Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: What’s that smell – it’s a tad sweet with a tinge of chemical toxicity? If you own a 2011 Cruze it’s probably a coolant leak. It’s a widespread and notorious problem for the car and is the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed in the state of New York. And that’s not the only problem 2011 owners face…

Many say the 2011 model year suffers from a throttle lag that is probably due to a fauly electronic throttle control. The problem is signifigant enough that some owners say they are too scared to drive their cars. Those that do get behind the wheel often say their transmission isn’t shifting properly and problems start occuring as early as 15,000 miles.

All of this leads us to say you’re probably better off without this car’s headaches (they’re probably chemically-induced anyway).


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,259 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Dec 022010

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 350 miles


My 2011 Chevy Cruze has an acceleration hesitation. Starting about 2 months after I bought the car in 2010 the issue began. When I need to accelerate in certain situations such as pulling out on a road, passing another vehicle, accelerating after reducing speed, etc. Etc. The car loses power when I step on the gas for three-five seconds before slowly responding and accelerating to where I need it to be. It's as if the car dies for a few seconds. Those few seconds are always in situations when I need to be moving. I brought the car in to the dealership and was told that it was normal.the issue is getting worse so I brought the car in to dealership again and was told there was nothing car was in for other recalls and they gave me a loaner 2013 Cruze to drive. The newer Cruze did not have the hesitation problem at all, it drove beautifully. There are thousands of people with the same year, make and model that have this same issue. It is dangerous!! just because no one that we know of hasn't died yet that doesn't mean that there isn't an issue. The 2011 Cruze is unsafe and someone needs to do something about it.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #30

Sep 062011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 4,554 miles
I purchased this vehicle new from a Chevy dealership in eden prairie, mn. After only 2 mths, it began intermittently hesitating, lurching forward when attempting to accelerate (while sometimes blowing hot air from the ac) & refusing to accelerate. Multiple times it has completely stalled out (while driving 30-40 mph on a highway & when accelerating from a stop on a hill resulting in rolling backward). It is currently at the dealership for the 4th time for this specific issue, but does not show any codes (no ses light). They have made many repairs in an attempt to fix this issue (leaking water pump, reprograms, wastegate solenoid replacement, etc), but the problem still persists. I am concerned that my car will stall while on a highway or passing through an intersection, which would pose a huge safety threat. I have seen numerous similar complaints & would like GM to accept responsibility & replace/recall these vehicles.

- Middleton, WI, USA

problem #29

Feb 042013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle is gradually losing(not leaking) antifreeze and dealers not coming clean with the truth they know. Our personal mechanic(25yrs) has gone over the engine/car and no visible or via testing, shows a leak. Latest antifreeze fill needed approx 1/2 to 3/4gal of antifreeze. Failed on inspection for low coolant

- Centerport, NY, USA

problem #28

Feb 012012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles


After about 10,000 miles the car hesitates when the accelerator is pushed. Around 20 to 30 mph when needing to speed up the vehicle the vehicle will stall the transmission will then kick in with noise. Very unsafe to drive in moderate to heavy traffic in cities. I have been in traffic with multiple lanes and wanting to pass someone. When pushing the accelerator to pass the car just sits there! then after a hesitation the car will pop then finally move. Car has been in the shop for this problem at the dealership where they state nothing is wrong with the car. I even had one of the mechanics tell me that for these types of transmissions it is normal! how can this be safe! if I wasn't aware of my driving and a very good driver I would have had multiple wrecks with this issue. Luckily I have been able to over correct when the situation occurs. At one point I had to pull off the interstate due to the fact I was pushing the gas petal all the way to the floor and my car just stalled at 23 mph for over 15 seconds until I pulled over, released the petal and engaged again.

- Ennis, TX, USA

problem #27

Jun 242013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 21,500 miles
Vehicle failed to accelerate off of the on ramp onto the highway. The engine could be heard revving up, but did not increase in speed. When exiting the highway, I pull off to the side of the road, shifted the vehicle into park, then back into drive and the vehicle would not go forward. Even in manual mode the car would not shift into a forward moving driver.

- Saint Joseph, MO, USA

problem #26

Oct 112012


  • 26,776 miles
On 10/11/2012, and 10/18/2012, and 11/20/2012 I experienced "dragging" while attempting to accelerate. The car acted as if it didn't want to go into the next gear. Eventually it did, but not before struggling to do so. I had it towed to the dealership all 3 times at their expense because it was still under warranty. The car has been serviced 3 times for the same issue, but it hasn't been completely resolved. 90% of the time there is still some hesitation somewhere between 13 to 45 mph. So much so that even a passenger has felt it upon occasion. I don't feel safe in this vehicle at all times and I'm worried that I'll eventually be stranded again. Even though it's been serviced 3 times I still have no peace about the situation because the car is still malfunctioning.

- Clinton Twp, MI, USA

problem #25

May 122013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 40,803 miles


The car has been running great and on Sunday I noticed that it seemed to be running away with itself and sounded like the air conditioner was on when it was not. Took it to a shop here with stanley auto groups permission, they had the mechanic put a machine on it and it came up with a code and the stanley auto group person told him it was a thermostat problem. I work at a church and my pastor looked it up and found there was a recall from the NHTSA. I then called a Chevrolet dealer and he said there was no recall. I think the Chevrolet dealership is giving me the run around because there have been several recalls since I bought the auto in spetember of 2012 and have never gotten a recall notice.

- Childress, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 082012


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the check engine warning lamp illuminated and the temperature gauge went from normal to extremely hot in matters of seconds. The contact mentioned that the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer multiple times. The technician stated that the coolant needed to be replaced. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage was 35,000.

- Fayette, MS, USA

problem #23

Jul 242012

Cruze 6-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
I have a Chevrolet Cruze, I bought it in July 2011 and after a few months I discovered that my car was shifting roughly. I also noticed that my car would not gain speed at a normal rate. My vehicle hesitates on acceleration and did since right after my purchase. The dealer could not find anything wrong according to their diagnosis "customer concern not duplicated". numerous other 2011 Chevy Cruze owners are experiencing the same exact issue after several unsuccessful visits to dealer service. This is a very uneasy feeling to have. When I sit at a red light the car jerks and I immidately think I got rear- ended but it is just the engine. Please help!!!

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #22

Apr 162013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 49,621 miles
The car engine light came on and I took into the robbins Chevrolet dealership for a check up and I told the advisor that the car was running sluggish and gears were slow interacting. They told me they would run a diagnostic test and determine the problem(s). The cause was a thermostat heater failed, so they replaced thermostat housing and pull vacuum on coding system to refill coolant and leak test. They road tested it and stated it was repaired.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 232012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 34,254 miles


Received a safety recall notice on July 2012 for oil spills/leaks onto hot surfaces. I took my car into robbins Chevrolet dealership for check up immediately on July 23, 2012 and they modified the engine shield. Also, the battery was leaking acid and they replaced the battery, cables and fuse, block-cleaned.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

Dec 152010

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
I have a Chevrolet Cruze, I bought it in October of 2010; after a few months I discovered that my car was shifting roughly. I also noticed that my car would not gain speed at a normal rate. I have fought for 2 years to have my car inspected and repairs to be done; nothing has come of it yet. I notified GM with the issue and was told that they would put in a new transmission. I was also notified that the issue would persist, it is the way my model transmission works. I know this is a safety concern, my car has already left me stranded once. I believe that GM is going under the radar and just trying to appease me with a new transmission. I also believe that more can be done for the problems that persist in my car and GM is refusing for it to be done. My car is a safety hazard from the numerous recalls to the transmission and computer defects. GM is trying to push me into accepting an amount that is less then half of what I have paid into the car or take the transmission. I have no other options from them. I would very much appreciate some guidance in this matter. Thank you

- Tad, WV, USA

problem #19

Mar 272013


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that she exited the vehicle and five minutes later, the vehicle ignited into flames. The contact stated that there was a fire report filed that stated that the fire started in the engine. The vehicle was destroyed and there were no injuries. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 42,000.

- Yazoo, MS, USA

problem #18

Mar 012013


  • 72,000 miles
The chrome coating on the inside drivers side plastic door handle is failing. The edges of the chrome where it has separated from the plastic are razor sharp and have caused multiple fairly deep lacerations to my fingers when opening the door. I inquired at the dealer about them replacing the part under warranty because its causing me injury despite my cautiousness while opening the handle, they told me it wasn't covered and would be an expensive fix due to the labor involved. My second complaint is the heat works intermittently and when taken to the dealer, they said I had a cracked thermostat housing which would be covered under warranty. They did not fix it however and simply refilled my antifreeze and said they would call me to have it fixed when the part came in....that was almost two weeks ago.

- Trenton, GA, USA

problem #17

Jul 182012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that she received notification that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V288000 (engine and engine cooling). The contact took the vehicle to the dealer twice in an attempt to have the vehicle repaired under the recall however, the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Christiansted, VA, USA

problem #16

Jul 062012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 20,154 miles
When heater is in use get a strong antifreeze smell in the car. Also get a film on the inside of the windows. Had back to the dealer 3 times. We have a 5 month old that rides in the car, not sure if it is safe for him with the coolant smell in the car. You have to wash in side of windows weekly so you can see at night.

- Tomahawk, WI, USA

problem #15

Dec 232012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
We had purchased the vehicle just 8 months ago, was not purchased new, but was new used..still under warranty..we received the recall. Had an oil change and detail to do anyhow, so took it in to where we bought the vehicle. They did the oil change, supposed recall fix and supposed detail. Our vehicle was still under warranty at the time of the oil change. 36000. As we drove, started smelling burning oil...never occurred before. Opened hood and noticed an oil leak below the vehicle into the engine shield. Being out of warranty by that time, we did nothing. Just figured they did an improper oil change and it was leaking. Today, we discovered while checking the oil that it had gas in the oil chamber. In pulling the dip stick out, it leaked all over the engine..I quickly smelled of it, smelled like gas. My husband drained it, as we were four hours from home, replaced the oil with new. When we returned home, checked oil. 1/3 quart of gas had contained itself in the oil chamber on our small road trip. So, now we have a 2011. 43,000 mile new car with gas in engine oil and leaking.. any suggestions??

- Sapulpa, OK, USA

problem #14

Jun 072012


  • 19,000 miles
Vehicle was purchased used with 18*** miles on the odometer. Vehicle transmission shifts erratically when driving in city conditions. Problem may cause stalling of vehicle at lower highway speeds. The transmission appears to slip at slow speeds. Before shifting, vehicle regularly hits maximum (red line) RPM. Poor downshifting into lower gears causes vehicle to lunge forward at lower speeds. Most notably from park to drive. On icy roads, the hard shifting may cause the vehicle to loose traction, resulting in a crash, causing fatalities or injuries to the occupants. Vehicle was taken to dealership, technicians were unable to reproduce customer complaint. Manufacturer was not contacted. Current mileage 28***.

- Effie, MN, USA

problem #13

Mar 212012


  • 16,116 miles
Hesitation at any speed, had to dealer multiple times for the same thing and they can't duplicate, took to dealer on Oct 4th and dealer said that it needed a new cylinder head, got car back and nothing was done, still doing the same thing and called to complain to Chevy which can't do anything either.

- Masontown, WV, USA

problem #12

Sep 182012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 26,400 miles
Once again my car has an engine cooling problem. This is the 2nd time this happened, the first was about 2 months ago. I was driving the car and the fan was making a loud noise, check engine light came one I called onstar asap they verified I was correct and sent a tow truck to pick up my car. I smell antifreeze all the time in the car and they antifreeze just disappears the dealership does not know where it's going. I'm seriously thinking about trading in my Cruze because of these problems, which never get fixed.

- Clovis, NM, USA

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