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 1 of 2)

problem #31

Sep 162016


  • 134,474 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 70 mph, the engine revved but the vehicle failed to move forward. The roadside assistance indicator illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer were it was diagnosed that the accelerator pedal was fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 134,474.

- Fort Mitchell, AL, USA

problem #30

Sep 162016


  • 75,000 miles
Ive had my car for 2 years now. After the first year I began noticing the engine would be going at a steady speed and if you began to accelerate the engine would rev or stall and the rpms shoot up. The only way to keep it from producing the actions is to slowly accelerate. The engine is sluggish and does this while in cruise control.. after getting the complete read, it was said the 02 sensors were out. The engine is now to the point it will randomly be going and the engine light will start flashing and all speed is reduced. They were replaced, but the problem persisted. The car stalls out so often I refuse to take it in to cities or onto the interstate. I will be going back to a truck after this is paid off! will be going to the dealership this week!

- Marion, LA, USA

problem #29

Apr 152016


  • 96,454 miles
I was starting to cross a busy intersection when the engine loss power light and stability control light came on. Car would not go over 5 miles an hour. Just about 90 days ago it was at the Chevy dealership for same problem where the throttle body and all sensors were replaced.

- Bremen, GA, USA

problem #28

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 #27

Jul 122013


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at any speed, the stabilitrak and power steering lights illuminated. The vehicle failed to accelerate, lost power, and stalled. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the ECM and the BCM were not connecting. The technician reset the computer; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Conway, NH, USA

problem #26

Sep 112015


  • 23,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle and shifting into reverse, the vehicle drifted and accelerated independently, causing the contact to crash into another vehicle. The contact shifted into drive and crashed into the garage and the toolshed from their residence. A police report was filed. There was one injury reported that required medical attention. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 23,300.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #25

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 #24

Jul 292014


  • 41,000 miles
Driving down highway and the dic starts flashing and then the power steering failed and the car then lost power and the engine cut out. I was able to pull the car over to the shoulder and stop the car. I was able to restart the vehicle. I took to dealer and they replaced the negative battery cable. I soon received an extended warranty for the cable from GM for 10 yrs or 120000 miles. So they are aware of the issue and cars cutting out and losing power on the highway is not considered dangerous to the drivers or their passengers.

- Islip, NY, USA

problem #23

Jun 152015


  • 27,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at any speed, the vehicle failed to accelerated when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The power steering warning light illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 27,800.

- Rio Grande, TX, USA

problem #22

May 012014


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving with the cruise control set to 75 mph, the vehicle traveled at 80 mph independently. Additionally, while reversing at very low mileage, the vehicle abnormally accelerated and reversed into a pole. The contact was able to drive away from the scene without any injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer four times however, the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The contact believed that the vehicle had a "mind of its own" and would erroneously perform in ways that it was not designed. The contact requested the bluetooth be removed from the vehicle and inquired about having the gps removed, as she believed that the transmitter was the cause of the failures. The manufacturer was contacted, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Hendreson, NV, USA

problem #21

Jun 232015


  • 90,200 miles


My Chevy Cruze has been experiencing similar problems from past repairs and would shut off while driving. While driving the car would lose power, multiple warning lights would flash on the dash, the car would lose the ability to accelerate and the doors would unlock while driving. This has occurred several times yesterday (6/23/15): While driving over a bump at a low speed and while merging onto the freeway at about 60mph. During yesterday's incident I had to go into the emergency lane and put my emergency lights on as my car lost the ability to accelerate. The car lost power for a few seconds and the car would gain power immediately after. There have been two prior incidents where my car has lost complete power while driving, both times a safety report has been filed. This is a very scary issue and hope that this does not occur again.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #20

Apr 012014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
The brake lights would randomly come on and stay on when car was off and sitting still. I replaced the brake pedal position sensor and it seemed to stop. Now, the brake pedal doesn't come back up all of the way after applying the brakes. This keeps the brake light on and the brakes slightly applied. The only way to get it all the way up is to pull it from behind with your foot. This seems to be part of the brake pushrod and brake assist issue they are having, but haven't done a recall.

- Pittsboro, IN, USA

problem #19

Apr 072015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
I received my Chevy Cruze in November of 2014 used with aprox. 59K miles. April 7th driving down a highway at 55-60mph it suddenly started slowing down and would not accelerate. It would jerk and the engine would rev like if you were to be idle and in park and press the gas that's the sound it made. I did not notice the check engine come on or any other lights as I was trying to control my car. The speedometer and RPM indicator started acting erratically while doing so. The gauge would go up and down and the car was slowing down. The steering also became very soft. If I were to take my pinky finger and turn the wheel it would have moved that's how soft it was. All this happened multiple times during a 30 minute time period. After I slowed down and tried going over 30mph it would start to act up again. While this was happened I only had 66K miles. I got it towed to the dealer instead of taking my chances driving it there. It was sitting there a week before they even touched it and they claim they cant find anything wrong with it. I think Chevy dealers claim they cant find anything when your car is still under warranty so they don't have to fix it.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #18

Apr 012015


  • 52,500 miles
Since March 30, 2015, I have been experiencing issues with and have been trying to collect video evidence while in failure mode, of what I believe to be failures of the body computer(s) in this vehicle. The dashboard displays have been going on and off under a wide variety of driving situations, and while sitting at idle. They fault when the vehicle is simply driving down the highway. During these faults, the center information display for the HVAC and entertainment will frequently turn off. This kills the radio. It at times kills the HVAC systems and the turn signals (at least the noise for the turn signal indicators). At times, the center display above the steering column will go black and then display a message about the stabilitrak having failed and requiring it to be checked. Then it returns to normal mode. This is less frequent an occurrence. While driving on the highway under cruise control, the vehicle experienced one incident of unintended acceleration while the displays were in fault modes. This occurred on April 1, 2015 I believe. The driver's feet were on the floorboards. Not touching any pedals at all. The incident was stopped by the driver firmly pressing down on the brake pedal. When sufficient video evidence is accumulated on these failures the vehicle will be taken into the dealership. Lacking actual demonstrative evidence of the failures, the dealership will not be able to know what to repair or replace. The car has a history of dash display issues. The owner, a retired librarian/researcher from General Motors advanced engineering staff and the R&D center, has worked on unintended acceleration legal cases for the company, and has supported litigation defense work on such issues while at the company. He is still gathering evidence but feels the need to document this incident as soon as possible for NHTSA should an accident occur to him due to this.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #17

Mar 242015


  • 56,788 miles
I was driving, and the radio dash began to flash on and off. Then the steering became very difficult, and the power steering light came on, the words "service power steering" came on, then the car began to pulse, and then "service traction" came on, then the car shut off completely.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #16

Mar 102015


  • 75,000 miles
Drove my car about 70 miles on the interstate once I got into town and stopped at a red light the car began to sputter, when I accelerated the car was hesitant. Major safety concern, I could have been rear ended. Also, when making a left hand turn onto a busy state route the car would not accelerate it was very hesitant making the turn to a point I thought the car was going to stall, in front of oncoming traffic. The car is at the dealer today getting the coolant recall completed and it will be computer checked for the engine light. From what I was told by another mechanic, the car is loosing vacuum pressure and the valves or valve cover is leaking.

- Hazle Township , PA, USA

problem #15

Mar 012015


  • 100,166 miles
Reduced engine power. This has happened several times to this vehicle temporarily, then automatically resets. This is unsafe because you need the engine power in making turns, and especially on the highway in the city of atlanta. The engine throttle failed and I had to come out of pocket for that, and for a failed wheel bearing and for a turbo explosion on the highway. That is a lot for a car that is 3 years old, and purchased brand new. This car has been recalled for air bags, brakes, and the oil pan. I consider it lemon and would like to report this. I won't buy american again until I see some major progress.

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #14

Mar 022015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
While driving approx. 40 mph, vehicle stalled, traction stability and check engine lights illuminated, and steering locked. The radio shut off and the radio screen/ env control panel flickered on and off continuously. I continued to drive the car since I was a short distance from home. Checked the battery connections and all seemed to be tight. Drove car to work today but didn't have the issue. I literally just bought this car a week ago and it passed md state inspection. I am wondering now if the inspection included a obd check.

- Laplata, MD, USA

problem #13

Feb 142015


  • 54,778 miles
For the past several months since June 2014, I have been experiencing the vehicle acceleration performance decrease. Once at a stop or stop light, it takes the vehicle between 10 to 40 seconds to fully pick up speed upon pressing on the acceleration. Today (02/14/2015) the vehicle stopped with engine light on while I was trying to move from a stop sign. This was scary. I imagined this wound have been terrible if I was in the midst of fast moving vehicles. I went online to check if there was a trend in the Chevy Cruze acceleration and random engine shut down; sadly I came across several complaints from the following link: this is a serious issue, and I urge the federal government to investigate these complaints and notify GM to take immediate action upon completion of the fed investigation. It is sad that we cannot even rely on home made products.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #12

Feb 042015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 50,020 miles
While driving to work I was signaling to switch lanes for my exit off the freeway. Began to merge and my steering wheel locked. Luckily it's wasn't for long and the freeway was not busy. However the fact that my newly purchased vehicle has a glitch is saddening. What's even worse theirs no maintenance light or check engine light, something to make the dealership believe their is a problem. Only a flashing light that says check stabilitrack, traction control, powering steering and at the same time my ABS service light begins to flash. Really hope Chevy puts out a recall..

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

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