The quality headache at General Motors increases as the automaker alerts its dealers to stop selling the Chevrolet Cruze small car and in a separate action recalls 663 units of the Cadillac ELR extended-range electric vehicle.

GM spokesman Alan Adler says as of midday Friday no details on the Cruze stop-sale in the U.S. were available, and he would not say whether it was related to massive ignition-switch recall currently under way.

Cruze production is continuing at the car’s Lordstown, OH, assembly plant, he says.

GM in February launched the recall of 1.6 million Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn small cars and CUVs built between 2003 and 2007 and no longer in production due to a defective ignition switch. The vehicles have been linked to 12 deaths and 31 crashes.

The ignition-switch recall has prompted scrutiny over GM’s timeliness in issuing the fix, and next week GM CEO Mary Barra will address the issue before a pair of congressional panels.

The stop-sale on the Cruze affects ’13 and ’14 model-year cars with 1.4L turbocharged 4-cyl. engines, or about 60% of the car’s inventory.

GM last month sold 21,836 units of the Cruze, or roughly 780 per day, according to WardsAuto data. Cruze inventories closed February with 70 days’ supply.

A stop sale in the industry is relatively unusual and the last signficant action occurred in 2010 when Toyota halted the delivery of eight models with sticky accelerator pedals for two weeks.

But the ignition-switch controversy has GM acting more aggressively to fix quality problems. Shortly after announcing that recall, the automaker said it would step up its safety efforts, including naming a new safety czar. It also recalled 2.2 million other models unrelated to the ignition switch callback to rework and repair safety items.

The ELR recall involves 656 units in the U.S. and seven in Canada built without adaptive cruise control. Calibrations to the car’s stability-control system, a safety technology that helps prevent a rollover, are incorrect. The glitch could lead to no warning if it experiences problems with ESC.

Cadillac dealers will fix the problem by updating the vehicle software, a process that takes about 30 minutes, GM says.

jamend@wardsauto.com