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 1 of 7)

problem #126

Dec 242016


  • 50,000 miles


I just bought my Chevy Cruze on Dec 18th 2016 and on Dec 24th 2016 my car wouldn't start while in park, no warning lights, no peeping, no nothing just would not start, I waited a few minutes then it started. I drove about 10 or more miles to my dads was there about 5 minutes got in my car to leave, same thing, wouldn't start, again no peeping, no warning lights nothing, waited about 3 to 5 minutes and it started. I immediately took it to the dealer, they told meto bring it in the following sat which was Dec. 31, 2016, the car started the rest of that week no problem. Took the car in on Dec. 31, 2016, they still have my car and it is January 7th, 2017, they can't find what is wrong. I have since done research on this car and found out it is the most unreliable car out there. I drive an 82 year old lady to her appointments and I can't risk being in an accident because of car problems. I got rid of a 1994 Ford escort because of it breaking down all the time, now it sounds like I just traded that in for the same damn thing just a different make and model. I am not dealing with it, I'm taking the car back one way or the other. Very disappointed in dealership selling me this car, specifically told them I needed a safe reliable car and they sell me the worst rating car on the damn lot. Never ever will I buy a Chevy or a Ford again. We will see how the dealer makes this right if I go back to them or give them a good review. It has been 7 days now and they still have my car and everyday I'm told the same thing, don't know what the problem is, don't know when we will give you your car back. Much longer dealing with this and they can talk to my attorney. I don['t want the car back, trade it in or give me my money back. This is bull.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #125

Dec 282016


  • miles
Radio is turning on and off. Stabilitytrak control light comes on power steering give out and brakes

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #124

Sep 182016


  • 84,000 miles
When I start my car, the four way flashers turn on, my trunk opens, wipers go off, interior lights flicker, and serve power steering appears. I brought it into the dealer, they replaced the negative battery cable for a second time, and ran an electrical diagnosis. I was told it was the battery cable, the issues are still occurring.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #123

Aug 302016


  • 68,000 miles


While driving, radio display and speakers turn on and off. Started June 2016 and has progressively gotten worse. Seems to happen when turning the vehicle and or pressing the brakes. Stabilitrack/traction control error message appears on dash. All ABS related icons flash. Sometimes it happens once. Sometimes it's repetitive until I turn the car off and then turn it back on. Doesn't matter how fast I'm going and the longer the trip, the more frequent it is. Based on what I've learned about this, it should be covered by special coverage 14311B but my dealership gives me the run around and asks silly questions about if my battery is in good condition and if I think I need a new alternator. If it was the battery, the radio/speakers wouldn't be the only item(s) that turned off. From what I'm learning, this problem gets worse and power steering or full vehicle function is diminished or goes off completely. Not sure what more needs to happen to Chevy customers for Chevy to make this a recall.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #122

May 212016


  • 96,000 miles
I noticed my car wasn't beeping when I tried to lock it. I tried to start my car and it completely shut down. I managed to get my hood open and disconnected the battery cables. It was fine for a few weeks then the "check stabilitrack" went off and my car shut down. I made it to my destination and it shut down completely. I tried to disconnect it and even that didn't work. Upon further investigation many had had this issue and it's not the stabilitrak its apparently the ground cable to the battery (black cable). My car will work but will occasionally completely reset the system so trying to save the time or date is pointless. I want this investigated!

- Whitesboro, TX, USA

problem #121

Aug 192016


  • miles
This is the second complaint that our government refuses to investigate for the government motors Chevrolet cruz vehicle. While driving, the radio will start to power cycle and the dash board instrument panel will also start flashing on and off. The vehicle will also shut completely off while driving. This will continue until you remove battery terminals and then reattach. This is happening to many Chevy cruz's and the NHTSA refuses to do anything about it. I would upload videos but this antiquated government site doesn't want to see real facts

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #120

Jul 082016


  • 43,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While the vehicle was stationary, the key fob fractured. The key fob was repaired, but the issue recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 43,000.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #119

May 012016


  • 140,000 miles
The car will not turn off when the key is turned off and removed. It will just sit there and run until it decides to quit on it's own. I would really hate to have to shut it down in an emergency and not be able to. That could get someone seriously hurt or killed! also, the vapor canister vent/purge vent valve is defective. This seems to be a common problem with this model car and if that is the case, there should be a recall.

- Sandy Ridge, NC, USA

problem #118

Jun 122016


  • 0 miles
Trunk electric open button does not work, must use the remote trunk button to open trunk. I hope that no small child should climb in trunk and close the trunk lid. When car is stationary. And remote is not close by.

- Roy, UT, USA

problem #117

Sep 122012


  • 10,000 miles
I've went through 7 turbos, I bought the car brand new. Im now having electrical issues with it.

- Lake Geneva, WI, USA

problem #116

Mar 262016


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 10 mph, the stabilitrac warning light illuminated, the power steering failed, and the instrument panel and radio lost power. The vehicle was not taken to be diagnosed or repaired. The contact stated that the failure recurred three times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Royal Oaks, MI, USA

problem #115

Feb 052016


  • 70,000 miles
On several occasions my vehicle has lost power steering service. I have almost crashed into a metro rail and into another vehicle because I am unable to turn my wheel. On another occasion, I was about to park and the car turned off on me; the key was locked into the ignition and I couldn't turn it, the doors locked and nothing worked. I was stuck inside until after about 5 minutes, the car unlocked everything and the ECU turned back on. I've had to take it to the dealership twice for this problem and they have told me it's covered under a "special service" but these incidents happened almost a year apart. I do not believe the car is fixed. Also, the service stabilitrak and other lights flash on and off and so do my radio.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #114

Mar 022016


  • 60,000 miles
The turn signals quit working intermittent, radio display goes out like it is switched off, digital speedometer changes settings, these conditions occur when vehicle is driven. The service theft deterrent system comes on when vehicle is parked.

- Kronenwetter, WI, USA

problem #113

Feb 012016


  • 50,000 miles
While driving the power steering shuts off, radio blinks on and off, and the brakes get spongy making it hard to drive and stop. I have had it in the shop and the mechanics were unable to find an problem.

- Burnet, TX, USA

problem #112

Feb 092016


  • 36,000 miles
I just purchased my 2012 Chevy Cruze 3 months ago, it has 36,000 miles. Last week when I started off to work I got a reduced engine power message and the car would not accelerate. I read the manuel and followed the instructions, turned off the car, waited and restarted, but it still would not accelerate. I checked online for reported problems with the car and found that many people have had the same issue. I called the dealership and was told I could take the car in but would have to pay for any repairs because there was no recall on this problem. A few days later I started the car and it seemed fine so I tried driving it. It was fine for the first 15 minutes but then the reduced engine power light came on again and the car would not accelerate once again. I had to pull off to the side of the road, turn off the car and wait several minutes to be able to drive a short distance before the problem happened again. Thank god I was not on the highway when this happened or I could have been in a terrible accident. I can not believe that with so many owners reporting the same problem there has not been a recall. Also it appears the manufacturer was aware of the problem from the beginning because in the owners manuel they tell you what to do if this should happen.

- Fortville, IN, USA

problem #111

Feb 132016


  • 87,000 miles
Recall 14311 but dealer does not do anything about it, my car have done this few times already but last couple of times it was really scary because I lost total control over the vehicle including steering and braking the car just show a sing on the dash and radio goes of as well as the rest of the vehicle electrical parts, almost causing a crash due to this issue, I was driving about 35mph and 40mph when this happen, also I notice the it happens when I use my turn signals and when I press up or down on the windows

- Franklin Park, IL, USA

problem #110

Jan 012016


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at an unknown speed, the power steering warning lights illuminated and the headlamps turned off without warning. The contact experienced several electrical issues with the vehicle, including the key failing to dislodge from the ignition switch. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #109

Dec 272015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Ac off due to high temp, thermostat replaced 2014. Ac off due to high temp again, thermostat replaced May 20, 2015.. Dec 27th, 2015 ac off due to high temp again- car overheated in 10 degre weather. Thermostat being replaced for the third time!!

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #108

Sep 152015


  • 75,000 miles
My 2012 Chevrolet Cruze starting in September this year 2015 the car had 75,000 miles on it when it started with the dash lights, fan, radio and display all randomly shutting off and turning on. Sometimes when this happens the stabilitrack display will come on and this can happen at anytime but usually when the car is going slow or stopped, I first noticed it when applying the breaks. This however is not the extent of it as now when I shut the car off it has kept my keys and would not start either. Eventually when this has happened fortunately it came back to life and displayed a theft protection display. I called the local GM dealer who services my car and I was told they have never heard of such a problem however when I go online there are dozens if not hundreds of complaints related directly to these type of issues with the Chevrolet Cruze. I also posted a complaint on a car website to try to help communicate this issue with other Chevrolet Cruze owners who have the same or similar issues.

- Chippewa Falls, WI, USA

problem #107

Oct 212015


  • 58,000 miles
My radio flickers on and off, my ABS llight, check engine light and other lights flicker off and on real fast and on my odometer I get a reading "traction control" and something about stabilitrak control. Everything flickers so fast it's hard to see everything that lights up. Apparently many others have had the exact same issues.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

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