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:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,093 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Fiat 500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Jun 102013

500 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles


I own a 2012 Fiat pop that I purchased new about a year ago. One thing that did not go away and was ever present at any time was the limp mode for the engine over the last few days. Recycling did not work to correct problem and gauges were out. The indicator light on panel showed in limp mode when it worked. Gauges kept going on and off sometimes for short periods and other times for longer periods. On 6/10/13 my vehicle caught fire in the dashboard. I was traveling back from the store in limp mode hoping it would go out but never did.I parked the car in front of my development pool and went to visit my employee there. Within about 5 minutes or so she said that my lights were flashing. I checked and went to the vehicle. It was engulfed with smoke and a nasty electrical smell. Fire department came. I was told that I had to wait for the fire inspector to come and examine my vehicle. He came. Began tearing my dashboard apart to find the cause or source of the fire. It was determined by his knowledge and experience that the body control unit had failed and caused the fire. Vehicle is totaled. The vehicle has only about 4000 miles on it. Earlier that day before the incident I had called the local Fiat dealer. Explained the problem of the gauges not working, and limp mode, I asked if it was safe to drive and he said yes. At this point I made an appointment to have the vehicle looked at hopefully that day. Only opening was next day at 2pm. I have filed an insurance claim and the vehicle has been towed away.

- Whitsett, NC, USA

problem #5

Sep 142012

500 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
The key fob button is not recessed. This means the ignition key often opens into my pocket just from normal body movement. It stabs my thigh. This is a vehicle safety problem because it happens when I am driving my other vehicle and can be extremely distracting.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #4

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

problem #3

Jan 112012


  • 250 miles


Really cold morning, upon starting, the TPMS reported the left front tire low on pressure. And tire light stayed on. I had all 4 tires checked and filled to specs, Continental tires, but the tire light stayed on for the next day and a half, wherein I drove about 65 miles, and turned the car on/off numerous times. (at work, store, overnight, etc.) the tire place that I took the car too to have the air checked, was unable to determine how to reset the TPMS. There was nothing out about this car yet. (fyi, you can use a Chrysler reset unit) the tire light finally went out the next day on it's own on the way home from work. Went to the Fiat dealership a few days later to find out how to reset the TPMS if/when it happens again. The service manager checked it out. Let air out until the light came on, then filled it to the correct pressure, then drove it about 50 feet, and the TPMS light reset itself. So, the system appears to operating properly now after what I had observed. Will watch to see if it becomes a problem.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #2

Dec 302011

500 4-cyl

  • 320 miles
I'd pulled over in a parking lot to take a phone call (bluetooth reception was static-Y), and was sitting with my foot resting on the brake pedal. I felt a kick under my foot, turned the engine off and removed my foot from the brake as I completed the call. When I started the car and pulled to the edge of the lot's exit, I of course stepped on the brake to stop and check for traffic, but the brake pedal was stuck and I rolled into the street. I hope I used the handbrake to stop the car, although I really don't remember. I did reverse back into the parking lot, using the slight slope of the driveway to ensure I could stop once out of the street. The car was towed to the dealer. It's probably unrelated, but the voice recognition system was working sporadically that same morning.

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 252011

500 4-cyl

  • 4,500 miles
Car was stalling and shutting off. Had my daughter in the car. Couldn't start the car after 3 attempts. Then after waiting a good 3 minutes started the car and revved the engine at 4000 RPM and everything seemed back to normal. Dealer hasn't been able to duplicate.

- Glendale, CA, USA

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