2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Trunk Snafu Fix
November 22, 2010
I helped arrange the purchase of our 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ and after it was delivered to our offices I breathed my normal sigh of relief at having secured yet another long term test car. But over the weekend I got an alarming email that the trunk was leaking. On Monday morning, I called the dealership and told them we wanted to return the Cruze. We had signed contracts and I knew that, short of us suing them, they weren't legally bound to exchange the car. Still, the dealer could, at his discretion, take the car back and make us happy.
I called Ara Mikailian, our salesman at Allen Gwynn Chevrolet, in Glendale, CA, where we had purchased the Cruze. He returned my call quickly and said he would discuss our request for an exchange with his boss. In the mean time, he said to bring the car into their service department. Glendale is a long way from our Santa Monica offices, so I wanted to see for myself the extent of the trunk leak.
I ran the car through the car wash, parked it on a side street, and opened the trunk. At first, nothing. But then I saw little streams of water trickling down the inside of the spare tire well. After a short time, a small puddle of water gathered in a low area. Now I had the motivation I needed and headed for Glendale and Allen Gwynn Chevrolet.
At the dealership, I asked for service manager Michael Leffler, as instructed by Mikailian. He was very friendly and arranged for me to have a rental car, a fine Chevrolet Cobalt, while the Cruze was being fixed.
The next day, Leffler called to say they had found the leak and caulked it. He said they "soaked the hell out of it" and it held tight with no leaks. He asked for some additional time to dry the interior and complete the repair. I returned and got the car the next day. Leffler patiently showed me where the leak was. He said this had happened on other cars in the past, but never on the Cruze. In fact, they hadn't even seen a Cruze in the service bay yet since the car was brand new.
When the problem first came to my attention I was pretty angry and felt that our demand to have a new car was well deserved. But I have to say that the dealership handled the problem well. The salesman, Ara Mikailian, seemed committed to resolving the issue quickly. The service manager Michael Leffler conveyed a sense of "we'll get to the bottom of this" and communicated with multiple phone calls describing their progress. All this helped to instill confidence that the problem would be resolved.
Phil Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor