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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,540 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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Apr 072011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 75 miles


Ever since the purchase of the car I have experienced a hesitation upon acceleration at all speeds. I have also talked to a few people who have had the same complaint with their Cruze. We have been told that this effect is known as turbo lag. The dealers say the turbo charger takes time to catch up with the rotation speed of the engine. I have driven many cars with turbo charge in my life as an auto mechanic and have never felt this hesitation on any of them. Why would a turbo charger lag when it's whole purpose is to enhance acceleration. I took the car in to the dealer for the last recall and asked them to check into this phenomena while it was in the shop. They wrote on the repair order that they could not duplicate my complaint during the road test. I am concerned because a hesitation of this sort can be very dangerous especially pulling out into traffic. Please investigate this matter. I will continue to complain to the dealer because their stance seems to be that this is something Chevy Cruze owners are forced to live with. I've already had some close calls due to this hesitation. Thank you.

- Old Bridge , NJ, USA

problem #10

Aug 062012


  • 33,000 miles
I bought this vehicle as a present for my father. After getting it home, (driving it home was all highway), he drove it around the block and noticed it had a lag in the vehicle speed. It almost felt as though it was a manual transmission. I drove it home that night and noticed the same feeling. It's almost as though it takes a lot of effort out ofthe car to keep driving. It downshifts before its supposed to when driving and as a results isn't getting the gas mileage its supposed too. Driving city, it was only getting 18-19mpg for me. It does much better on the highway, over 55mph, then with city driving. Took it back to the dealer, who took it to a bigger Chevy dealer and they stated nothing was wrong. Got it back and its the same way. We love the car but will not drive it because we are afraid of not knowing what's wrong with it and possibly having something serious happen to it. We have 2 little ones that we need to worry about who ride in the car as well. Seems pretty unsafe to have a car downshift and lag with speed aspect when its not supposed too. Wish a recall would come out.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #9

Jul 192012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 28,445 miles
While driving 2011 Chevrolet Cruze the service lights for ABS and stabilitrak begin intermittently illuminating at the same time, remaining on for random periods of time.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #8

Dec 312011


  • 27,850 miles


Car would not accelerate while at a stoplight, with cars behind me. Radio readout said, "stabilitrak turned off"; dash readout said, "engine power reduced!". I could not accelerate past 1st gear. I had aaa tow the vehicle to a local dealership, and I was told the throttle body needed to be replaced because the throttle would not open.

- Hellertown, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 152011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated she reported problems with the handling of the vehicle within the first three months. Problems reported included: Shifting issues in which the vehicle appeared to slip out of gear, the vehicle intermittently lunged foward when her foot was on the brake, when in park and once while driving. She also reported incidences of unusually long periods of hesitation when stepping on the accelerator pedal. The service stabliizer, serivce power steering, traction control and engine lights illuminated periodically as well as the instrument panel going blank while driving. Updated 01/04/12

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 022011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
Severe hesitation when you accelerate leading to possibility of rearend collision..manufacturer well aware of issue but says there is no problem.

- Shirley, NY, USA

problem #5

Jul 252011


  • 430 miles


When you back off the throttle and slow to 20 to 25 mph, you never know what the car will do. It may coast like a normal car. It may downshift and slow moderately. Or it may downshift to first gear and slow radically. When this happens, the computer takes full control of the vehicle. You step on the gas and nothing happens. The computer has control of the vehicle for the next 5 seconds. This has happened at least 40 different times. This creates a very dangerous situation. First, I am in the driver seat and I should have control of the vehicle. I do not. Secondly, most people drive with the flow of traffic. If I slow radically for absolutely no reason and all of the drivers around me continue on, someone behind me will run into me. It is only a matter of time before a distracted driver smashes into me. And thirdly, since I never touched the brake, the brake light never came on. The driver behind me have no way of knowing that I am radically slowing and creating such a dangerous situation. If you step on the gas to get the car to go, nothing happens. Then the computer returns control to the driver and the car takes off at full speed. If you step on the brake, the computer takes over. You then must come to a full complete stop before the computer will return control to the driver. If you are making a turn when the car radically slows, you could very easily loose control. When the pavement is wet or slippery, the problem is greatly increased. You are totally at the mercy of an insane computer. Feel free to contact me if you need any further information. Please go to the local Chevy dealer and test drive a Cruze with the automatic six speed transmission. You will see what I mean.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #4

Jul 072011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 7 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds and letting off the accelerator, the vehicle would downshift slowly or aggressively. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer and they advised him that they were unable to diagnose the failure and that the computer was learning the contact's way of driving. In addition, when trying to accelerate to higher speeds the vehicle would creep and slowly accelerate. The dealer was contacted a second time and they test drove but were unable to duplicate the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 7. updated 09/02/11

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #3

May 202011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,000 miles
I am very disappointed with my new 2011 Chevy Cruze eco (1.4L 6 speed manual transmission) the car looses power especially when try to accelerate up hills, total loss of power and lack of response. This keeps happening out on the freeway. I have my foot pressed all the way down on accelerator, but no response from the car. Car has slowed down to 30 mph going up the hills on freeway putting me in an unsafe position. It happens on level services too, try to get the car going when at a stop light is hard too, I give the car gas and get very slow response, when it does respond the car is very jerky going thru the gears, afraid this may cause an accident for failure to move out and with the traffic. It happens with all the gears ! I have problems too with the car over- accelerating going now hills. All the above continue to happen despite following the owners manual for operating the vehicle. I feel strongly that this is a unsafe vehicle. I bought the car with a 4 cyl turbo with hopes I would have a little extra power, I haven't seen it yet.

- Ohio, OH, USA

problem #2

Jun 012011


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. When the stopped the contact began to depress on the accelerator pedal but the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. The speedometer displayed that the speed was rising but the vehicle would not accelerate. When the vehicle accelerated it did so at the speed displayed on the speedometer. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage 1,000.

- Harvey, LA, USA

problem #1

May 152011


  • 2,825 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while the vehicle was in park, it suddenly accelerated. He also stated that the rpms extended from 0 to 7. the vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 2,825.

- Rahway , NJ, USA

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