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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,225 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Dec 212016


  • 94,000 miles


Had car 6 months and transmission was slipping and not shifting properly had no power really it would go but had lots of delay and would jerk when it would finally go into gear. I took it to shop had to get transmission rebuilt well 3000 dollars later and them saying it was good to go but would shift funny while relearning gears well I drove it 38 miles and it was just like it was when I took in I thought at first it might be learning gears but after 50 miles over 2 days I felt like it wasn't right took it back to shop and now they are saying it is tcm and it will be anther 900 to fix I bought this car from a individual has no warranty now I'm out all this extra money. Worst car I've ever had. My dream car has turned into my real life nightmare. I will never buy anther GM/ Chevy vehicle. GM/Chevy won't do anything to help remedy problems known problems to them. Oh and then shop says water pump is going out so on website it shows it has special coverage under recalls I guess but I have to pay to get it diagnosed and now I'm scared to even put more money into it as I'm not sure any of this will actually fix the car I've read horror story after horror story of stories just like my mine. And yet GM/ Chevy does nothing and is still able to sell these lemon cars to people. I mean how many complaints and safety issues does this company have to get before they will do something. I can't believe I'm out over 12000 dollars for a car with maint free transmission with 94000 miles. I now have a 13000 dollar piece of junk that I beginning to believe that can not be fixed

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #44

Oct 222016


  • 94,724 miles
This vehicle safety complaint is in regards to my 2011 Chevrolet Cruze lt, which was serviced at ourisman Chevrolet of bowie, a General Motors (GM) authorized dealer, for the repair of my vehicle. I incurred charges for unwarranted maintenance repairs on the following dates September 26-October 5, 2016 ($134.95 and $139.07 (cost for a new battery)), April 26, 2016 (warranty covered repairs), April 11, 2016 ($590.92), and April 14, 2015 ($382.14) that never addressed the safety complaints I made, all of which were handled by service advisor buddy reio. On these dates, I took my vehicle to be serviced for experiencing hazardous issues with its electrical systems and reduced engine acceleration while I was driving between 40-55 miles per hour. Without warning, my vehicle's speed would decelerate (both on the highway and residential roads) and my car doors would begin to lock and unlock uncontrollably with error messages 'service stabilitrac, ┐ 'service parking assist, ┐ and 'service airbag┐ displaying on my dashboard. After about 30 seconds of this condition, my car would resume normal functioning. I incurred $1,247.08 in unwarranted repairs for my vehicle, which was never properly diagnosed, leading to my vehicle shutting down while I was driving it on October 22, 2016. On October 22, 2016 at 3:20 P.M., while driving on a busy thoroughfare, my car decelerated and error messages displaying 'service stabilitrac, ┐ 'service parking assist, ┐ and 'service airbag┐ showed. After approximately 30 seconds, the car began to shut down and I managed to steer it out of the way of oncoming traffic. I immediately contacted Chevrolet's roadside service and informed the representatives that my engine would not start and I was stuck on the side of the road.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #43

Oct 012016

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
I have been having several issues lately that are not covered under warranty with my car. Power train issues, stability issues, sensor issues. These issues have happened on and off and some have been fixed before and they keep getting worse. The car starts shaking really bad when I am driving. It does not feel safe.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #42

May 302011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles


Since purchasing this vehicle there has always been a hesitation in the acceleration and "engine jerking". I originally reported within the first approx 6 months of owning the vehicle. The service center had their transmission specialist drive the vehicle and I was told "that is just how it drives. I told them on a second time about the ongoing issues and was dismissed. Last year I started getting the "service stabilitrak" error and the jerking and lack of acceleration and hesitation has gotten increasingly worse. This is a safety concern as trying to go from a stopped position and going through an intersection it will lag and can cause a delay also driving down the road it will jerk and almost feel like I could lose control of the car. I often also get a smell of the coolant that goes through my car. I have had all recalls in the past taken care of, but the stabilitrak is an ongoing issue that is very concerning for the safety of myself and my daughter as a passenger in the vehicle. It has been an ongoing issue since the purchase of the vehicle 05/2011 only increasing in severity.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #41

Aug 292016


  • 100 miles
Picked up car from shop after paying over $800 and the car stated to smell the car act as if it will catch a fire. Smoke coming out of the vents and under the hood. Called the dealer and no help the service manager will not return my call. I'm out of town two hours from my home. I will have to get a hotel room and I paid for rental car for two days already.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #40

Jul 202016


  • 121,000 miles
My car hesitate sometime during driving at low speed or high speed and the stabili trak light appear, the check engine light stays on even when I have replaced the part needed..

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #39

May 032016


  • 97,000 miles


Loss of power steering during driving, radio flickers on and off while driving, while pressing brake while stopped the car continues to jump forward - city driving on highway and streets. Began happening one month after I purchased car on 4/3/2016.

- Miami, FM, USA

problem #38

May 042016


  • miles
I was stranded for 4 hours in the rain with my groceries locked in my trunk at wal-mart when I tried to start my Chevy cruz the stabli track light came on my steering wheel lock and my keys was also lock on the ignition on May 3 2016

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #37

Mar 112016


  • 85,000 miles
The radio/HVAC display turns off and on; the antilock brake system, service traction system, service stabilitrac and steering vehicle messages comes on and off; the turn signal sound may not be heard; ┐battery saver active┐ and 'service steering┐ displays in the driver information center (dic); and the interior and exterior lighting may flicker. Power steering assist is also lost, and greater effort may be needed to turn the steering wheel at low speeds or while the vehicle is stopped. This only happens in the summer. Doing speeds of 65mph. The car loses power and then the dash board and radion flickers on and off. The cars sometimes shuts off and I will have to put my hazards marker on the let the car pull over to the side of the road. And im not able to take the key out the ignition. The key will get stuck and about 3 minutes later I trying again and the key will come out. I try to start it up again and the car will start up. The steering will lock up while im trying to turn or is turning the it will go back to regular state. It only does this in the summer or when the car gets hot. So I took I to the dealership and they said it was my negative battery cable. This is unsafe. This has been going on for almost a 1 year it starts and stops when it wants too. Also when im stopped or sitting at a stop light the matters are even worser

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #36

Feb 292016

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Car will slow to 2 mph with the warnings "low engine mode" and "service stabilitrack". can be going any speed and this happens. Have had the car towed 3 times for this same problem. Each time they tell us it is another part that is defective. We have spent approximately $2,000 on repairs for this same issue. My main concern is that my 20 year old son who drives this vehicle is going to get killed. If this happens on a highway with a semi behind him, the semi will not be able to slow down to that speed that fast and will run right over him. There are numerous reports of this same issue on 2011-2015 Cruze vehicles that you can find anywhere on the internet (even on GM forum). I would like to know how many people have to die from this issue before a recall is made on these vehicles?

- Circleville, OH, USA

problem #35

Feb 042015


  • 57,250 miles


Intermittent service traction control and stabilitrak while at a stop when attempting to drive after the service light came on the vehicle lacked power and high temp fan turn on. The only way to get the car out of the service lock was to turn the ignition off and turn it back on. I took the car to a dealer where they were unable to duplicate the issue. This issue has been covered under a recall on other Chevy vehicles such as the equinox.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #34

Jan 112016


  • 69,000 miles
Whife driving down the road traction control light comes on slows down to about 20 very dangerous 4th time it has happened to her.Chevy dealer fixed it said it was accelerator pedal. Did it again. On the way home and to work

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #33

Dec 092015


  • 40,000 miles
In addition to two complaints filed about this vehicle already. The U.S has no concern for human life in the U.S and is allowing white supremacy to endanger minority drivers and other drivers. The testing of satellite radiological dispersal weapons and remote control systems involving, hacking, backdoor access, remote control, surveillance and vehicle compromise persists. On 12/10/15 and 12/09/15 the vehicle was halted by force from a satellite tracking the vehicle. Ample evidence of electrical problems in the car, cellphone tracking and home tracking is available. A federal lawsuit was filed and dismissed without reason of cause to further the hate crime. On these two days I was driving the vehicle one again, and lost control over the vehicle steering and throttle. The issue occurs at stop signs to cause an accident there or at a intersection. The vehicle is purposely tampered with during transit to cause loss of control and throttle. The vehicle throttle is gone, the gas peddle goes limp and the engine stops throttle for a duration. The engine then kicks in full force after a series of hard sputters on throttle jerking the car forward up a hill or into to a stop. I was in highland NY leaving a plaza, where this occurs, and other intersections with lights

- New Paltz, NY, USA

problem #32

Aug 112014


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the service stability traction control warning light illuminated intermittently and the accelerator pedal hesitated to respond. On the first occasion, the contact was driving at 20 mph and the vehicle stalled. On a second occasion, the vehicle stalled while driving at approximately 35 mph. The contact was able to restart the vehicle each time but the failure was progressing. The failure caused the vehicle to go into a limp mode each time. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice and they were not able to replicate and diagnose the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a third time who diagnosed that the alternator assembly needed to be replaced. The electronic stability control failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was left for a diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 36,000.

- Pittston, PA, USA

problem #31

Nov 142015


  • 80,000 miles
Stability trac and traction control light appears, vehicle experiences immediate loss of power. Experienced while driving on freeway attempting to change lanes. Due to the sudden loss of power I was nearly struck by a big rig. Dealer can not identify codes only code that appeared was PO171, fuel trim lean code was addressed by dealer, dealer claims original complaint was tied to the P0171 code. While driving home experienced sudden loss of power and rough shifting. No warning lights or indicators appeared. Vehicle smells like burnt oil, and noticed a loud ticking noise. Notified dealer and was told it is normal vehicle will be fine after 400 miles of driving. My families life will be placed in jeapordy for the next 400 miles. The unresponsive acceleration and sudden loss of power is a serious safety issue.

- San Pedro, CA, USA

problem #30

Aug 172015


  • 39,844 miles
Have had repeated issues with service stabilitrak light coming on while driving and then power being reduced to vehicle, causing unsafe driving conditions; following recall to reprogram computer engine fan ran continually for days; car died when startong, dealer replaced computer tried to return with check engine light on, now stabilitrak issue has recurred again. Not confident that dealership has any clue what is really wrong with this car. The dealership's most recent guess is that something is wrong with the transmission but that they are getting a code they don't recognize.

- Lexington, MI, USA

problem #29

Jul 042015


  • 83,000 miles
I frightened and almost hit a pedestrian while at a complete stop during a red light because the vehicle jerked back and forth. The vehicle felt as if it was on hydraulics. Moments later the engine light went on and the description of service stabiltrak displayed on the dashboard. Once the light was green and I proceeded, engine light went off and service control also went away. It would only jerk back and forth once at a complete stop. My vehicle is definitely a hazard and not safe to drive.

- West Hollywood , CA, USA

problem #28

May 282015


  • 66,000 miles
While driving the radio shuts off and a warning pops up in the center between the speedometer and RPM gauge that says service stabiltrac or service traction control. While that happens the power steering shuts off. That's a normal occurrence that happens randomly once or twice during my 20 mile drive to work, and on short drives for errands. Today the vehicle completely shut off twice while driving down the road. I almost wrecked 3 times going around corners when the power steering shut off along with the radio.

- Uniontown, PA, USA

problem #27

Apr 212015


  • miles
The cars stability track indicator, anti-theft and several other dash lights including check engine light comes on and the car will not start or allow me to remove the key. I have had this happen on several occasions fortunately not when I am driving however many times while I have been driving the car the cars electrical system will reset and the cars power seems to lug down and feels like it is dragging or braking. Removing battery and replacing helped it once. I also notice the rear lights will stay when the car is in park unless I start the car move it 2 or 3' and put it back into park again.

- Aloha, OR, USA

problem #26

Apr 212015


  • miles
The cars stability track indicator, anti-theft and several other dash lights including check engine light comes on and the car will not start or allow me to remove the key. I have had this happen on several occasions fortunately not when I am driving however many times while I have been driving the car the cars electrical system will reset and the cars power seems to lug down and feels like it is dragging or braking. Removing battery and replacing helped it once. I also notice the rear lights will stay when the car is in park unless I start the car move it 2 or 3' and put it back into park again.

- Aloha, OR, USA

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