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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,213 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 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Feb 032015


  • 84,000 miles


This is the second incident (March 2014 & February 3, 2015 resulting in the loss of the power/control while operating the vehicle, both incidents were terrifying. I purchased my certified used Chevy Cruze in February 2014. In March/April 2014 immediately after startup (traveling under 10 mph / approx. 60,000 miles) the car began experiencing electrical issue; the displays on the dash would flash intermittently followed by warning lights (power steering, brakes, traction control etc.) and a complete loss of power to my car while driving, no steering, no brakes etc. I filed a complaint in 2014 (NHTSA - no. 10574169 #14311:special coverage adjustment negative battery cable loose. I immediately brought my car into the dealership for servicing. Ultimately, the positive and negative battery terminals were replaced and the service was covered under warranty. Yesterday, February 3, 2015, I experienced a similar incident. Shortly after starting my car (traveling 5mph / approx. 84,000 miles) the car began to shake violently, the check engine light turned on and again the car began experiencing similar power loss to my car while driving. My car was towed to the dealership and the cause was again identified as a negative battery terminal, a bad intake/gasket leaking and a small engine oil seep. These are some of the same issues identified with the initial incident in 2014 when these parts were replaced. This is a terrifying scenario and to have the same issues occur in such a short time period after the parts were replaced is not comforting and leaves me with fear that this could occur again, I do not want to continue to take chances with the safety of this vehicle. I hope this is taken seriously and resolved to avoid this from continuing to happen to myself and others in the same situation and to hopefully avoid this from turning into a serious and/or deadly situation.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Oct 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
I bought my 2012 Chevy Cruze in September 2014. Since I have had it, when driving any where, when I press the gas pedal to drive, the car sounds like it rears up to loud. I have to take my foot off the gas, then press gently and drive slow, inorder for the car to not make that sound. My car is not a straight drive, it is automatic, therefore it should not be making that sound as if it's in the wrong gear. Is this going to be a very bad problem down the road?

- Jamestown, NC, USA

problem #8

Sep 202014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 70,200 miles


2012 Chevy Cruze eco 1.4L turbo has issues with service stabilitrak message, service power steering, service traction control, these messages appear while driving at highway speeds. Activated usually be turn signal car radio and instrument cluster seems like it shuts off for a second turn signal blinks but no clicking noise after 2-3 blinks then clicks. At times when on cruise control the step on brakes to slow down would activate the electrical glitch speeding up and slowing down also but not at much. Car seems like it has a decrease in power. Made an appointment with dealer to check out but its not a recall issue.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #7

Dec 122013


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While preparing to park, the contact depressed the brake pedal and the vehicle accelerated. The failure occurred while driving 9 mph in a parking lot. The clutch and brake pedals were applied simultaneously to stop the vehicle. The failure occurred regularly when the vehicle was in second or third gear. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Bryan, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 092014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 21,500 miles
When the speed of the car starts to reach 50 miles a high pitch sound occurs. I cannot determined if it is related to when air conditioner is turned on. The noise will diminish when speed is lowered to about 45 miles. I cannot recall if this happens in the colder months but it does seem to happen in the summer.

- North Wales, PA, USA

problem #5

Jun 142013


  • 5,000 miles


While driving my new Chevy Cruze I have noticed that once in a while I will go to accelerate and the car will not go. I'll get to about 20mph and it's like the car doesn't know I'm pushing the pedal to accelerate. I can tell that is getting gas and that it's not the transmission because it doesn't make a sound. It just stops at about 20mph and doesn't go any further until I put the pedal down further, doesn't go, then a little more then it suddenly accelerates and jerks because I have the pedal down so far. I've seen other complaints on the website and I believe it is due to a faulty tsp sensor. My dealer cannot find the issue because they can not make it reoccur and the check engine light does not go on. The last incident that happened while I was merging on to I-55 South and as I was merging my car would not accelerate with a line of cars behind me and a line of cars on my left. Very scary. When I asked my dealer what happens when I get into an accident because of this I was just told I hope that doesn't happen and when it happens again to bring it back.

- Park Forest, IL, USA

problem #4

Nov 132012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
A sudden acceleration of the engine.

- San Benito, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 052012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 11,264 miles
Car responds erratically and unpredictably to push on accelerator pedal. On above date in attempting to back up slowly accelerator pedal was pushed with delayed response, then followed by extreme motion backward hitting fence, damaging fender. At other times car fails to accelerate out of way of on-coming traffic causing near collisions with little or no response to pedal movement. This has happened several times with this six month old car. My friend has same model with same problem. As per Chevy service manager who was twice contacted on this: A) he took a new Cruze home to drive for several days to investigate this complaint from other customers and he had the same problem, B) same problems are being reported to other Chevy dealers in hot climate areas of country. Chevy service manager says problem is know to General Motors, but no fix is available - all tests on several other new Cruze models brought in for service with same problem show that all systems and electronics are working normally. He's not sure what General Motors will do about it. This is apparently a make/model specific problem that is not being addressed as no pro-active warning info has been received by us from General Motors or the Chevy dealer. This is dangerous and no one is taking any responsibility. Please investigate before someone is seriously injured or killed. The lack of official warning from General Motors is morally outrageous!!

- Miami, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jul 132012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Consumer writes in regards to engine shield modification the consumer stated after the recall was performed, all the lights on the dashboard illuminated, power was reduced and the word engine power reduced appeared illuminated as well. The consumer took the vehicle back to the dealer. After checking all the wiring near the locations of the cuts of the shield, the dealer tested other possibilities and informed the consumer, that cause was a bad potentiometer on the gas throttle.

- Goleta, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 282012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 80 miles
Purchased 4/25/2012. After driving a little, noticed lack of power, easily stalls, something rolling around in the trunk lid, console piece gaped out, passenger side tail lamp inside trunk bent, engine shutters (after 500 miles it started) when turned on and off. The lack of power and engine stalling are the major safety concerns. When in a stopped position, the car will stall when the clutch is operated correctly. While making a right hand turn from a stop sign, onto route 30, at a blind intersection, the car would not move, once I let the clutch out and was in 1st gear, the car just did not move, I had the gas pushed to the floor and I was only moving inches forward. I was scared, I had my child in the car with me, a tractor trailer could have come up on me 50+ mph hit me or swerved to miss me and hit someone else. The car finally moved after about 45 sec. I then got up to speed in 6th gear. The car then again lost power, I had to down shift from 6th gear to 4th gear to get speed built back up. I got home, about 2 miles, was upset and scared, called apple Chevrolet, the car sat until I drove it to the dealership 35 mins from my home the next morning. I told them that it does not happen every day so the chances of it happening again are slim. This would be the 3rd visit to the service dept for the lack of power complaint. I drove with the tech anyway knowing that it was not going to be duplicated. I told the service rep that I wanted a turbo boost gauge put on it because it does not seem to be boosting all the time. When I was called that my car was done and nothing was duplicated, I was told that it was boosting in range. When I picked my car up the next day, there was nothing on my bill that stated that the turbo was even checked. I was told that they cannot put every piece of equipment that they use on each car on every bill. Etc...

- Abbottstown, PA, USA

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