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: 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?


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,838 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Sep 052016


  • miles


Takata recall lately ill turn the radio off get out the car come back hours later an its on right now its acting like it dont wanna turn off it keep popping back on not sure whats the problem had the car for not even a year the remote stop working to.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #21

Jul 242016


  • 42,000 miles
On my way to church last week my car caught fire at a stop light and was totally engulfed in flames. I have pices if you need them.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #20

Jul 282016


  • 25,839 miles
The button on the gear shift sticks. When the button won't pop out after being put into gear, it can be bumped and moved into another gear causing a safety risk. The gear shift should be recalled! also when I'm in park and it won't pop out, my car will not let me remove the keys. And when the keys are in the ignition, the car won't lock. My car is also now likely to be stolen.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #19

Jul 032016


  • 120,000 miles


Has burning smell of anti freeze and wires melting. Air bags don't work on front passenger side.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 012014


  • 40,000 miles
For an automatic 2012 Chevy Sonic. Gear shift knob became nonfunctional causing key to become stick in ignition. Could not exit vehicle. Could not shift into D or sometime out of drive into park. Eventually went to the dealer who replaced the whole unit at a charge to me. The replacement unit seems to occasionally stick in the same way however has not caused problems yet.

- N. Chesterfield, VA, USA

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problem #17

Jun 092016


  • 42,000 miles
I noticed the button on my gear shift would always stick when I either went to put the car into gear or into park. I could not shut the car completely off until I got the button unstuck. Then, I noticed that the button was broke. This would happen anytime I used the button. It had been sticking on me for a while, but I noticed it was broke on 6/9/2016.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #16

Jun 022016


  • 60,000 miles


They key is stuck in the ignition, and the gear shift keeps getting stuck. The key will release after the car has set for over 15 minutes. Gets stuck after I shut off the car.

- Millersport, OH, USA

problem #15

May 152016


  • 5 miles
When changing the gear selection for example from park to drive....the gear button stays stuck / pushed in..... this is dangerous as an infant or your passenger can accidentally hit the shift knob allowing the car to come a sudden stop or put the car in reverse.

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #14

Mar 112016


  • 60,000 miles
Check engine light-------after the factory warrantee expired I still have the power train in full force, but the check engine light keeps coming on. I had it repaired about 8 months ago for some part covered under power train. This makes 6 times the engine light has come on again. I hate this because I cannot use the main feature I purchased the car for auto start. So needless to say it is doing the same mess....

- Boling, TX, USA

problem #13

Nov 302015


  • 40,000 miles
With only 40,000 miles and 3 years old, air intake hose is cracked and split in many locations.

- North Grafton, MA, USA

problem #12

Feb 232016


  • 59,800 miles


Shift gear cracked about a month ago...two months ago keys broke, today sitting at stop light couldn't get car into gear. Every gear went to reverse. Had to have cake towed.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #11

Feb 092016


  • 50,000 miles
I have an automatic car. When I put the car in park, I believe its called the gear shift button, gets stuck for several minutes and I cannot remove my key from the ignition until it pops out. Reported this to my dealership and they spayed some oil around the button but that did not help. This happens daily. Sometimes it takes a few seconds for the button to pop and other times it has taken up to 10 minutes for the button to release.

- Dundalk, MD, USA

problem #10

Dec 272015


  • 67,000 miles
This vehicle has had "undiagnosable" problems aince it hit 1200 miles. I have made 57 visits to Chevy dealerships for attempted diagnostics and repairs. The car has lurched forward of its own Accord, my brakes have failed to engage on a single occasion, the car has intermittently shut off during idle, the car has also had issues with shifting for the last 2 years. A 3 year battle has yeilded no answers or improvement; I was unable to utilize the lemon law because the issues couldn't be diagnosed. Finally the car is showing codes for what I believe is the transmission based on how poorly the car is running. I can provide information for the dealerships I have worked with; they have all the documentation for the obscene number of visits I've made with this car.

- Fremont, NH, USA

problem #9

Oct 162015


  • 28,000 miles
The console gear shift has a button that must be depressed to shift. Button sticks in depressed position. Cannot remove keys in park position. Vehicle is 2012, 28,000 miles.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #8

Sep 282015


  • 22,000 miles
When putting my car into park the gear shift button is not releasing therefore the car can not be turned off! the service place is changing me $315 to replace the whole gear shift! also gear shift is sticking not wanting to go into park!!!

- Morgan City, LA, USA

problem #7

Oct 152014


  • miles
Stick shift button started to stck and now the bitton is broken at the bottom. It is barly shifting to R, P or drive. Hits cause U cant push in button. Sometimes cant put in park or key is stuck cause it isnt in park all the way. This is going to mess up my transmition!!!

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #6

May 282015


  • 45,000 miles
When my wife places car in park, removes keys, the car will attempt to restart?!! yes re-start<< this is very dangerous & I am fearful for her life!!!! 2012 Sonic was purchased @ jon hall Chevrolet in daytona beach, fl. In 2011. With 700+ miles on it already. I'd certainly appreciate somebody contacting them (jon hall) and allow her to take it in for a free repair. Car is used only for her to go to work & back. This car fairly new (2012) has defect in it from the day she received it...plze do help. Her life may be at stake. (fire, explosion etc..)!!!!!!!

- Edgewater, FL, USA

problem #5

May 252015


  • 40,120 miles
My radio will turn itself on hours after my car has been turned off. I've had to take out the fuse everytime I exit the car so the battery won't drain. I don't know where to begin with fixing this problem. It's been going on for a few weeks now. I've called to the dealership where the car was purchased and they said it was a manufacturing problem. Please don't tell me I have to pay for this out of pocket. From what I've seen there's a lot of these cases on the internet. So it's not just a random problem.

- Roswell, NM, USA

problem #4

Jan 142015


  • 45,000 miles
Gear shifter button gets stuck, not allowing releasing key from ignition. Driver has to have lubricant on hand at all times, to get shifter button unstuck. However lately it is getting somewhat harder to get it to work

- Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #3

May 262015


  • 44,673 miles
During the last week had problems with the key not releasing from steering column. The last two days gear shifter getting very hard to shift and button sticks and key will not release, and wheels will not lock. Have had to leave the key in car which is not a very safe thing to do. Have noticed today that the button after awhile will pop out and then the key will release. This is a safety issue and needs to be recalled before things get worse which apparently is going to happen..

- Lyndonville, NY, USA

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