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 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Sep 212014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 41,495 miles


The radio would go off, as well as the dash lights and a wrench would appear but no engine code would appear. This would occur several more times then the entire car would stall out, or turn its self off basically. The key remains stuck in the ignition unable to turn the car on or remove it. All power is lost. I have taken it to my Chevrolet dealership many times but there is nothing that they can do because it does not act up for them. What can I do?

- Donora, PA, USA

problem #65

Aug 232014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
I purchased my 2012 Chevy Cruze back in August 2012 at the Chevy dealer in montebello with "0" miles. Two weeks after I purchased the car it began to give me problems. It began to make this very loud noise like if I was driving a trailer. I took it to the dealer an I was told it was normal which is bs because I've never heard a small car that makes noise like that. I wasn't allowed to get refunded I was just given a bunch of bs. A month later it kept doing the same thing but this time the noise was coming from the hood, took it to the dealer and nothing. 3rd time I filed a complaint and said I was going to file a lawsuit and the took my car in an apparently they had to change my radiator, fan, brakes along with the disk. Even after all this my car continued doing the same thing but now it turns off!! I tried to turn on my car this Saturday and it just wouldn't start. It said something about theft, I disconnected the battery and then it gave a message about check power steering! this will be my 5th time taking it in! I think I have gotten ripped off!! I regret purchasing this vehicle!! now im stuck with a jacked up car and a very high car payment that is not even worth paying for. And to top it off the dealer I purchased it from is no help!! they seem to get upset every time you take the car and tell them there is something wrong with it. Im a mother of 3 and my biggest fear is something happening to my children because of this. I purchase this car because I needed something reliable since im always on the road. One thing for sure, if any of my children get hurt because of this I will file a lawsuit because you guys are receiving many complaints and you are not doing anything about it.!!

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #64

Aug 172014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
First the car would not start. After multiple attempts it did start and service anti theft system flashed. Shortly after, while stopped, all of the dash lights began flickering on and off causing multiple service codes to flash. Then while driving the power steering would stop working at random times.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #63

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 #62

Aug 052014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Besides the transmission complaint I have already made, I am also experiencing constant electrical issues. An update was already ran on the car's computer for this complaint and the ignition switch was lubricated (hopefully that will prevent the steering lock up that others experience). Neither GM solution has provided an end to my trouble. Dinging when keys aren't in, car won't always start, service this or that dash lights, radio display goes on and off, I can't open my trunk without the push button key fob, the steering is now pulling, and also the headlights are now turning off and on without my hand. There is something wrong with the electrical components of my car, things I should never have to concern myself with...which could lead to any malfunction but the Chevrolet techs can not diagnose what they see with their own eyes because the computer of the car doesn't tell them anything is wrong. Aren't there alternate troubleshooting methods included with the blueprint they designed besides relying on a possibly third-party control module that isn't logging errors? I just hope I'm ready for whatever happens and that I can control a loss of power without suffering injury to myself or others. Scary things to think about on a 100 mile one way, highway speed commute. All of these cars should be overhauled or replaced instead of waiting to see which one's computer from which line crashes first before we put out a recall. These are real safety concerns that are killing people. Concerns that I can't just trade off to another blind consumer and their family. Concerns that either consumer or manufacturer have to pay for. We pay with our safety and hard earned dollar to own their vehicles that they make and don't take responsibility in maintaining a standard for.

- Bryan, OH, USA

problem #61

Sep 282012


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated and stalled while driving various speeds. While driving on an incline, the contact had to keep the clutch pedal depressed in first and second gear to prevent the vehicle from stalling. The accelerator pedal also had to remain depressed to maintain acceleration. The vehicle also stalled when the gear was in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than once, but the failure could not be duplicated. In addition, the air conditioning and heat were inoperable. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 100.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #60

Jun 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


I got my car in March & absolutely loved it! for the first few months I had no problems. Then I 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 multiple times but they cannot 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 safe driving. This has been going on for 2 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![xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- York, NE, USA

problem #59

Aug 022014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 50,800 miles
Car radio kept cutting on and off multiple times before all of the car lights flashed on the dashboard and steering wheel became stiff. I pulled over on the side of the road, cut the car off and pulled out the key. I put the key back in the ignition and tried to start the car and it wouldn't start. The lights and radio didn't even come on. I couldn't put the key back in the off switch nor could I pull the key out. After about a minute or so my radio came on and I was finally able to start my car.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #58

Jul 262014


  • 48,667 miles
Stopped car tried to back up and it did not, then tried to turn off vehicle and the key would not go into the turn off mode. Could not turn the steering wheel, could not release the key, could not turn off the engine. The radio kept turning itself on. Waited 2 hours for triple a to come to tow the car to dealership. Engine ran for two hours. Tow arrived the driver said he had to force the gear shift several times in order to release the steering wheel and key and to turn off the engine so he could tow it. Also noticed an anti-freeze leak and this is being fixed under the power train warranty, do not know if is connected to the same issue. Dealer can't find anything wrong and I am afraid to drive this car.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #57

Jul 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph over a pothole, the vehicle stalled and hit a curb. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximately failure mileage was unavailable.

- Montrose, PA, USA

problem #56

Jul 222014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


2012 Chevy Cruze, 30,000 miles, bought from GM certified dealer 3 weeks ago. While driving, dashboard flickers on and off. Stabilitrak, radio, airbags, etc all flicker while driving or completely shut down. 4X last week vehicle lost all power and would not restart until nudged the battery. 15 July 2014, took to dealership, battery replaced and cables cleaned of corrosion. Vehicle starts now, but flickering continued today. Assume problem will persist and worsen due to previous complaints. Bought vehicle for reliability, see now that Chevrolet cannot provide that, nor the appropriate response of recalling this vehicle's malfunction. Not only nervous due to unreliability of vehicle and safety, but also disappointed in Chevrolet.

- Live Oak, TX, USA

problem #55

Apr 192014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 64,829 miles
On the first occurrence the lights on the radio display began to flicker and then all electrical power to the dashboard. The electrical came back on and the dash display depicted the warning message check stabilitrak. I took it to the dealership where I purchased the car and they said that high voltage codes C0800, 07 and high voltage history showed up on the scope and there were no issues. The second time the lights on the radio display began to flicker and then all electrical power to the dashboard, airbags and the electrically assisted power steering went out, while on a very steep mountain road and I had no control over the vehicle. The electrical came back on and the dash display depicted the warning message check stabilitrak. I took it to a different dealership and the dash flickering occurred with the service person in the car driving but nothing showed up when the mechanic was trying to fix it so they said there was nothing they could do. Two days later while my daughter was driving she lost power steering and the same issues with the dash and was involved in an accident, thank god her baby was not in the car. Please help!....updated 07/31/14

- Georgetown, CA, USA

problem #54

Jul 172014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
While driving, my car dash board and radio flicker and I lost total power/lights for about 15-20 seconds. Panic, as I think the car has stalled in traffic. Radio and dash lights came back on but I received an error message "service brakes on" or something similar (as it only displays for a few seconds). This is the 5th time I have experienced this problem. I have taken it in for service 3 times. 1st service call no error could be detected. The 2nd service call I was told my radio was defective, and a new one was ordered and installed. 3rd service, my car has been there for 2 days, and I am being told a technician is working on it. I am worried this car will stall on me and place me in a very dangerous situation due to not having power control due to this intermittent flicker...updated 08/11/14

- Robstown, TX, USA

problem #53

Jul 202014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Bought the car used from a non-Chevy dealer in June 2014. After about a month or so and 44000 mpg. All of a sudden, the time/temp/date display (along with the radio) started blacking out. Then a few times the "service power steering" warning light flashed on and off and we actually lost our power steering momentarily several times and today 07-20-2014 with me, my husband and 6yr old daughter in the car!!!! very scary. Then the "service stabilitrak" warning light flashed on and off as well. At the same time the time/temp/date blacks out again too. The car loses power when traveling at speeds over 50mph. All the warning lights have flickered on and off several times along with the power steering and stablitrak. This issue needs to be addressed. I will be contacting a dealer and legal action will be taken if issue isn't resolved. Peoples lives and safety are not something to be taken lightly.

- Troy, MO, USA

problem #52

Jun 082014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
I bought a 2012 Cruze in March. It ran great when I test drove it and for the first couple of months. Then at the 3rd month we started to have problems. It has about 29000 miles on it right now. All of a sudden, the time/temp/date display (along with the radio) started blacking out. Then a few times the "service power steering" warning light flashed on and off and we actually lost our power steering momentarily. Very scary. Then the "service stabilitrak" warning light flashed on and off as well. At the same time the time/temp/date blacks out again too. Our car is GM certified and still under the factory warranty, so we took it in to our local Chevy dealer. (we did not buy it from them, but it is closer than the place we bought it) they have tried at least 3 times to fix it since this started. But when they drive it, nothing happens. It only does it when we are driving!. now the Chevy dealer can't find anything wrong on the computer, they can't duplicate the problem when they drive it. They replaced the brake module. No luck. After about 3 weeks, they returned the car to us last night and said we should get rid of it. I am completely shocked. I don't know what to do. The service person even told us to take it back where we bought it and demand they give us a different car! I picked up the car last night and this morning drove it about 1 mile and the time/temp display went out again, even longer than before. Can't hear the blinker blink and, the "service stabilitrak" light went on again. Please help! force GM to recall these. I am afraid to drive it. Part of the frustration is that the dealership service personnel said they called GM and the engineers, and other dealerships and they said none of them had ever had this happen. I don't believe them.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #51

Jun 192014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
On this particular occurrence the lights on the radio display began to flicker and then all electrical power to the dashboard, airbags, and the electrically assisted power steering went out. It remained off for approximately 10 to 15 seconds. As a result I had no control over the vehicle. The electrical came back on and the dash display depicted the warning message check stabilititrak, or words to that effect. I took it to the dealership and they said that nothing showed up on the scope and there was nothing they could do. This has also happened to my grand daughter on 07/09/2014 out in Colorado as she is using the vehicle for school and work. Again the dealer states there is nothing showing up on the scope and they have not been able to duplicate the issue even though she had her friend record the event with their cell phone. During this event the vehicle could not be restarted after the vehicle was turned off in a parking lot. After an hour wait the vehicle was started.

- Hudson, WI, USA

problem #50

Aug 142013


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated while driving at 40 mph, the service stabilitrak warning indicator illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The contact had to tug on the battery cable in order to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. However, the mechanic could not duplicate the problem but decided to remove some clips on the battery cable as a temporary remedy. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #49

May 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Consumer requests reimbursement for vehicle defect repairs. According to the invoice, the vehicle lost power and shut off while driving. The dealer replaced the battery and fuse block on the battery.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #48

Jul 052014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
-the following symptoms occur intermittently (approximately one time per month) -while operating the vehicle, the issue typically begins with the center radio display and sound flickering on and off. -next, various electrical systems in the car begin to malfunction. This includes traction control, power steering, headlights, turn signals cruise control, window functions, and brake lights. -the vehicle does not only report the system malfunction, but will actually experience failure (etc, power steering is actually disabled in the car). Power steering was once lost at the bottom of a switchback in the mountains. I nearly lost control of the vehicle. -after this issue occurs, if the vehicle is turned off it will not restart for 30-60 minutes (unless the battery is disconnected and reconnected). -during this period it will not restart, none of the electrical functions of the car will work (doors will not lock, windows will not move, lights will not turn on, etc). -also, during this period I have noticed a sound within the dashboard. This sounds like a small electric motor running for approximately 60 seconds.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #47

Jul 032014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 28,450 miles
Several times now (usually after it rains but persisting long after) I have been having electrical problems with my 2012 Chevy Cruze. At random, the radio loses power and may come back on automatically or flicker continuously. It occasionally happens when I press the brake, use the turn signal, or roll down the window. About every 3rd time on average that I have noticed this I also see a message come across the display that says "service stabilitrak" or other random messages or dash lights. Once the "power steering" notification came on and I could feel the car lose power steering for only a moment. One other thing that has happened was that my horn sounded all on it's own when the radio flickered. I called my dealership and they had me bring my car in for testing after this first happened. They were unable to find anything wrong with my car, and after they performed these tests my car did not malfunction again for quite a while. It is scary driving down the road when this happens because I don't know if I am losing power to the headlights/tail lights when this is happening, and since it happens at random I can't just ask someone if it is happening. Glad to see other people are having this problem, because the people at the car dealership looked at me like I was insane :/ please help GM, please find what is causing these short circuits and issue a recall!

- Perry, NY, USA

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