Without an explanation, General Motors (NYSE:GM) has mysteriously announced a halt on all sales of the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan equipped with turbocharged engines from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Though the company denied that recall actions will be taken yet, it’s another concerning sign for the company that’s been plagued by recall issues so far this year.
A GM spokesperson told Reuters that action only covers the affected models that are unsold on dealer lots, which make up about one-third of the vehicle’s inventory at dealers; the 1.4 liter turbocharged models account for about 60 percent of all Cruze sales, it added. The Cruze was the 12th strongest selling vehicle on the U.S. market last year, Reuters said, citing information from Autodata.
“With GM still in the midst of trying to resolve the recall related to faulty ignition switches on the Chevrolet Cobalt and other legacy models, the last thing they need is a major issue with one of their current high volume production models, in this case, the Chevrolet Cruze,” Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Alec Gutierrez told Reuters.
Sales for the Cruze grew 4.4 percent to 248,224 vehicles last year, and through February, sales are already tracking north by 19 percent. ”I can just confirm that we put a stop-sale in last night,” GM spokesperson Alan Adler said. Given that it was only put on the turbocharged units, chances are it has to do with that particular engine.
Adler said that stop-sale orders can happen for various reasons, adding that stop-sale orders mean the dealers need to do something to the vehicle before it can be sold. Toyota is currently dealing with a similar situation with the fabric in the seats of many of its vehicles — however, they can be repaired prior to sale without the need of a recall. Depending on the urgency of the problem, the issue can be solved retroactively for units already sold without having to reel the units back in formally.
While it deals with this new development, we expect we’ll know more after this weekend; GM is dealing with its big 1.6 million vehicle recall, and is the subject of a number of federal investigations over the promptness of the action. Cadillac also issued a recall for over 600 new ELRs, and there are other outstanding recalls for everything from dash padding to airbag issues.