Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: In many ways, the 2012 Cruze continues the legacy of its predecessor. It's a legacy of sluggish transmissions and coolant leaks, but it's still a legacy.

To be fair, the number of complaints about the cooling system are way down versus the 2011 model which led to a class-action lawsuit.

On the flip-side, there's more concerns about brake problems.

However, there were far more Cruze vehicles sold for the 2012 model year so we'll give it our "Beware of this Clunker" badge rather than the "Avoid Like the Plague."


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,704 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 122016


  • 0 miles


Trunk electric open button does not work, must use the remote trunk button to open trunk. I hope that no small child should climb in trunk and close the trunk lid. When car is stationary. And remote is not close by.

- Roy, UT, USA

problem #9

Jun 282015


  • 48,000 miles
I was trying to park my 2012 Chevrolet Cruze car in a parking place. I turned into the parking spot and when I placed my foot on the brakes, nothing happened. I looked down at my foot and watching myself repeatedly pump the brakes. Instead of stopping, my car went over the parking spot yellow curb, over a sidewalk and some grass, and I hit a parked vehicle. Before I hit the vehicle, I luckily turned my wheel, causing less damage to the parked vehicle. After I hit the vehicle, my car turned back into the parking lot where it finally stopped. I am not sure if it stopped because of me repeatedly pumping the brakes, or that I finally ran out of momentum, since I had not hit the accelerator since before trying to park. My bumper is damaged, had to have car towed because I am too afraid to drive it. My 5 year old daughter was in the backseat, in her booster seat, during all of this, and I am afraid thinking of how worse it could have been, with the brakes not working. I found out after the fact that there was a recall for this year and model car for the brakes, and that recall was before I owned the car.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #8

Oct 312014


  • 56,000 miles
The electrical pad that you push to open the trunk is faulty and does not work anymore. Only way to get into trunk is to push key fob. If a child or adult got trapped inside it could be harmful due to fact that the push pad for the trunk open is faulty.

- Mount Pleasant, MI, USA

problem #7

Aug 292014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 32,945 miles


Vehicle turned off in the middle of taking a left turn. Caused the car to go off the road into a graded lot. At this point causing my tire to go flat and damaging the fender and passenger door. This is not the first time the car has turned off on me. I have had it in the shop 3 times in the 4 months that I have owned this vehicle and still nothing is resolved.

- Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

problem #6

Feb 222013


  • 43,000 miles
[xxx] VIN my car was taken to dealership because it started making a sound like the motor was ticking and had been overfilled with oil about 6 months before by the dealership. The serviceman waited until next day to drive the car. While being test drove by the service man it caught on fire and burned the whole motor and outside of the car up. All plastic was completely burned. My insurance man who went to look at the car said he could not tell if the plastic shield on the bottom had oil on it or not but they could further investigate and would be able to find out. Now I had insurance full coverage on the car and I bought gap from the dealership when I purchased the car. I am paying a 6.25 interest rate on the car which came to $22,740 plus $3,000 down when purchased and been paying for 1 year. Paid for extended warranty and gap. I have waited over a month for GM to investigate this and of today's date the dealership says they have not come to do their job. I am 64 years old and never dreamed that a large dealership could or would do someone like they have done me. There was very large recall on 2012 cars and I don't know if mine was ever fixed because I didn't know about the recall until this happened. I just want my money back for the down payment so I can buy another car and for my car to be paid off by the dealership because they are the ones who over filled the car in the first place. The dealership should be responsible for the car it was in there place there service men was driving it when it caught on fire. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dallas, GA, USA

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problem #5

Jul 282013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Driver was traveling approx. 15-20 mph when traffic stopped in front of her. Driver was at a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of her. However, after applying the brakes the car did not stop and hit the vehicle in front of her. The driver could not figure out why the crash happened as she applied the brakes and the car felt like it wouldn't stop. Not only did the vehicle not stop but it also had extensive front end damage without any airbag deployment. Both issues are very concerning to the driver. The vehicle has since been repaired but still feels like the brakes are not functioning like they should.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 272013


  • 28,000 miles


Strong odor of coolant entering the interior of car when heater is used. Becomes stronger if window is open while driving. Odor is not present when at standstill. Open opening hood with engine off odor can be sensed near the water pump area. Dealer replaced water pump a week ago to remedy the problem. The vehicle has 28 K on it.

- Mc Gregor, MN, USA

problem #3

Mar 012012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that after a severe hail storm, there were large dents in the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic and they advised him that the hail storm caused $7,000 worth of damage to the vehicle. The vehicle was repaired. The contact was concerned about the safety of the steel if he were to be involved in a crash. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000. The current mileage was approximately 19,000. Updated 05/08/13 the consumer stated a vehice parked next to the this one had minimal hail damage. Aaa made 3 visits in order to repair the damage. Updated 06/04/2013

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #2

Aug 152012


  • 14,000 miles
After having the underbelly shield modified on my sister's 2012 Chevrolet Cruze eco per the recall (NHTSA campaign number 12V288000) I noticed an increase in buffeting and highway speed wandering in the handling of her car.this is most noticeable at speeds of approx 75 mph and higher. The car felt less stable than it did prior to the recall service being performed on the vehicle. Because of this, I purchased a replacement underbody shield from a dealer and re-installed it. The result of this re-installation was noise back to normal, handling back to normal.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Apr 012012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I took my vehicle in complaining of a strange noise, almost like a "pop" when braking. When the dealership looked at it they told me it was the struts. They stated they were waiting on a recall from Chevrolet and that I should just continue to keep calling and checking on it. I called them each month since. Each time they assured me it would not affect my vehicle at all and that it would be fine. Obviously, a strut is a part of the car, it must be needed to function or it would not be on there. I have no idea how this is affecting my vehicle including my tire wear, brakes, and overall structure of the vehicle. There has still been no recall issued and the problem still exists.

- Winchester, VA, USA

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