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GM recalls Chevy Cruzes over engine fire risk

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Photo via General Motors

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

General Motors announced a recall of more than 400,000 Chevrolet Cruzes -- the auto maker will be making safety modifications aimed at preventing engine fires.

All 413,418 Cruzes with manual and automatic transmissions built in the United States from September 2010 through May 2012 are included the recall.

GM will be modifying the engine shield under the vehicle to help prevent liquids from being trapped in the engine compartment, where a fire could start, and spread, said the official recall annoucement.

Improper engine oil change procedures on these vehicles can result in the spilling or dripping of oil. If oil contacts hot engine or exhaust system surfaces, and the engine shield, the shield may ignite and burn, resulting in a possible engine compartment fire.

In Cruzes with manual transmissions, continuing to drive with a completely worn clutch may cause hydraulic fluid to be expelled from the clutch housing vent hole. Under certain circumstances, the fluid could be burning as it exits the vent hole. If it contacts the engine shield, the shield may ignite and a fire may spread to the engine compartment.

Certain cars included in the recall will be also be inspected for a separate issue. Welds in the rear compartment of up to 249 cars may have benn omitte, or partially completed.

There are no known crashes, injuries or fatalities related to either recall, says GM. Two engine compartment fires in 2011 models led to a preliminary investigation in April by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Chevrolet dealership service departments will be executing the free repairs. Each modification is expected to take 30 minutes, and welding inspection should take a few minutes. If welding repairs are also necesarry that procedure would take about three hours.

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