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.

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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is fairly new & is already showing an early trend of transmission problems.

Owners report hesitation when shifting & grinding/hard shifting into gears. Some dealers are calling the condition "normal". Another owner reported his dealership replaced the transmission under warranty, but the new transmission had the same exact grinding problem. Design defect?

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,452 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 Sonic drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

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problem #41

Jan 092015

Sonic

  • 40,758 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Gear shift knob sticks preventing removal of key. 2. gear shift knob will not return to normal position preventing steering wheel to lock when vehicle is unoccupied, this seems to be common problem with this vehicle. There are many complaints of similar nature on web forums.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #40

Jan 012013

Sonic

  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the transmission became difficult to shift and hesitated to respond. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the turbo transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the problem persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the technician stated that the valve, transmission fluid and a gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the problem recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a third time but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #39

Nov 282014

Sonic

  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V315000 (power train). However, the part needed to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Mount Savage, MD, USA

problem #38

Nov 272014

Sonic

  • 50,300 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My wife was driving on the highway and it felt like transmission was slipping. We have a 6 speed manual turbo Chevy Sonic. While the car was under the 36000 warranty an engine fault light came on and we brought it to the dealer. I believe they said it had to do with turbo " they repaired the fault and now at 50000 miles it appears the transmission has let go and/or clutch " recall 14234 appears to be what happened to our vehicle or the aforementioned turbo problem they worked on and want us to pay for something that maybe a recall item or faulty workmanship during warranty period.

- Southington , CT, USA

problem #37

Oct 152014

Sonic

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the button on the gear shifter seized. As a result, the shift lever became lodged in one gear. The failure recurred daily and no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the entire gear shifter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Nomad , UT, USA

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problem #36

Nov 042014

Sonic

  • 54,000 miles
Button on shifter knob that allows car to be put into gear gets stuck and eventually breaks. This allows the car to accidentally be put into gear. This problem also does not allow you to remove your key from the ignition, forcing you to leave your key in the ignition if you want to leave the vehicle.

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #35

Oct 182014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 47,740 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Beginning from the first month of ownership. Approx. 28,000 mi. At cold start there is a rattle noise like metal on metal. Then will disappear right after. Has been getting worse/ louder. Hard shifts, loss of power. Now as of last night the check engine light is on and the car runs rough. High idle, stalls, knocking noises from engine. Fault code. P0011?

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #34

Oct 012014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Sonic. Consumer writes to express a complaint concerning the service received for a safety recall. The consumer was informed, the parts needed to be ordered. Recall # 14V315000. The consumer stated the repairs were done. However, eight days was too long to have the vehicle, when the recall stated it would take 10 hours and 20 minutes. Updated 12/10/14

- Williamson, WV, USA

problem #33

Aug 012014

Sonic

  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V315000 (power train). The contact stated that the part needed to remedy the vehicle was unavailable. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The VIN was unavailable. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Smock , PA, USA

problem #32

Sep 242014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 69,860 miles
My car hesitates to shift gears between 18-27 mph and sometimes when I make a right hand turn going down an incline the car acts like its not in gear to drive.

- Middleport, OH, USA

problem #31

Jul 162014

Sonic

  • 38,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Pulled into my work parking lot and gear shifter would not shift into park. After trying multiple times and beating on it I finally got it into park but key would not turn off or come out of ignition. Put back into drive and went through all gears (neutral, reverse and drive) before I could finally put it in park and turn off the key and take key out of ignition. Happened again the following week, had it towed to dealer. The tow truck driver had never seen anything like it. He could not tow it without getting it into neutral. They had to break the shifter in order for me to drive it until the new shifter came in. Dealer would not replace without charge. So, I will probably have to replace the shifter every three years to the tune of $400. Also, air intake hose has broken and check engine light comes on and off. Can only order through dealer. Duck taped it until you recall it for engineering design defect. I should not have to replace this hose every three years.

- Romeoville, IL, USA

problem #30

Sep 012014

Sonic

  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the check engine and gear box warning indicators illuminated while the vehicle was in drive, reverse, or park. While traveling approximately 55 mph on a major highway, the vehicle decelerated and stalled. The contact stated that the gears were difficult to shift during the failure. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The dealer stated that the intake duct and boot needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V315000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 082013

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Shifter button gets stuck and can't take key out of ignition! its been replaced before and this is the second time! dealer wont replace under warranty!

- New Cumberland, PA, USA

problem #28

Jan 012014

Sonic

  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V315000 (power train) however the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Ludowici, GA, USA

problem #27

Apr 012014

Sonic

  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact heard an abnormal noise coming from the transmission and it became harder to shift gears. The dealer replaced the cabin filter; however, the vehicle would not shift out of third gear. The failure was not corrected and the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 37,000.

- Cherry Fork , OH, USA

problem #26

Aug 012013

Sonic

  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the vehicle would not shift to the correct gear causing the engine RPM to suddenly increase. Also, the contact mentioned that when the vehicle would come to a stop, the vehicle would accelerate independently. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V315000 (power train). However, the vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- New Symrna Beach, FL, USA

problem #25

Jun 152014

Sonic

  • 65,000 miles
The shifter button/knob always gets stuck. This vehicle has an automatic transmission so it wasn't included in the prior recall regarding the shifter. The car radio turns on by itself after I have removed by car key and locked the doors. This has caused the battery to drain and now it needs to be replaced. Chevy dealer said that replacing the shifter "may" correct the issue with the radio. I would like to know why the shifter needs to be replaced after only 2 years of use. I have had much older cars with far less issues and never needed to have a shifter replaced. It appears to be a defect that they have not recalled yet.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #24

Dec 022013

Sonic

  • 36,000 miles
While engaging the shifter assembly into gear, the button on the assembly becomes stuck. The car can then be moved from park into any gear by accident. Also causing the key to be stuck inside the ignition of the vehicle.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 012012

Sonic

  • 22,000 miles
Vehicle has no power on acceleration so I lose power in intersections and on the highway.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #22

Jun 242014

Sonic

  • miles
Automatic shifter button sticks which doesn't let the key to come out. It's very dangerous driving while the button is stuck in. You can bump the shifter N it'll take it out of gear due to the shifter button sticking N not popping out.

- Clinton, CT, USA

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