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:
6 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,449 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #89

Mar 172016


  • miles


Vehicle has 29,980 approximate miles. Vehicle had a leaking torque converter seal. While dealership was removing transmission, a stray bolt fell from the interior of the motor. Bolt does not belong to car. It has damaged the bell housing. No other damage has been reported at this moment.

- Busseron, IN, USA

problem #88

Mar 092016


  • 48,000 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Cruze eco new and currently have 48K miles on it. This weekend the Cruze twice had the following problems: 1. dic error - engine power reduced 2. dic error - service stabilitrak 3. check engine light engine power was reduced to peak out at 10 mph. Luckily the power steering was unaffected and I was able to get the Cruze home without accident. Letting the Cruze sit for a few minutes in the off position seemed to clear the issue, but it was still scary to have the engine shut down like it did. Local dealer confirmed that the throttle body was junk and replaced it but not under any warranty. Total cost was $400. Dealer confirmed that similar issue is occurring with Sierra pickups and the TB is covered under the powertrain warranty. Very disappointed that the TB was not covered as an engine component. Many Cruze owners are having this problem...look on The TB should not be wearing out at 48K...or 100K.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #87

Feb 172016


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle cuts out while at a stop light like it wants to shut off, car was running about 10 minutes and in motion at 30 mph for 5 minutes when it started, then drove on the highway for 30 minutes and through town another 10 minutes, when I got home it was still cutting out, I was almost home when I noticed the engine light came on. Today I did fill my gas tank. It has done this on other occasions but not as bad as it did today and this was the first time the engine light came on. My car has a little over 70,000 miles on it, I've done regular oil changes, when I looked under the hood I noticed liquid around my motor gaskets and the tray under it, I couldn't tell if it was oil or antifreeze. Warranty has ran out.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #86

Jan 292016


  • 59,785 miles


61,000 miles and car is showing repeated P2135 codes for throttle/pedal senor issue and places the car in limited power mode. Event has happened during warm-up, at stop signs and lights, local street speeds, and during highway travel/speeds. I have cleared the issue using obd II tool and phone app.

- Oxford, PA, USA

problem #85

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 #84

Feb 092016


  • 69,265 miles
Around sunrise on a highway with an adult passenger the car lost all power instantly. The steering was heavy and the brakes had very little power. We was able to drift over to a safe area. The way this car performs with little braking effort it can cause some bad accidents in other enviroments such as mountains. The safety of the Chevrolet Cruze models needs to be improve.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #83

Feb 022016


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 40 mph, the cooling fan was activated and the thermostat gauge indicated that the vehicle was running hot. Upon further notice, the contact noticed liquid leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic where it was diagnosed that the water pump, water pump housing, and the thermostat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #82

Dec 152015


  • 54,000 miles
While driving the car loses power and comes back. This happens at any speed or even taking off from a stop sign. There have been several occisions

- Mexico, MO, USA

problem #81

Nov 182015


  • 30,000 miles
Chevrolet Cruze recall my 2012 Chevrolet Cruze was recalled twice, once of overheating while driving, and once for brake failure when crawling, such a parking. The dealership tried to fix these problems, but the brakes still fail, and now the uses 1 quart every week. The brake failure recently reoccurred when my spouse was parking and she hit a wall and damages the car. The dealer has since told me they do not know why the car is consuming oil, so I have elevated the issue to GM I think that the ntsb has to further monitor this problem to ascertain why the recalled items are still failing.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #80

Nov 262015


  • 43,224 miles
We had 6 recalls we never new about turn out the car broke down call dealer and said we receive that day a recall car was not drivable call power train they sent a wreaker recall were fix now their charging 2,200 for a ecotec turbocharger that's crack in a GM web site wheres their is a recall but yet have not receive one this is a single mom of 4 kids we need car fix asap help please my brother has a wrecker service its in fort stockton tx not drivable bad load nose just started in motion this car 3yrs old very upset.

- Alpine, TX, USA

problem #79

Aug 152015


  • miles


Smells like burning oil took car to my mechanic and said there is some oil spilling on side of engine.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #78

Dec 152014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated and there was a strong oil odor coming from the vehicle. In addition, there was excessive smoke coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that there was an oil leak, but the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

problem #77

Oct 232015


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. After filling the vehicle with fuel, the contact started the vehicle and it made a sputtering noise and began to shake. The contact stated that the engine warning indicator was consistently illuminated. The contact turned the key to the off position; however, the engine did not power off. It took several attempts to power the engine off. The contact released the accelerator pedal and kept the vehicle parked for approximately five minutes until the shaking and sputtering ceased. The failure recurred on several occasions when fueling the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that an unknown sensor was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 106,000.

- Honaker, VA, USA

problem #76

Oct 172015


  • 50,000 miles
Twice I have walked back to my car & found that the engine has remained on. After parking, I press the engine on/off button, exit the car, lock all doors with the fob and walk away. This time, I parked in a very large, crowded public parking lot. I was at least 6 blocks away from the car for 2 hours. Thankfully, this has occurred when the car is outside, not in my garage. In recent light of people succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning due to this very situation occurring with cars in closed garages, I would expect a voluntary or forced recall to remedy this GM admitted design decision.

- Lothian, MD, USA

problem #75

Aug 112015


  • 68,492 miles
When the car first started messing up it was minor things I noticed: The in dash lighter not working, trunk latch doesn't work except by key, turn signals would glitch, can't use usb & audio cord at same time without it cutting off both completely. Then a couple weeks later I noticed my car had an unusual delay in increasing speed it was as if I had to push it to the floor just to get to 30 mph. Now the most recent event occurred on 9/17/15 which is what's prompting me to file this complaint (keep in mind I've only owned the vehicle for 8 months, purchased at 54K miles currently has 70.9K) I drove to my house approx 30 min hwy from where I was I got into my car the next morning it didn't start at all. My bf checked the battery voltage & it was too dead to test, with a jumper box my car took approx10 min to even turn over, during the time of me inside the car attempting to start it my steering column locked up, lights in dash, radio system, headlights everything flashing on and off, key was stuck inside ignition, a foul smell & clicking noise is coming from engine, & couldn't lock doors once I turned car off immediately. This all occurred I'd say within a matter of 30 seconds after the car to turned over. Was so freaked out I didn't try to start again for 2-3 min and once I did it started right up. Within 72 hrs I have now seen the stabilitrac service alert, theft alert system needs serviced, along w/ air bags, & battery light flickers on & off. The clicking under my hood has continued, the rotten egg smell from engine comes & goes, dash lights go dim then go back to regular. Drove to O'reillys, they were able to tell me I now have a bad alternator as well. Recall 14801 was issued for reprogram engine control module, getting serviced this week at dealership but could this possibly cause all this?? especially considering I don't want to be responsible for repairs. Help

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #74

Sep 112015


  • 54,500 miles
The acceleration takes a lot to go from 0-30 mph and when it does the car feels as though it will stall. Vehicle is serviced regularly. This seems to be worse when the defrost or air is on. The gas pedal needs to be almost to the floor for it to even pick up and when it does accelerate it jumps between the gears and the RPM reeves up and the vehicle is slow to move.the engine fan also runs for 30 secs, shuts off, 1-2 mins later runs for 30 secs and shuts off. Have had engine temp checked and no issues with the car overheating but unknown why the fan runs on high all the time and it takes away the power to the car.

- West Alexandria, OH, USA

problem #73

Sep 082015


  • 40,000 miles
I have noticed that the acceleration takes alot to go from 0-30 mph and when it does the car feels as though it will stall. There is a half tank of gas, and no indication it should be doing this. Oil is changed regularly. This has happened a few times before this incident of today. The gas pedal needs to be almost to the floor for it to even pick up and when it does accelerate it jumps between the gears and the RPM goes beyond 4-5 to get it to even 20mph. I did have an incident when the car stalled as I was in reverse. That happened at around 30-35K miles. I decided to google the acceleration issue and see I am not the only one. My car itself has had 3 recalls fixed.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #72

Aug 182015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
I was driving home from work on the highway doing about 60-65 miles per hour. The car was driving fine but it suddenly started to loose speed and power. Then the check engine light came on and the car stalled. I was able to make it to the shoulder safely but traffic was flying by me at varying speeds from 50-75 mph. The vehicle stalled within 30 seconds of me noticing the loss of power and the gauges did not show any warning lights of heating or empty gas tank. I allowed the car to cool down for about 10 minutes after popping the hood open and then I attempted to start it. No luck. The starter was cranking but the engine would not turn. The engine tried to turn on as if I kept the key turned in the on position. I allowed the car to cool down for another 40 minutes (with the hood open) as it was a hot day, 87F, I attempted again and the same starting noise came, but the car never turned back on. I had to call a tow truck and spend $130 to take it home. I'm glad that I was alone and that it was during the day. Imagine if this happened at night in a winter icy road when I have my family with me!!! wow... this situation scared me and now I'm not sure if I should use the car for anymore for road trips with the family, its dangerous. The interior also smells like antifreeze fluid when I turn on the heat in winter time. That is another issue!!!. I hope to hear form GM. Thank you

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #71

Apr 152015


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that that while at an independent mechanic for routine repairs, the mechanic diagnosed that there was oil leaking from the turbo into the intake hose and the turbo needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle stalled. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who diagnosed that the cam cover assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. In addition, while driving at 10 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to stop. The contact had to apply force to the brake pedal in order to get the vehicle to stop, however, the contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 13V360000 (service brakes, hydraulic), however, the VIN was not included. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Harpers Ferry, WV, USA

problem #70

Jul 312014


  • 30,000 miles
A/C off do to high engine temp engine overheating messages on dash. False. Sticking thermostat

- Springboro , OH, USA

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