really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,914 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Dec 072016


  • miles


Key sticks in the ignition, unable to remove when in park position. I work a dangerous job in bad areas and cannot depend on the key being released from the switch after parking. Whatch puts me in a awkward situation in regards to safety.

- New Iberia, LA, USA

problem #23

Nov 022016


  • 80,000 miles
After turning off engine and getting out of the car...it "cranked" over once trying to start on its own. I jiggled the key and it did it again. Removed the key several times and started/stopped the engine. Could not get it to duplicate the symptoms.

- Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

problem #22

Aug 192016

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 57,700 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. While pulling out of a parking lot onto the road to get in a turning lane, another vehicle crashed into the front driver's side of the contact's vehicle. The front driver's side wheel fractured and the key was unable to be removed from the ignition. The driver sustained whiplash and minor bruising. The front passenger flew into the front windshield. The gear shifter fractured when the front passenger was impacted by the force of the crash. An adult passenger in the rear of the vehicle and two children passengers sustained whiplash. Medical attention was received. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a yard. The manufacturer investigated the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 57,700. The vehicle was totaled. Updated 11/16/16.

- Jamestown, TN, USA

problem #21

Jul 142015


  • 65,000 miles


I've had this car for only 2 years and there is always something wrong. First I was driving and it just shut off all the light on dash board went off and from that point on nothing on the steering wheel works. No horn and none of the controls of it are working. My passenger air bag light stays on. Been in the shop 3 times still not working. Now the warning light of over heating come on everytime I have to still in traffic on my way home or driving for a over an hour, have to turn the heater on, on high to get the light and warning beeping to stop. It's already 90°, but if I don't the car start shaking. The reason I bought a newer car was to not have to put it on the shop every 4 months. So no horn, cruise control, not sure if air bag work on passenger side and to top it off have to ride with the heat on while it's 90°outside to make it home safe, ,(I think, ,).. I call GM customer services over and over again, and they tell me there is not other problems with other cars. My warranty is expired. So it's on me.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #20

Aug 112016


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the radio and the audible turn indicator failed to operate when activated. Due to the failures, the battery became inoperable. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 12V454000 (electrical system, exterior lighting). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 67,000.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #19

Jul 072016


  • 29,300 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. While the vehicle was stationary, the button on the shifting lever became stuck and would not release when the vehicle was shifted into park. As a result, the ignition key became stuck in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to be repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 29,300.

- Craftsbury, VT, USA

problem #18

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 #17

Jun 022016


  • 18,338 miles
My vehicle was in motion, straight-line, at 60 mph. This morning on my way to work, my gauge panel went haywire. This isn't the first time it's happened. It's happened many times. I've taken video of this condition and uploaded it to youtube. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?V=ivsdeo8lcr8 when it happens, not only does the speed and RPM's fluctuate rapidly and inaccurately, but the turn signals quit working (safety issue!), and since the traction control light is coming on, I assume it has quit working as well (safety issue). The vehicle is under warranty, and I've had it in to a local Chevrolet dealership (rk Chevrolet, Virginia beach, va) for repair. They were told of the youtube video and they watched it. They then tried to reproduce the problem and couldn't. so the vehicle was returned without a repair being done. The problem is intermittent. I've tried contact Chevrolet in another way but they were unresponsive. Time to try something different. That's why I am contacting you all.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

May 022016


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. When the vehicle was placed in the park position, the engine turned off and it was difficult to remove the key from the ignition. The contact stated that the button on the shift lever seized. The contact stated that the shift lever had to be tapped to disengage the button and remove the key from the ignition. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 56,000.

- Monticello, KY, USA

problem #15

Jun 012015


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. While driving 70 mph and attempting to activate the turn signals, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the entire electrical system needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #14

Mar 032014


  • 38,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. While driving 20 mph, the window wiper/washer switch failed and the anti theft warning indicator illuminated. The failure reccured several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the window wiper/washer switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #13

Oct 172015


  • 46,000 miles
My wiring harnesses have been chewed by rodents twice in less than 10 days because GM uses soy based plastics to coat the wiring harnesses. Soy products are used in the making of rodent foods. My car stopped dead in traffic because the wires broke due to the damage (found later at dealership). It was fortunate that I was just pulling away from a stop in my neighborhood when it occurred and not once I had reached interstate speeds where I normally drive to work. There are thousands of complaints online concerning this same problem.

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #12

Aug 192015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that all the safety features on the instrument panel became inoperable. In addition, the contact mentioned that both turn signals failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. However, the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Pittsburgh, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 012011


  • 40,000 miles
This message is describing 2 different issues: This vehicle was purchased brand new in the late summer of 2012 and has experienced consistent electrical issues starting in the winter of 2012. The entire middle console will complete power off, and the directional lights do not activate. The only strategy for "turning it back on" is when the rear window defrost button is pushed repeatedly. This has occurred every winter since. I have had the directional wand replaced, and have addressed 2 recalls sent from the manufactuer. The problems still persist. Second and most recent issue (began in April 2015)- the car stereo system has turned itself on at least 3 times while the car is parked, turned off- including the radio being powered off before the car is. On three occassions, I have came out the next morning and could hear my car stereo playing. On the third time, it killed the battery.

- Nitro, WV, USA

problem #10

Nov 032014


  • 21,000 miles
The first thing I noticed was when I turned the car on and put it in drive the radio turned off and would not come back on. As I was driving I then noticed the cars signal lights were not working either. I had to turn the car on and off several times before the signal lights would begin to work again.

- Greenwood, AR, USA

problem #9

Oct 072014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 45,814 miles
While driving home, the vehicle started to smoke. The windows were rolled down, the air conditioner was off and it is about 86 degrees outside. This isn't the first quirky incident to happen in this vehicle. I just bought it about 7 months ago. All the standard maintenance has been done to this vehicle. Not sure why it is smoking. After it being in our care for 4 months, the check engine light will also not go off, and the remote start doesn't work anymore. The driver side door has become loose as well. No one has been hanging on it, just simply opening and closing the door. Also the plastic cap on the shift has popped off. I will be getting it checked tomorrow and possibly getting rid of it sooner than later. This is a very poor GM model car.

- Shreveport , LA, USA

problem #8

Sep 262014


  • 50,000 miles
While driving home from work doing 55 mph the car just suddenly turned itself off with no warning. The dashboard went blank. Was able to pull over off the road. The key was still in the on position. The car restarted with no problem but my gas gauge showed only 1 bar and the miles per tank showed 40. Before the incident I had 1/2 a tank of gas. As I started driving again the gas gauge little by little started to move back up to where it was. Very scary.

- Belvidere, IL, USA

problem #7

Aug 082014


  • 4,000 miles
I have owned a 2013 Chevy Sonic for about 6 months now. The other day I went out to drive, so I started my car with my key fob. As I was about to drive away I reached up with my right hand to turn on the wipers. I hit the fob fairly hard and it caused the key to turn, which in turn shut off the car. Luckily I was not driving when I went to put the wipers on. Even more lucky was that I wasn't driving and hit it hard enough to lock the steering. I've heard that this was an issue in other vehicles and it was resolved by separating the key away from the fob so that the fob dangled instead of creating a long, solid key that could cause the issue which happened to me. You would think with all the ignition issues GM has had, they would have covered all possible problems, but obviously not. I feel the only solution would be to separate the fob from the key so that it does not lock and extend so much that it becomes an obstacle when using the controls around it. The key should be separate from the fob. Whether put on the same key chain or not, that would be up to the consumer.

- Gardner, MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 172014

Sonic 4-cyl

  • 16,487 miles
This has happened more than once since I bought the car in October 2013, but it is happening daily now. I put the key in the ignition and it will not turn at all. It is stuck. I take the key out and put it back in and try to turn with no luck. Today it took 15 times of trying to turn the key and taking it out and putting it back in before it would start. I have even videoed myself trying to start my car so I can show the dealership. I am supposed to take it in tomorrow.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #5

Jan 182014


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that the ignition key would not release from the switch until after several attempts. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the gear shift console housing was cleaned internally. The shifter cable was also cleaned with a degreaser solution. The vehicle was repaired however, one week later the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000.

- Olathe, KS, USA

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