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."


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,166 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #6

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 #5

Mar 012013


  • 5,000 miles
Since March 30, 2015, I have been experiencing issues with and I have 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. Is a very high risk

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #4

Jul 262014


  • 19,230 miles
Driving on interstate 10 when electrical lighting, radio, etc start blinking on and off. I was on my way from Florida to North Carolina when it happened, I turned around and went to Chevrolet dealer where I bought it, was checked out and mechanic said they couldn't find anything wrong. Drove to North Carolina and when I arrived at my son's home the same thing happened twice. We took it to Chevrolet dealer in mooresville, nc, they found out through GM it was the electrical box causing all the problems and they replaced it with a new one. I wasn't in an accident but it made me scared to drive it. I feel as though GM should have recalled it and not make the consumer wondering. I would like GM to be notified about this and to also hear from them.

- Live Oak, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 052014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


-the following symptoms occur intermittently (approximately one time per month) -while operating the vehicle, the issue typically begins with the center radio display and sound flickering on and off. -next, various electrical systems in the car begin to malfunction. This includes traction control, power steering, headlights, turn signals cruise control, window functions, and brake lights. -the vehicle does not only report the system malfunction, but will actually experience failure (etc, power steering is actually disabled in the car). Power steering was once lost at the bottom of a switchback in the mountains. I nearly lost control of the vehicle. -after this issue occurs, if the vehicle is turned off it will not restart for 30-60 minutes (unless the battery is disconnected and reconnected). -during this period it will not restart, none of the electrical functions of the car will work (doors will not lock, windows will not move, lights will not turn on, etc). -also, during this period I have noticed a sound within the dashboard. This sounds like a small electric motor running for approximately 60 seconds.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #2

Mar 052014


  • 29,500 miles
Car drives fine but interior lights go out radio starts blinking and service stabilitrak, service traction control, service antitheft, and service power steering lights come on the dash. I took the car to the dealership where they replaced the BCM. This did nothing 4 days later it all started again. After turning the car off everything resets. On some occasions the antitheft stops the car from starting back up I have to leave the car sit with the key on engine off for about 5 minutes then it will start. There is no loss of power in the engine and all the gauges still work. When I apply the brakes this happens, or when I try to roll down the window, or even when im just cruising down the street without and changing speed or anything in the car.

- Elyria, OH, USA

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problem #1

Feb 192014

Cruze 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 9,000 miles
We have video of the radio display area going blank then coming on then going blank continually, it takes out all sound I.e., radio, navigational instructions, blinker sound.. while throwing multiple error codes in the area for odometer reading I.e., service stabila track, service traction control. The users manual tells you that if something like this happens to shut off the car to reset the car. If you do shut it off or stall out the car (manual transmission) everything goes dead. It cannot be accessed by onstar (I called them on 2-19-2014 and asked them to document that they could not access the car... it simply read "error" for them) the fob key has no effect, there is no steering, no brakes, no lights, no nothing for 20 to 45 minutes. So if in traffic.. the car simply becomes either a road block or a target. The car has been into 2 different dealerships and even with video of the incidents they simply say they can find nothing wrong and make ridiculous suggestions. The car as is, is an accident or worse waiting to happen.!....updated 07/31/14

- Westerville, OH, USA

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