General Motors is recalling its 2011 and 2012 model Chevrolet Cruze compact sedans to fix a problem with the engine shield that could result in a fire.
The recall affects every Cruze built through May 2012 for sale in the U.S., Canada and Israel — 413,148 sold in the U.S., 61,299 sold in Canada and 701 sold in Israel.
Cars built this month are not affected, and while Chevy sells the Cruze worldwide, the others have differing powertrains and were designed differently.
GM said it had identified about 30 fires that could be related. It said it didn’t know of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issue.
“Improper engine oil change procedures on these vehicles can result in the spilling or dripping of oil,” GM said. “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.”
Free repairs to the Cruze are expected to take 30 minutes at a dealer, GM said.
“The most important thing for our customers to know is that we are proactively working to assure the Cruze is the safe and durable car they purchased,” GM Vice President of Global Quality Alicia Boler-Davis said in a statement. “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by these actions.”
As part of the announcement, GM also said it would examine some Cruzes to identify a welding problem that could affect up to 249 vehicles. The issue “may affect the fuel tank strap secondary brackets attachment to the floor structure and a sub assembly to the rear floor plan,” GM said.
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in March that it was investigating reports of “engulfing” engine fires that destroyed two 2011 Cruzes.
IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland said the recall is “not a complicated fix,” but Cruze owners need to pay attention and get their cars repaired. She said she didn’t expect the announcement to damage GM’s reputation for quality.
Lindland said it was difficult to estimate how much the recall would cost GM. GM spokesman Alan Adler said no extra parts are required for the main recall.