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 Since 2002, General Motors has sold the Chevrolet Aveo globally under a variety names, supported by several sub-manufacturers, as the subcompact car has long served as GM’s answer to the popular subcompact models of its competitors, such as the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and Hyundai Accent. Sold in most countries as the Aveo, this vehicle is also known in Canada as the Suzuki Swift, while it is sold in North America and other various countries as the Chevy Sonic.

Prior to becoming the Sonic, critics were never too kind to the Aveo, regularly ranking it behind the Fit and Fiesta. However, in recent years – and with the transition to the Sonic – the vehicle has gained in favor, even jumping to 5th on the U.S. News ranking of 40 Affordable Small Cars. The 2012 Sonic model still ranks behind the Fiesta, Fit, Elantra and Focus (No. 1-4, respectively), but the overall scores are almost negligible in difference. The problem remains, though, that 2012 has not been a banner year for the Sonic and safety issues.

Two Recalls For The 2012

Over the weekend the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and GM announced a voluntary recall of more than 45,000 2012 Sonic vehicles. According to the NHTSA’s report, the 2012 Sonics were potentially manufactured with a defect in the windshield washer system. A hose that transports the fluid from the container to the dispenser may suddenly detach because of the use of the wrong lubricant in production. If the hose should separate, the driver would be unable to clean the windshield, which could lead to distraction and a possible crash. According to the New York Times, GM has claimed that because the Sonic models are still under warranty, the hose repairs will be handled by the dealerships.

In December, more than 4,300 Sonic vehicles – also 2012 models – were recalled because they may have been manufactured without front brake liners or outer pads, which could have led drivers to experience greater effort and longer distance in bringing their vehicles to a stop.

Putting The Recall In Perspective

According to the New York Times, GM spokesman Alan Adler said that the company has sold more than 48,000 Chevy Sonics in the first half of 2012, and the combined vehicle totals of both recalls covers approximately half of the 2012 Sonics that have been sold in the U.S. in total. 

The latest recall will begin on September 7; however, owners of the affected Sonic vehicles can contact GM at (866) 694-6546 with questions. For additional information, contact the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov.