tl;dr: Clutch smoked while wife's friend was driving, said the engine was surging. Dealership had to replace slave cylinder because it wouldn't bleed, could that have been the root cause (and thus under warranty)?

Long version: My wife and her friend borrowed my 2011 Cruze Eco with the MT last week for a short trip. I'd just driven the car and it was fine. Phone call a few minutes later than the car was smoking and they had shut it off and were at the parking lot of their destination.

Turns out the engine was surging (to redline without her foot on the gas) between her having trouble keeping it from stalling. She said she had to get it into 6th gear (!) to keep it from surging, on a 40MPH road. Obviously not the correct solution to the problem, but that's what happened.

After getting it to the dealer and the repair completed, fully prepared to eat the cost of the clutch repair, they called back and said they'd be delayed another few days because the slave cylinder needed to be replaced. Apparently, it wasn't part of the original repair, but when they went to bleed the system it wouldn't bleed, which immediately had me wondering if a slave cylinder issue could both prevent the system from being bled, and the clutch from fully engaging/disengaging.

I know the manual Cruze has a bit of a... fragile clutch. The big question is whether this is just an issue of a friend making a mistake (I have no hard feelings, and the last thing I want to do is make her feel bad), or if a failing slave cylinder could have caused the issue in which case I want to push the dealership that it's a warranty repair instead of a consumable.

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