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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,956 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Jan 152014


  • 37,000 miles


Recently, car radio has been flickering on and off, along with service notifications of stabili trac, traction control. Chevy dealer notified, serviced car, found nothing and has no explanation. Today, stopped at a corner to make a right hand turn. As I was accelerating at approx 2-3 mph around the corner, then steering was lost and could not turn the corner. Lost all control of car. Very fortunate there was no damage or injury to anything or anyone. Scary incident that could of had a worse outcome.

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
At highway speeds, when trying to make a slight steering correction, the steering wheel seems to stick and it takes extra effort move the steering wheel. That extra effort suddenly moves the steering wheel because the power steering seems to return and this causes the car to move as though the driver is jerking the steering wheel. It is very difficult to hold a steady, smooth track at highway speeds. The steering can also exhibit this same type of sticking while sitting stationary but this doesn not cause a dangerous situation. Though it does not do this all of the time, it is easy to drive the vehicle long enough to start this erratic steering issue. The dealer has stated that the GM service rep has never heard of such a problem and they have no tsb's or recalls in effect so they can do nothing. This is the same method of ignoring the problem that GM used in dealing with the brake booster micro switch issue. Never heard of that problem either, even though many people had complained of the same thing on a Chevy forum and numerous wrecks had occurred. "never heard of the problem so we can't fix it" or is it more like "we can't fix it so we have never heard of that problem".

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #21

Nov 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
Driving in a straight line for ~10-15 seconds at speeds over 40 mph will cause the steering wheel to "stick" in what feels like a notch that requires an over-correction to get the car to respond and change direction again. When this happens, the car's electric steering will kick back in with a little swerve to the left or right that feels slightly dangerous in slick conditions where over-correction could lead to a slide.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #20

Dec 172013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 41,700 miles


The radio and dash board lights (service stabilitrak) have been flashing on and off then this evening while driving on a straight road, the "service power steering" light flashed on and my steering wheel locked up. That continued for approx. 2 minutes then started working correctly. When I got home and pulled into my parking spot and turned my car off everything turned off, including my interior lights and I couldn't remove my key from the ignition. I let it sit for approx. 5 minutes then tried to start the car and it did turn on so I turned it off again and I was able to remove the key. The dealership I bought the car from two months ago (used, with 38K miles) told me that this is not covered under the power train warranty but would have been covered under the bumper-to-bumper warranty (expired before I bought the car). Now, I'm responsible for paying for a serious defect that could potentially result in a serious or fatal incident. Chevrolet/General Motors -- please fix this without causing consumers any further monetary, physical, or emotional issues.!....updated 07/31/14

- Columbus, MS, USA

problem #19

Apr 012013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
Steering binds/sticks at speeds above 45 mph when driving on a straight road. Addition effort is required to adjust steering when this occurs. This could lead to an accident since additional effort is required to change steering direction and could result in over correction. Dealer replaced steering gear assembly but the problem returned after about 5,000 miles.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #18

Aug 012013


  • 36,000 miles
I am having problems with the electrical inside my car cutting in and out, all electrical turns off. Service checks come across dashboard for power steering, stability check control, and traction control. The power steering has stopped working at times as well. I am not sure but if you are turning it appears that the turn signals stop working from inside the vehicle. Headlights are dimmer than normal when it cuts in and out, it flickers with the shortages. I have taken it to the dealership three times now. The first time they tightened a ground wire, the second time they couldn't find a problem, third time they replaced the engine control module, and now I'm taking it back a fourth time to have the body control module replaced. This problem continues to get worse.

- Otsego, MI, USA

problem #17

Oct 232013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


I was driving my vehicle pulling up to a stoplight and as I was stopping my radio turned off and a warning came up on my display saying to service power steering I could feel my power steering go out at this time. This has happened several times as well as warnings saying to service traction control. I took my vehicle to the dealer for repair. Before I did this I researched online my issue and found that the most likely problem was the negative battery cable. I told the repair department about my research and that was what was wrong with the vehicle. My concern is that if the power steering had gone out while I was turning this could have caused and accident.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 092013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
Sudden loss of power steering with "power steering service" error on display. When this happened, the steering wheel became very hard to steer (almost locked up) and I certainly could not make a right or left turn. This semi-locking up of the power steering remained as long as the vehicle was still moving. Indeed, the only way to restore power steering was to stop the car and let the engine cooled for 20 minutes or more. This happened the first time to my car in June or July time frame. Chevrolet reprogrammed the steering module. But the power steering lockup while driving at highway speed (~50mph) happened again in August. Chevrolet replaced the rack and pinion steering. And the locking up of the power steering while driving at high speed (~50mph) still happened again on 09/10/2013. This time, Chevrolet changed the "D power steering module power & ground hardness". so, Chevrolet has attempted to fix the problem unsuccessfully twice before this third warranty repair. I hope this fix it. But I feel I need to report this to the NHTSA since I almost got into an accident (sudden and sustaining loss of control of the vehicle steering) every time this incident happened.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 272013

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 8,856 miles
This started this week, the electrical parts (radio, speakers, turning signal clicker, ac etc) will constantly flicker off then come back on after about ten seconds, every time I have the car running. The stability warning will sometimes go on but will eventually go out. The specific incident occurred the the 27th of August when I went to take a left turn, on to a highway. When I went to make a turn my power steering locked up and almost caused me to hit a passing car and get rear ended. It specifically locked up at about ten miles an hour while picking up speed. After I returned to my parking lot it locked up again and caused me to hit a barrier, slightly damaging the front bumper. Since then my power steering will sometimes lock up making it extremely difficult to turn.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #14

Aug 082013


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the steering became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The contact was not aware of the repair necessary to remedy the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000. The VIN was not available.

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #13

Jul 282012


  • 2,535 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 12V288000 (engine and engine cooling). After the repairs were completed, the contact noticed that the power steering harness had been chewed and felt that the engine was no longer protected since the engine cover was removed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the power steering harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 2,535. The current mileage was approximately 6,000.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #12

Jan 012013


  • 11,000 miles
Driving in straight line down highway @ +/-50 mph the car begins to drift, as you steer to correct back, the steering wheel has a feel like its stuck or locked and gives the feel like you have to force it back to release it. Almost feels like a dead spot in the steering for lack of a better term. I stated to notice it off and on faintly since maybe around xmas and it has seemingly been getting worse and worse happening more often and more noticeable. Just yesterday I even noticed for the first time the same feeling while just sitting stopped at a red light. Gave the steering wheel a little back and forth motion and it replicated the same stuck feeling / dead stop in the steering. Just did a little bit of checking online and see that I am not the only person experiencing this same thing so I know that im not going crazy. Here is a link I found of others experiencing the same problem...

- North Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #11

Jan 222013


  • 18,000 miles
Steering has intermittent issue. While driving at interstate speeds it feels as though the wheel gets caught in a notch. Besides that when this is occurring the electric steering gets twitchy, and pulls 1/8-1/4in to the right every 10seconds or so. The problem went away, but have read others online with similar issues. Took my car to dealer & they could find nothing wrong. Has not occurred since. At 12,000miles months before this I started my car & had the service power steering message on the drivers information center on dash. Took in at that point & was told there was no stored codes & no issues found. I am reporting this as it could cause someone to get in an accident at interstate speeds. Passing a semi the car kept twitching/pulling the 1/8-1/4in toward the semis lane every 10seconds. Please make GM fix this obvious safety defect.

- New Glarus, WI, USA

problem #10

Dec 162012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
The car suddenly developed a steering problem. While driving straight it will start to wander, when I go to make a small correction to remain going straight the steering is not immediately responsive. The steering wheel skips before it starts to make the correction which then make the car slightly jerk to one direction or the other. It is like the steering does not respond at first, this is only while I am driving straight. It seems more noticeable between 40-60 mph. I took it to the dealer who said they could not find any thing and it is normal. This is not normal it never did it until a month ago.

- Discovery Bay, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 142012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Up to this point high praise for the Cruze in general but I recently noticed my 2012 Chevy Cruze eco has begun to have steering issues. This began at around 16000 miles and began sometime after the oil pan recall work was done at the dealer. (but approximately 6000 miles after that so I can't definitely attribute it to that). Tire rotation was recently performed at the dealer as well. The car has a slight pull in one direction and when the steering is corrected there is a perceptible "jerk" to the other direction. Similar to a steering wheel position sensor symptom I had on an older vehicle. Feels like the power steering "skips" or has a dead spot. L looked this up before taking it to the dealer and saw many others had a similar issue so I thought I'd file a comment.

- Huntley, IL, USA

problem #8

Dec 112012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving on the interstate the steering sticks. This is a safety problem since you have to overcorrect when it releases. This happens around 60-70 mph. The car only has 4000 miles.

- Sterling, IL, USA

problem #7

Nov 122012


  • 22,000 miles
I noticed recently the car has steering issues that were not there before. Basically the car starts to drift, it will start to pull in one direction and when I correct it its like it jerks to the other direction. It's not a violent jerk but very noticeable. Almost feels like it sticks in a certain spot. That's really the best I can explain it but it was noticeable right away. I have an appointment today to get it looked at. I hope they can figure it out. I love the car but it feels unsafe right now.

- Mardela Springs, MD, USA

problem #6

Oct 232012


  • 20,000 miles
I took my 2012 Chevy Cruze eco in for oil change tire rotation, and oil spill recall, the recall requires cutting away part of the shield underneath the motor. I noticed immediately the car has steering issues that were not there before the recall work was done. The best I can describe it is drifting, it will start to pull in one direction and when I correct it its like it jerks to the other direction. It's not a violent jerk but very noticeable. Almost feels like it sticks in a certain spot. That's really the best I can explain it but it was noticeable right away. I've managed to get roughly 10,000 miles per oil change, avg. Mpg 37, and commute 60 miles one way, mostly freeway for work. Cars been great otherwise, I think with the cutting away of part of the shield it messed with the arrow dynamics somehow. I had a Chevy dealership mechanic drive it with me in the car and he definitely could feel it also. With my own research I was able to find that other people are experiencing the same thing. I think this is something that's gonna have to take enough complaints from people in order to get Chevy to look at it and make some type of recall shield or some other fix. If anyone is experiencing this please make some form of complaint to hopefully make something happen.

- Foley, MN, USA

problem #5

Aug 152012


  • 14,000 miles
After having the underbelly shield modified on my sister's 2012 Chevrolet Cruze eco per the recall (NHTSA campaign number 12V288000) I noticed an increase in buffeting and highway speed wandering in the handling of her car.this is most noticeable at speeds of approx 75 mph and higher. The car felt less stable than it did prior to the recall service being performed on the vehicle. Because of this, I purchased a replacement underbody shield from a dealer and re-installed it. The result of this re-installation was noise back to normal, handling back to normal.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #4

Jul 162012

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
Steering: Around one week prior to the incident, I had my 2012 Chevy Cruze under panel modified due to a potential engine fire. The following week, while driving home from work, I experienced a "wandering" in my vehicle. I noticed it again driving home the next day. Now, whenever this is wind, I experience my vehicle "wandering." When this occurs, my car drifts left and right much more and the front end feels lighter and far too responsive. Fuel: After the modification to my under panel, I have noticed a drop in my fuel mileage. I have seen around 2 mpg or more of reduced fuel economy.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

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