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:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,647 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Dec 182016


  • 75,000 miles


I purchased a pre-owned 2011 Chevy Cruze in August of 2016. In December, I was driving on the highway and my car started to jerk as I pushed on the gas and it wouldn't accelerate. I pull over and parked the car to see what was wrong. I restarted the car and put it in drive, but it wouldn't go forward; however, when I put the car in reverse, it moved. My mom called the dealership we bought it from to claim the lemon law, but their response was that they couldn't do anything about it because the car was older than 30 days. She was also told that the lemon law does not apply to used vehicles, so my dad had the car towed to Chevrolet. They said that the transmission was the issue. My issue is that I had this car for 4 months. Replacing or getting the transmission fixed costs more than the car is worth. I do not have the funds for this being that I am a college student, and I need this transportation. I can't trade this car in since it's in this condition. My other issue is that there is no recall for this malfunction in this particular vehicle. After doing some research on this issue, I realized that there a lot of people dealing with this same problem and others regarding the transmission. I believe there should be a recall on the transmission because this issue is extremely dangerous.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #35

Oct 292016


  • 0 miles
Transmission is kicking while driving, especially when in reverse but also while forward. Also while in reverse the car will go forward instead. Does this every time it is driven, even while turning. Mechanic said it is the actual transmission causing the problem.

- East Sparta, OH, USA

problem #34

Dec 202016


  • miles
It's takes long for the gears to change get stuck on gears smells like gas I. the car and had it in park and started to roll back with out starting the car in the city and in the highway acts the same

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #33

Nov 202016


  • miles



- Lake In The Hills, IL, USA

problem #32

May 022016


  • 115,000 miles
Possible electrical problems. Dash board randomly lights up; radio has gone completely off; steering wheel difficult to turn; security lock out engaged once; traction control came on and hard to steer and several occasions. This incidents are happening randomly and had near miss on highway not expecting the steering to lock up or become extremely difficult. This has happened over last several months. Independent car repair shop could not find anything, but still happens.

- Austin, TX, USA

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problem #31

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 #30

May 192016


  • 57,554 miles


After having other recalls with this vehicle, now there is a transmission fluid leak directly after the warranty expired. This was discovered at the dealership when "check engine" light was on due to evap vent valve needing replaced. Shottenkirk Chevrolet stated the transmission fluid leak repair will cost $1,380

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #29

Mar 102016


  • 45,000 miles
The chrome plating on both the front driver and passenger interior door handles started to peel off which created sharp edges on the handles in which I and others have cut ourselves on. I had to chip some of the chrome plating off and wrap the handles with tape to prevent myself and my kids from getting cut on the peeling chrome finish.

- Brook Park, OH, USA

problem #28

Jan 062016


  • miles
Transmission problems.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #27

Apr 222016


  • 50,350 miles
My A/C condenser was hit by a rock and the dealer said it's not covered under warranty. But I know there is a tsb #10461 about the A/C condenser.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #26

Apr 102016


  • 59,000 miles


Drove about 45 miles and parked vehicle. Noticed engine fan running hard, shut off vehicle and went into store. Returned to vehicle twenty minutes later turned on car, fan still running hard. Pushed onstar button to get diagnostic check. Engine error code found, advised to take to dealer to investigate. Started vehicle about ten minutes into drive, could smell coolant from engine and vehicle slowed and chimes came on with dash reading: Engine overheated stop car and turn off engine. Had towed to dealer, they say a port is cracked in cylinder head and coolant leaking. Will cost $500 to fix. Vehicle has 59,000 miles. Also engine makes popping noises after running on highway and come to a complete stop. Sitting at light or stop sign and it pops four or five times. Don't hear it when I'm driving. These cars are lemons, GM needs to recall them and give us our money back!

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #25

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 #24

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 #23

Feb 082016


  • 57,000 miles
Takata recall. I drive a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze with approximately 57000 miles. Last week I was driving in traffic when the car suddenly began to lose power. On my dashboard notice center the message "engine power reduced" flashed. The car lost acceleration and became very difficult to control. I was surrounded by traffic and very lucky I did not get hit as I managed to get it to coast into a parking lot. This is a very dangerous situation. After doing online research I was shocked to see the number of people that this has happened to. Unfortunately it seems to happen after the 50,000 mile mark on these vehicles and usually after the warranty expires

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #22

Dec 012015


  • 60,000 miles
HVAC creates a noxious odor when running heat. Notice it mostly in a foot/defrost mode. Reports are either leaking heater core or HVAC system grease in my research. Irritation of nose and throat results, does not seem to be dependent on speed. Notice it more when starting car when still warm, also while standing for some time in gear then accelerating.

- Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #21

Dec 052015


  • 62,000 miles
On 12-5-15 I was on my way to ct from mass and was on 91. About 45 minutes into the trip the car began to loose power and the check engine light came on and the service stablitrack light came on. As soon as the light came on the temperature gauge and RPM gauge would fling up and down quickly! I immediately went from 65 mph to 30 mph.( I was almost rear ended by a car behind me) I coasted my way to the right lane and was able to get off the exit. The car took about 4 hours to go back to normal. ( I returned to mass, I had to take the back way home and avoid the highway as the car still had reduce speed) the car will return to normal and the check engine light will go off. Everyday now the check engine light will come on and it will say service stablitrack. The car immediately looses power and you can hear the engine (sounds like a fan blowing hard) the transmission will not shift. The RPM will jump to 4-5 while only getting to a speed of 35 mph. The dealer has no idea what I am talking about. This car was bought in January of 2015 and has less than 65,000 miles on it. I have read a few complaints about this similar situation happening to the same car I have. This is a safety issue!!! the car has been serviced on time!!! please help me!! I refuse to take the highway as I never know when this is going to happen.....

- Monson, MA, USA

problem #20

Oct 222015


  • 6,000 miles
When the cabin heating system is activated in cool/cold weather.(the temp setting indicator to max heat and the car engine is at the normal operating range). There is a burnt rubber smell or exhaust smell that comes out of the ventilation system. The dealer has been unable to find the cause. The smell will go away if the temp setting is reduce to the cold side of the scale (ie the blue line and not the red line). I have read of other complaints about this same issue but did not find it on this site. In the worst case this may be co leaking into the cabin or it could be related to some rubber like component off-gasing because of the hot air. This happens when the car is moving or standing still, but the engine must be in the normal operating temp range as shown on the temp gauge. This has occur every year since I bought the car.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #19

Sep 102015


  • miles
I was injured in accident.... hit a stationary vehicle.... there's significant damage to my airbags did not deploy... I am suffering from a severe cervical strain, severe neck sprain with inflation causing severe headaches, a severe upper and lower back sprain with inflammation casing pressure on my sciatic nerve... I cannot lift, bend, stand, sit, lie down for long periods of time, I even have to have help just too bathe.. I believe that had deployed... my injuries were not have been so severe.

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #18

Jun 082014


  • 58,000 miles
This happened twice: I was going down a mountain in southwestern va, where I am from, and it was like the brakes were grabbing. I could feel it in the brake peddle, steering wheel, and floor. I thought they were not going to stop me. We pulled the front tires to check the brakes and rotors, and they are both fine..the passenger with me could feel it too both times.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #17

Jun 162015


  • 74,000 miles
This incident with my Chevrolet Cruze has happened on more than one occasion in the same month. I will be driving, coming to a stop and the whole car will turn off on me. The air conditioning shuts off, radio, the whole car powers down. I put the car into park, turn off the car, wait a few minutes and turn the car back on. Praying that me and my two year old don't get into an accident throughout the incident.

- Bullhead City, AZ, USA

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