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?


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,739 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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

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

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 172016


  • 57,000 miles


Front seat right and left door handles, chrome covering split causing sharp edge resulting cut hand for driver.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #6

May 132016


  • 40,000 miles
Takata recall I was driving and I tried to brake at an intersection due to a red light and there was a car in front of me, I was unable to use the brakes because the pad got stiff and it didn't allow me to brake, I had to use my emergency brake but I hit the car in front of me.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 112015


  • 55,000 miles
I bought this vehicle brand new. Paint started to loose shine about two months ago ( I personally wash the vehicle with properly cars wash soup). Took to dealership and they can't cover under manufacture warranty. Cost over $400. Check engine on. Took to dealership and they found two hoses damaged and thermostat leaking.

- Pharr, TX, USA

problem #4

Feb 042015

Sonic 4-cyl

  • miles


As the only driver of the vehicle, I am mad that my door malfunctioned.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Aug 062014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 69,200 miles
All ten (10) airbags failed to deploy when my car was struck by a driver attempting to pass me on the left as I was turning left. That driver was speeding, crossed the double-yellow line to pass, did not have insurance nor a driver's license. My driver's door took the initial impact strike and was deeply creased as the other car continued forward into mine, then the front left wheel was struck; the wheel and a rod connected flew off, my fender was obliterated, engine components were smashed, and my car spun around at least 200 degrees. The other driver was going so fast, it continued forward more than 150 feet before the driver could get his vehicle to stop after striking my car. The insurance company deemed my car a total loss. During the accident, my head violently struck the door frame and I was knocked unconscious. It is a miracle from god that I wasn't killed! my husband is livid to think I could have died... and to think that the 10 airbags were a big selling point for us when purchasing the vehicle. We thought we were getting a safe vehicle. We feel lied to and abused as there is nothing that can be done about this--so says an attorney--since I was not seriously injured nor killed. After my insurance company pays, I'll still owe about $4000 on my new-ish Chevy Sonic, and I am still required to pay the balance to ally (holding the loan for this GM car) for a product that didn't perform as it should have to keep me safe. How is this not a crime" isn't this robbery" GM should provide some kind of assistance since it advertised untrue statements about the vehicle. If we would have known the car was unsafe, we would not have bought it. There's too little justice in America these days. GM, if you will make this right, I will place a full page advertisement in my newspaper telling everyone you took responsibility for your fault.

- Teague, TX, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #2

Apr 152013

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 21,967 miles
Was driving and smelt something burning and thought someone was burning something and I drove thru the smoke and so I kept driving and a mile down the road I kept smelling something burning so I pulled over and looked around in my car then got out and checked under the hood and nothing so I went ahead and drove home then looked around again and didn't find anything so I just went inside then the next day after it rained I seen that both my fog lights had moisture in them and when I got down and looked both my fog lights are all burnt and melted inside, I guess it got so hot it melted the light housing and all that.. it got so hot its black inside my fog lights and U can see where it got hot and the plasted melted and ran down to the bottom on the inside of my fogs.

- Morgantown, KY, USA

problem #1

Jan 202012


  • 8 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the front end of the vehicle was designed poorly and positioned to close to the ground. As a result, the front end of the vehicle would rub the ground while driving. An authorized dealer was notified and stated that the vehicle was designed to specification. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 8 and the current mileage was 491.

- Fontana, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?