GM recalling 293,000 Cruzes

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General Motors announced on Friday a rather large recall for what analysts and mechanics are calling a rather small problem.

The recall is because of a potential issue with a brake assistance part that only kicks in at low speeds. The issue is not a complete brake failure, but when parking in a parking lot or pulling into the garage, affected models may require a little more pressure on the brake.

All of the affected models were built in Lordstown, which recalled nearly 293,000 Cruzes.

“If you see numbers of 100,000, 200,000 or 300,000, what it tells you is it’s a fairly systematic problem,” said David Cole from the Center for Automotive Research.

The recall is for Cruzes built between 2011 and 2012. It only applies to vehicles with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and 6T40 front-wheel drive six-speed automatic transmission. Cole said there’s no need to panic.

“When you have something like this, the failures don’t occur all the time and for everyone. It’s still very erratic,” Cole said.

GM sent a statement, saying “In rare instances, a driver may need to exert extra brake pedal pressure to stop the vehicle. GM is aware of 27 alleged low-speed crashes but no injuries related to brake performance, which could include this issue.”

Sweeney Chevrolet Service Center foreman Jerry Streb said Cruze owners would only really notice the issue when doing things like parking, or pulling into the garage.

“It doesn’t really cause an issue at normal or high rates of speed, just slow maneuvers,” Streb said.

The issue is with a switch that assists the brakes at slow rates of motion. Streb said they don’t have the parts yet, but it will be a free and relatively quick fix, which he estimated at about 30 to 45 minutes.

Cole said he does not expect the recall to affect Cruze sales. The Cruze is at the top of its class.

Affected customers will receive letters from GM.

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