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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,394 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #19

Nov 252016


  • miles


While driving to work I received the turn off ac engine to hot warning.the temperature outside was in the 50's. pulled over and saw the coolant was low, added coolant but it it wouldnt stay in the tank. Took the car to arrowhead Chevrolet in peoria, AZ and was told it was the water outlet housing leaking and cost to replace was $490, the car has 69,000 and shouldn't be having this issue, the dealership could care less, called GM warranty and was told basically too bad and we are sorry but it's not under warranty and we will not provide cost assistance for the repair. Currently there is a recall for the coolant leaking at the water pump, but GM feels it shouldn't cover the water outlet housing. I'm sure it's leaking from the water pump but the service manager just wanted to make a dollar off a poor single mom. Shame on GM for knowing the issue with the coolant leaking isn't just related to the water pump but the whole cooling system!!

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #18

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 #17

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 #16

May 302016


  • 42,500 miles


These are some photos of the defective fuel line from previous complaint. The part number of the fuel line is 13269487 as shown in one of the photos. The entire description is listed in complaint, NHTSA id number: 10871417

- Pompton Plains, NJ, USA

problem #15

May 302016


  • 42,500 miles
Fuel line connection leaks gasoline under right rear of car every time ignition key is turned on and will continue to leak when car is being driven. Failure can occur for no reason at any time. The location of the connector is highly susceptable to being damaged as it is unprotected and exposed extending under the vehicle. This is a known problem and no GM recall has been issued and is a possible fire hazzard.

- Pompton Plains, NJ, USA

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problem #14

Mar 102016


  • 2,700 miles
When purchasing my auto 2011 Chevrolet Cruze I was not told that this 2011 Chevrolet Cruze had a coolant leak that the company could not repair. Before I purchased my 2011 Chevrolet Cruze a guarder plate was installed too keep the leak from burning off of the motor and no repair to stop the coolant leak. My 2011 Chevrolet Cruze over heated and I was sent a letter that Chevrolet company would replace the coolant once it get low. I told them that this coolant is also inside the cab of my 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and they said that I would be charged to have my 2011 Chevrolet Cruze checked for reason of leak but once coolant is leaked out or low they would replace it. This chemical is a labeled żaż poison for humans within it's label. Which I have had those affects from it's release at this point. I cannot get Chevrolet to fix this and they said that they'll not fix it just replace coolant just for 2016 after then they'll not replace leaked coolant. I asked them if I could have the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze checked without having a service charge and I was told I could not that I'll be charged a fee. I was offered a $2000 voucher to purchase another auto. Being once stress of over heating or correct levels of coolant withing vehicle coolant functioning components cannot operate normally I'd have to replace those components and if not under components warranty I'll be charged service visit and parts and labor rendered. I mentioned that this coolant chemical burn off is causing sight effects and that it continues sending those chemical coolant fums into the cab of the vehicle and I'm taking medication for those sight effects of the coolant's chemical burn off. Again (General Motors corporation legal agent said that's the legal offer and if not agreed active case file would be closed. On 3/10/2015 my case file closed with no resolution.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #13

Feb 052016


  • 59,000 miles


From a stopped position, I would accelerate through 1st gear, just before I change gears to 2nd. The whole car's electrical system goes haywire. All systems reset, most of the time this means I can a very bad jerk in between gears 1 and 2. a few times the car turned off. If the car does die, I am unable to start the car or jump it for at least 15 minutes. The longest I had to sit was over 30 minutes. Chevy's dic system tells me to check a variety of things, not always all of them. But usually check power steering and airbag systems. A few times it told me to check traction control systems. The check engine light has never come on in any of these instances. Chevy says this is due to a faulty ground wire, which they replaced and it continues to do this. This is a very dangerous situation, where if I was in a busy intersection I could easily be caught in an accident. Luckily, this has happened mostly in residential areas.

- Sycamore, IL, USA

problem #12

May 012015


  • 35,000 miles
Practically every day I drive my car, I experience extreme shifting and transmission issues. Specifically, I have to floor the gas pedal for the car to move from 2nd to 3rd shift. This is an automatic car, and it drives like a poorly shifting manual. It is extremely unsafe to drive because it does not accelerate when I hit the gas pedal, rather the engine revs very high and loudly, yet the car does not accelerate. It also has made loud popping sounds from the engine, and the car fills with an exhaust smell, and during the winter coolant smell is obvious in and outside the car. I am very uncomfortable driving-and feel unsafe-driving this car and it is almost four years old with less than 50,000 miles! I have brought it to the dealership on the below dates and they cannot "duplicate the issue", thus have not fixed it. On one occasion, the dealership had my car for 3-weeks! I have no idea if the dealership is even daily testing, or driving, the car. I do know, however, it is extremely unsafe because the shifting and accelerating is unreliable and will most doubtable cause an accident injuring myself and/or others. I have also called GM and numerous occasions and they were very unhelpful, stating they never heard of a shifting/transmission issue with the Chevy Cruze, when in fact the 2011 Chevy Cruze was recalled for shifting lock cable. I have received, unsolicited; a letter from a lawfirm to sue GM noting this exact issues shifting/power issues (amongst faulty water pumps, which I also had replaced after only owing the car 2-years), so clearly there are many others experiencing these issues. Dates brought my car to (sullivan's oneills in avon, ct) 1/16/2015; 5/2/2015; 5/09/2015;5/13/2015; 6/24/2015; 7/17/2015 my GM service tickets are 71-1490864298 & 71-1490864298. The car is either a lemon, or needs to be recalled for shifting/transmission issues.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #11

Jan 012012


  • 20,000 miles
Many recalls on vehicle, over 5. engine issues.. car does not run well... I've taken the car multiple times in the past months..

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #10

Apr 062015


  • 59,937 miles
While driving the vehicle the engine light came on. The car only has $60,000 on it but we took it in because the engine would just randomly stop and the car would stall. The vehicle when brought into the dealership, had been inspected and the car was missing parts. The intake manifold non return valve was missing. There was a vacuum leak at the PCV orifice external port. Water pump was leaking from bolt holes and cover plate. Coolant leak was found even though a few months prior to the leak, Chevy "fixed" the recalled item. I believe that the vehicle has many faulty parts and this is the second time I have written a complaint about this company using faulty parts in there manufacturing process.

- Gilberts, IL, USA

problem #9

Apr 022013


  • 26,011 miles


I've had numerous of maniacal issues with the Chevrolet Cruze 2011. The most serious and deadliest is the coolant system issues the Chevrolet Cruze 2011 has. I was experiencing a cough along with migraines once engaging the air-condition nubs from heat to ac and some sleeping condition where I'd find myself speaking while asleep momentarily awaking. I'd wind my windows down while driving and I'd see that the migraines, coughing along with sleeping experiences would stop. I visited my Chevrolet Cruze 2011 dealership and explained the odor that was coming from my air cooling system. They cleaned my air cooling system and replaced my cabin filter feeling that this maintenance solved the issues I was having I felt I could use the cooling system with no problem. I was wrong. The migraines return along with the coughing and the odor when adjusting the cooling system nubs. I called the dealership to explain the ongoing maniacal problem. After a week of having my windows down my car ran hot and come to my dismay it was out of coolant. I received a letter from Chevrolet recall department that the vehicle has a coolant system issue were coolant leaks and that was the odor. The coolant was leaking onto the motor and burning off returning the odor into the cab of the car. I had it tested for repairs and had a water pump repaired for the vehicle, this did not stop the problem, the hose from the motor and coolant reservoir was replaced, did not fix the problem and the leaking of coolant continues. The recall stated that the only maintenance for this problem is refilling the reservoir with coolant intl the problem is found and fixed. That means I'll have experience each condition I mention above which has worsened. Now it's close related to seizure like encounters see objects move, feel weak, blurred vision and body jerks. I've asked for a rental intl the problem is found.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #8

Jan 202015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 58,586 miles
The first occurrence happened on Jan. 20th 2015 on my way to work, twice. I noticed because the radio turned off and the service esp flashed with the traction light coming on with multiple other lights flashing. All of this including the radio flashed/turned off and on for about 2 minutes. Over the next week this happened 5 or 6 times. All of these happened while going between 30 and 40 mph and on trips between 30-45 minutes. I had about a week with none of this happening and then on Feb. 8th I was driving home, 20 mins from start to finish and twice the engine power reduced came on and I could not drive any where. I was going about 35 mph. I was able to pull over and turn my car off and on both times and make it home. Now my check engine light is on and I'm not sure if I can even drive my car or if it will die on me again.

- Cary, IL, USA

problem #7

Jan 142015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 67,280 miles
As I was pulling out of my daughters school, my Cruze engine warning lights came on "reduced engine power" "check stablitrak" "service" warnings came on as well. My car lost all engine power and I was almost rear ended by a Dodge pickup, he was able to go up on the curb at the school and avoid an accident. Glad there was no one hurt on the curb. I checked the internet, re;, this is a known issues for GM for quite sometime now. GM customer service themselves is participating in the discussion there. It is a known issue with the throttle body. The throttle controls the power in the power train yet GM won't cover the repairs under their power train warranty. This isn't safe and it is known.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

Oct 142014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Engine shaking violently while idling. Stabiltrak warning on. Acting like it was going to die. Scared it would die while in traffic.

- Embarrass, MN, USA

problem #3

Jul 152013


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet cruz. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, the contact noticed a rumbling noise. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated that the fuel pump and tank needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000.

- Highland , OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 092012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
Gas tank vent has shifted in my car. Whenever I pump gas into the car it will only allow me to pump at a slow speed. Several pumps have not recognized the speed and did not automatically shut off. Causing gasoline to spill out of my car onto my clothes, vehicle and ground. To me this is a potential fire hazard. Not only did I have to go to work smelling like gas, but I carried the fumes into the car with me. So that my 2 young grand children have to smell the fumes.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #1

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

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