Notes: Considering sales numbers and data that monitors complaints-per-make, there appears to be an unusually high number of issues with the 2012 Fiat 500. Perhaps that isn't surprising -- it is the first model year of the car, and those tend to have a higher incidence rate.

Of particular concern is the number of engine and powertrain complaints submitted to NHTSA.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,438 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 Fiat 500 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2012 Fiat 500 Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 042015


  • 36,000 miles


Ball-joint broke off completely causing damage to tires and front wheel well panel. Vehicle only has 36K miles and tires are rotated at every oil change. 10/4/15 rust spots on back hatch panel (reported over a year ago, has been returned 2 times and they are fighting me on the 3 return)

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 012014

500 4-cyl

  • 22,890 miles
Car falls front and drops on a parking lot. I was manuvering to park and the car fall because the tire, shock, transaxle, ball joint fall off. This results in damage in the body and I have photos of the car at the site on my work. No pothole, no crash, just falls and breaking apart...updated 12/02/14 updated 12/22/2015

- Lares, PR, USA

problem #3

Jan 142014


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500 sport. The contact stated that while entering the highway at 20 mph, the rear roof wing became detached from the vehicle and flew into incoming traffic. Both the manufacturer and the dealer were unwilling to remedy the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 14,000.

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 222013


  • 9,100 miles
A vehicle in the right lane made a U-turn, crossing the left lane causing the Fiat to T-bone the vehicle making the U-turn. The seat belt did not restrain the Fiat driver and the driver contacted the steering wheel with enough force to cause a significant compression injury to the sternum. The driver was transported by ems to a hospital. The vehicle could not be driven and suffered nearly $13,000 damage. Earlier in the drive, the Fiat 500 driver had to rock forward at an on-ramp to release the seat belt in order to view approaching traffic via the left outside mirror. Apparently, the seat belt does not or did not reengage after this movement leaving it free and the driver unrestrained. Air bags did not deploy.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 252011

500 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
Body seams left open/unwelded during manufacturing causing water leaks and electrical problems affecting brakes, lighting, restraint systems, power door locks, windows, mirrors, ABS, esp, hill start assist, etc. Open/unwelded areas also weren't painted during manufacturing. Improper repairs performed. "sealant" applied to close seams that should have been welded. Purchased 12/22/2011. Found interior wet on 12/25/2011. Returned to dealer on 01/02/2012. Spent 21 days in the shop. Problem was found to be, "numerous open body seams measuring over 10 inches long that were left open and unwelded and unpainted during manufacturing." Car was returned to me "repaired" on 1/23/2012. I immediately began experiencing numerous electrical problems. Then, noticed that the car was leaking, again, and even worse, on 1/30/2012. Car was never repaired/improperly repaired. Interior very wet. Electrical problems getting worse. Problems with brakes and 'hill start assist'. Fiat will not return my calls. I've sent letters asking that the car be replaced. The car is unsafe to drive.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

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