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:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,860 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Oct 152012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


Steering sticks just left of center, typically at freeway speeds, but also as low as 40 mph. Stick is intermittent and weak enough that it does not currently present a danger to operating the vehicle safely. Steering must be held stationary for in excess of 2-3 seconds just left of center for the steering to stick. Weaving or swaying the car left to provide provides smooth and direct steering input. The issue has become more intermittent with colder weather, typically requiring longer drives for the issue to reappear.

- Newton, KS, USA

problem #12

May 022011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
I would like to put in a complaint on my Chevy Cruze 2011. Since purchasing it, there have been 3 recalls due to steering and engine. I have had to bring the car into the dealership 3 separate times for the recalls beginning one month after purchase. Now, the car has had 2 separate major problems (engine & currently back at the dealership for problem related to transmission), this vehicle has broken down once while in heavy traffic, but luckily I was able to pull to the side of the road, and the second time it broke down was on a street less heavily traveled, however, I was almost rear ended. If this would've occurred while on a heavily traveled or faster speed zone, I feel that a terrible crash would have happened. Both times may have resulted in serious injury or even death. I do not feel safe in the vehicle and would rather it sit in the driveway than to risk driving it. I lease the vehicle, but I would like to know any options for getting out of this lease & getting into a safe car. Thank you!

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #11

Sep 142011


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall without warning. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer advised that there were no failures within the vehicle. The failure recurred with the illumination of the power steering warning light. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer and was told that the steering gear box needed to be replaced. The dealer contacted the manufacturer for the part and was told not to perform the repair. The failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 18,700.

- Unavista, VA, USA

problem #10

Nov 012011


  • 6,856 miles


While driving straight down the road the steering sticks in the center position. It's like it gets into a notch and when the steering wheel is turned to make normal driving adjustments it feels like it sticks. It occurs at all speeds but is most noticeable around 60 - 65 mph. This problem could cause oversteering on slippery roads and it is very distracting.

- Doylestown, OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 222011


  • 19,000 miles
While driving 60-65 mph there is a slight binding that occurs during the normal corrections of the steering wheel. Reported to dealer and they " do not see a problem". it is very hard to notice, but it is there.

- Water Valley, MS, USA

problem #8

May 022011


  • miles
2011 Chevy Cruze manual transmission 6 spd. Random occurrence of speedometer spikes digital and needle (anywhere from 20-120 mph), volume on radio will also spike with this issue. When speedometer spiking the steering wheel will also unwontedly move 1/2 - 2 inches left or right every time which could distract/startle driver leading to a possible accident. Chevy refuses to look for a problem that "isn't there". as stated by dealership without code or a tech witnessing it. Occurrence happens when rolling at slow speeds (0-7 mph) or stopped with clutch engaged or slowly being released. Happens, 10-15 times+ a month. Has startled me several times once including me letting off the clutch and stalling the vehicle from being startled. Vehicle assembled: Lordstown, Ohio mileage when first noticing this issue: 78.0 current mileage, issue still occurring: 18,749. Seen dealership :3 times about current issue.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #7

Nov 012011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


Power steering will get notchy and make you feel like you will lose control of car. This has happened everyday for a week, now it has decided to behave itself but for how long? this car has a lot of safety glitches and would not trust my family in it at all.

- Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #6

Nov 132011


  • 6,605 miles
While driving on highway at 65 mph temporary steering loss for few moments. Proceeded to stop car and shut of. Once restarted car drove normal. Problem reported to local dealer no problem found.

- York, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 112011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
The car's transmission stalls and hesitates since the 1st day I got the car. I found out today that my car has four recalls! and I have not been notified in any way by Chevy of them one of which is the streeing wheel can come off while driving. While driving today 09/28/2011 the car came to a random and complete stop in the middle of the road and would not move forward at all.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 072011


  • 1,120 miles
My wife went to the bank and when she started our new Chevy Cruze the power steering light came on and the power steering stopped working.

- Nh, NH, USA

problem #3

Jun 172011


  • 900 miles


Intermittent power steering failure. This has happened several times. The steering just goes dead even when in motion.

- Prospect Heights, IL, USA

problem #2

May 072011


  • miles
The driver owned a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the driver was traveling approximately 65 mph when the vehicle began to steer independently causing the contact to travel off the road. The driver was unable to control the vehicle which resulted in a crash. A police report was filed and both the driver and passenger were reported injured. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an insurance lot. The contact was not sure if the failure had been diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were unknown and the VIN was unavailable.

- Atlantic Highlands, NJ, USA

problem #1

Mar 142011


  • 1,609 miles
While driving my new 2011 Chevy Cruze on highway 10 in Minnesota, with out any warning or any other indications the steering wheel fell off in the hands of the driver. We crossed several lanes of traffic and finally got the car stopped just inches from hitting the guardrail.

- Fargo, ND, USA

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