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:
6 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,879 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 6)

problem #105

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 #104

Sep 162016


  • 75,000 miles
Ive had my car for 2 years now. After the first year I began noticing the engine would be going at a steady speed and if you began to accelerate the engine would rev or stall and the rpms shoot up. The only way to keep it from producing the actions is to slowly accelerate. The engine is sluggish and does this while in cruise control.. after getting the complete read, it was said the 02 sensors were out. The engine is now to the point it will randomly be going and the engine light will start flashing and all speed is reduced. They were replaced, but the problem persisted. The car stalls out so often I refuse to take it in to cities or onto the interstate. I will be going back to a truck after this is paid off! will be going to the dealership this week!

- Marion, LA, USA

problem #103

Sep 052016


  • 64,000 miles
Driving on busy street car cuts off heard a pop in engine display says engine losing power engine light comes on managed to pull over car will turn over but will die out. Had to have car towed by insurance company car has 64,000 miles.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #102

Aug 052016


  • 63,207 miles


Mil came on while driving, vehicle set P0171 P0106 codes, idles rough. Valve cover cracked at PCV housing and PCV valve stuck open resulting in air leak.

- Enumclaw, WA, USA

problem #101

Jul 292016


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. On several occasions, while attempting to start the vehicle, it failed to start. Also, the temperature gauge registered hot almost immediately. The thermostat was replaced, but the failure recurred. The contact also stated that the engine oil warning light illuminated; however, there was sufficient oil in the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000. The VIN was not available.

- Carthage, MS, USA

problem #100

Jul 292016


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While at a stop, the vehicle lost power and the check engine light illuminated. The contact placed the vehicle in park and restarted the engine. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the cam cover was leaking and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that there was no recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 128,000.

- Sardina, OH, USA

problem #99

Jul 202016


  • 87,000 miles


Brought my car in for what looked like intake seals and found out that the intake manifold manifold is cracked. I called many other auto repair places and found that this is a massive problem and can only be gotten from the dealer and I will be getting one of the last in this area at the cost of $450 plus time. The car started running ruff and has 9 different codes all relating to a lean condition.

- Fitzgerald, GA, USA

problem #98

Jan 062016


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that an abnormal burning odor emitted from the vehicle and it overheated. In addition, when the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle hesitated to respond and the brakes made an abnormal noise. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the thermostat and water pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

problem #97

Jun 232016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving approximately 25 to 35 mph, the check engine light illuminated. While the vehicle was idling at a red light, it shook violently. The dealer diagnosed that the valve cover needed to be replaced. The dealer stated that the vehicle was not included in an unknown recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Macomb Township, MI, USA

problem #96

Jan 192016


  • miles
My engine light is on. I put gas in my vehicle and when I turn the key to start it, it hesitates to start then when pulling off it begins to jerk.... when at lights it sometimes hesitates to take off.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #95

Jun 082016


  • miles


In Dec of 2015 I had to replace the thermostat with only 39000 on it check engine light on fan racing. 6 months later it's happening again check engine light on fan racing now there saying it might be an electrical problem.I have driven Chevy for 30 years and never have I had this much trouble this will be my last. From reading the forums it seems like a lot of people have the same problems why isn't there a recall on this car.

- Round Lake Beach, IL, USA

problem #94

Sep 122012


  • 10,000 miles
I've went through 7 turbos, I bought the car brand new. Im now having electrical issues with it.

- Lake Geneva, WI, USA

problem #93

May 032016


  • 50,000 miles
Driving my car at about 25mph started to hear a rattle in it. When went to accelerate the car started to smoke and had no power. When idling you could hear the motor "work" and it had a jump in it. Only has 50,000 miles and has never been driven hard. Of course it's out of warranty now and I have no clue why it wouldn't accelerate and started smoking. The engine light came on and was still on when I left my car sitting on the side of the road.

- Roulette, PA, USA

problem #92

Apr 152016


  • 96,454 miles
I was starting to cross a busy intersection when the engine loss power light and stability control light came on. Car would not go over 5 miles an hour. Just about 90 days ago it was at the Chevy dealership for same problem where the throttle body and all sensors were replaced.

- Bremen, GA, USA

problem #91

Mar 242016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 30 mph depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle sputtered and stalled, and the service engine light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the cam cover needed to be replaced and the fuel trim needed to be reset. The repairs were performed; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed again to the dealer. The contact stated that the stabilitrac warning light remained illuminated. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Dale, TX, USA

problem #90

Apr 062016


  • 40 miles
Engine starts shaking when air conditioner is on and while in stop sigh.

- Alpine, TX, USA

problem #89

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 #88

Mar 092016


  • 48,000 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Cruze eco new and currently have 48K miles on it. This weekend the Cruze twice had the following problems: 1. dic error - engine power reduced 2. dic error - service stabilitrak 3. check engine light engine power was reduced to peak out at 10 mph. Luckily the power steering was unaffected and I was able to get the Cruze home without accident. Letting the Cruze sit for a few minutes in the off position seemed to clear the issue, but it was still scary to have the engine shut down like it did. Local dealer confirmed that the throttle body was junk and replaced it but not under any warranty. Total cost was $400. Dealer confirmed that similar issue is occurring with Sierra pickups and the TB is covered under the powertrain warranty. Very disappointed that the TB was not covered as an engine component. Many Cruze owners are having this problem...look on The TB should not be wearing out at 48K...or 100K.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #87

Feb 172016


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle cuts out while at a stop light like it wants to shut off, car was running about 10 minutes and in motion at 30 mph for 5 minutes when it started, then drove on the highway for 30 minutes and through town another 10 minutes, when I got home it was still cutting out, I was almost home when I noticed the engine light came on. Today I did fill my gas tank. It has done this on other occasions but not as bad as it did today and this was the first time the engine light came on. My car has a little over 70,000 miles on it, I've done regular oil changes, when I looked under the hood I noticed liquid around my motor gaskets and the tray under it, I couldn't tell if it was oil or antifreeze. Warranty has ran out.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #86

Jan 292016


  • 59,785 miles
61,000 miles and car is showing repeated P2135 codes for throttle/pedal senor issue and places the car in limited power mode. Event has happened during warm-up, at stop signs and lights, local street speeds, and during highway travel/speeds. I have cleared the issue using obd II tool and phone app.

- Oxford, PA, USA

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