Risk of fires forces GM to recall more than 475,000 Cruze compact cars

DETROIT – A risk of engine fires is forcing General Motors to recall almost half a million Chevrolet Cruze compact cars, including more than 60,000 in Canada.

GM says the fires can ignite when fluids drip onto a plastic shield below the engine. Dealers will cut the shield to let the fluid drain to the pavement.

GM knows of 30 fires caused by the problem but says no injuries have been reported. Most of the fires were caused by spills during oil changes that weren’t cleaned properly. Cruzes with worn-out manual transmissions also can leak fluid.

The recall covers cars built from September 2010 through May 2012.

A GM Canada spokeswoman says the recall applies to a little over 475,000 Cruze vehicles overall, with 61,299 of them in this country.

The Cruze is key because it has improved GM’s small-car sales.

— With files from the Canadian Press