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General Motors is recalling certain 2011 and 2012 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedans to fix a potential problem with the brakes.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected by the safety recall at 292,879. Affected vehicles are equipped with turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline engines and six-speed automatic transmissions and equipped with an electric vacuum pump to provide supplemental vacuum for brake assist, when needed.

In documentation submitted by General Motors (PDF), the breakdown of vehicles by model year, number potentially affected and build dates is as follows:

2011 Chevrolet Cruze – 121,844, built from May 10, 2010 through June 20, 2011
2012 Chevrolet Cruze – 171,035, built from April 6, 2011 through August 7, 2012

The problem

According to the NHTSA bulletin and General Motors, the pump may not activate in affected vehicles. This may result in the intermittent reduction or loss of brake assist.

Such a condition would require extra pedal force by the driver and/or a longer distance to stop the car, both of which increase the risk of a crash.

The automaker began an investigation into the problem after a field product report was issued for a brake performance complaint in July 2012. General Motors said that it had identified “27 potentially related reports with allegations of low-speed crashes and no injuries in driveways and parking lots on the subject vehicles.”

What General Motors will do

Although no notification schedule has yet been determined, General Motors will notify owners and dealers will replace a microswitch in the power brake vacuum pipe assembly. The service will be performed at no charge.

The General Motors safety recall number is 12213. Prior to owner notification, owners of 2011 and 2012 Chevrolet Cruze sedans with any questions or concerns may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V360000.

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