Cruze models. This defect causes gas pockets to form and reduces the stopping power of the vehicle.
Another recall exists because the Chevy Cruze LS models with a tire inflator kit and the gas engine have a serious defect. If a rear-impact crash occurs and the car rolls, gasoline can leak, causing a major fire hazard.
Chevrolet Cruze owners have complained about the brightness of the infotainment system. It appears to be too bright for nighttime driving, with no way to turn it down. Because these electrical problems affect nighttime visibility, a crash could occur.
Currently, the NHTSA has two recalls and 12 complaints for the 2019 sedan. The same issues have been listed with the NHTSA for the 5-door hatchback model. Those two recalls are similar to the ones listed above, so let’s look at a few more complaints.
Numerous grievances have been raised regarding insufficient power in the Chevy Cruze. Certain car owners have experienced difficulty in getting the vehicle to move again after stopping at a traffic signal, while others have reported incidents of the car rolling backwards down an incline due to the lack of power to ascend the slope.
To start, the front glass in the Chevrolet Cruze seems foggy from the get-go. However, multiple people have further complained that the defrost function will cease working during operation. The only way to get it going again is to turn off the engine and restart it. This lack of visibility is a serious safety concern. Yet, there’s no technical service bulletin that resolves the issue.
Along with the transmission fluid leaking and possible gasoline spillage during an accident, there’s also the threat of coolant leaks. This problem seems to go back all the way to 2010 and lasts right through the final model. While most complaints come from cars with the EcoTech 1.8-liter engine, it’s also been found with the 1.4- and 1.6-liter motors too.
The Chevrolet Cruze was discontinued after the 2019 model year. Most likely, the choice to discontinue the car came from a lack of interest and the overwhelming defects that would have cost a lot of money to repair.
If you look at models previous to 2018, you see many warnings about the compact vehicle. Consumer Reports listed the first-generation Chevrolet Cruze as one of the lowest in reliability ratings. By 2011, there was already a recall stating that the steering wheel could break off of the column while driving. These steering problems were enough to scare most consumers away.
Yet, the potential for a comfortable ride on a budget caught some peoples’ eyes. They continued to buy the Cruze, hoping it would be working properly and the issues would have been resolved through the warranty coverage.
However, more than 400,000 vehicles were recalled in 2012 because of car fires stemming from oil leaks. If that’s not enough, nearly 300,000 more vehicles were recalled in 2013 because the power brake assist failed. The problem occurred on models with the 1.4-liter engine and the automatic transmission. In fact, this problem caused at least 27 accidents. In 2014, GM stopped sales of vehicles entirely because of a defective right-side axle shaft.
How do other publications feel about the Chevy Cruze? The model was hailed as a low-cost means of transportation and it features a fuel-efficient powertrain. Yet, there have been some extremely dangerous issues reported. Let’s take a closer look at our favorite automotive publications.
Car and Driver has stated, “The Cruze’s powertrains fall short while those of several competitors excel. The entry-level model feels underpowered and lacks verve, while a pricey diesel engine delivers excellent fuel economy but uninspiring acceleration—not a winning combination when gas prices are low. It’s easy to find a satisfactory car in the Cruze’s diverse lineup, but true excellence must be sought elsewhere.”
Edmunds goes on to say, “It lags behind its competitors in its gasoline fuel economy and engine performance, preventing the Cruze from being a true standout.”
Based on RepairPal data, the Chevrolet Cruze ranks lower than average in reliability during the top model years. While it did receive a 4.0 out of 5.0 ranking, it was placed in 26th place out of 36 compact cars. That means there were 25 other similar models that ranked better.
Additionally, RepairPal estimates a $545 a year cost for maintenance and repairs, which is higher than average for this class, although not by much. Furthermore, it’s expected to visit the shop 0.41 times per year, which is also higher than average for compact vehicles. Finally, the chance of a severe repair being needed is 12%, again going higher than normal.
We cannot in good conscience recommend any of the Chevy Cruze years to drive to car buyers. Right from the start, these models have provided nothing but trouble. Even though not all of the Chevrolet Cruze problems have been recorded with the NHTSA, you can find many more problems talked about online. Concerns have been raised regarding the Check Engine Light, spark plugs, Service Traction system, power steering and the water pump mentioned.
If you buy a used Chevrolet Cruze, you may find yourself dealing with costly repair bills. It’s hard to tell if there’s an automatic transmission fluid leak because of bad transmission seals, a defective thermostat housing or a failing intake manifold without a professional inspection. You could also deal with a bad timing belt tensioner, a coolant leak, warning lights or a rough idle.
Because of this, we recommend looking at some other compact cars. The Honda Civic and Mazda Mazda3 might be better options. You may also consider the Volkswagen GTI or a Toyota Corolla. If you want something with a hybrid powertrain, you may see the benefit of driving something such as a Toyota Prius or a similar model.
If you are determined to purchase a Cruze, we have a few cautionary recommendations. Firstly, we strongly advise steering clear of the first-generation Cruze as it has been cited as one of the poorest car models. Secondly, it would be prudent to have a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle thoroughly, checking all aspects from the engine oil level to the spare tire. Lastly, it would be beneficial to peruse the GM service bulletin records available online, as they may furnish valuable details on potential transmission breakdowns, cruise control glitches, faulty water pumps, and engine malfunctions.
You should also read crash tests from the NHTSA. While you may think the Cruze has a roomy interior and quiet ride, the unscheduled repairs reported by many owners are sure to change your mind.
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If you’ve been dealing with unresolved Chevy Cruze problems and have taken your vehicle to the dealership with no resolution, you need to contact us. It’s time for you to get the compensation that’s rightly yours. Reach out to our team today and let us take over the battle for you.
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Consumer protection laws in California and nationwide actively protect buyers of vehicles and other consumer goods. They hold a particular importance when purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. The California Lemon Law grants legal rights to those who find themselves with a vehicle that continually fails to function properly, providing a pathway to seek resolution and potential compensation.
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