jackarea

Towing 2012 Cruze 4 Wheels Down

28 posts in this topic

I have been looking for a tow car to pull 4 wheels down. So far I have narrowed it down to a Chevy Cruze and a Ford Fusion. After reading some of the problems with the Ford, I am leaning more to the Cruze.

Has anyone towed this car, and what are the procedures?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On another forum, some were questioning whether a Cruze is towable 4 wheels down. I have a 2011 Cruze and that is why I bought it to tow 4 wheels down. The salesman assured me it was, I read the manual, and it is, but there are things you have to do if you do tow it. It says when stopping for fuel to start the Cruze and run it for 5 mins. to lube the transmission. He says perhaps people aren't doing that and are having problems with the transmission.

I called the Chevrolet Marketing Division at 1-800-950-2438 and they gave me the answers to my questions. 2011 is towable 4 wheels down. I asked about the 2012, he didn't know but if one wants to know about the 2012, call this number to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. I just had a dealer call me today about the 2011 Cruz. He said he just got a sevice notice from Chevy saying that the 2011 and 2012 cruz will not be approved for 4 wheel down towing. He said they are sending addendems for the owners manuals.Must of had to many transmission claims. Not sure what this means for people who have these cars, but I may have to rethink my options.Hope you don't have any problems with yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just received the Safety Recall letter today,8/22, with a new manual page saying the 2011 6 speed automatic transmission CANNOT be towed 4 wheels down. This is a major problem that GM is going to have to make right such as install a Remco pump. The ONLY reason we bought a 2011 Cruze was to tow 4 down- we stated to the dealership over and over that it must be towed 4 down and of course, were assured that it was. We turned in our beloved Prius just because it could not be towed 4 down. Just spent $1900 and two days off from work to install the tow package. It tows beautifully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats why there is fine print at the bottom saying words to the effect than changes can be made without obligation for units previously mfg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats why there is fine print at the bottom saying words to the effect than changes can be made without obligation for units previously mfg.

Last year we swapped 3 bowties for 3 blue ovals. Over the past 48 years we've rotated through the Detroit 3. Prior to the bow ties we were Chrysler for a period. Prior to that Ford and prior to that GM, and so on.

If GM leaves Cruze owners dangling, GM will be off our list to even consider in the future. If they feel one can make a purchase of this magnitude and then have them change their minds, they better think again.

If Ford comes out and makes the same statement for our Escape that would be the end of blue ovals and I'd definitely participate in a class action. Having said that, given how long the Escape (and Fusion) problems have existed, I don't expect Ford to make such a move (fingers crossed).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just bought a 2011 Chevy Cruze with automatic transmission at the end of June. One of the deciding factors for this purchase was because it was, according to GM and the owner's manual, towable four wheels down, just like the Malibu. This was to be the car we carried into retirement and would tow behind our 40 foot motorhome.

So today, August 22, 2011, I received a letter in the Mail from Chevrolet:

Dear Chevrolet Customer:

As the owner of a 2011 model year Chevrolet Cruze, equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, your satisfaction with our product is very important to us.

We are contacting you to make you aware that General Motors has received reports of transmissions overheating while towing 2011 model year Chevrolet Cruze vehicles, equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, with all four wheels on the ground (dinghy towing). In a few cases, this had led to damage to internal transmission components, and required replacement of the transmission.

General Motors requires that if you tow your vehicle, you tow it with the rear wheels on the ground and the front wheels up on a device know as a dolly, following the instructions provided by the dolly manufacturer.

Enclosed is a revised page to update your Cruze Owner Manual which contains revised instructions regarding towing your Cruze. Please take a moment to insert this supplement into Section 10 of your Owner Manual for future reference.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-222-1020 (TTY 1-800-833-2438)

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Jim Moloney

General Director-Customer & Relationship Services

The back of the letter has a the insert for the manual that shows the Dingy Towing as being forbidden for Automatic Transmission, but allowable for manual transmission.

So it will be interesting to see how this will be resolved. I am going to be calling GM tomorrow to discuss the return of this car, because this is not just an inconvenience for us, it is a $23,000 mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really a bummer! That is why I bought a Cruze to tow 4 wheels down. Think I will call GM an belly ache. Guess I will continue to tow my Wrangler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestion is to not be an early adopter and let the model be out and tested for a year or two and see the results before making a decision on which vehicle to buy. I recomend a manual trans or 4 wheel drive that can be shifted into neutral. I have towed a Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton with a 5 speed manual for over 95,000 mile without any problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My suggestion is to not be an early adopter and let the model be out and tested for a year or two and see the results before making a decision on which vehicle to buy. I recomend a manual trans or 4 wheel drive that can be shifted into neutral. I have towed a Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton with a 5 speed manual for over 95,000 mile without any problems.

Let us be serious for a moment. I've towed a Colorado and a Tahoe. The Tahoe was NICE but you sure don't tow it with a MH that has a 5,000 lb receiver and rating. We towed with a 41 ft DP and then a Kodiak. Now we have an E450 based MH and that weight (5700 lbs) would be too much to tow sensibly. Our Escape tows very well. We thought Ford had solved the transmission problems until two 2011's reported burn out. Hopefully it was a case of not adequately lowering the fluid level.

Further, not everyone (actually very few as a %) want a manual transmission.

GR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very serious. One has to choose whether to be comfortable with a proven trans configuration for trouble free towing or go with an automatic that may or may not make it to the next stop. The manufacturers don't tow their vehicles on their test tracks or on the street they do a little spinning on the chassis dyno and thats it. Its up to the public to do the long distance testing. Reason being is that the toad market is so small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very serious. One has to choose whether to be comfortable with a proven trans configuration for trouble free towing or go with an automatic that may or may not make it to the next stop. The manufacturers don't tow their vehicles on their test tracks or on the street they do a little spinning on the chassis dyno and thats it. Its up to the public to do the long distance testing. Reason being is that the toad market is so small.

I take it you are not familiar with the joint development of this transmission family by GM and Ford at a cost of $1.4 billion? You might search for the tech articles and you will find that they made a modification during the design phase that would facilitate the lubrication necessary for flat towing.

I do not share your view that it is up to the public to do the long distance testing. You must be thinking about RV's where Larry, Curly and Moe are responsible for quality control and we have to find and fix the problems.

GR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the oil lubrication modification worked we wouldn't be having this discussion. It doesn't make a bit of difference how many billions of dollars they spend on r and d if the product fails in the hands of the user. Regardless of how much testing the manufactures do, the public will find its weaknesses. This is true with anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the oil lubrication modification worked we wouldn't be having this discussion. It doesn't make a bit of difference how many billions of dollars they spend on r and d if the product fails in the hands of the user. Regardless of how much testing the manufactures do, the public will find its weaknesses. This is true with anything.

YES, but what you seem to be missing completely is that when they hold out that a product can be used in a certain manner and people buy it specifically for that purpose, and then find out the representation was false or incorrect, that is NOT appropriate conduct. Some might call it breach of contract or non-performance by the supplier. That is what I believe may give rise to legal issues for GM (do you or did you work for GM? I get the feeling you may have.) as they have not fulfilled their part of the bargain with these purchasers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never worked for GM. I worked in the repair business, boats and rvs, for over 50 years. My conclusions are drawn from motorhoming for 35 years, over 400,000 miles, and talking to many rver's everywhere. Remember these vehicles are designed to be driven, not towed. The rver has a need for a toad so it is up to the individual to select one that does the best job with the fewest problems. Everybody needs to do their research to determine suitability. You can't always beleive in what you hear or read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never worked for GM. I worked in the repair business, boats and rvs, for over 50 years. My conclusions are drawn from motorhoming for 35 years, over 400,000 miles, and talking to many rver's everywhere. Remember these vehicles are designed to be driven, not towed. The rver has a need for a toad so it is up to the individual to select one that does the best job with the fewest problems. Everybody needs to do their research to determine suitability. You can't always beleive in what you hear or read.

I'm sure glad you aren't in charge of consumer protection. With your views it would be non-existent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scroll down in this thread to the photo of the Cruze.

Cruze on display at RV show

That was a nice thread you put up. I bought my Cruze in March with the intention of outfitting it to tow behind my motor home replacing my Jeep Wrangler. I put off buying the baseplate, told my wife "lets tow the Jeep this winter again". Now hearing and reading that you can tow a Cruze 4 wheel down, then you can't, I called GM, well they told me you can. Then I started hearing of transmissions heating up and having to be replaced. Then read where GM is sending out a supplement to the owners manual stating you can't tow 4 wheels down. Again, I called GM today, haven't hear back. If it's true you can't tow 4 wheels down, I think they are setting themselves up for court action. Maybe us taxpayers should have let them go belly up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new 2012 Chevy Sonic is supposed to be towable 4 down. I got a copy of the manual. I think it uses the same transmission as the Cruze though. Perhaps a manual update is in the works for it too. Too bad.. great looking little car (2650 lbs.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure glad you aren't in charge of consumer protection. With your views it would be non-existent.

I'm not saying what the manufacturers are doing is right, just the opposite. My experience in dealing with major manufacturers and all their recalls and almost weekly service bulletins has led me to the conclusions that the consumer does much of the "testing" in the real world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is official, at least to me, GM just called me to tell me that I cannot tow my Cruze 4 wheels down, I would be getting a letter along with everyone else who has a Cruze stating such. I am going to my dealer to lodge a complaint and see what we can do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying what the manufacturers are doing is right, just the opposite. My experience in dealing with major manufacturers and all their recalls and almost weekly service bulletins has led me to the conclusions that the consumer does much of the "testing" in the real world.

The problem is that your suggestion is impractical. You say wait until they are proven 4 down. So if everyone waits, who is going to prove it?

The point I've been trying to make that you seem to reject is that you have to "hold GM's feet to the fire on this issue." If owners don't they will get run over.

I went through a problem with Chrysler in the 80s. Remember the cars that were "executive driven?" It came to light when cops found that they were ticketing speeding Chrysler products in the Detroit area that had the speedos and odometers disconnected. Several of the cars were involved in accidents. Many were taken to Florida for vacations and then they were all sold as new. Chrysler got its knuckles wrapped.

In Canada, I got a letter telling me how fortunate I was to have had my LeBaron Turbo test driven. They said my full warranty was now 7 years. Soon after I examined the agreement approved by the court in the US - same warranty bump and a $500 cheque (well, check for you). I notified Chrysler that we were not being treated fairly and that I was prepared to take up the issue with the government. They didn't like it but added the $500. I then had to point out that we pay in Canadian dollars and get shafted with a higher price and thus we should have been given $500 US converted to Canadian (which was well over $600 at the time - now it would be less than $500). Again they didn't like it but knew darn well I was not going to let them get away with any unfair treatment.

So, if I were a Cruze owner facing a waste of money having bought a vehicle that GM told me I could tow, put on baseplates, and then was told by GM that it changed its corporate mind, I'd light a blow torch under its feet to make sure GM paid for its error - not me. As I mentioned earlier, we have a blue oval - 2011 Escape Limited AWD, and their dealer was informed we were buying it to tow and we checked the manual with the dealer before purchasing. The dealer was well aware that we would NOT have purchased the Escape if it could not be towed four down. If I got a letter from Ford now telling me that I can't tow it, well, you'd better believe I would light the blow torch - and quickly (have towed 3,000 miles now and no problems yet). We paid over $32,000 for the loaded Escape and then added baseplates and I don't plan to absorb a huge depreciation hit by having to trade it for something else. As a minimum, I'd insist on receiving an Edge and would be prepared to pay a cash difference based on the difference in the original selling prices. Given Cruze owners all have front wheel drive, GM could provide a dolly at its cost. If I were calling the shots I'd notify them that GM would be installing lube pumps at no cost to the owner (assuming that a pump will solve the problem).

By the way, IMO there is NO comparison between the testing done on MHs and cars. One of my sons is an engineer and works in Detroit. He has been involved with crash tests and a variety of other tests. They do several practice builds before production of a model begins. From what I've seen that is not the case with MHs or we wouldn't find owners with long punch lists on delivery (but I must be fair here - our new 2004 Journey had loads of problems whereas our 2011 Itasca has had only one issue corrected quickly by the dealer). The volume is just too low for them to want to spend that kind of money crash testing, doing practice builds with all of the component suppliers and so on.

GR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So today, August 22, 2011, I received a letter in the Mail from Chevrolet ....

... The back of the letter has a the insert for the manual that shows the Dingy Towing as being forbidden for Automatic Transmission, but allowable for manual transmission.

Here is a copy of the letter, along with the owner manual supplement that contains the new dinghy towing information for the Cruze (automatic transmission).

post-220-0-96856200-1314201286_thumb.jpg post-220-0-36321700-1314201285_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they smell a class action law suite in the making.

I was called today and offered $1,500. towards a tow dolly. I would rather tow 4 wheels down but since I have the Cruze, and I really like it, I believe I will take them up on the offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they smell a class action law suite in the making.

I was called today and offered $1,500. towards a tow dolly. I would rather tow 4 wheels down but since I have the Cruze, and I really like it, I believe I will take them up on the offer.

I wonder if they read these forums? I know the MH manufacturers sure do. Glad to see they are waking up.

I'd ask them if they would have any objection to using the $1500 for a lube pump and would they leave the warranty on the tranny if I had one installed.

GR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now