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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 2
Average Mileage:
45,506 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Jul 022019


  • 43,163 miles


TL the contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 30 mph, when the contact released the accelerator pedal, the vehicle stopped abruptly. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was taken to david stanley Chevrolet (located at 614 w interstate 240 service rd, Oklahoma city, ok 73139, (405) 632-3600), but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 43,163.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #59

Oct 192018


  • 68,000 miles
On October 19,2018 my in laws were traveling North on route 61 in Pennsylvania. They can to a red light and ran into the back of a minivan and the airbags deployed. Then we dont know what happened, but the car accelerated and went the length of a football field and they hit a pole and my mother in law died instantly and my father in law died at 5:10 concern is why isn't it an industry standard that once the airbags are deployed the throttle doesn't shut down. If the throttle would have not worked they way still be alive.if you cant help me could you send me in the right direction.

- Schuylkill Haven, PA, USA

problem #58

Jun 112018


  • 130,000 miles
Vehicle has a very rough idle while stopped and while driving. When driving the vehicle will change roughly idle and speed up the vehicle. While in a stopping position the vehicle will roughly idle and the RPM indicator will bounce up and down. The engine light is on and the traction control warning and service esp warnings come on intermittently while in stopped position and then the vehicle will not accelerate properly. The most recent one revved and accelerated on its own, almost hitting the car at the stoplight in front of me.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #57

Apr 172018


  • 100,000 miles


Vehicle was on highway going to lexington ky from louisville ky. Car begin to smoke. Hose that was supposedly fixed on radiator was rigged and oil spilled from the hose causing it to go into engine. Engine overheated while driving on highway. Engine died. Had to get car towed from one city to the next. Got stranded in another town because could not obtain a rental car because they were closed. Since 2016 I have spent over $7000 on getting the same issues or related issues fixed. I have spent over $5000 in rental cars and I still owe $9000 on my car which I purchased from bales automall/bachman in jeffersonville Indiana in 2014 with on 28,000 miles. I have kept my services up to date on the vehicle and have documentation for that. It seems once I begin to get oil changes at this location my car begin to decline. I would be told that I had one problem, they would fix it, and then something else would happen. In addition, I have a witness who is a family member who is experiencing the same problems with the same year and model car that she owns. I see her going through the same down spiral steps with her car as I did. It is almost like clockwork. I have read consumer reports about these vehicles and none have been positive. In fact, many who have a turbo engine will or have experienced this same issue. The car is a lemon... it needs to be recalled!! it is unfair that I purchased a car that was no good and that only ran good for two years before having to replace the turbo twice and the engine. Let me reiterate.. I still owe $9000 on this car. At this point I am clueless and I feel as if I was taken advantage of. When I reported this to the BBB;GMC and other sources they led me on for weeks knowing that they would not assist in the matter. Because of this whole fiasco I have anxiety in which I am taking medication. Please help dont know what to

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #56

Mar 192018


  • 111,500 miles
Car does not properly accelerate, so much so that I need to use the hazard lights to avoid being hit by the car behind me when accelerating after stopping at a stop sign or red light. This is not safe. I have small children. I drove 40+ miles (city miles) and had no issues getting there, but then when I attempted to turn the car on again to return home, the temperature gauge showed the engine go from cold to hot very quickly, displayed the message "engine hot A/C off" and it started making a loud squealing noise. At this point I swerved the car off the road because my daughter and I feared for our safety and thought it was going to explode. I put the car in park, we both opened our doors and took off running from the car until we reached a safe distance. I had to have it towed 40+ miles to my home. The mechanic checked the vehicle again and found that the radiator had cracked and that the water pump needed to be replaced. He replaced the radiator and also the water pump, and ensured the proper amounts of all fluids. Also, whenever I attempt to drive on the highway, the front end of the car gets very hot and the "transmission hot idle engine" message comes on and the ac, which was working fine, does not work now. Still, the mechanic could find nothing wrong with the transmission! the heat from the engine and transmission come straight through the front of the vehicle, which with no ac gets super hot in addition to the 80+ degree weather in central Florida (and it's not even summer yet!). every time I have to have tried to refuel the car within the past 2 weeks of me having purchased it, the engine stalls and stalls and stalls. It takes 10-15 tries to turn the car back on every time I refuel. In addition to this, once you actually get the car back on the car jerks when put in drive. I have to keep my foot on the gas or the car will shut back off.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #55

Nov 152017


  • miles
Set up the airbag and the car mileage does look

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #54

Jun 302017


  • 55,400 miles


I purchased a certified pre-owned car on Jan. 2015. Since mid-2016 (one and a half year since I owned the car) I've been noticing that my check engine light turned on every now and then, and gear shifting became significantly lagging around 30mph. Every single time in a service appointment (which I took strictly on schedule for every 3 months), I would point that out to the service department, and every single time they would claim that they tested everything and there was no problem they detected. While last week (late June 2017, 2 and a half years since I owned the car, and interestingly 5 months after all my warranty expired), I was trying to drive back home from office via the highway. While entering the highway and speedup, I noticed that my engine speed went ups and downs in a serious, uncommon, rapid manner. There was also an unpleasant noise coming out of the transmission system. My car seriously shakes, and all gear shifting attempts became useless. The car went out of control and went to neutral gear on the highway--which pushed me to a very dangerous emergency situation. Fortunately I made it stopped by the side of the highway and managed to call the roadside assistance. My car was finally towed to the closest Chevy dealership, and upon diagnostics they replied that to replace the transmission part, it would cost me $4100. It was the same amount for selling the same model with good condition !!!! I read every complaints for 2011 Chevy Cruze regarding the transmission problem, and found very similar experiences for all the cases. It all happened on the 2011 module, transmission system got failed around 50K~60K mileage, and the only solution is to replace the whole part.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #53

Mar 212017


  • 52,300 miles
Bought this car used with 51K miles a month ago. Drove great the first week, after that loses powerupon acceleration and is slow to get up to speed. While driving just now, the car was losing power so I decided to hit the gas harder and instead of going faster the the stability track light came on. I am starting to wonder if I made a bad decision purchasing this car. It had trouble going up hill on the highway last wk. This car is too compact to have speed issues.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #52

Mar 132017


  • 153,468 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact called on behalf of her son. While driving 20 mph or less, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to respond. The contact stated that the reduced power, traction control, check engine, and electronic stability control warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 153,468.

- Ravenna, OH, USA

problem #51

Dec 092016


  • 90,500 miles
While driving down a city street, the vehicle was stopped at a stop light. Just as it was about to move forward as the light turned green, it went into engine power reduced mode and prevented the vehicle from moving forward at a normal rate of speed. Thankfully was able to get the car off the road. Had to be towed to mechanic. The conditions were cold (about 20 degrees), with no ice. Further warnings included traction control servicing, but there were no issues with the traction control system. Mechanic is saying it is a throttle body issue.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #50

Aug 012016


  • 28,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle would not immediately accelerate when depressing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #49

Aug 012016


  • 90,000 miles
Transmission jerks extremely hard. When air is on car fails to accelerate at all. Idles on its own, jumps gears always. Fuel system is bad, it chokes constantly and wont start some days. It vibrates extremely hard and I had it serviced 1 month ago for shaft case. This is the worst car ever!!!!!!! its a danger to drive it wont pick up speed and when the air is on it wont move at all. If still at a light, it will jerk extremely hard to where it jerks me. When in park it idles itself. If I'm entering onto the highway it wont pick up speed even if the air is not on. When I reverse and go back to park it jerks extremely hard. I hate this car!!! sometimes it doesn't want to stop.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #48

Jul 042016


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 25 mph, the brake pedal was depressed, but the vehicle accelerated independently. As a result, the contact crashed into a fence. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic after the crash. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #47

Mar 042016


  • 52,123 miles
My car has a check engine light and I took it to dealer they do not know what the code is, its P057C and I was driving on highway going 70 and car all of a sudden loses power went from 70mph to 5mph in a split second almost got rear ended by a semi truck I am afraid to drive my car for my safety. Dealer wants hundreds of dollars just to try and figre out the issue but after diagnostic they still have no clue. So thir plan was to dissect my car like a science project and maybe fix it. They want the car for a week and do not offer any loaner cars. Chevrolet northridge dealership California. Today 03/04/16 driving to work going 40mph and get to a red light, it turned green I hit the gas and the car just revs and wont go more than 5pmh. I had to pull over and turn car on and off 2 times before I could get to work. And got there late because of this. And again almost got rear ended. I press the gas and the car revs as if it is idling. Please make this a recall and help get this fixed. Its going to be a reason why a driver loses their life. This is a true emergency since it just feels like the car has a mind of its own. And dealer does not know what to do. Please please help!

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #46

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 #45

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 #44

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 #43

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 #42

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 #41

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

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?