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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,424 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 Equinox drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments

problem #20

Jul 112016


  • 71,000 miles


This may be related to NHTSA campaign number 16V502000. On July 11, 2016, I was in my son's driveway, placed my car in park, and my granddaughter and I got out of the car. The car was still, and my keys were still in the ignition. While I was between the door and the car, the car started to roll backwards, which knocked me to my feet and under the car. The car rolled up onto my ribcage and my vision started to go dark. A nearby person managed to roll the car off of me. I was taken to the hospital where I learned I had five broken ribs and a small puncture in my lung. My leg is bruised from my thigh to my toes. About a week later, I developed an infection in a wound on my ankle. I have had several follow up visits to doctor to check for pneumonia and blood clots. A visiting nurse comes to my house twice per week. I cannot drive and have weight restrictions for several weeks. I have mailed a letter to the CEO and general counsel of GM, but have not received a response.

- Louisville, NE, USA

problem #19

Jun 272016


  • 36,420 miles
Out of nowhere, I get an alert stating 'reduced engine power' and 'service stabilitrak' off. I cannot go over 30 mph and the engine has trouble holding power. Several weeks prior to this message, I would feel a light engine sputter, bt the engine would then kick back into gear. This happens on the interstate and on city streets. Apparently this is incredibly common on a lot of Chevrolet vehicles as evidence on the equinoxforum blog.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #18

Jan 192016


  • 50,000 miles
Purchased previously owned 2012 Chevrolet Equinox that currently has 51,827 miles. The past two months I have experienced a violent hard shifting of the transmission 10 to 12 times. The dealer issued me a paper explaining the condition was normal, but not addressing what I was experiencing. The paper pip4112Q states a hesitation or sag when accelerating or aggressively accelerating, none of which has happened to this vehicle. The experience is repeated when slowly accelerating past 16 to 18 miles an hour and then releasing from the accelerator, after re-accelerating at a reasonable speed the transmission has a forceful, hard shift at around 14 miles an hour. While in stop and go traffic on interstate 71 the transmission violently shifted and both people in the vehicle thought someone had crashed into the vehicle. My wife drives the vehicle and I fear for her safety as this situation is very frightening. I contacted the previous owner and they admitted this occurred to them many times and 'scared the crap out of them┐. the original owner had returned the vehicle to the dealership for repair and was told this is normal. This is not normal and creates a major distraction that could result in a catastrophic accident. My unprofessional opinion and the explanation from the sales advisor at the dealership is the transmission doesn┐T know whether to shift up or down at that given point. The violent shift creates an anxious interruption of normal operating conditions, putting the passengers of the vehicle in a life threatening situation. The dealership and General Motors have not given a satisfactory solution to this terrifying problem.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #17

Jan 192016


  • 73,000 miles


Purchased vehicle used with 64000 miles Aug 24th, 2015. After about 2 weeks the car stalled while backing out of a parking spot. Re-started it and it stalled again. Happened again in late Sept, once in Oct and again in Nov. Dealer replaced faulty intake solenoid 11-13-15. Leaving for work on Jan 19th and noticed oil leak (no low oil light). Drove straight to dealership. 1/4 mile out my engine light comes on saying reduced engine power, drops me to 30 mph. Get to dealership and it's a blown rear seal. Replaced loose timing and balance shaft chain, water pump, coolant flush ( I paid for) ABS light came on, so sensor was found to be "open" also found chunk of magnet missing from wheel bearing. Car in shop for 9 days. Picked up on 1-28-16. Stalled again 4 X on 2-4-16. Returned to dealership to have camshaft actuator replaced. Stalled again 2-7-16 and 2-8-16. Returned to dealership on 2-8-16. No word from them yet. The car has left me in the middle of an intersection turning left twice!! I could be killed by driving this vehicle. I have researched online and have found 1000's of people dealing with this same issue. Several have had the vehicle stall while traveling 70 mph on the freeway!! the issues exists on 2010, 2011 and 2012 models. GM needs to take responsibility for the issue that no one seems to know how to fix. Does someone have to die before GM will deal with this issue?? these vehicles are also known for burning excessive amounts of oil. When I took it in for an oil change, they noted it was a quart low. Still no low oil light ever came on. One article I read said the issue is caused by a coating that was sprayed inside the camshaft during production is now leaking into the fuel/oil causing metal fragments and dirt to be in the oil.

- Kingston, MI, USA

problem #16

Nov 042015


  • 32,900 miles
Upon accelerating from a stationary position, my vehicle jerks back & forth while shifting through 1st and 2nd gears (automatic transmission) like it gets caught & then jumps up to speed. First I had a trusted mechanic take a ride & he advised me what I suspected - my 2012 Chevy Equinox with 33,000 miles on it has a major transmission issue. It is currently in service (they are likely to install a new transmission) I have read many accounts of similar troubles & I believe there is a wide spread defect in the power trains of many late model Chevrolet SUV trucks & there should be absolutely be a recall

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

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problem #15

Sep 012015


  • 39,000 miles
Oil consumption 4000 miles bone dry. When stop at a light, backing up the car stalls out. I had it in the shop twice. Now doing an oil consumption test. I only have 45000 miles on my 2012 Chevrolet Equinox. Started having problems around 39,000 miles also am reading this problem is affecting a lot of Equinoxs. Someone is going to get killed in an accident!!!!!!!!!

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #14

Jul 152015


  • miles


Vehicle first started cutting off when placed in drive and reverse. It is now cutting off even when vehicle is being driven when pulling off from a stopped position. This has been happening now for a week. Check engine light came on and gave a P0010 code. Cam sensor was replaced and issue is still continuing to happen.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #13

Jul 152015


  • miles
Vehicle first started cutting off when placed in drive and reverse. It is now cutting off even when vehicle is being driven when pulling off from a stopped position. This has been happening now for a week. Check engine light came on and gave a P0010 code. Cam sensor was replaced and issue is still continuing to happen.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #12

Jul 072015


  • 50,800 miles
I was driving about 20 miles per hour when all the gauges on the dash board went crazy. The eco fuel economy light was flashing on and off, the stabili trak lights appeared on the dashboard without me even touching the button, the speedometer and engine coolant temperature gauge were going up and down eradically. The check engine indicator then appeared on the dash board. I stopped at a red light, when I went to step on the accelerator, I had no power. The accelerator was pushed to the floor and I was going about 5 miles and hour. All the above was still happening on the dashboard. The ac was now blowing warm air. It smelled like something was burning. This happened three times. In the end the speedometer wasn't working. I reached somewhere safe and parked the car. I went to shift the car into drive and there was a hard loud clunking noise. This only happened when the car was shifted into drive. My husband took the car to auto zone where they printed out the codes appearing for the check engine indicator. ( P069E, P0700, U0073, U0100) the battery in the car has also been replaced with a new one twice. It has been towed to the dealership twice due to not starting the next day after it has been driven the day before and working normal. We took the car to the Chevrolet dealership. They understood what had happened. That evening they called us back saying, " we can't duplicate the problem, so everything is fine." We lost our mind and told them to keep the car at the dealership until they could duplicate the problem becuase the car isn't three years old and shouldn't have these problems. Further, the car isn't safe!! we read blogs where this is common with the Equinox and indicated that to the dealership. The car is still at the dealership.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #11

Jun 222015


  • 47,900 miles
This vehicle exhibits the exact same issues noted in bulletin #12313B, which affects the 2010 and 2011 2.4L Equinox. Over the last several months the engine became increasingly louder. A large amount of fuel was discovered in the crankcase. The dealer replaced the timing chain assembly and the high pressure fuel pump as outlined in bulletin #12313B, but the 2012 model year is not included under the special coverage of 10 years, 120K miles, as outlined in the bulletin. This special coverage should be extended to later model Chevrolet Equinox 2.4L engines. The coverage is a necessity due to the wear that has occurred from fuel being in the oil.

- Scottsburg, IN, USA

problem #10

Mar 212015


  • miles


Hi, my 2012 Equinox stalled on me while I was in reverse. I was backing out a drive way and it started to jerk. After jerking it did eventually go in gear. Once I put it in drive I drove no less then a mile and the car cut off. I turn it back on and put it back in drive and it stalled out again. That was the first incident it happen a second time on 5/2/15. While driving my car was jerking when at a stop light and then it stalled out on me again. Am not sure why this is happening considering I do have regular maintenance done on my car. If this is a known issue please let me. Thanks

- Red Lion, PA, USA

problem #9

Apr 112015

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While driving down I-96 in Michigan at mile 62, I felt an explosion under my feet. There was a large cloud of black smoke followed by flames underneath and out the back of the vehicle. I pulled to the side of the road, ran to safety while watching the vehicle burn underneath. The air draft from passing traffic extinguished the fire. Qualified technicians at our local Chevrolet dealer have told us there is a golf-ball size hole and a softball size hole in the engine in addition to numerous issues resulting from the fire (melted fuel and brake lines, charred and bubbled paint and melted plastic parts, etc.) although this is covered by GM warranty and their investigation "totaled" the car, customer service has not offered assistance that will cover replacement of this vehicle.

- Williamston, MI, USA

problem #8

Sep 132013

Equinox 4-cyl

  • miles
When the car is stop and you start to drive it will jerk forward as the transmission shift.

- Richmond Hill, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 112014

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving 15 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was restarted and driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 29,000..updated 09/ 30/14 the consumer stated while making a right turn, the steering wheel seemed to break free and continued moving about two inches. At the same time, the vehicle shut off, the lights went out. The consumer had to coast to the side of the road. When he finally stopped, he was able to move the gear shift from drive to park and restarted the vehicle. The dealer was unable to find a problem. Updated 10/08/14

- Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #6

Jun 062012

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
While driving I slowed down to stop for light, light changed so I accelerated when I step on gas vehicle hesitated and lurched forward with an impact similar to being rear ended at a high rate of speed. On another occasion when accelerating vehicle almost stalled before transmission engaged. On another occasion the vehicle was at a dead stop and when I stepped on gas peddle vehicle did not move immediately. This has been an intermittent problem going on for over 2 years and 30000 miles. Every time I took it in for maintenance I would complain about problem to no help from dealer they could not duplicate. I contacted GM about problem they sent me to selling dealer who kept it for one and a half days and could not duplicate.the service manager told me his wife had the same problem and they are trading there vehicle in on the same vehicle with a 6 cylinder. The service writer who wrote up my vehicle has the same problem in a different model but he just lives with it. We feel this vehicle has become very unsafe and we do not know how to get this resolved. I have contacted GM again and they had not responded. We have found several other people experiencing the same problem on several websites including Chevy forum.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #5

Jul 302012


  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Equinox. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmission issues. A month after purchasing the vehicle, the consumer stated the vehicle was sluggish, as the transmission was not shifting correctly. The next occurrence happened on January 2, 2013. The consumer stated before she could come to a complete stop, the vehicle stopped on its own, as if she hit a stone wall. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, but they were unable to find a problem. Also, the vehicle would stall, when slowing down. There was a noise coming from the front end. The dealer called the consumer to let her know, they ordered some bolts, so they could be bolted to the frame. On another occasion, while the cruise control was set, the consumer applied the brake, but the vehicle did not stop. The consumer returned to the dealer, because of a grinding/grating noise coming from the vehicle. On several occasions, the vehicle went into a high rate of rate speed and applying the brakes, did not stop the vehicle. Updated 03/27/14

- Amenia, NY, USA

problem #4

Mar 182013

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
Upon acceleration, when the transmission upshifts into 2nd gear it will go into neutral. The engine will rev up but the vehicle just coasts. If you take your foot completely off the gas it will eventually slam into gear and will resume driving but has erratic and hard gear changes and may also go back into neutral again. This will last for the entire drive cycle unless you pull over and turn the ignition off and restart the vehicle which resets the system. It does not turn on the cel light or store any failure codes or information. It is a intermittent issue with no set pattern. Very dangerous when you are pulling out into traffic or attempting to merge or pass another vehicle. I traded in a 2011 Equinox with the exact same problem for this 2012 Equinox when the dealer could not correct it. I have checked various Equinox forums and I am not the only person that is having this issue. Just a matter of time before someone gets run over because the vehicle will not accelerate.

- Granbury, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 242012

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 1,920 miles
After applying the brakes to make a right turn, I then applied the gas to go around a corner. Upon applying the gas, the engine revved up much faster than it would normally. I quickly applied the brakes, and stopped forward movement. However, the engine continued to "rev". I put the gear in "neutral" and then "park", the motor continuing to "rev". I drove about 50 ft to the top of the hill, put the gear in neutral, then park, and then shut the motor off. I let the car sit about 30 seconds and started the engine. The engine "revved" as before so I did the neutral, park, engine off sequence again and waited about 30 seconds to start the engine. Same problem. After shutting off the engine this time, however, I waited about 4 or 5 minutes to start the engine. This time the engine speed was normal so I drove home. The dealer was notified, and the dealer had the car towed to its dealership where it is at this time. The dealer is van Chevrolet-Cadillac in Kansas City, mo.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #2

Dec 122011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced three separate sudden acceleration failures. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, where the transmission control module and the power train control module were updated. The dealer stated that they could not guarantee the repairs would remedy the failure. The contact also stated that for the past 100 miles, the failure had not occurred. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 3,800.......updated 08-03-12

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #1

Jan 132012


  • 2,048 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact was driving 70 mph when the vehicle decelerated abnormally with the illumination of the check engine warning light. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 2,048.

- Wood Cliff Lake, NJ, USA

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