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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,041 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #68

Dec 282016


  • miles


Radio is turning on and off. Stabilitytrak control light comes on power steering give out and brakes

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #67

Dec 122016


  • 115,698 miles
I was driving by myself down a busy road, luckily not too busy with traffic and the service engine soon light came on with comment stability traction. I immediately pulled over, turned the car off and called our Chevy dealer. I was instructed to leave the car off a few minutes then turn it back on which I did. All the lights went away. I scheduled an appointment for several days later to have the car checked. The car was fine the rest of the day. The next day around 3 pm I was leaving work the stability traction light came on and then the reduced engine speed light came on. My car dropped to 10 miles an hour I was about rear ended. I turned on hazards. I right at an intersection, I started blowing my horn cause the light turned yellow. I turned into a parking lot. I immediately turned the car off and called the dealer again. The guy on the phone stated turn the car off and on for a few minutes and it did reset. He said I see you have an upcoming appointment. I said yes but I am dropping the car off tonight and he stated okay. Next day they phone me and the"throttle body" was bad. Many, many complaints online about this. He stated he also had to replace the outlet housing, something to do with oil. This was just re-placed 15 months ago but was now out of warranty. A day later I was out $1,053.99. Luckily I had the money! my point is not only myself but others, many others all over the internet have issues with this throttle body. Why not recall it" do you realize what danger I was in??" thank you.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #66

Oct 212016


  • 68,842 miles
"/"/16 sunny-driving on city street. Traction light/service traction control appear. Drove car to shoulder-car could barely move then was completely unable to move. Turned car off/back on. Lights/errors were gone. Drove away. 7/9/16 sunny-driving out of parking lot. Traction light/service traction control/service stabilitrak appear. Car barely crept forward before it could not move. Called onstar for vehicle diagnosis. Nothing found. Turned car off/back on and everything reset/was ok 10/21/16 rainy-driving on interstate. Car randomly yanks left (didn┐T brake/accelerate) car spins & crashes into guardrail multiple times. Car barely crept forward as I drove to left shoulder but stopped moving before getting to safety. Check engine light/traction light/service traction control/ stabilitrak appear (see photo-the papers in corner of display show stabilitrak error is on next screen but I scrolled past needing to see odometer and didn┐T snap photo). Two officers saw the errors and that car couldn┐T move. Our take: Rain initiated traction control, but car thought it was spinning when it wasn┐T, and corrected for it by applying certain brakes to certain tires causing it to spin. Dealership sees no history of these errors for all 3 instances and say they can┐T do anything. I left my car running with these errors on for over an hour while waiting for police/tow truck. Insurance won┐T go after gms's legal teams but tell me to jump into a lawsuit later. It's upsetting we┐re waiting for somebody to get hurt/die to look into this. My sister has same car off same lot and experienced a traction control error. Similar circumstances online-pictures/videos of these errors but dealership finds no history. Issues 1) dangerous errors not being logged 2) traction control/stabilitrak not reading situation correctly 3) car cannot operate/drive to safety after incorrectly reading situation.

- Willowick, OH, USA

problem #65

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 #64

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 #63

Aug 302016


  • 68,000 miles
While driving, radio display and speakers turn on and off. Started June 2016 and has progressively gotten worse. Seems to happen when turning the vehicle and or pressing the brakes. Stabilitrack/traction control error message appears on dash. All ABS related icons flash. Sometimes it happens once. Sometimes it's repetitive until I turn the car off and then turn it back on. Doesn't matter how fast I'm going and the longer the trip, the more frequent it is. Based on what I've learned about this, it should be covered by special coverage 14311B but my dealership gives me the run around and asks silly questions about if my battery is in good condition and if I think I need a new alternator. If it was the battery, the radio/speakers wouldn't be the only item(s) that turned off. From what I'm learning, this problem gets worse and power steering or full vehicle function is diminished or goes off completely. Not sure what more needs to happen to Chevy customers for Chevy to make this a recall.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #62

Aug 292016


  • 84,135 miles


Stabili trak check engine light and error message transmission fluid leakage out of bottom of vehicle on driver side causing strong burning oder inside car while in motion car seems like it gore into neutral not allowing driver to push gas. Immediately get to a safe place and cut vehicle off to avoid excessive damage, if on busy road or freeway be very careful not sure what happens at regular speed of road or freeways. I was in a school zone and received police assistance for traffic control.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #61

May 212016


  • 96,000 miles
I noticed my car wasn't beeping when I tried to lock it. I tried to start my car and it completely shut down. I managed to get my hood open and disconnected the battery cables. It was fine for a few weeks then the "check stabilitrack" went off and my car shut down. I made it to my destination and it shut down completely. I tried to disconnect it and even that didn't work. Upon further investigation many had had this issue and it's not the stabilitrak its apparently the ground cable to the battery (black cable). My car will work but will occasionally completely reset the system so trying to save the time or date is pointless. I want this investigated!

- Whitesboro, TX, USA

problem #60

Aug 022016


  • 11,010 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and the air bag and electronic stability control lights remained illuminated. In addition, the vehicle would not start immediately when prompted. The contact had to wait approximately ten seconds before the vehicle would start. Furthermore, when the brake pedal was depressed, the contact had to apply a significant amount of pressure before stopping the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 11,010.

- Heathsville, VA, USA

problem #59

Aug 022016


  • 71,000 miles
The stability track control and service traction control messages have both happened to me now a few times while driving down city/country roads and down the highway. The first time I had the service traction control was yesterday. (8/02/2016) it's scary because the radio resets and the power steering goes out. I have a 9 year old daughter and she's terrified as well. I wish they would figure this out already. I called the dealer once and like most people write online about this issue they didn't know what it could be and they didn't have a car I could use to go back and forth to work while they checked it out so I haven't taken to the dealer yet. The issue comes and goes. It could go away for months but always comes back. I keep checking online to see if they finally found a fix for this issue and I still haven't found anything. So I'm assuming once someone dies in a bad accident or numerous people do then maybe they will take it more seriously" I'm a single mom and I can't afford to not have a car or have a problem that I have to pay lots of $ to fix when this obviously needs to be a recall when this many people are having the issue and it affects your steering!?!?!?! help pls?!?!"!

- Elgin, SC, USA

problem #58

Mar 262016


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 10 mph, the stabilitrac warning light illuminated, the power steering failed, and the instrument panel and radio lost power. The vehicle was not taken to be diagnosed or repaired. The contact stated that the failure recurred three times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Royal Oaks, MI, USA

problem #57

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 #56

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 #55

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 #54

Feb 052016


  • 70,000 miles
On several occasions my vehicle has lost power steering service. I have almost crashed into a metro rail and into another vehicle because I am unable to turn my wheel. On another occasion, I was about to park and the car turned off on me; the key was locked into the ignition and I couldn't turn it, the doors locked and nothing worked. I was stuck inside until after about 5 minutes, the car unlocked everything and the ECU turned back on. I've had to take it to the dealership twice for this problem and they have told me it's covered under a "special service" but these incidents happened almost a year apart. I do not believe the car is fixed. Also, the service stabilitrak and other lights flash on and off and so do my radio.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #53

Mar 172016


  • 73,000 miles
Car suddenly shifted into 4th gear while going 70 mph. Squalled left front tire, and violently snatched steering wheel to the left. After shutting car off, the problem was gone. Shortly after, stabilitrack, and steering alarm appeared on message display. That cleared once shut-off. Three weeks later it occurred again. This time, on a trip, it did the exact same problems four times in a row. This is a very dangerous problem. If I had not had a firm grip on the wheel, I would have been hurt. I pity the fool who tailgates me! I took the car to the local dealer, and had the California flash "recall" done. Sense that the transmission has not shifted down while at high speeds, but now, the stabilitrack, and ABS lights are staying on.

- Leicester, NC, USA

problem #52

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 #51

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

problem #50

Feb 092016


  • 36,000 miles
I just purchased my 2012 Chevy Cruze 3 months ago, it has 36,000 miles. Last week when I started off to work I got a reduced engine power message and the car would not accelerate. I read the manuel and followed the instructions, turned off the car, waited and restarted, but it still would not accelerate. I checked online for reported problems with the car and found that many people have had the same issue. I called the dealership and was told I could take the car in but would have to pay for any repairs because there was no recall on this problem. A few days later I started the car and it seemed fine so I tried driving it. It was fine for the first 15 minutes but then the reduced engine power light came on again and the car would not accelerate once again. I had to pull off to the side of the road, turn off the car and wait several minutes to be able to drive a short distance before the problem happened again. Thank god I was not on the highway when this happened or I could have been in a terrible accident. I can not believe that with so many owners reporting the same problem there has not been a recall. Also it appears the manufacturer was aware of the problem from the beginning because in the owners manuel they tell you what to do if this should happen.

- Fortville, IN, USA

problem #49

Feb 132016


  • 87,000 miles
Recall 14311 but dealer does not do anything about it, my car have done this few times already but last couple of times it was really scary because I lost total control over the vehicle including steering and braking the car just show a sing on the dash and radio goes of as well as the rest of the vehicle electrical parts, almost causing a crash due to this issue, I was driving about 35mph and 40mph when this happen, also I notice the it happens when I use my turn signals and when I press up or down on the windows

- Franklin Park, IL, USA

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