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:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,700 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #86

Feb 062015


  • 37,420 miles


2012 Chevy Cruze 6-speed eco. After driving approx 15 mile in city traffic, came to a stop and parked. Applied the parking brake and the car started beeping. I looked at the instrument panel and noticed speedometer was pegging at around 90mph and the display flashed that the hand brake was on. At the same time the radio volume raised. After I released the parking brake, within a few seconds the gauge returned to normal but the radio volume stayed high. I turned the car off.

- Maryland, MD, USA

problem #85

Feb 022015


  • 64,028 miles
The car computer system is glitching. Turning on and off. Says to service stability trak. I have not messed this car up or been in any wrecks.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #84

Jan 082015


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while in a residential driveway, the vehicle caught on fire without warning. The vehicle was destroyed. It was unknown if a fire or police report was filed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure was 42,000.

- Iowa Falls , IA, USA

problem #83

Aug 062013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 28,374 miles


8/6/13-the trunk release switch does not work. Diagnosis was faulty trunk release switch, the technician replaced it. HVAC blower motor is noisy and rattles can be heard inside and outside of the car. Also had intermittent delay when turning HVAC on. Technician replaced the blower motor. Could not find reason for delay. 1/22/14 - HVAC burning smell when running heat. Technician replaced HVAC case with new design grease on it. Filled coolant. 7/24/14- same thing happened to trunk release was replaced again. Outside temperature sensor did not work, it was replaced. The vent in car for blow tab broke off, it was replaced.

- Dryden, MI, USA

problem #82

Jun 132013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Consumer stated the vehicle would power off, and ignition would not turn or keys could not be removed. The consumer stated the vehicle would spontaneously shut down while driving for no apparent reason. When the vehicle shut down, she was unable to turn the ignition or remove the key. Nothing in the vehicle worked, when the vehicle sh*t down. After 20 minutes, she was finally able to start the vehicle. After driving 100 feet, the vehicle would shut off again. The dealer examined the vehicle, but was unable to diagnose the problem. The consumer continued to experience the same problem. The consumer decided to sell the vehicle.

- Las Vegas, NM, USA

problem #81

Nov 242014


  • 51,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving approximately 30 mph, the radio shut off when the heat was activated. The contact also stated that the key fob failed to lock and unlock the doors. When the vehicle was in the park position, the stability track and traction control lights illuminated. The failures occurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 51,500.

- Hirram, GA, USA

problem #80

Nov 212014


  • 58,715 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated while exiting a freeway at 30 mph, a loud clunk noise emitted as the vehicle failed to accelerate. After safely parking, the contact noticed that the check engine, service air bag, service power steering and emergency brake lights illuminated on the instrument panel. Also, the contact mentioned that all other electrical components such as door locks, hazard lights, and windows failed to work as well. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician stated that the wiring to the power box had to be rewired. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 58,715.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #79

Nov 192014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 75,300 miles
This is a very well known problem with Chevy owners. I have done countless hours of research and seen hundreds of forums and articles related exactly to this specific issue. Now it has to be brought to the attention of the federal government to issue a recall. I own a 1.4L turbo automatic 2lt Chevy Cruze 2012. This problem has been happening since the first year I purchased the vehicle however is getting much worse. Reduced engine power. The engine light comes on, a "!" shows up on the screen and the cars speed is reduced to 4 or 5 mph with in a matter of seconds. This has happened to myself as well as hundreds of other people from what the internet says. This is very unsafe especially considering some people have families and drive with children such as myself on highway systems. I experienced this while trying to accelerate into an intersection and got an immediate engine speed reduction. This could have killed my daughter and I if the vehicles in the intersection were unable to stop in time. Please do what is necessary to get this vehicle part or issue recalled and or recognized immediately!

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #78

Apr 012014


  • 19,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the instrument panel darkened while driving various speeds. In addition, the key was stuck in the ignition when the contact attempted to restart the vehicle. The vehicle battery had to be disconnected in order to release the key from the ignition. The failure occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer six times for the failure; however, the dealer was unable to locate a failure code. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 19,000.

- Clay , NY, USA

problem #77

Oct 302014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My problems started with my trunk popping open on its own while driving and while parked. This is concerning not only to my loss of Focus on the road because of this, I also worry about who ever is driving behind me should something fly out of my trunk. Also my windshield wiper blade on the driver side comes off the motor clip this is very dangerous while raining I have to drive with out visibility. My car then decided not to start and when I finally got it to start it told my airbags needed servicing, my power steering, ABS brakes, traction control, and stabilitrack. There was no control of the car. That had went away and was able to get car safely to the dealership to get it serviced today. This seems to be a problem with other 2012 Chevy Cruze's in which I have done research. Something needs to be done about these electrical issues before someone ends up getting killed.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #76

Jan 012014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic light, the radio would shut off and on independently, and the instrument panel gauges would flicker. Also, the contact mentioned that the warning lights on the instrument panel would randomly illuminate and the power steering failed causing her to use extreme force to control the steering wheel. The vehicle would resume normal operation. In addition, the key failed to release from the ignition and the contact had to have the vehicle jump started. The dealer diagnosed that all the electrical cords were corroded. However, the parts to the repair was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #75

Oct 152014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
While driving down the road the radio display goes blank. This includes the radio- temperauire controls, etc- otherwise known as the digital info center.

- Effingham, SC, USA

problem #74

Jul 262014


  • 19,230 miles
Driving on interstate 10 when electrical lighting, radio, etc start blinking on and off. I was on my way from Florida to North Carolina when it happened, I turned around and went to Chevrolet dealer where I bought it, was checked out and mechanic said they couldn't find anything wrong. Drove to North Carolina and when I arrived at my son's home the same thing happened twice. We took it to Chevrolet dealer in mooresville, nc, they found out through GM it was the electrical box causing all the problems and they replaced it with a new one. I wasn't in an accident but it made me scared to drive it. I feel as though GM should have recalled it and not make the consumer wondering. I would like GM to be notified about this and to also hear from them.

- Live Oak, FL, USA

problem #73

Aug 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
Since purchase as used, slow start speed with the engine almost cutting out. Radio flickering on and off. Engine cutting out when idling. Engine light for mass air flow (maf) sensor replacement. Replaced maf sensor and problem remains. Engine fan staying on long after engine has shut off and cooled. Service lights coming of for stabilitrack and other random issues. Front cigarette lighter won't charge devices. Tire air pressure sensors backwards on display, I.e. display right front tire is actually left front tire pressure.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #72

Jan 152014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My trunk opened at random when I was headed to work. This occurred many times when I was driving and as well as when the car was parked and locked. It could have caused an accident due to a distraction and having to pull over, items falling out in front of vehicle following, and also could have had items stolen. Since the middle of summer, it has stopped that issue but, the trunk will not open with the button on the rear of the trunk. The only way it open is with the key fob. This is very inconvenient and has happened to many others. I have stopped at a few Chevrolet dealers asking for them to fix this before my warranty expired but they would not cover it.

- Penacook, NH, USA

problem #71

Sep 092013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Anti theft system killed engine on car would not start, radio flickered on and off lost sound and display have had issue with radio many times since put display on voltage and noticed it showed 12.8 to 15.9 volts when this occurred. Definite issue some where and noticed the last time this occurred steering got tight. This needs to be researched and a fix provided. Dealer can not duplicate when there also have had car lock itself.

- Smithfield, PA, USA

problem #70

Sep 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 20,500 miles
Radio turns on and off repeatedly including the upper display, the smaller display flickers and will show a service stabilitrak notice. Several warning lights on the dash also light up: Brake, stabilitrak, and ABS. No GM bulletins nor a recall for this problem and dealership cannot fix problem after several visits.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #69

Sep 242014


  • 24,354 miles
2012 Chevy Cruze with less than 25,000 miles on it. While driving, the traction control light will come on the dic and then service stabilitrack and the car would die down for a brief second and the radio will cut off. I made an appointment to a dealer and they said to drive with the traction control off until it gets in. Now it is doing the same thing with the traction control off. It is also doing this in reverse! this car is still under warranty with GM, but I'm afraid that I will have the same luck as others on here who are experiencing the same problems and nothing will get fixed. I'm also afraid that this will occur at an even greater rate and longer while driving causing an accident! something needs to be done to fix this problem in this model!

- Cynthiana, KY, USA

problem #68

Sep 182014


  • 30,000 miles
Service engine light came on at about 29,000 miles, so I took it to the dealership. After diagnostic it was determined that the thermostat had gone bad, so they replaced the thermostat and the holding mount. Then Saturday on the way to work the service engine light came back on. I stopped for gas then the car would not restart. I had to have the car towed back to the dealership. It was determined that the cam shaft sensor also went bad. The car also hesitates when shifting gears in low speeds.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #67

Jul 302014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I bought this car for my daughter, the second or third week after she got it she started to notice the radio flickering on and off while driving for no reason, which eventually led to the radio flickering continuously after using blinkers &windows. "service stabilitrak" flashes on the display often but very quickly and goes off. Doesn't occur every time I drive, but it does it more times than not. Now the radio will flicker and I will occasionally lose cruise control and power steering. I also have no blinkers/radio when this happens. It usually only happens briefly and will return to normal soon after, but it continues to do it off and on until I park. I have also noticed this occurring when I shift gears to park. Most recently I went to start my car and it just clicked and wouldn't start. I got it to start and it said "service anti theft deterrent, " then changed to "service power steering" just as I lost power steering while driving. "service stabilitrak quickly flashed next all while I lost blinkers, power steering, and radio. I parked, turned my car off and restarted it and it was just fine. It has been to the Chevy dealer once but they could not get a code to read because they can't get the radio to flicker, etc because it only happens every so often but when it does happen it is scary! so there is nothing they can do to fix it. Please look into it as I do not feel it is safe for her to drive. This has been going on for 3 months now and I do not feel like this car is reliable which is the reason I bought it! there has to be something that can be done as I have read several complaints that are extremely similar to mine! I also have come to the conclusion that the problems are going to continue to worsen after reading the other is a major problem. Please don't wait until something tragic happens before something is done about this! please!

- Roxie, MS, USA

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