Chevy in Cruze SNAFU as steering wheel just falls off

Apparently, the scene where a driver loses control and, in a panic, pulls the steering wheel off the car isn’t just a Hollywood invention.

One Chevy Cruze driver experienced the unthinkable when his steering wheel just fell off, resulting in a recall of approximately 2,100 vehicles.

While General Motors is only recalling a (relatively) small number of cars, the news certainly puts a damper on Chevy’s hopes for the Cruze.

From its launch until March, Chevrolet sold 50,205 Cruzes, making it a headlining model for the company. Although this is far less than Toyota’s success with the Cruze-competitor, the Corolla, which sold 76,821 units, the Cruze still outsold the Chevy Cobalt with 37,379 units.

According to documents filed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem was traced to a situation where the wrong wheel was put in the car and later replaced with the correct model during the assembly process.

However, the new wheel clearly wasn’t attached properly.

Although the driver was actually on the road when the steering wheel came off, he was able to get out of the car without a scratch.

General Motors claims the incident is an isolated incident one, as it tested the other cars from the production run and found no similar problems.

Nevertheless, Chevy has altered its policy to ensure the machine used to attach the steering wheel can accommodate only the correct model.

Under the recall, dealers will inspect the steering wheel to make sure it is properly attached. This service is free of charge and the recall is expected to begin on or before April 8, 2011. Owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438.

(Via WSJ)