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 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Mar 272013


  • 28,000 miles


Strong odor of coolant entering the interior of car when heater is used. Becomes stronger if window is open while driving. Odor is not present when at standstill. Open opening hood with engine off odor can be sensed near the water pump area. Dealer replaced water pump a week ago to remedy the problem. The vehicle has 28 K on it.

- Mc Gregor, MN, USA

problem #5

Nov 012011

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
Cruze has a coolant smell both inside and outside of the car. Apparently this is an extremely common issue with the Cruze vehicles. GM has yet to fix the issue with these vehicles.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #4

Dec 032012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 800 miles
This car would suddenly and without warning surge/lunge forward creating a safety hazard to all including other drivers. I have had it back to the dealer twice and they have confirmed and duplicated my observations and concerns however, at first they thought it was electronic and then decided to rebuild the transmission after they found metal fragments within this sealed component. This is a brand new car so why would they not replace the car, give back my money or at the very least replace the transmission rather than repair it" the car has now been in the shop for 18 of the 40 something days that I have owned it and its still there today. I am not convinced that the transmission is the real problem and I'm skeptical that GM truly knows what the issue is. I would be interested to know if other Cruze owners are also experiencing this safety issue" I am also disappointed that GM doesn't simply return the few dollars I have invested and let this car fly off into the sunset. I have been a consistant GM buyer for many many years and this particular situation has left a bad taste in my mouth to say the least.

- Lost Creek, KY, USA

problem #3

Oct 202012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles


The vehicles lights started flashing (radio, warning lights on dash) and then the turn signal would not work. Dealer found no problems. Similar problems happened over next month and then car would not start/respond to remote. Brought car to dealer while lights blinking and service department saw problem. Car would not start while at the lot and service department pushed it into garage. Checked vehicle for week and found no problem and then it happened again. Kept car again. After car returned, car would not respond when shut off and attempted to get out of car (locked in). The car was in park and turned off and the occupant could not get out of the car. Restarted car and then locks worked. Dealer found no problems. Since then had an incident when car was parked and turned off and it took two tries for occupant to get out of car. Concerned about safety if occupant is locked inside car.

- Bemidji, MN, USA

problem #2

Jul 132012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 5,300 miles
Tire monitor system gives warning that it needs service, have been to dealership twice in the past two days for same problem and now must go again because warning light is back on to service tire monitor system.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #1

May 232012


  • 10,188 miles
I was driving home and out of nowhere my 2012 Chevy Cruze dings and says "engine overheating A/C turned off, " I was very surprised but kept driving and literally one minute later the car dings again. There is a different message that says "idle engine overheating, " at this point I am very worried and I pull over and call the Chevy dealership that I bought the car from and explain what has occurred. I was advised to bring the car into the service department. So, I start the car up and begin the drive over to the dealership that is about 15 minutes away because of traffic. Not three minutes into the drive I get the same message "idle engine overheating, " I'm very nervous but keep going and about two minutes later I get a new message "shut engine off engine overheating." I call the dealership and they tell me that I am close enough that I should just continue and drive to the dealership. I get about 200 yards from the entrance of the dealership and my engine starts smoking. I have had this car for less than seven months and I basically only use it to drive to work and school. I take very good care of my vehicles, I get the oil changed every 4,000-5,000 miles, in fact I got an oil change less than a week ago.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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