A federal investigation has been opened following complaints of fires erupting in the Chevrolet Cruze car. There have been two reports that General Motor’s best selling car has spontaneously caught fire while being driven. GM is looking into 19 warranty claims that involve fires in the Cruze. The Cruze is one of GM’s top selling models, with over 230,000 cars sold last year, outselling the Honda Civic, the Ford Focus and the Toyota Corolla. In one instance, a driver of a 2011 Cruze Eco smelled smoke and stopped the car. Suddenly, “a flame appeared under the hood and the car was completely engulfed in five minutes.” The warning light on the dashboard only clicked on after the flames had appeared. In another case, a driver was waiting at an intersection when another driver shouted that the car was on fire. Similar to the other fire, the car was almost instantly engulfed as well.
The investigation of the Cruze comes only two months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed a similar investigation relating to fires in the Chevrolet Volt. GM added “structural reinforcement better protects the Volt’s battery pack from puncture or a coolant leak in a severe side crash” to the vehicle to prevent the spontaneous fires.
An investigation looking into the Jeep Wrangler sport-utility vehicle has also been opened after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received eight complaints of engine fires in the 2010 Jeep Wrangler. Seven of the complaints stated that the fires erupted as the SUV was being driven.
Fires in Chevrolet Cruzes, Jeep Wranglers spark probe by feds, www.sun-sentinel.com April 1, 2012.
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