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GM Orders Halt to Chevy Cruze Sales

Automaker tells dealers not to sell cars, but not why.

by on Mar.28, 2014

GM ordered dealers to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruzes without telling them why.

The bad news for General Motors continues to rain down. The company sent dealers a letter telling them to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruzes with 1.4-liter turbo charged engines.

Dealers say that the letter, called a “stop-sale” order, isn’t all that unusual. Typically, it means there is some sort of issue – usually a safety-related problem – that needs to be fixed. However, the maker did not give a reason for the order leaving dealers baffled.

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“This is something we don’t see every day,” a dealer told the Wall Street Journal. “To not be given a reason must mean GM has spotted an issue and is still trying to get its arms around it.”

GM recalled the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid to fix a stability control issue.

The company is not revealing details about the issue behind the order.

“I have no details,” GM spokesman Alan Adler said to USA Today. “I’m sure somebody knows” why the order was issued, but he wouldn’t provide any further information.

The automaker also issued a recall for 663 of its 2014 Cadillac plug-in hybrid ELRs without adaptive cruise control. Due to a calibration error, the car’s electronic stability control system may not provide an alert to a driver if certain faults occur.

The vehicles without adaptive cruise control were built with a calibration that inhibits some electronic stability control diagnostics. If the diagnostics are inhibited, there are some faults that will not be detected if they occur.

“The ESC malfunction indicator light will not illuminate as required by the federal safety standard, even though ESC functionality would be disabled or degraded,” GM said. “Failure to illuminate the ESC malfunction indicator light when an ESC fault condition is present could result in an increased risk of crashes and injuries.”

(Mercedes-Benz mulling expansion of Sprinter van line-up. For more, Click Here.)

GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The issue was discovered in late February during a routine dynamic Vehicle Test at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. Dealers will reprogram the electronic brake control module with the correct calibration free of charge.

(Click Here to check out the new layer of protection on Tesla’s Model S.)

These problem cropped up as the company is mired in the morass of the recall of 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches that can move from “run” to “accessory” mode while driving, cutting power to the vehicles airbags, power steering, power brakes and other functions.

(To see why Toyota is recalling 119,000 Avalons, Click Here.)

The problem has been blamed for at least 31 crashes and 12 fatalities. GM CEO Mary Barra is slated to testify before the U.S. Senate about the issue early next month as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice conduct investigations about how the recall was handled.

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