General Motors Co said on Friday that it had told its dealers to stop selling certain Chevrolet Cruze small cars for an undisclosed issue, another blow to a company dealing with the crisis created by defective ignition switches linked to at least 12 deaths.
The automaker said the affected Cruze cars, 2013 and 2014 models equipped with a 1.4-liter turbo engine, are not being recalled. The action only covers the affected models that are unsold on dealer lots.
The 1.4-liter turbo accounts for about 60 percent of the Cruze's sale mix, a GM spokesman said.
"I can just confirm that we put a stop-sale in last night," GM spokesman Alan Adler said.
He said he did not have any details on why the action was being taken, but said stop-sale orders can happen for various reasons. He said stop-sale orders mean the dealers need to do something to the vehicle before it can be sold.
Last month, GM recalled 1.6 million older-model cars globally to replace defective ignition switches that can be knocked out of the "run" position while driving, turning off the engine and disabling airbags and electrical components.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is scheduled next week to testify before the House of Representatives and Senate, whose members seek to learn how the problem did not result in a recall earlier despite being first noted within the company in 2001.
One Chevrolet dealer, who asked not to be identified, confirmed the alert to stop selling the 1.4 liter turbo models but said no further details had been provided by GM.
GM shares were up 37 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $34.88 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.