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:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,918 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Dec 192014


  • 24,000 miles


Leaving a parking lot the instrument panel began to blink on and off every check engine light started to come on and off. Power steering was lost for a short period. Still in the parking lot at a stop sign turn the engine off. The car was completely dead, no lights no clicking noise when you attempt to re start. Opened hood checked the new battery wiggled the cables interior lights came on and car started up. Since then it has happened numerous times each event getting worse. Eventually it died and was towed to the dealership and is being looked at. This seems to be common with Chevrolet Cruze.

- Bluemont, VA, USA

problem #32

Dec 192014


  • 5,500 miles
I was driving on my way to the store, suddenly I started smelling something burning. I the thought that the smell was coming from outside. But it happened again on December 31st when I was on my way home from work. I didn't see any smoke, but I smelled something burning. The fumes were coming from the vent. This needs to be checked out.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #31

Jan 012015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
The Chevrolet Cruze 2011 is compromised by hacking and tampering and allows for the endangerment of the drive, other motor vehicle drivers or pedestrians. The radio antenna will sound off and constantly make a roaming noise as if being accessed. This is at every stop sign and every stop light or every destination reached by gps markers. The Cruze system is allowing the 24/7 tracking when it is used and tampering with the intent to cause malfunction or annoyance. The throttle is being cut off deliberately at stop signs, and traffic lights and destinations, the radio antenna will constantly make a roaming noise "searching or access". the vehicle is deliberately being used for stalking blacks for hate crimes while testing out vehicle halting systems by clearly satellite. This has happened 100 or so times in the 3 year I have had the vehicle and there is no remedy. When other persons use my own vehicle these issue do not arise and I have confirmed this with other owners, my vehicle is a unique occurrence that involves also a hate crime in public, police stalking, law enforcement stalking, home stalking and tampering of all electronic devices I own or use in my home. This car is not safe and the throttle cut offs are deliberate and specific. The throttle as I said already is cut off at a stop sign or mid acceleration with the intent to remove operator control and halt the vehicle. The lights are turned on and off on their own on one occasion. I have had other people test the car, these things do not occur even while I am in the passenger side. Only when I am the sole individual driving the vehicle alone is the throttle cut off and the lights tampered with including the antenna for stalking and tracking where I go. This is my second filing to address white supremacy under the color or law that interferes with personal property and use and control of property.

- New Paltz, NY, USA

problem #30

Dec 152014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 55,450 miles


Heater at first did not work; dealer removed air bubbles and topped off radiator. The dealer mechanics mentioned that typically the thermostats or temperature sensors have gone in the Cruze. 2 weeks later - sure enough, back at dealership - need 2 temperature sensors now. Based on blog activities - it seems like these warrant a recall.

- Rowley, MA, USA

problem #29

Nov 302014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Was traveling on the highway with cruise control set at 67mph when suddenly the car just lost power and the engine quit running. All of the dashboard instruments lost power, gas gauge registered empty, etc. Although the radio did not go off. Luckily this happened with very light traffic and was able to pull off in the emergency lane and put the vehicle in park and restarted the vehicle with no trouble. Continued our trip and did not happen again. After thinking about this I did notice the vehicle a few weeks ago losing some accelerating speed/power intermittently while traveling. Not sure if that was an indicator or not. Did call onstar approximately 5 hours after incident to diagnose and see if any error codes came up and they stated they showed nothing. This is my daughters vehicle and I fear that if she is traveling in heavy traffic and this happens again that this could cause a sever accident.

- Fraser, MI, USA

problem #28

Dec 042013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Vehicle shutdown while driving on highway, several times. The car electric turns off and or flashes, stabiltrak lights come on and flashes, check engine flashing, car completely shuts down, steering is electronic or motor powered and is hard to use, transmission jerks before shutdown and breaks don't work very well. Ran over curb and off the road to avoid colliding with other vehicles. Picture, im driving on a highway at night doing 65 or so, all power goes out, its dark, other cars can not see me well, they are swerving and im swerving. This happened first around 20K and has happened on several occasions after. No corrections offered by GM under warranty, complaints were completely ignored, until murdock Chevy in manhattan ks. They are currently trying to get it fixed and gave me a loner car, all other servicing dealers refused a loaner car, and told me its fixed each time. Car still has the problems listed and no solution is given from GM or Chevy to fix this deadly situation. Also damage to the car from an engine overheat or dashboard overheat at the same time damaging electric, windshield, radio, gauges and dash compartment lever. Extreme heat, burning smell inside. Floorboard by the feet melts carpet and burns feet, all at the same time, on drives of 30 minutes or more.

- Junction City, KS, USA

problem #27

Apr 212014


  • 88,895 miles


On this date we scheduled a oil change with a dealer who has performed all maintenance, recalls and repairs since the purchase of our new car. We where notified that the car was ready for pick up that morning as we arrived we paid our invoice, the consultant made us aware that the engine light came on (first time since new?) this consultant did not document this engine light to our records. Well, the engine light kept going off and on during the next 10K miles (2 oil change later, out of warranty, my fault) I had this check engine light diagnosed by our dealer and they had the codes and then further tried to correct the problem. They wanted $800 to install a new air intake manifold and throttle body then continue to test for more problems with no guarantee of repair. I could not afford the repair and declined the fix. The other problem surrounding this car since April 21, 2014 was that the fuel gauge would not show full after fill up and would move up and down the scale on the gauge. The ac would come on at strange times when running the heater" well any ways that was 7 hours at the dealer and made for a long day. I had to return to pick up the cover they forgot to install over the spark plugs, and complained about the leather sets being soaking wet with water and that the car has had these problems since April 2014 under warranty, the dealer did not want to help us? I purchased this car from them and purchased the 35K oil change extended warranty and bumper to bumper warranty" this dealer did all ! the maintenance, recalls and repairs. I'm glad we didn't go over the 1000 foot cliff at yellowstone when the brakes decided not to work (we learned later of the brake recall) they have a excuse for every question you ask, no reports on the all point inspection on our brakes and tires, password problem they say? I'm ready to buy a truck elsewhere now, poor GM an Chevy.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #26

Nov 182014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
The vehicle would not shift out of park nor remove the key. The wheel was locked as well as the shift lever. The car would turn on however would not move. There was no lights in the vehicle.

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #25

Apr 212014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 88,895 miles
After the service date of April 21, 2014, for a coolant leak. I was notified by a service adviser that the engine service light was on which was not on prior to my visit. The engine service indicator light on the dash is still coming on and off based upon I would guess a number of starts and stops. I investigated what I could and found the gas cap was broken, not locking into place. So I purchased a new cap from the dealer and replaced it. I purchased a code reader and eraser, but still have the on/off indicator light on the dash. So, I have an appointment on 11/20/2014 with the dealer to check this third time coolant leak, change the oil and there inspection as well as the engine service light on my dash.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #24

Nov 172014


  • 34,000 miles
Was driving the Cruze, a message flushed in screen "ac turned off due to high engine temp" ac was not on, heat was not working, turned off blower, the screen changed to engine overheated idle engine, then changes to partial power loss and the car became sluggish, I had to continue driving until a safe place was available to pull off, then the reactions control light started blinking and my oil life indicator told me to change oil before returning to the partial power loss message. I towed to dealer.

- Sweet Valley , PA, USA

problem #23

Aug 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


Front passenger air bag "off light" comes on intermittently on my 2011 Cruze when an adult is sitting in the front passenger seat -- indicating the air bag system is off. I've taken it to my GM dealership twice and both times they say that everything checks out ok and there is nothing they can do. The car air bags have never been deployed. There is a flaw with this safety system and GM should step forward and come up with a fix.

- Bristol, TN, USA

problem #22

Jun 012011


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated while trying to start her vehicle the key became stuck in the ignition and she was unable to release the key. The failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.

- Bordentown, NJ, USA

problem #21

Aug 092014


  • 41,323 miles
My car keeps shutting off while im driving it.. it is now not even turning on at this point. I try to start it and wont turnover. Last week while driving down the highway at speed 35-40, my radio and A/C turned off, then the car began to slow down, then shut off in the middle of the highway. I want to add how extremely dangerous this is for me (7 months pregnant, and 2 little girls in car). I tried scheduling an appointment several times for the electrical recall and have been scheduled far out.

- Sugarland , TX, USA

problem #20

Apr 232013


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle veered sharply to the right and the power steering failed. The service stabilitrack and brake warning indicators illuminated. The instrument panel gauges and radio were blinking erratically. The failures occurred multiple times and usually during or after rainy weather. The dealer stated that the battery cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 59,000.

- Pittsburgh , PA, USA

problem #19

Sep 122013


  • 43,354 miles
In Sept of 2013 after just a few months of owning the car I was rear-ended at a speed of 25-30 mph. The airbag didn't deploy and my head bounced from the steering wheel to the headrest where I suffered a severe concussion leaving me out of work for a month. Also my radio console lights flash on at random times, I experience the turbo lag crap the dealership gives as and excuse (especially after telling me during a service test drive that my car didn't have a turbo!) and after owning it for 1 month a part of the engine fan sheered off and destroyed my A/C unit leaving me with a $2500 bill to redo that. I can't wait for my settlement from the accident to get the hell out of this car. This is my first and last Chevy ever!

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #18

Dec 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Radio flashes on and off an instrument cluster is flashing warning light. Engine runs rough sometimes and ac blower motor turned on and off sometimes and turn signal indicator continue flashing but does not make it usual but clicking and then resumes clicking noise.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #17

Jul 112012


  • miles
I have returned my 2011 Cruze for electric windows automatically going down and not going back up....3 times replaced...the dealer told me after the third repair it was because of my dog drool...I then duck taped the window buttons on each door in the back where our dog sits and the same thing keeps happening...only this time it begins from the main mechanism on the drivers door which means it is not from our dog....I need help having this fixed.... we also had ignition problems for the same car 2011 Cruze...having to have it towed to the dealer and it cost nearly $500 to fix...I am hoping to be eligible to get a refund. We to were driving...when we started the car I could feel the ignition lock and were unable to get the key out...the key actually broke in the ignition...the 2011 is not mentioned in the recall list?? this is the first brand new car I have ever owned and I am extrememely saddened by all of the issues occurred in the first 2/12 years...I hope you will help... [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lynn , MA, USA

problem #16

Feb 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
Took my 2011 Chevy Cruze into the shop on February after the radio, dash, headlights began shorting out (flickering on and off) the dash would flash back on it a different language and then reset itself once the car was turned off. Initial quote from mechanic was that it needed a new alternator. I then did a internet search to find out many consumers on forums were reporting the same problem. At that time we refused work from the mechanic and took the car to the dealership. They stated it was a common problem and the grounding wires were tightened. The work was done and about a month later the issues started happening again, this time when the "flickering" would happen, they dash would flash "service traction control". the car was returned to the dealership where they stated the car needed new battery cables. After reviewing the concerns on the forums for other Cruze customers who stated this was replaced on their cars and the problem kept happening, I was not satisfied with that option, the dealership refused to investigate further so we took my car home. The problem persisted, this week, the car began a new malfunction while "flickering" the power steering and power brakes would quit working, leaving you with no control of your vehicle while on the roads. My husbands picked the car up from me and experienced the same problem along with the door locks resetting and feeling the engine cutting out "dyeing" then restarting itself. Upon out return to the dealership it was asked that they inspect the car with a fine tooth comb and get to the bottom of the problem. After reading several reviews, I am not satisfied with this answer. We are getting the cables replaced but what is plan C. that is what I am interested in. Who has the answer to that question?

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #15

May 152014


  • 66,879 miles
I was driving at a low rate of speed when my car died. I had no brakes, power steering or engine power. I tried to turn my key to restart the car but the key on my fob was stuck, it wouldn't move forward or back or out of the ignition for quite a white. When I was able to get the key out, I returned it to the ignition and restarted the car and drove straight home. I called Chevy Corp. Office where they towed the car to my locale dealership where they could not find a problem. I am scared to drive my car, due to this happening again.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #14

Aug 082012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 9,800 miles
In 2012 I started having issues with my vehicle "Chevrolet Cruze 2011" and the vehicle is now or has been under gps based surveillance. The vehicles surveillance became aware to me during 2013 when I noticed constant beeping sounds. These were not the chime sounds indicating "vehicle service needed", these are post beeps or "hard drive access". the post beeps indicate access to the vehicles electronics system and compromising "electrical safety" and "sole operator owner" abilities. Any time I step near the vehicle it would "sound off" indicating I approached the vehicle. Any time any other person approached the vehicle it would not "sound off". any time I enter the vehicle the, car would "sound off". any time any other persons would enter the vehicle it would not "sound off". when beginning a trip the vehicle would "sound off". when reaching a stop or destination the vehicle would "sound off". when stopping at a stop light the or any stop sign or vehicle halt the vehicle would "sound off". the vehicles electrical system has been compromised, allowing malfunction and alterations of vehicle calibration "assumption". I have had electrical flaws within the vehicle such as the fans never shutting off since the stalking began. Sounding off would be the audible post beeping hdd access sound, indicating information transfer within the vehicles computer system. This event is unheard of, and is undocumented on the internet, I also was able to verify with others that was not a noticeable event. This is a deliberate targeting and isolated harassment of myself and my personal life from a unknown source remotely.

- New Paltz, NY, USA

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