General Motors announced the recall of 1.6 million compact models in February. Apparently it wasn’t enough. Earlier today, the worldwide car manufacturer halted the sale and delivery of some Chevrolet Cruze models without explanation.
The Chevy Cruze models in question are all equipped with 1.4-liter engines. “The action only covers the affected models that are unsold on dealer lots,” Reuters explains. The stop-sale order comes as a shock given that recalled models may account for up to 60% of General Motors’ sales. The Los Angeles Times describes the models’ value: “The Cruze is GM’s bestselling compact car in the U.S. It sold nearly 250,000 last year, making it one of the top-selling vehicles in America.” Even so, GM remains tight-lipped. Alan Adler, GM spokesperson, told Reuters, “I can just confirm that we put a stop-sale in last night.”
Experts suggest this may be a financially devastating move from GM, especially considering the recent recall of millions of Chevy Cobalts, Saturn Ions, and Pontiac G5s earlier this year. Others don’t view the order as anything out of the ordinary. “Stop-delivery orders are fairly common. Dealers can continue to sell cars, but can’t hand them over to buyers until the issue that triggered the halt is fixed,” USA Today writes. “Sometimes it can be a minor issue that puts the model out of compliance with federal safety regulations,” The Los Angeles Times adds.
“I guess it all depends on how you look at it,” says Jared Scott, Sales Manager at Vito’s Auto Sales and Rentals. “This could be an attempt at preventative maintenance, so that they don’t have to issue another recall like they did in February.”
There is always the possibility that GM is tackling a greater issue. Manufacturers sometimes rely on stop-sale orders to avoid “an embarrassing public safety recall,” according to USA Today. A GM chief executive will appear before the House of Representatives and Senate to testify about the manufacturer’s actions and defective ignition switches next week. The faulty ignition switches randomly disabled airbags, power-steering, and other key electrical components, causing drivers to lose control. The defect is linked to at least 12 deaths and 31 car crashes.