Build quality, steering and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Compact cars don’t dominate the street anymore, but there is still a place for them in urban settings. The 2020 Chevrolet Spark is labeled as a “city go-getter,” but getting it to actually go can be trouble. This vehicle suffers from a defective steering system, poorly-built structure and unimpressive engine.
While driving a compact car, it shouldn’t take much effort to keep the vehicle on the road. After all, the Spark is just a tiny little package. Yet, customers are complaining about the steering system.
Here’s one comment left on the NHTSA website. “Driving 3-5 mph in a parking lot, while in the apex of the left turn to Park in the spot, the steering wheel started to shutter left and right, not so violently that I could not control the vehicle, because I was driving very slow, but just enough to feel, and see the steering wheel move left and right between 1/8-1/16 inch in rapid pulses. It lasted about 5-7 seconds. The vehicle only had 26 miles on the odometer. The new vehicle was delivered by flatbed truck on 3/31/2020 with only 5 miles on the odometer, the date of the event was 04/05/2020. Weather dry, tires full. It concerns me, as my wife drives this vehicle with my grandchildren. Please advise. Thank you.”
This isn’t the only steering issue being talked about. Service Bulletin #16NA109 also discusses how some of the steering gears might have too much grease or sealant applied. This seems like such a simple thing to have overlooked, which could also lead to trouble down the road. Basically, the only way this car is going to “go-get” anything in the city is if the street is completely straight.
2020 Chevrolet Spark Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Electrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Problems with the Build Quality
While the Spark isn’t as cheap as a Hot Wheels car, it doesn’t cost a lot. Budget-minded drivers don’t expect to sit behind the wheel of a luxury model when buying this car, but they do expect it to stay together and work correctly.
One Cars.com review talks about some manufacturing problems with the Spark. “I could not adjust the mirrors when driving, unlock the doors from the driver seat nor from outside the car, nor control the windows. That was very inconvenient.”
Aside from these problems that have been overlooked, Chevy talks about another issue that should have never occurred. Service Bulletin #PI0281H states that customers are bringing cars in because of underbody corrosion. New vehicles should never deal with rust as the Spark does. In fact, there are many older cars sitting in the junkyard that look better than the Spark. Maybe that’s where this Chevy belongs after all.
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Above all, the engine in the Spark must function good enough to get around the city. Yet, this is another top issue among owners.
That same Cars.com review goes on to say, “My biggest complaint was lack of acceleration after a full stop at stop sign. I live in Phila. and when there are four people at a stop sign and it is your turn to go and your car won’t move it becomes dangerous when the others decide you aren’t taking your turn. On more than one occasion this happened with a close call collision.”
Beyond this, Service Bulletin #PIP5598B further talks about a no start or extended cranking situation that is caused by the exhaust cam reluctor being out of position. While no one is expecting the Spark to come with a Corvette engine, it should at least be built correctly. Maybe the people working on the assembly line were too busy dreaming about how they were going to head to the city and be a “go-getter” that they missed installing valuable components in a functional way.
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