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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,968 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Jan 032015


  • 56,500 miles


Driving on the highway at roughly 70mph when car shuddered, and lost power immediately. After this the car would not accelerate. Fortunately there were no vehicles directly behind me, so I was able to P;ull over to the side of the road. The check engine light was illuminated and the dashboard read three errors: "engine power is reduced", "service traction control", "service stabilitrack". after turning the car off, waiting, and turning back on the vehicle worked correctly, but the issue occurred after another 15 minutes on the road. I drove in the right lane the rest of the way home to ensure our safety, and this occurred 4 times in total. This was an extremely dangerous situation during a busy holiday travel weekend. Had this occurred at the wrong time, this could have been catastrophic. Quick research online has shown this to be an issue with the make and model, as many other people have reported this exact defect.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #59

Dec 212014


  • 63,000 miles
I was at a red light and when the light turned green, I was about to push the gas pedal. The vehicle dash read engine power is reduced and shut off. I tried several times to start the vehicle but it shut down saying the same thing on the dash. I'm afraid because someone could have ran into me from the rear and I have a 7yr old daughter. I think this should be handled immediately. This is not safe at all.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #58

Jan 212014


  • 38,248 miles
Took vehicle in for oil change, had to do "heavy engine repair" per technician, replaced water pump and seal as it was found leaking. Refilled with coolant.

- Dryden, MI, USA

problem #57

Dec 112014


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the vehicle decreased in speed and stalled. The failure occurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #56

Nov 192014


  • 75,300 miles
This is a very well known problem with Chevy owners. I have done countless hours of research and seen hundreds of forums and articles related exactly to this specific issue. Now it has to be brought to the attention of the federal government to issue a recall. I own a 1.4L turbo automatic 2lt Chevy Cruze 2012. This problem has been happening since the first year I purchased the vehicle however is getting much worse. Reduced engine power. The engine light comes on, a "!" shows up on the screen and the cars speed is reduced to 4 or 5 mph with in a matter of seconds. This has happened to myself as well as hundreds of other people from what the internet says. This is very unsafe especially considering some people have families and drive with children such as myself on highway systems. I experienced this while trying to accelerate into an intersection and got an immediate engine speed reduction. This could have killed my daughter and I if the vehicles in the intersection were unable to stop in time. Please do what is necessary to get this vehicle part or issue recalled and or recognized immediately!

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #55

Nov 082014


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate while attempting to enter onto the highway. The vehicle eventually reached 53 mph. The dealer diagnosed that the turbo charger failed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #54

Oct 012014


  • miles


I bought my 2012 Chevy Cruze in September 2014. Since I have had it, when driving any where, when I press the gas pedal to drive, the car sounds like it rares up to loud. I have to take my foot off the gas, then press gently and drive slow, inorder for the car to not make that sound. My car is not a straight drive, it is automatic, therefore it should not be making that sound as if it's in the wrong gear. Is this going to be a very bad problem down the road?

- Jamestown, NC, USA

problem #53

Mar 262014


  • 19,009 miles
Bought vehicle from carmax first week of March 2014, 3 weeks later was first time I drove in snow and the the brakes did not work at all. Called carmax and though the warranty was was over they agreed to repait because of a brake recall. Then a couple weeks later there was a leak and Ford had to replace a coolant pump. The car never ran the same. The car putters and has horrible acceleration and I have contacted Ford and carmax dealership and coorp for help at the same time all the Cruze were taken off the lots and were no longer allowed to be sold because of all the recalls and they were deemed unsafe to drive. All I asked carmax for was to take this vehicle back and let me pick out a different car. I am a single mom with a teenage daughter an I am afraid to let her drive this car, there have been several deaths attributed to the Chevy Cruze. I have left several voicemails with GM my case # is C7269752 with first responder..what does that mean anyway? the GM at carmax in tinley park argued with me for 15 minutes about who if I spoke to him once or twice instead of dealing with the real issue, the sold me, a single mother a car with bad brakes! I almost went into down into a 6 lane expressway when the brakes didnt work! I would have been killed. Its been a couple months now and no one has followed up at all. The snow will soon begin and I am scared to death to drive. Please can some one help.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #52

Dec 132012


  • 20,445 miles
12/13/12 check engine light is on and vehicle hesitates on acceleration from a stop. They replaced the failed turbo charger assembly. Replaced valves inside head. 03/21/2013 - error message "A/C off due to high engine temp". replaced A/C compressor. 12/13/13- water pump leaking replaced water pump and coolant. 08/29/2014 - "engine overheated - idle engine" error message "A/C off due to high engine temp" dealer fixed recall low coolant level. 10/15/14- car having power issues needs to be jump-started. After looking at the car they made me pay $89.95 to replace battery. 11/03/14 - "engine oveheated-idle engine" "A/C off due to high engine temp" "service traction control" "reduced engine power". the car was shaking and losing power had to be towed to dealership.

- Apple Valley , CA, USA

problem #51

Dec 312012


  • miles
Anti freeze smell in car and head rests pop up by themselves.dealer used GM fix to stop the odor.it helped but didn't solve the problem.dealer claimed to have adjusted the headrests but it didn't help at all.they still pop up by themselves.

- Oxford, CT, USA

problem #50

Aug 012014


  • miles


Since purchase as used, slow start speed with the engine almost cutting out. Radio flickering on and off. Engine cutting out when idling. Engine light for mass air flow (maf) sensor replacement. Replaced maf sensor and problem remains. Engine fan staying on long after engine has shut off and cooled. Service lights coming of for stabilitrack and other random issues. Front cigarette lighter won't charge devices. Tire air pressure sensors backwards on display, I.e. display right front tire is actually left front tire pressure.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #49

Sep 292014


  • 9,200 miles
Thermostat housing leak (gasket) discovered during maintenance on vehicle, 9/26/2014. Set up to be repaired under warranty at midway Chevy dealership in pocomoke city, md on thur., 10/2/2014. Car was purchased labor day of 2013, has a little over 9,000 miles with bumper to bumper warranty still enforced. Reported to NHTSA on 9/29/2014 at approx. 10:30 am. Confirmation# 10639748. Repaired on morning of 10/2/2014 at midway Chevrolet in pocomoke city, md. Chevy tech. Confirmed a coolant leak and replaced thermostat housing with an aluminum one. The initial housing was made of plastic.

- Princess Anne, MD, USA

problem #48

Sep 262014


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While the vehicle was being serviced, the technician noticed that the gasket for the motor was leaking. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 9,000...updated 11/04/14

- Princess Anne, MD, USA

problem #47

Sep 182014


  • 30,000 miles
Service engine light came on at about 29,000 miles, so I took it to the dealership. After diagnostic it was determined that the thermostat had gone bad, so they replaced the thermostat and the holding mount. Then Saturday on the way to work the service engine light came back on. I stopped for gas then the car would not restart. I had to have the car towed back to the dealership. It was determined that the cam shaft sensor also went bad. The car also hesitates when shifting gears in low speeds.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #46

Feb 142014


  • 37,000 miles
The car turns off while driving down the road. Wont allow me to remove the key from the ignition. Wont turn off or on. Dealer cant find any problems when taken in to see what is causing this issues.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #45

Jul 252014


  • 30,992 miles
Previously to the visit my car was running slow and kept marking engine speed reduced then about a week later the car sign removed and started running normally again. About a month or so passed and the same thing happened again then I took the car in and they fixed it but after that the bluetooth didn't work and the navigational compass stopped working. Ever since then the bluetooth and navigational compass has not worked and I just run the risk of the engine reduce sign to pop up again cause it comes up spontaneously.

- Farmersville , CA, USA

problem #44

Aug 012012


  • miles
Loud whining/electronic noise come from engine after the car has been turned off and ac has run. Happens most warm/hot days the ac has run.

- Portage, MI, USA

problem #43

Aug 022014


  • 50,800 miles
Car radio kept cutting on and off multiple times before all of the car lights flashed on the dashboard and steering wheel became stiff. I pulled over on the side of the road, cut the car off and pulled out the key. I put the key back in the ignition and tried to start the car and it wouldn't start. The lights and radio didn't even come on. I couldn't put the key back in the off switch nor could I pull the key out. After about a minute or so my radio came on and I was finally able to start my car.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #42

Jul 092014


  • 21,500 miles
When the speed of the car starts to reach 50 miles a high pitch sound occurs. I cannot determined if it is related to when air conditioner is turned on. The noise will diminish when speed is lowered to about 45 miles. I cannot recall if this happens in the colder months but it does seem to happen in the summer.

- North Wales, PA, USA

problem #41

Jun 292014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 30,300 miles
C/S ses light was on. I took car to norman frede Chevrolet for repairs. The determined that there was a vacuum leak at the engine cam cover and replaced it - or so they said. Here is the invoice statement: "PO171 vac leak at engine cam cover 4060930/0.6 replace engine cam cover. Clear code 6061" after getting the car back, I went to nbt and had the oil changed. The next morning I drove to dallas from houston. On the way, I had another code light and called the dealership. When I got back from dallas on Sunday June 29, 2013, I discovered that there was oil on the back of my car bumper and trunk. I took it to nbt and they inspected it and confirmed that they did nothing wrong to cause the oil leak. Nbt confirmed that the engine was leaking oil at the cam cover. I dropped the vehicle at norman frede on Sunday and am in the process of getting to the bottom of the problem. The nbt person was surprised that the cam cover was plastic. This oil leak could have caused an engine fire. I am also concerned about a plastic cam cover. Should not a cam cover be metal" is this a chronic problem"

- Seabrook, TX, USA

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