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:
17 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,579 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 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #65

Jun 282015


  • 48,000 miles


I was trying to park my 2012 Chevrolet Cruze car in a parking place. I turned into the parking spot and when I placed my foot on the brakes, nothing happened. I looked down at my foot and watching myself repeatedly pump the brakes. Instead of stopping, my car went over the parking spot yellow curb, over a sidewalk and some grass, and I hit a parked vehicle. Before I hit the vehicle, I luckily turned my wheel, causing less damage to the parked vehicle. After I hit the vehicle, my car turned back into the parking lot where it finally stopped. I am not sure if it stopped because of me repeatedly pumping the brakes, or that I finally ran out of momentum, since I had not hit the accelerator since before trying to park. My bumper is damaged, had to have car towed because I am too afraid to drive it. My 5 year old daughter was in the backseat, in her booster seat, during all of this, and I am afraid thinking of how worse it could have been, with the brakes not working. I found out after the fact that there was a recall for this year and model car for the brakes, and that recall was before I owned the car.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #64

Jun 032015


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at various speeds, the brakes malfunctioned and the brake pedal could not be depressed to stop the vehicle. The failure occurred on several different occasions, at multiple speeds, in both drive and reverse, and with the cruise control activated and deactivated. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V36000 (service brakes), although the vehicle experienced the same failure listed in the recall. The failure mileage was 95,000.

- Bulluck, NC, USA

problem #63

Jun 142015


  • 38,000 miles
Was backing out of my parking spot in apartment complex, brake assist failed to engage hard to stop required a lot of [unexpected] pressure on brake pedal. Almost backed into neighbors car, could have backed into a child. Brakes continued to operate in similar manner until I got to the street.. issue seems to similar to Chevy Cruze recall for 1.4turbo

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #62

May 262015


  • 65,550 miles


I was traveling app. 60 mph down I26 when my brakes completely malfunctioned. I came within inches of hitting a transfer truck due to the inability to brake. I've sought resolution from corporate Chevy along with my local dealer who simply tested the brakes to tell me they are functioning properly. I do not feel sale in the Cruze. I have constant anxiety while driving. Who knows when they will malfunction again and kill me and my precious children.

- Hendersonville , NC, USA

problem #61

Apr 272015


  • 65,000 miles
I have had many issues with my brakes on my 2012 Chevy Cruze. Sometimes it feels like I am hit from behind while stopped because the vehicle will randomly lurch forward an inch. Then, the brake lights began to randomly come on when the car was not running. This caused the battery to die numerous times. Eventually, the check engine light came on and the fault said the brake pedal position sensor was bad. I had that replaced. Now, the brake pedal does not come all the way up when it is lightly depressed (like when slowing down just a little or canceling the cruise). This causes the brake lights to stay on. The only way to fix it is either hit the brakes hard or pull the pedal back up. I have been researching this and it appears that many people are having similar problems. Tsb #PI0928/NHTSA id #10052020 discusses the "lurching". tsb #pic-5862/NHTSA id #10053904 doesn't say it's for Cruze, but appears to be the same type of problem.

- Pittsboro, IN, USA

problem #60

Apr 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
The brake lights would randomly come on and stay on when car was off and sitting still. I replaced the brake pedal position sensor and it seemed to stop. Now, the brake pedal doesn't come back up all of the way after applying the brakes. This keeps the brake light on and the brakes slightly applied. The only way to get it all the way up is to pull it from behind with your foot. This seems to be part of the brake pushrod and brake assist issue they are having, but haven't done a recall.

- Pittsboro, IN, USA

problem #59

Feb 012013


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer twice for a failure in which the valve cover fractured and caused a leak. The dealer replaced the valve cover. Upon pressing the brake pedal, it sank to the floor. The vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer more than twice and they were not able to replicate or diagnose the failure. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V360000 (service brakes, hydraulic) but continued to experience the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000.

- Altha, FL, USA

problem #58

Feb 032015


  • 84,000 miles
This is the second incident (March 2014 & February 3, 2015 resulting in the loss of the power/control while operating the vehicle, both incidents were terrifying. I purchased my certified used Chevy Cruze in February 2014. In March/April 2014 immediately after startup (traveling under 10 mph / approx. 60,000 miles) the car began experiencing electrical issue; the displays on the dash would flash intermittently followed by warning lights (power steering, brakes, traction control etc.) and a complete loss of power to my car while driving, no steering, no brakes etc. I filed a complaint in 2014 (NHTSA - no. 10574169 #14311:special coverage adjustment negative battery cable loose. I immediately brought my car into the dealership for servicing. Ultimately, the positive and negative battery terminals were replaced and the service was covered under warranty. Yesterday, February 3, 2015, I experienced a similar incident. Shortly after starting my car (traveling 5mph / approx. 84,000 miles) the car began to shake violently, the check engine light turned on and again the car began experiencing similar power loss to my car while driving. My car was towed to the dealership and the cause was again identified as a negative battery terminal, a bad intake/gasket leaking and a small engine oil seep. These are some of the same issues identified with the initial incident in 2014 when these parts were replaced. This is a terrifying scenario and to have the same issues occur in such a short time period after the parts were replaced is not comforting and leaves me with fear that this could occur again, I do not want to continue to take chances with the safety of this vehicle. I hope this is taken seriously and resolved to avoid this from continuing to happen to myself and others in the same situation and to hopefully avoid this from turning into a serious and/or deadly situation.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #57

Jan 252015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I turned my car on one morning after I just had it in the shop to get the recalls fixed on it. Im seeing service stabilitrak and service traction and ABS lights. I can no longer turn on or off my traction control. My brakes are now grabbing really bad and im getting a really weird feel when I have my foot in the gas and turn my wheel. My car is not the same after the recalls were done.

- Poland, ME, USA

problem #56

Nov 192014


  • miles
TL-the contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign id number: 13V360000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and stated that the part needed was unavailable to perform the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The VIN was not available. The contact had not experienced a failure. Djr

- Aberdeen, WA, USA

problem #55

Mar 262014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 19,009 miles


Bought vehicle from carmax first week of March 2014, 3 weeks later was first time I drove in snow and the the brakes did not work at all. Called carmax and though the warranty was was over they agreed to repait because of a brake recall. Then a couple weeks later there was a leak and Ford had to replace a coolant pump. The car never ran the same. The car putters and has horrible acceleration and I have contacted Ford and carmax dealership and coorp for help at the same time all the Cruze were taken off the lots and were no longer allowed to be sold because of all the recalls and they were deemed unsafe to drive. All I asked carmax for was to take this vehicle back and let me pick out a different car. I am a single mom with a teenage daughter an I am afraid to let her drive this car, there have been several deaths attributed to the Chevy Cruze. I have left several voicemails with GM my case # is C7269752 with first responder..what does that mean anyway? the GM at carmax in tinley park argued with me for 15 minutes about who if I spoke to him once or twice instead of dealing with the real issue, the sold me, a single mother a car with bad brakes! I almost went into down into a 6 lane expressway when the brakes didnt work! I would have been killed. Its been a couple months now and no one has followed up at all. The snow will soon begin and I am scared to death to drive. Please can some one help.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #54

Oct 152014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
There was a recall on my 2012 Chevy Cruze. I got a recall notice but never did receive notice that the parts were in. However I had at the dealer having an oil change. I told him about it. It was for the brake micro switch. He said they would replace they had the part. This was on 11/14/13. I had an accident today 10/15/14. I turned into a parking place. I applied the brake but it didn't work. Car jumped the curb and ended up on top of a light maker at the library where I was parking. It was accelerating instead of braking. I applied the brake but no braking only acceleration. I want to file this complainant. VIN # of Cruze [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- New Richmond , OH, USA

problem #53

Sep 032014


  • 42,000 miles
While driving on the highway, at a safe and reasonable distance from the vehicle in front of me, the vehicle in front of me braked. I stepped on my brakes, and my vehicle did not stop properly. I pressed on my brakes firmly and my vehicle continued not to brake/slow properly and my vehicle continued going forward. The vehicle in front of my stopped and my car continued to go forward, crashing into the back end of the vehicle in front of me. I pressed on my brakes and they didn't work. I was able to turn my vehicle towards the left trying to avoid crashing into the vehicle in front of me. I was able to turn my vehicle left and avoid crashing head on, but encountered severe front end damage to the right passenger side of my vehicle. All I can say is, my brakes did not work properly. I pressed on them and my vehicle did not stop like it normally does. (this vehicle is my mother's car. I have driven it in the past and brakes worked fine)

- Worcester , MA, USA

problem #52

Jun 122014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I was driving to my parents house and was at a place where I had to turn so I turned and my steering wheel locked up and I almost hit someone because my steering wheel wouldn't turn. This has happened several times and every time stability track pops up on my screen and my radio flickers on and off and my blinker doesn't make a sound when this happens. Now my brakes are starting to act up too when I press the brakes sometimes it rocks back and fourth while I'm stopped also the car makes a funny noise while in park.

- Whitesboro, TX, USA

problem #51

May 012012


  • 100 miles
From the beginning I had a recall for the oil pan a week after purchasing the car. There has been numerous times the heating had to be worked on and still not fixed. It stills smells like antifreeze when its on. The right brake cylinder went bad a few months after the purchased. The windshield sometimes whistles when you go down the highway at 65 mph. Now after my last oil change the other day, they said I need to take it back because there is a transmission leak. Not to mention where I got the car from, they act like they don't care to help fix the problem. Very frustrated!

- Maryville, TN, USA

problem #50

Aug 042014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 26,500 miles
Loss of brake assist at start up. Occured (4) times after recall #12213 was performed by dealer.

- Flushing, MI, USA

problem #49

May 152014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
On several occurrences the brakes from my 2012 Chevy Cruze have failed to work. This is especially true when backing up. The brake pedal gets really hard and you really need to push hard on brake pedal to slow down, vehicle will not always stop. I have noticed it the ac is running this will happen every time I back up. I have had many instances where I have almost hit other cars or objects. I am extremely worried about this because I usually have my 2 young children with me when this happens. I have taken my car into the local dealership to get this checked out. They have told me that the vacuum switch has already been replaced and there would be a $100 charge to diagnose the problem even though my vehicle is still covered by warranty. The last time I took it in they said nothing was wrong with my vehicle, even though I am still experiencing poor braking.

- El Prado, NM, USA

problem #48

Jul 242014


  • 45,000 miles
When putting the 2012 Cruze in reverse the brakes would fail temporarily forcing me to push the car into park. A week later the radio start to turn on and off. At this point in time Aug 7 2014 only the brakes have been fixed.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #47

Jun 302014


  • 47,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. As a result, the contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. There were no injuries. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 13V360000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 47,500.

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #46

Jun 272014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 22,500 miles
Loss of power brake assist, requiring excessive force to stop vehicle. Barely stopped in time to avoid collision with vehicle ahead. Second incident. First incident was approximately 2-3 weeks ago when backing up in driveway.

- Flushing, MI, USA

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