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:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,482 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #57

May 082014


  • 38,000 miles


Engine fan keeps running and dealership insists it's norman but it wasn't happening from 2012 through 2014. Happens when I start the car and engine is cold, when sitting at light a light, with air on or off. I bought it brand new. I have the feeling they're waiting for something major to happen. I'm very concerned. I've had it checked 3 times. They say it's normal, but if it were doing this when I bought it, I definitely wouldn't have. Please help, I don't want to die!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #56

Aug 292016


  • 84,135 miles
Stabili trak check engine light and error message transmission fluid leakage out of bottom of vehicle on driver side causing strong burning oder inside car while in motion car seems like it gore into neutral not allowing driver to push gas. Immediately get to a safe place and cut vehicle off to avoid excessive damage, if on busy road or freeway be very careful not sure what happens at regular speed of road or freeways. I was in a school zone and received police assistance for traffic control.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #55

Jun 022016


  • 34,604 miles
My dad and I noticed that after my car had been driven for awhile that the fan began running really hard then I noticed about a month ago that my check engine light came on. I had a mechanic check it and he told me that it was code P0599 which is the thermostat control circuit. He sd that he believed there had been a recall at one time but for me to contact the dealer. I called rod hatfield here in lexington, ky and was told that there has been several cars of my year and model with these issues but there was not a recall issued for this and I would have to pay to get it fixed.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #54

Jun 102016


  • 40,000 miles


Car just stopped in traffic and would not move it gave no warning that anything was wrong. It is a good thing I was not on a highway or I may not be here to tell you about this right now. It was in motion and just stopped and would not move. I could not even push it out of the middle of the road. The car behind me almost hit me. It was a very dangerous situation.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #53

Jun 142016


  • 28,000 miles
When I turned off the car, the dic showed the message "shift car into park." The car was already in park. I tried to move the shifter up a little to be sure that it was completely in park, but it did not move. I had to start the car again to get it to turn off.

- Springfield, IL, USA

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problem #52

Aug 062013


  • 27,390 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 35 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle jerked before accelerating. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the gears, bearings, and housing in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to a dealer where it was diagnosed that there were metal filings in the transmission and that the internal components in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 27,390.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #51

Mar 172016


  • 73,000 miles


Car suddenly shifted into 4th gear while going 70 mph. Squalled left front tire, and violently snatched steering wheel to the left. After shutting car off, the problem was gone. Shortly after, stabilitrack, and steering alarm appeared on message display. That cleared once shut-off. Three weeks later it occurred again. This time, on a trip, it did the exact same problems four times in a row. This is a very dangerous problem. If I had not had a firm grip on the wheel, I would have been hurt. I pity the fool who tailgates me! I took the car to the local dealer, and had the California flash "recall" done. Sense that the transmission has not shifted down while at high speeds, but now, the stabilitrack, and ABS lights are staying on.

- Leicester, NC, USA

problem #50

Mar 172016


  • miles
Vehicle has 29,980 approximate miles. Vehicle had a leaking torque converter seal. While dealership was removing transmission, a stray bolt fell from the interior of the motor. Bolt does not belong to car. It has damaged the bell housing. No other damage has been reported at this moment.

- Busseron, IN, USA

problem #49

Sep 232015


  • 51,000 miles
After my purchase of a brand new Chevy Cruze ls I did notice that it was not shifting good.the car was not shifting down or up and when shifting down very hesitant, almost like there were no brakes. After bringing it to the dealer several times with them telling me there was nothing wrong with it and several adjustments to the transmission control module, transmission overhaul and parts replacements, I was involved in an accident on the highway. The car still does not work right and I believe this accident is related to this car's drive tran and leads me to think that the product safety should be related to the NHTSA,

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #48

Dec 152015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at various speeds, an abnormal fuel odor was present inside the vehicle. The failure was persistent. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission lines failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000. Updated 04/07/16

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #47

Jul 282012


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, there was strong odor inside the vehicle. The contact also stated that fuel leaked from the front of the vehicle. The failure was persistent. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the turbo cooler line, the transmission cooler hose line and the oil seal gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Xenia, OH, USA

problem #46

Dec 272015


  • 35,720 miles
When car is shifted into park, after shutting the car off the dic states "shift car into park". I push up on the gear shifter then the dic screen will go off and car seem to be into park.

- Nashville, IN, USA

problem #45

May 052014


  • 1 miles
While driving the car it continuously jerk forward, and it seems to be getting worse, the car is in motion, on a regular street. It's unknown why the car is doing this.

- Auburn Hill, MI, USA

problem #44

Aug 112015


  • 68,492 miles
When the car first started messing up it was minor things I noticed: The in dash lighter not working, trunk latch doesn't work except by key, turn signals would glitch, can't use usb & audio cord at same time without it cutting off both completely. Then a couple weeks later I noticed my car had an unusual delay in increasing speed it was as if I had to push it to the floor just to get to 30 mph. Now the most recent event occurred on 9/17/15 which is what's prompting me to file this complaint (keep in mind I've only owned the vehicle for 8 months, purchased at 54K miles currently has 70.9K) I drove to my house approx 30 min hwy from where I was I got into my car the next morning it didn't start at all. My bf checked the battery voltage & it was too dead to test, with a jumper box my car took approx10 min to even turn over, during the time of me inside the car attempting to start it my steering column locked up, lights in dash, radio system, headlights everything flashing on and off, key was stuck inside ignition, a foul smell & clicking noise is coming from engine, & couldn't lock doors once I turned car off immediately. This all occurred I'd say within a matter of 30 seconds after the car to turned over. Was so freaked out I didn't try to start again for 2-3 min and once I did it started right up. Within 72 hrs I have now seen the stabilitrac service alert, theft alert system needs serviced, along w/ air bags, & battery light flickers on & off. The clicking under my hood has continued, the rotten egg smell from engine comes & goes, dash lights go dim then go back to regular. Drove to O'reillys, they were able to tell me I now have a bad alternator as well. Recall 14801 was issued for reprogram engine control module, getting serviced this week at dealership but could this possibly cause all this?? especially considering I don't want to be responsible for repairs. Help

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #43

Apr 252015


  • 48,000 miles
My car started jerking violently on Saturday April 25 2015. A few hours later the car stalled then made a loud noise and returned to normal driving. Its been happening 5 days now. I took it to the dealer and they told me it was my drive wise insurance tracker that was making the car jerk so it was removed.the problem is still happening. It jerks when I stop and go but its fine when I'm at a steady speed.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #42

Apr 072015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
I received my Chevy Cruze in November of 2014 used with aprox. 59K miles. April 7th driving down a highway at 55-60mph it suddenly started slowing down and would not accelerate. It would jerk and the engine would rev like if you were to be idle and in park and press the gas that's the sound it made. I did not notice the check engine come on or any other lights as I was trying to control my car. The speedometer and RPM indicator started acting erratically while doing so. The gauge would go up and down and the car was slowing down. The steering also became very soft. If I were to take my pinky finger and turn the wheel it would have moved that's how soft it was. All this happened multiple times during a 30 minute time period. After I slowed down and tried going over 30mph it would start to act up again. While this was happened I only had 66K miles. I got it towed to the dealer instead of taking my chances driving it there. It was sitting there a week before they even touched it and they claim they cant find anything wrong with it. I think Chevy dealers claim they cant find anything when your car is still under warranty so they don't have to fix it.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #41

Apr 012015


  • 52,500 miles
Since March 30, 2015, I have been experiencing issues with and have been trying to collect video evidence while in failure mode, of what I believe to be failures of the body computer(s) in this vehicle. The dashboard displays have been going on and off under a wide variety of driving situations, and while sitting at idle. They fault when the vehicle is simply driving down the highway. During these faults, the center information display for the HVAC and entertainment will frequently turn off. This kills the radio. It at times kills the HVAC systems and the turn signals (at least the noise for the turn signal indicators). At times, the center display above the steering column will go black and then display a message about the stabilitrak having failed and requiring it to be checked. Then it returns to normal mode. This is less frequent an occurrence. While driving on the highway under cruise control, the vehicle experienced one incident of unintended acceleration while the displays were in fault modes. This occurred on April 1, 2015 I believe. The driver's feet were on the floorboards. Not touching any pedals at all. The incident was stopped by the driver firmly pressing down on the brake pedal. When sufficient video evidence is accumulated on these failures the vehicle will be taken into the dealership. Lacking actual demonstrative evidence of the failures, the dealership will not be able to know what to repair or replace. The car has a history of dash display issues. The owner, a retired librarian/researcher from General Motors advanced engineering staff and the R&D center, has worked on unintended acceleration legal cases for the company, and has supported litigation defense work on such issues while at the company. He is still gathering evidence but feels the need to document this incident as soon as possible for NHTSA should an accident occur to him due to this.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #40

Feb 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 8,441 miles
I was at a stop light when the light turned green I pushed the accelerator an the car was jerky. I the car finally moved and there was a loud bang from the rear and it felt like I had been hit in the rear. The car jerked, sputtered and then stopped moving. This was a few days after taking the car to the dealer and telling them the car was not shifting properly. They fixed my broken tranny but it still does not drive safely. It doesn't accelerate, the gears get stuck merging on the highway is a nightmare. Almost two years to the day my car is once again at the dealer for the exact problem. I was driving up a small incline, pushed the gas the car struggled to go. There was a loud harsh jerk the car finally moved. It sputtered and the check engine light came on.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #39

Jan 222015


  • 56,653 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while approximately driving 60 mph, the traction stability, reduce engine power and check engine warning lights illuminated. In addition, the vehicle stalled and failed to restart. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 56,653.

- Philadelphia , PA, USA

problem #38

Jan 082015


  • 43,000 miles
I turned my car on one morning after I just had it in the shop to get the recalls fixed on it. Im seeing service stabilitrak and service traction and ABS lights. I can no longer turn on or off my traction control. My brakes are now grabbing really bad and im getting a really weird feel when I have my foot in the gas and turn my wheel. My car is not the same after the recalls were done.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

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