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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,648 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 Captiva electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Chevrolet Captiva Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Jan 012019


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Captiva. While starting the vehicle, the key failed to release from the ignition switch and the turn signal lights failed to make a clicking noise when activated. Additionally, the vehicle failed to start occasionally and the service vehicle and brake warning indicators were illuminated. The local dealer was not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and did not assist. The failure mileage was 84,000. The VIN was unknown.

- Grafton, WV, USA

problem #39

Apr 102019


  • 94,258 miles
The E-brake comes on by its self while driving down road. Checked againest VIN and stated not on recall list but others have been recalled for same thing.

- Taloga, OK, USA

problem #38

Sep 122018


  • miles
One day my heat and air module just quit working and the dash board reads -40 for the outside temp. So now there is no heat no defrost or air.

- Bolivar, MO, USA

problem #37

Aug 102018


  • miles


This car has so many electrical codes when tested. I have had numerous problems and haven't even had the car a year. Why hadn't GM did a recall on these cars. Please help all of us who have this car. I have 3 kids and would like a answer to why there isnt a recall with so many of the same complaints!

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #36

Sep 012018


  • 28,359 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Captiva. The contact stated that the ignition switch failed. The contact was unable to release the key from the ignition switch. The contact had to wiggle the key to remove it from the ignition switch. The contact also wanted to advise that when the key did not release from the ignition, the contact had to disconnect the battery to be able to turn the vehicle off. The vehicle was taken to caribbean auto mart (4523 charlotte amalie street saint thomas, va 00802, (340)777-7600) where a diagnostic testing found a failure code at the shifter assembly connections. However, the dealer was not certain that the diagnostic test located the correct failure code. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 28,359.

- Saint Thomas, VI, USA

problem #35

Aug 092018


  • 101,600 miles
While driving on interstate highway 40 in ok at 70 mph the vehicle starting doing strange things. At first every time you enabled the turn signal it would disengage the cruise control. Approximately 45 minutes later the brake light came on and then a message appeared stating a fault with the traction control and then within a few more minutes the engine fault light came on, then the radio went off and the clock display went away. We pulled off the highway at a mcdonald's and when I turned the vehicle off I could not remove the key from the ignition. Everything electrical would not operate and the vehicle would not start. At this point we decided to have breakfast before calling a tow service. When we finished with breakfast we returned to the vehicle and it started. The engine fault light was still on for a few miles and then went out and every think worked properly for the remaining 1000 miles of the trip to pa.. the next day I searched the internet to find some info on this problem. There were many 2012 captive owners complaining about the same problem. It appears to be something with the battery cabling. The only thing that appeared to resolve the problem was changing out the cabling to the battery or adding an additional ground cable from the battery to the engine.

- Denison, TX, USA

problem #34

Aug 012018


  • 94,000 miles


While driving down the freeway in rush hour traffic, vehicle lost power stranding me in the middle of the freeway.

- Delano, MN, USA

problem #33

Jul 152018


  • 45,306 miles
While driving the car, the radio will shut off & all lights on radio will go out. After some time approx. 3 to 15 minutes the radio will come back on by itself. The air conditioner fan would be blowing on high and suddenly drop to a low setting and then come back on in a few about about 20 sec. These problems became simultaneous along with the emergency brake indicator light coming on, both the red & amber emergency indicator light. The dealership called me and said there were bulletins written on this problem. They told me the fix is a new alternator and all new battery cables all the way around, would fix the problem. The cost would be $990. I have just finished paying $776 for an air conditioning tensioner belt installation because the engine was shaking significantly and making loud noises. The entire front of the engine needed to be disassembled for access. My car has 45,306 miles on it and it also required a transmission at 30,000 miles, which GM installed free. I am convinced the electrical sub system in this car is of poor design.

- Collingdale, PA, USA

problem #32

Jul 082018


  • 54,000 miles
Bought less than a month ago. Put key in, acts like a dead battery. Cannot take key out of ignition. Took battery to be checked battery is fine. Had to jump start it twice. No reason why it's been so random both times car was parked less than an hour.

- Freeport, IL, USA

problem #31

May 072018


  • miles
Key will not turn in when inserted into tumbler. Steering wheel locked, shifter locked. Key occasionally cannot be removed from ignition switch. Vehicle stationary. Problem happens intermittently; sometimes when vehicle has been driven; sometimes when vehicle has been parked for a short time (5-10 minutes); sometimes when vehicle has been parked overnight. Makes no difference if vehicle is level or on a grade (up or down.) safety issue if keys cannot be removed. Safety issue if vehicle cannot to started.

- Branford, FL, USA

problem #30

May 212018


  • 126,000 miles


Stabilitrak service light came on yesterday. Then this morning, the parking brake service light. Anytime I applied the brake, my shifter would click loudly. Anytime I went over 20 mph, the care would rev like it was having a lot of trouble shifting. Twice it wouldn't go right away even if I was hard or easy on the gas and I almost got hit from behind in traffic. The D symbol on dash would even flicker. This car has had so many electrical problems, I do not understand why there isn't further recalls!

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #29

May 172018


  • 40,000 miles
Ignition locks up and will not allow you to start car. Cannot remove key. Cannot turn key. Cannot move shifter. Car is always in a lot when it happens. Called road service once. Have since purchased a battery booster. The booster is not needed to start car. Just touch cables to battery posts and dash lights up and car will start wityh its own battery which is new. Now beginning to happen several times a day.

- West Pittston, PA, USA

problem #28

May 132018


  • 66,000 miles
Key won't come out of ignition, car in park, running lights on. This is the 2nd occurance. GM charged me $250 to fix it in September despite my protest that, as demonstrated by all the complaints, this is a design flaw!!!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #27

Dec 182017


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Captiva. The contact stated that it was extremely difficult to remove the key from the ignition as well as turning the key in the ignition to start the vehicle. The dealer (billion auto Chevrolet Buick GMC of clinton (2421 Lincoln hwy, clinton, ia 52732, (563) 241-3750) was contacted and indicated that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The manufacturer also indicated that the vehicle was excluded from any recall campaigns and suggested that the dealer replace the part. There were 118 tsbs for the electrical system. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was not available.

- Lowmoor, IA, USA

problem #26

Mar 252018


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Captiva. The contact stated that while the gear shifter was placed in park, the key became stuck in the ignition. The contact stated that aaa was contacted and the contact was informed that electricity was not being applied to the battery. No warning lights were illuminated. The vehicle was currently at midway Chevrolet (2323 w bell rd, phoenix, AZ 85023) where no diagnostic failure codes were found and the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #25

Mar 102018


  • 60,000 miles
Intermittently then panel lights come on (traction control, check engine lights) turn signal lights work, . you lose power to car and cannot even take the key out of the ignition. After some time, you can finally get the key out. Sometimes it's minutes, sometimes it's hours. This started happening a few weeks ago, happening few times a week. Now, it's happening daily, even few times a day. We found a Chevy forum online and shockingly this is happening to 2012 Captiva's. why is this not a recall? this can be fatal to lose power to the car if we are on the highway and lose function of the vehicle. Sometimes while driving, sometimes when I go to start the car nothing happens and I can't get the key out of the ignition.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

problem #24

Apr 012017


  • 73,000 miles
I purchased the Captiva after my van was totaled, in Feb 2017, problems started in April, car would die, everywhere, drs office, grocery store, driveways, library, restaurants, rain, snow, day or night. Could not take key out, gear froze in park, no electrical working at all, at 1st car would start after a while, then it would not, called aaa, no 1 could figure out what the problem was, I have spent $453 with no results, used up my free calls from aaa plus. Every mechanic had a different reason for the problem. Bought car at a carfax...they said they could do nothing....took car to Chevy dealer, they could do nothing as they had not sold that many Captivas, would check it for $500. I wrote to Chevrolet to tell them of the problem, was told very nicely that it was my fault because I had not taken the car into a dealership sooner. They could do nothing, I could pay the $500 maybe with no results. I know what the problem is...1 of the mechanics said there was something wrong with the left hand node on the I start the car by hitting the red plastic cover!!! I am a 84 yrs old F, live alone & work. So for the rest of my life I will be doing this to start the car. Have had gma & Chevy cars all my life, I will tell all my family (20) never buy GM. I cannot even sell this lemon even if I could afford it. I am reporting this to the BBB and to consumer protection.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #23

Dec 052017


  • 58,000 miles
At rush hour, the dash lights come on and the car stops dead. No power at all. We were able to get it off the road, but it was dark and with no electrical working, could not use the flashers. Was almost hit several times by uncaring drivers. Even yelled at. No power to the car at all.

- Macedon, NY, USA

problem #22

Oct 122017


  • 57,000 miles
Have owned the car less than 1 year, it has 57000 on it.. started with turning signal disengaging the cruise control. Then lights coming on the dash and the radio going off. Then having ignition chime coming on and the car slowing like it would stall. Door locks going up and down and the car feel like it would stall, it finally died in a parking lot. Could not remove the key form the ignition. Got to the dealer.. changed a fuse box under the hood.. two days later, it just stopped but I had electric to restart. Towed again. GM dealer was great at trying to fix this. Replaced a modual in the console of the car by shifting lever. Car was great for 3 days, then check engine light came on, went off, parking break light came on and radio went off.. then battery light came on and was registering low voltage. It is still at the GM dealer, they have had it hooked up to the computer for 3 days and can not find the cause.. nice car to drive when it is running, but not reliable...

- Macedon, NY, USA

problem #21

Oct 122017


  • 56,000 miles
Parking light comes on and radio turns off except for the clock, then turns back on. Check engine light came one, went off when high beams turned on. Using the turning signal disables the cruise control. Today on the way to work, the battery light comes on after the check engine light goes off. Checking the volts on the dash and it shows they are low. Car has been traveling for 25 minutes, so alternator should have charged battery. Get to work and the volts are back up to 13.8 but battery light still on. This is one week after the car just stopped ( in the road) and nothing worked and the key was stuck in the ignition. Car repair replaced fuse box under the hood then a modual in the console. Car was great for 5 days, now new issues happening and some of the old ( radio and cruse) car has 56000 miles.

- Macedon, NY, USA

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