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 1 of 5)

problem #83

Dec 282016


  • miles


Radio is turning on and off. Stabilitytrak control light comes on power steering give out and brakes

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #82

Sep 072016


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering failed while in motion. The cost of the repair is $1,900 on a $16,000 vehicle that is less than 5 years old

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #81

Aug 022016


  • 71,000 miles
The stability track control and service traction control messages have both happened to me now a few times while driving down city/country roads and down the highway. The first time I had the service traction control was yesterday. (8/02/2016) it's scary because the radio resets and the power steering goes out. I have a 9 year old daughter and she's terrified as well. I wish they would figure this out already. I called the dealer once and like most people write online about this issue they didn't know what it could be and they didn't have a car I could use to go back and forth to work while they checked it out so I haven't taken to the dealer yet. The issue comes and goes. It could go away for months but always comes back. I keep checking online to see if they finally found a fix for this issue and I still haven't found anything. So I'm assuming once someone dies in a bad accident or numerous people do then maybe they will take it more seriously" I'm a single mom and I can't afford to not have a car or have a problem that I have to pay lots of $ to fix when this obviously needs to be a recall when this many people are having the issue and it affects your steering!?!?!?! help pls?!?!"!

- Elgin, SC, USA

problem #80

May 312016


  • 107,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving various speeds, the power steering suddenly malfunctioned and the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. When the failure occurred, the traction control and service power steering lights illuminated. The cause of the failures were not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 107,000.

- Rocky Mount, VA, USA

problem #79

Mar 262016


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving 10 mph, the stabilitrac warning light illuminated, the power steering failed, and the instrument panel and radio lost power. The vehicle was not taken to be diagnosed or repaired. The contact stated that the failure recurred three times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Royal Oaks, MI, USA

problem #78

Feb 052016


  • 70,000 miles
On several occasions my vehicle has lost power steering service. I have almost crashed into a metro rail and into another vehicle because I am unable to turn my wheel. On another occasion, I was about to park and the car turned off on me; the key was locked into the ignition and I couldn't turn it, the doors locked and nothing worked. I was stuck inside until after about 5 minutes, the car unlocked everything and the ECU turned back on. I've had to take it to the dealership twice for this problem and they have told me it's covered under a "special service" but these incidents happened almost a year apart. I do not believe the car is fixed. Also, the service stabilitrak and other lights flash on and off and so do my radio.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #77

Feb 012016


  • 50,000 miles


While driving the power steering shuts off, radio blinks on and off, and the brakes get spongy making it hard to drive and stop. I have had it in the shop and the mechanics were unable to find an problem.

- Burnet, TX, USA

problem #76

Feb 132016


  • 87,000 miles
Recall 14311 but dealer does not do anything about it, my car have done this few times already but last couple of times it was really scary because I lost total control over the vehicle including steering and braking the car just show a sing on the dash and radio goes of as well as the rest of the vehicle electrical parts, almost causing a crash due to this issue, I was driving about 35mph and 40mph when this happen, also I notice the it happens when I use my turn signals and when I press up or down on the windows

- Franklin Park, IL, USA

problem #75

Dec 012015


  • 59,000 miles
Left outer tie rod began to show problems at 59000 miles. The steering had a thud sound when turning left or right. Also, when driving over bumps on the road or grass you could feel strong vibrations from the front steering.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #74

Jan 012016


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving at an unknown speed, the power steering warning lights illuminated and the headlamps turned off without warning. The contact experienced several electrical issues with the vehicle, including the key failing to dislodge from the ignition switch. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #73

Oct 182015


  • 41,000 miles


Driving the radio cuts in and out meanwhile service stabilitrac warning comes on. Does this around 6-12 times in a 30 minute drive to and from work. On a few instances the vehicle lost all power while driving. This occures on a daily basis. This happens while driving and at a stand still. Also the check engine light has come on numerous times. It is a P0597 code stating temp sensor is inoperable. Non of these issues should be going on in a 2012 with less than 45,000 miles on it.

- Northlake, TX, USA

problem #72

Sep 122015


  • 83,508 miles
For the whole month the red warning lights have been flashing, today the lights were dimming and radio was going on and off. The steering wheel locked on its own and the key wouldn't come out when tried to remove and the truck wouldn't pop up when tried to open it from the outside. Vehicle is not cranking at moment and key is still in ignition. This is a serious safety problem or issue. Electrical problem hazard that could kill any driver or passengers when driving. Has to be as major safety recall. Contact the owner as soon as possible at 334-368-4373 this is my daughter latoria womack cell number and I am her dad ronnal womack at 843-870-2625. Please is there a recall on vehicle? my daughter drives this car to college classes every day. Please advice asap. Her life is in danger here. James and pamela are the owners but daughter drives vehicle to college. I am biological father and very concerned. Due to mother and stepfather at wife's surgery please notify me of matter to get help.

- Greenville, AL, USA

problem #71

Apr 152015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,565 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While making a left turn at approximately 10 mph, the air bag service soon warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering column air bag coil needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V300000 (air bags). The failure mileage was 40,565. Updated 10/06/15 updated 12/21/2015

- Coshocton, OH, USA

problem #70

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 #69

Jul 162015


  • 94,000 miles
I was driving down the interstate and the steering locked up and the power steering warning light came on. I pulled onto the side of the interstate, put my hazards on and turned the car off. After calling for assistance I was told I could drive to the nearest auto repair. I turned the car on and driving was like pushing the car down the road and steering was dangerously difficult. I got to the repair shop turned off the car asked for assistance. When mechanic turned the car on light was off and power steering had been restored. He could not explain the glitch that caused the problem and suggested I contact my dealership.

- Florence, MS, USA

problem #68

Mar 122015


  • miles
Since March 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. More often I notice it when utilizing turn signals, hazard lights, and breaking. 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 or the ABS needing to be serviced. Then it returns to normal mode. The frequency has increased to every time I drive the vehicle. Also on at least 3 occasions the ABS has actually failed. On one of those occasions, I hit another vehicle while parking. Thankfully there was no damage to either vehicle. When connecting the vehicle to a diagnostic device, no issues are indicated. I'm in the military in germany where the roads and highways are extremely hilly and it snows heavily. I'd rather not die in an accident before this issue is rectified.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #67

May 042015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. While driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel was extremely tight causing the contact to have to apply force in order to steer the vehicle. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V288000 (engine and engine cooling), but the remedy was not available. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Uvalde, TX, USA

problem #66

Feb 092015


  • 38,000 miles
While driving the car would continuously reboot the radio and the warning stabilitrak light as well as the power steering warning will show up on the dash. The car would experience very stiff steering and I almost got into a crash 3 times because of it. I took it to the autonation Chevrolet laurel, md dealership and they could not diagnose a problem with the battery. Another technician from tnt auto in columbia, md said that all the wires seem to be on there tight too.

- Beltsville, MD, USA

problem #65

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 #64

Apr 052015

Cruze 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
This is my second complaint on this vehicle for the same problem. At low speeds the car makes a grinding noise that can be felt when taking off and turning. It has gotten worse and occasionally it can be felt when I am not even turning. This needs to be addressed before it turns into something serious.

- Vincennes, IN, USA

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