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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,985 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

problem #5

Jul 152012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the driver attempted to decelerate but the brakes failed to respond and the driver crashed into a concrete mailbox. The driver sustained extensive injuries to the back, arm and neck. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 15,000. Updated 06/17/14

- Crossville, TN, USA

problem #4

Oct 222012


  • 9,900 miles
There is a small of antifreeze in my car that has been making me sick since three months after I purchased car and GM or the dealer has no way of fixing it doing all kinds of other things and telling me that they cant smell it. Also I have been having brake problems as well and finally on Feb 1, 2014 they decided to replaced brakes and rotors on my car.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #3

Apr 302012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 25 miles
Coolant odor in passenger compartment from day one. Water pump replaced twice in the previous 8 months. Still leaks coolant. Vehicle is unsafe because you never know when or where you will become disabled and need to be towed ie: Highway location, night, bad neighborhood etc.. my wife no longer wants to drive this vehicle. Also have had the braking recall done twice now, so far so good, but for how long?

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #2

Nov 132013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle brake failure. On November 13, 2013, the consumer merged into to stop and go traffic. Shortly after merging, another motorist applied his/her brakes. The consumer applied pressure to the brake, but nothing happened. There was no catch, no grinding, and no deceleration as the brake was applied. Consequently, the consumer rear ended the vehicle in front of her. The consumer stated the brakes failed to engage. However, no problem was found and according to the black box in the vehicle, the brakes were operational at the time of the accident. The consumer received a recall notice, a month before the accident. However, the parts were not available.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #1

Oct 112012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while reversing from a driveway, the brakes failed to respond without warning. The contact stated that additional force was applied to the brake pedal in order to stop the vehicle. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer twice however, the failure was unable to be duplicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, who informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 13V360000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 25,000. Updated 11/13/13

- Lake Arthur, LA, USA

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