Notes: The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is fairly new & is already showing an early trend of transmission problems.

Owners report hesitation when shifting & grinding/hard shifting into gears. Some dealers are calling the condition "normal". Another owner reported his dealership replaced the transmission under warranty, but the new transmission had the same exact grinding problem. Design defect?


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,566 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 Sonic accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 192015


  • 32,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph over a bump, the vehicle felt loose from underneath. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but there was no failure determined. The contact stated that failure recurred five months later and in addition, the vehicle made a humming noise when making a turn. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who diagnosed that the stabilizer links needed to be replaced. The contact also stated that the window washer fluid drained on the engine, and the dealer diagnosed that the hose connected to the fluid container was disconnected and needed to reconnect. The vehicle was not remedied. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 012015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. While attempting to shift, the gear became stuck intermittently. In addition, the washer fluid was not operating on the windshield. The contact had to constantly add wiper fluid to the washer hose. The dealer could not determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. A month later, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the cause of the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V408000 (visibility). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #5

Oct 062012


  • 12,361 miles
After purchasing my Chevy Sonic 2012, I went to get my first oil change 3 months later. And the engine light came on. I have gone back multiple times, and have been told that it was the gas cap which by the way had a recall on it. The light came back on a week later. Took it back they said that the one they replaced it with had a bad seal. They ordered the part replaced the cap. Drove for another two weeks and the engine light came back on. Took it back, this time they told me that the car needed a thermostat replacement done the light came back on again. Took it back this time, I was told that it was a air vent tube that was connected to the engine, which by the way is not covered under my power train, did that and yet again the light is back on. Now my radio goes on and off when it wants to. When I get up to go to work my battery is dead. They have also replaced the drivers air bag for some sort of recall. The windshield wipers was replaced as it also had a recall. I really want to trade this car in I am literary scared to drive it. Scared driver...........

- Maple Heights, OH, USA

problem #4

Apr 302015


  • 36,100 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. While attempting to activate the windshield wiper fluid, the windshield fluid failed to emit. The contact discovered that the wiper fluid was leaking under the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and the contact was informed that the VIN was not included in the NHTSA campaign number: 12V408000 (visibility). The failure mileage was 36,100.

- Lutts, TN, USA

problem #3

Apr 092013

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 38,286 miles
First of all the windshield wiper line keeps popping of my car not allowing me to use my windshield wiper fluid so the tank is always empty. Second while driving my car radio flickers on and off and sometimes completely goes black not only that my car speedometer is electrical and after 30 min of driving says im going 20/34/whatever mph it wants to read when im really going the hwy speed limit and I have often had to mess with the wires that run to my battery to turn my car back on since its the wires(electrical work and not the battery) my battery has been tested many times. Finally third the little shift button on my car keeps sticking and wont allow for my car to properly shift causing my car to over rev and not want to drive. Im now at 115,000 miles and every time I go to a dealership they say there is nothing wrong with my car when I know there is since I have been the one driving it and then they just give it back to me which still costs me money with no solution my cars state has just been getting worse and worse and due to limited income I cant afford to get a new one at this time otherwise I would have already traded this Chevy pos in. I also called Chevrolet's corporate office where the lady gave me a case number and never called me back like she was supposed to. While on the phone with her she told me that there was nothing she could do for my car since my car wasn't a recall but I find it odd that my car was made on February 28, 2012 which falls between two major recalls with problems similar to what my car has especially since one is the windshield wiper recall. So I believe that the Chevy corporation as a whole doesn't want to take responsibility for their faulty car that they have made and when you take it to a Chevy dealership they will continue to tell you nothing is wrong so that they just take your money and not fix your car. Unsafe&immoral.

- Burton, TX, USA

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problem #2

Aug 242014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving at night and it was warm bugs caked onto the windshield. When the bugs caked onto the windshield I tried to use my windshield cleaner and nothing would come out and I ended up smearing the bugs. I absolutely could not I made it to the nearest gas station and checked the reservoir to find it empty. I went into the gas station and bought a cheap bottle of clean and put it into the reservoir, and as soon as I put it in a puddle drained from underneath the car. I found that the reservoir could not hold the liquid and I figured that a hose must be loose.

- England, AR, USA

problem #1

Aug 232013

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 9,215 miles
I went to go some place when I noticed the passenger side of my windshield cracked. There is no chip indicating that something had hit it. The crack seems to have started from the edge of the windshield. It seems that the windshield had twisted. The crack is approx 8 to 12 inches and circles into an up side down U. I believe GM should look into this problem. I have checked to see if GM has a recall and they do not.

- Shenandoah, PA, USA

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