really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,945 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.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic brakes problems

brakes problem

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2013 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments

problem #11

Aug 252015


  • 17,889 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the rear failed twice. The dealer diagnosed that the rear brakes needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 17,889. The VIN was not available.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 172016


  • 44,000 miles
Car shakes very bad when driving and approaching a stop.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #9

Jun 122016


  • miles
Faulty computer/recalls I purchased the used vehicle 2 years ago and a month after the check engine light came on. I have brought this back to the dealer multiple times to fix, but it keeps happening. It is not an issue with my engine, but rather the computer. Because of the faulty computer issue, it has caused other issues in my car, including faulty reading and my inability to know if something dangerous actually was occurring in my vehicle. I am very frustrated, because this keeps happening and each year I have to deal with this issue to get my car inspected.

- North Reading, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 012015


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owned a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that when the ignition was turned to the on position, the engine revved continuously. The following day, the contact stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to stop. The contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained injuries to her head and neck that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an unknown location. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 48,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #7

Nov 012015


  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, her foot slipped off the accelerator and brake pedal when depressed. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred due to the accelerator and brake pedal being made out of metal instead of rubber. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was informed that there was no repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 23,000.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 102015


  • 56,400 miles
Intermittently, applying the brakes hard is unresponsive - like pressing on a board. I nearly struck 2 kids on bikes the other day. Scary. The dealer stated, "technician test drove vehicle and verified customer's concern. Inspected brake system, found check valve for brake booster stuck open and brake booster vacuum pump seized." I contend that this is not a wear and tear type of issue, but rather a manufacturer's defect. In researching this matter, I found message boards and forums that describe the same issue. Here is one such discussion: www.sonicownersforum.com/forum/handling-braking-suspension-discussion/18313-brake-pedal-gets-rock-hard-immediately-off-boost-vac-pump-going.html Chevrolet will not remedy this problem under the power train warranty and the dealer wants $700 to fix the problem. This should be fixed free of charge because it is apparently a common and very dangerous defect in this vehicle.

- Bradford, MA, USA

problem #5

Sep 122012

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 4,081 miles


I was driving on the highway at between 55 and 65 mph. The side I was on had a long, steady incline upward. I had set my cruise control to about 63 mph. As I was going uphill the cruise control was supplying fuel to get to and maintain my speed at 63 mph. I was approaching another car in my lane and decided rather than pass, I would slow down. They were going quite a bit slower than me so came up upon them quickly. I pressed the brake to slow down but the brake was hard as a rock. It would not budge so it did not disconnect the cruise control and my car kept accelerating. I panicked and tried to use both feet on the brake. It still would not budge. I was within 2 car lengths of the car in front of me when finally the car reached the speed I had set the cruise control for and the brakes finally depressed. In hindsight, I had options I.e. putting the car in neutral, turning key off, turning to avoid a collision, shutting off cruise control, but this car was new to me, and in that moment I fully expected the brakes to work. Once I was in control, I tried to recreate the problem with no one around, knowing my options now. It happened repeatedly. A service tech also had it happen to them. First attempt at repair did not fix it. Second attempt did. It was a bad check valve. Apparently the check valve let air out of a booster, so I lost my brakes? the check valve also let fluid fill the booster. The master cylinder and vacuum were replaced as well. Looking back, there were signs, but no obvious ones. A random hi-pitched noise (air squeaking out the check valve). Loss of brake fluid. Dealer had to fill it when I bought it and I added some at 6 months. This was a dangerous and scary experience. I question the design to dis-engage cruise control and the quality of the check valves themselves.

- Gardner, MA, USA

problem #4

Jul 242014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • miles
My brakes tremble, when stopping.. I had them check out. 07/24.2013.... the mechanic stated: The brakes are new. It might be rotors. What is the problem" is there a recall" if not there should be!!

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #3

Mar 122014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 28,700 miles
On March 12, 2014 around 8:00 P.M I had an accident with my vehicle at my home. My car is a manual transmission so when I went to turn it on, only half of my body was in the vehicle to turn it on. Before turning it on I did notice the E-brake engaged and the car was in first gear. I proceeded to turn it on knowing that I could still take it out of gear before engaging the clutch again. At the moment of ignition though, the car took off forward and took me with it. From the panic that I had, I held onto the steering wheel and pulled it to the left and the vehicle ran into another parked vehicle to the left front of me. The impact of the vehicle led to the door of the Chevy Sonic to close on my right leg and the door stayed shut on my leg since the car had ran onto the right side of the other vehicle. Upon impact onto the other vehicle, I noticed an odd smell that seemed like brakes. The car had stopped due trash cans that were at the front of it. When the car impacted the trash cans, the vehicle stopped moving yet the car was still wanting to go on ahead as if someone was accelerating the vehicle. During this time while this happened and I was still pinned between the door of the Chevy Sonic and having the door kept shut on me due to the side impact with the other vehicle, I smelled something that seemed like brakes to me. After several attempts to shut off the vehicle, I finally managed to turn it off. I then put it to neutral and disengaged the E-brake and had family members roll the car back. Upon being unpinned from the other vehicle and having my leg freed from the Chevy Sonic, my first thought was to try out the E-brake to make sure it was working properly. The E-brake did not fail to engage or disengage. I have repeated this same situation over and over. The only result has been the car jerking forward about 2 feet then stalling due to the E-brake being engaged.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 052013


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 32 mph and attempting to apply the brakes, a grinding noise was heard as the brakes malfunctioned. The dealer was notified of the defect but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 8000.

- Clearwater , IL, USA

problem #1

Nov 212013


  • 327 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the brake pedal abnormally traveled to the floorboard without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the master brake cylinder was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 327.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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