Print this page

CarComplaints.com 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."

9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,390
Average Mileage:
75,700 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (17 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
2012 Chevrolet Cruze transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Owner Comments

problem #20

Dec 052018

Cruze LS 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The MZ0 6-speed manual transmission paired with the Cruze/Sonic is absolutely awful. A quick search shows the massive amount of transmission failures that occur.

My sole symptom at the time of repair was a high-pitched whine resonating from the shifter. After tearing down the trans and checking fluid, it was full of metal. I believe they said a bearing sheared itself inside the trans.

Transmission was replaced with a re-manufactured one. Would avoid the 6-speed at all costs in both Cruze & Sonic... There is no reason there is such a high transmission failure rate.

I purchased mine November 8th @ 54,200 miles, transmission was replaced @ 55,650 miles.

- Nick G., Peoria, US

problem #19

Jun 162019

Cruze LS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,689 miles

I bought my Chevy Cruze in 2015, never was tough on this car and took great care of it. Sunday June 16th 2019 (Fathers Day) I left church and headed home and the car shifted kind of funny and when I would slow down at all it acted as of it didn't want to shift into the next gear. I babied the car all the way home by manually shifting and even then it started to act weird.

I was almost home and stopped at a stop sign (I could visibly see my house) and pressed the gas pedal and it wouldn't move. I called my husband to come and take a look. We ended up spending 72 dollars to get it towed home. I called Chevy and had it towed to the nearest dealer who said it looked like I needed either a rebuilt or new/used transmission. They wouldn't know details unless I had them pull the transmission for inspection.

I am a mother of two, a full time college student who works. We are low income and a $5000 dollar rollover on a used or new vehicle is not in our capabilities and have been loyal Chevy customers since about the age of 18. Chevy said it is an out of pocket expense and they aren't going to help pay to fix it. They said they haven't had enough complaints to recall it.

I am here to say please call Chevy personally if you have a problem. That looks like it is our only hope! I am completely broken over this and done with Chevy because all the loyalty that I have shown them ( buying Chevy cars and never missing or late on a payment) and they have no loyalty to their customers to make things right! #chevysucks!

- Shanon R., Orwell, US

problem #18

May 012019

Cruze LS 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I bought the car used 16 months ago, and at the time I had concerns about the transmission because it was shifting hard (especially when it down-shifter at low speed) so I brought it back to the dealership to look at. I also had a few other issues like an anti-freeze odor. The mechanic at the dealership told me the transmission adapts to the person driving it, so I attributed the problem to that and figured it would "re-learn" how I drove and adjust. Well, it never did, and suddenly, without any further warning the trans completely gave out.

I was looking over all my service paperwork from the dealer regarding the car and there is no mention of the transmission concern I had. I'm sure this was deliberate, as they damn well knew this model year had trans issues.

Update from May 17, 2019: Update: I have the repair completed at a non-dealer garage for a total bill of $3,623.45.

- Pam M., Felton, PA, US

problem #17

Apr 062018

Cruze 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

At 65,000 miles, my transmission failed. I was the second owner of this car and had bought it from Vroom.com. There were no warning signs. My car was kept in the best condition possible as my step dad is a mechanical engineer/car junkie and always serviced it on time. I really loved my cruze to be honest, until the day I went to get in and it wouldn't drive. To top it off, the certain transmission I have is the kind that can't be swapped with other transmissions that were made for that year. "2CZW" was the transmission type.

I contacted Chevy to see if they would even help me partially and got nothing but rude customer service. My step dad ended up taking my transmission apart and realized a piece in it had shattered. A part that Chevy is known for going super cheap on I guess. Apparently, the Chevy Sonic transmission was built the same and they ended up sending out a recall for it. But never sent one out for the Cruze (due to the large volume of Cruze's sold.) Anywho, this is the second GM vehicle my family has had crap out on us. (Engine failure on our Terrain that had 121,000 miles due to oil consumption problem) NEEDLESS TO SAY, I'M DONE WITH GM ALL AROUND.

- Sara M., Wood River, US

problem #16

Oct 052017

Cruze LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I rarely drove the car in terms of how old it was, yet on my way to wirk one morning, thw transmission decided to fail on the highway. The car was taken to a Chevrolet Dealer where I was quoted about $5000 to get a nsw fransmission, I think not. The car was only worth about $5,400, that is ridiculous! I really only had about 35k miles or less on it, and it’s crazy to see how many other people experienced the same issue. I had paid the car off just a year prior, just for that to happen, what a sham. The moment i find out there’s a mass lawsuit, I will definitely sign up.

- impressah, Scottsdale, US

problem #15

Feb 212018

Cruze

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,467 miles

What do you say about a car with 70k on it and the tranny goes out. No warranty left and Chevy didn’t come through. It makes me mad that Chevy took my money durning the government bailout, but did not deem it necessary to help me out because I bought one of their vehicles. That is until I called a tow truck to get my car at the dealer to have it fixed somewhere else. Then they wanted to talk to me about a better price. Still had a hard time getting it taken care of and they barely did anything on the price. Once my Chevy 1500 Work Truck dies, I am quite certain I will never buy another GM vehicle again. That is unless I have a weak moment when I’m 94 and have Alzheimer’s.

- lchad, Minneapolis, US

problem #14

Oct 312018

Cruze

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,780 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving home from a local visit with my parents and my car bucked twice which has happened but not usually that frequent. I stop at a red light and my car stops hard. When the light turns green, my car won't move. Try a few things to get the car moving without luck. Thankfully there was a garage at the intersection and two of the guys came out to help me get my car off the road. They take a look and say it's the transmission.

I contact Apple Chevy, where I purchased my car, and they say it's not covered because the only transmission issue covered is a leak. My car had a complete failure without the leak. Less than 56000 miles and it's dead. They tell me I'm looking at $4500 to get a refurbished transmission. This is ridiculous, and I don't understand how as soon as my warranty runs out I have a complete failure with such low mileage. So if I do get the repair, who's to say I won't have the same issue since apparently they are known to have transmission problems.

Update from Nov 2, 2018: I made calls to GM about my issues before moving forward with the repair. They have been working with the dealership where my car is for the repair, and I just got word they are covering $2000 of the repair cost. I recommend to anyone who has this issue to contact GM before any repair work is done as they were very willing to work with me. Still not thrilled this happened but glad they are doing what's right to help out with the repair.

- Cathy R., York, US

problem #13

Oct 042018

Cruze LX 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Horrible. What kind of car transmission is shot with only 116,000 miles? This is crazy. Lack of quality. My Toyota lasted 13 years over 300,000 miles and NO transmission issue ever, sure minor repairs but nothing like this. This is a 2012 Chevy Cruze. This is a nightmare! Sorry I did not thoroughly research this car. From what I have seen, the Cruze track record is awful. BUYER BEWARE, Don't purchase this car, from what I have read online, it only gets worse, with brake issues, shaking, the gamut. Going back to Toyota, they have a wonderful track record with me!

- J. K., Atlanta, US

problem #12

Jan 142017

Cruze LS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Left me in the grocery parking lot. Over the course of a day it went from working fine to totally effed.

- Tyler Q., Niles, US

problem #11

May 282018

Cruze 4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I do not recommend anyone to buy some American cars, like the chevy cruze. This specific type of vehicle has lots of issues that will cost you in the long run. I bought this car as brand new to David Maus dealer in Orlando fl in 2012, at 109,000 miles the automatic transmission collapsed. This American auto industry manufactures worst cars with worst quality and engineering. Nice and beautiful body cars but the engines and transmission sucks. I have paid more than $8,000.00 for only 109,000 miles of use in this car.

- Ariel S., Orlando, FL, US

problem #10

Aug 092017

Cruze LTZ 1.4L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission died on a busy highway, right after the warranty ended. Had to get it completely rebuilt at my expense. Huge repair bill. Thanks Chevy!

- Jennifer M., Liberty Township, US

problem #9

Mar 062018

Cruze

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I WAS DRIVING TO WORK WHEN I WAS ABOUT A HALF A MILE AWAY THE TRANSMISSION STARTED SLIPPING. THERE WAS NO EARLY WARNING SIGNS EXCEPT FOR THIS. I PARKED THE CAR AND WENT INSIDE MY WORK. WHEN I ATTEMPTED TO LEAVE THE CAR WOULD SHIFT INTO REVERSE BUT IT ROLLED A COUPLE INCHES AND FELT LIKE IT HIT A PARKING BLOCK. IT WILL DRIVE FORWARD BUT WILL NOT DO REVERSE OR NEUTRAL.

I HAD IT TOWED TO A SHOP AND WHEN THEY PULLED THE TRANSMISSION COVER OFF THE GEARS FELL OUT AND THE FLUID WAS A METALLIC COLOR. I HAVE GOTTEN TWO QUOTES SO FAR. 1 FOR $3200 and 1 for $2500. NEITHER OF WHICH IN A POSITION TO PAY. THE CAR ONLY HAS 80,000 MILES ON IT. I DON'T DRIVE IT ALL CRAZY AND I DESPERATELY NEED MY CAR EVERY DAY TO GET TO APPOINTMENTS AND WORK. THIS IS A HUGE INCONVENIENCE FOR ME. I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE MEANS TO OBTAIN A RENTAL CAR. I STILL OWE $15,000 ON THIS CAR!! I AM BEYOND SICK TO MY STOMACH OVER THIS!!!

- Michele C., Washington, US

problem #8

Dec 162017

Cruze 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,248 miles

I purchased a 2012 Chevy Cruze in November 2012 with 12 miles on it. It is now 2018 and my 2012 Chevy Cruze is not working due to a transmission issue. My car broke down on December 16th with 61,248 miles on it. The sad part is my warranty expired on November 17, 2017, less than 30 days out of warranty and my car is out of commission. I would think that my car would have lasted at least 100,000 miles before having a major issue with my transmission. So, I contacted GMC to get assistance with the cost of me getting my car repaired. Well, 3 weeks later no assistance. The car dealer wanted me to pay money upfront, so that they could break down my transmission to diagnose my car. Really, and loose more money on a vehicle that you would think would still be on the road. I purchased the car because I trusted that is was a good car. I have taken my car in to the dealer for all of my services.

- Tina J., Ames, US

problem #7

Nov 072017

Cruze LX 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Had problems with my Cruze shifting hard and clunking when driving. Had it pop out of gear when trying to shift into second and then slammed back in to first. I took the car into a Chevrolet dealer under warranty to have it looked at and fixed. The dealer said they were not able to find any issues and that I should run it until it has a permanent failure so they can find the issue. Now the transmission has completely failed two months later but I am also out of warranty by date by a month. I am still 5k under warranty but my transmission has somehow failed. This really speaks to what kind of quality GM puts in their products. The car was given good care and had regular tune ups but still an incredibly vital part to the car has now failed and the dealer and GM are refusing to pay for it even though I had tried to avoid this issue by bringing it in to get it fixed while under warranty. Now I am having to pay 4 grand for the dealer's servicemen's inexperience and GM's poor product quality. This is a failure on the product quality level and on the customer service level. Will not be buying any GM products and will warn others about what could happen to them.

- Aaron D., Bloomington, IN, US

problem #6

Aug 252017

Cruze

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,905 miles

My car was towed in to the dealership as I thought there was a recall on the surging of the transmission but found out there wasn't. The car was 1875 miles out of my extended warranty. I contacted GM via email after the repair as I have never had a car have such a major repair at this low of mileage. They said they were going to try to get reimbursement and contacted the dealership. After many phone calls between the dealership and GM GM said that it was out of warranty so there would be no cost reimbursement (I told them it was 1875 miles out of warranty in the beginning so I still do not know why they led me to believe that it was an option). Then the dealership said they would see if there could be some cost assistance. Long story short after many, many phone calls it was resolved yesterday, October 18, and neither one helped me. I found out that if I would of asked for cost assistance prior to the repair then I might have gotten help. I asked why was this not offered and the dealer's reply was " it is not something we offer, you would have to know about it". Needless to say, I will never buy a GM product again nor will I buy a car at that dealership either and am looking at foreign cars for the first time in my life.

- Cathy D., Arnold, US

problem #5

Jul 072017

Cruze LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,922 miles

car broke down and had to be towed to our regular mechanic. this was beyond his expertise and car was towed to transmission company in lakewood. it was there over a week and eventually had to go back again. we are now experiencing gas smell in the car. The warranty had just expired feb, of this year. i was never notified of this expiring. i contacted GM, they state there will be no reimbursement . It was stated i could have taken it to a certified GM dealer at the time to see if they might cover it but could not incur any more towing costs with just a chance it might be covered, or be most likely harassed into purchasing a new vehicle instead. one area of their customer service said they could not email or provide any document stating they were refusing to have any reimbursement. i was told i would now have to wait to see if a recall ever comes out on this transmission to which i could then submit my bill for reimbursement. i have found articles regarding an issue with the transmission that was never fixed on the 2012 model. i mailed a letter to the CEO of GM Mary Barra, to which i received no response. everyone we have talked to said a transmission with this mileage should never have completely failed as this did. Very disappointed with our "american" made car. we will be looking to switch to other companies for new vehicles after this experience

- millhie2, Freehold, US

problem #4

Aug 202017

Cruze 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Car had just over 75,000 miles warranty had just expired. no assistance or help from dealer ship or company Transmission failed completely dealer ship offered for us to take out a loan from capital one bank in order to get car repaired. I only have about 5 more payments to make on this car. The loan does not cover the price of the repairs. In order to get this car repaired I would have to take out two loans to have it repaired. I thought the Chevrolet company stood by his products. I wouldn't buy another Chevy or recommend this company to any one or buy another GMC product.

Donald Brown

- Wanda B., memphis, US

problem #3

Apr 062017

Cruze

  • CVT transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I have a 2012 Chevy Cruze with just around 50,000 miles on it, and I need a new transmission!!! I was told by two dealerships, the one I bought it from and another, that the weird shifting problem was "a characteristic of the 2012" and could not be fixed. Well, it's getting fixed NOW! I am BEYOND livid!!!

Besides the shifting issues that the car is known for, about a month ago, it started to shudder; almost like it was going to stall when idling, and the headlights would dim. I brought it to a local mechanic who pulled codes off the computer and said it looked like the intake valve on the manifold. But, he cleared the codes, so I had to drive around for a couple of weeks. Now, the Chevy dealer is telling me I need a new tranny, and OF COURSE, it's no longer covered under warranty!

I am beyond upset at this, and I've written to both Chevy and GM. I wish I had some recourse!

- J F., Woodcliff Lake, US

problem #2

Aug 232015

Cruze ECO

  • Manual transmission
  • 14,500 miles

This is 2nd transmission for this car. original transmission failed completely in April 2013 & had to be replaced. Since then, car STILL has had numerous issues with transmission . . not shifting properly, not going into gear, no pickup when IN gear.

Early morning of August 23rd, transmission completely failed while driving on I-55 coming out of downtown Chicago. Experienced difficulty in shifting; clutch pedal would not release after being depressed. Engine started whining, car quickly bgean to slow down. Attempts to shift to any gear failed; clutch pedal went to floor & stayed there. Engine began to smoke.

Am currently waiting for car to be towed to dealer. Car is still under warranty (for another month); has only 14,500 miles on it, and this is 2ND time transmission has failed. I consider this car to be a lemon; certainly a defective product. I will never consider another GM product.

Update from Oct 7, 2015: At first, the Dealer & GM insisted the car was out of warranty, even though based on my paperwork, I had a month to go. They never gave up on this line, but agreed to a "one-time" fix as a show of "goodwill" . . . .

Dealer disassembled the transmission, said that the clutch pressure plate was completely shot (had basically disintegrated). This was, according to them "normal wear-and-tear". Now . . . the ORIGINAL transmission failed with the same issue . . THIS transmission failed after 12,000 miles in just over 2 years. The last manual transmission car I had, a Charger, had over 100,000 miles on it with no problems.

While the Dealer DID fix the car, I maintained that a second failure of this part in such a short time frame indicated a poorly-manufactured transmission, bad part, or both.

Since getting the car back it has been driven sparingly. The transmission STILL does not work properly; it's very difficult to shift in the lower gears. I can't wait to get rid of this thing; unfortunately I still have 2-1/2 years worth of payments to make . .

- Thomas D., Bridgeview, IL, US

problem #1

Dec 022014

Cruze LS 1.8L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,000 miles

The transmission began hissing when the clutch was let out (only quiet when clutch pedal was pressed in). Also, in reverse, first, and fifth gears, the shifter would violently shake.

- Joseph S., Campbell, OH, US

Not what you are looking for?