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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Fiat 500:

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

2012 Fiat 500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Dec 062016


  • 63,000 miles


Takata recall - Chrysler owns Fiat and I had a problem with my air bags on a 2012 Fiat. I was in a small fender bender. All air bags opened but all the front air bags ruptured. No one else was in the car with me but the sensor in the passenger seat did not kick in. All air bags deployed. I had injuries which were a factured elbow, dislocated my arm in two places. Since then I am having trouble with my shoulder, neck, headaches, and my back. I am going to the doctors and physical theraphy. Please get back to me as soon as possible as I am going to hire an attorney to see what can be done. My insurance company consider it a total loss.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #25

Dec 262016


  • 189,000 miles
My car 3C3cffar2ct280401 2012 Fiat 500 pop 2 door hatchback has still not had the safety recall fixed Fiat Chrysler is in contempt of court because my recall has not been fixed in a timely matter!

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #24

Jul 292016


  • 1,760,000 miles
I can not get my headlights to shut off when I contact Fiat at 888-242-6342 they tell me that it is some kind of updating software called follow me 30. I know for fact that this vehicle did not have this software available for the 2012 that software was only used on vehicles in 2010 and Fiat didn't have 5 dealerships in the entire United States of America if they had one in 2010. The software follow me was only on foreign Fiat cars also I keep getting a light saying tire pressure monitoring is unavailable! when I call Fiat I get poor customer service I even had a lady call me a criminal for giving my whole VIN # she stated she needed to "make sure you didn't just walk by the vehicle and give a VIN # that you got from something else." I believe Fiat is hacking in to vehicles in an effort to get customers to bring the vehicles to ken graff Fiat 198 E 500 South salt lake city Utah 84111. I refuse to go back to this car dealership because they seem to be more concerned whith when and where I purchased the car and if I had a car note Fiat tried to pretend that they didnt have parts avalible and to get me to drive a loaner car. I own my car! I dont have a car note and it seems to be alot of funny business going on in regards ken graff and chysler Fiat aurbun hills refuses to help with the matter also the milegage seems to have slowed down a whole lot for example if I drive 20 miles it will only show 15. I want my car to work not be a danger to my child and myself my car now has 176,000 miles on it!

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #23

Aug 022016


  • 35,250 miles


My Fiat has less than 36K miles my driver's side door handle has broken off and has been on national back order for over a month. I can not even get it fixed right now. Also my starter does not work and I have to pop start the engine at the moment because I can not order the starter to replace it. The car has less than 36K miles

- Pulaski, NY, USA

problem #22

Jul 162016


  • 39,970 miles
Stopped at bank to withdraw some cash and the alternator started on fire! had the car towed to mechanic to repair.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #21

Aug 012012

500 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. When the ignition was turned to the on position, half of the instrument panel failed to illuminate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the instrument panel was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. When the ignition was turned to the on position, the engine revved but the vehicle failed to start. The ignition had to be turned to the off position and back on in order for the vehicle to start. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the started idle gear failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact also stated that the fuel gauge failed to register the fuel range. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the fuel gauge failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 15.....updated 08/29/16

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #20

Feb 112016


  • 58,249 miles


"takata recall" mechanical defect has been detected. My car was on the highway when suddenly it randomly began stating to "check transmission see handbook." I took it to a Fiat dealership in which I immediately advised them of the diagnosis code P0741 had been provided to them at drop off before any work was performed - tony (the service advisor) said that was not helpful could mean anything. (diagnosis means: Torque converter clutch circuit performance or stuck off) I was advised numbers lies and was told I needed a new transmission. Turns out there is a fault in the wiring of the system and computer which is now causing car to not stay in gear. I want to raise all awareness to this issue. Especially since the purchase of this car (only 58K in mileage) I have had to personally replace the following: Number of radiator repairs: 2 sunroof: 1 transmission: Faulty mechanical error total tune ups: 2 brake installments: 3 I was not made aware of any prior issues before purchase all issues have occurred due to manufacture negligence! no accidents have occurred. Please assist me in any way possible.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #19

Jun 012012


  • 38,400 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. While driving at various speeds, several unknown warning lights illuminated before the vehicle stalled. The contact stated that with multiple attempts, the vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred intermittently. In addition, when parked, the vehicle was not able to start and the key could not be removed from the ignition switch. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle's system had to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was serviced, but the remedy failed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,400.

- Redwood, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 242015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed that the power steering module failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure occurred on multiple occasions. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Montgomery, TX, USA

problem #17

Jan 192012


  • 500 miles
Within several weeks after purchase of Fiat 500 we encountered a problem starting the engine. Upon turning the ignition key the engine responded with an electrical motor whine but did not start. After several repeated attempts the engine would start and function normally. Gas mileage has never been as high was represented in sales information. The vehicle has been returned to the dealer multiple times for correction but the dealer has been unable to diagnose the problem. A complaint has been lodged with both the dealer and Fiat usa.

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #16

Apr 102015


  • 25,000 miles


Was driving on the freeway and the car lost power. All lights on indicator dash went off. No steering ability and little/no control of vehicle. Failure resulted in a crash. No airbags deployed even though there was side impact to both sides and front end impact. The car was totaled.

- Henrico, VA, USA

problem #15

Sep 262012


  • 200 miles
After a week of driving the car, I noticed the time on the clock was 10 minutes fast. I reset the clock and three days later, it was 2 minutes fast again. I repeatedly adjusted the clock every week for about 18 months. After 8 months, I decided to let it continue to run fast to see if it would continue. About a month ago, it got to the point that I had to go ahead and reset it because I never really knew what time T was without checking my phone. At that point, the clock had not been reset for 6 months and was 50 minutes fast. Very inconvenient for the driver and causes a distraction just to check my phone to make sure I'm not late to work or an appointment.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #14

Oct 242012

500 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
Since I purchased my 2012 Fiat 500 sport in September of 2012 I have had this issue. Occasionally (about 4 times a week), the car fails to start. When turning the key in the ignition, the car makes a noise as if it is going to start but winds down and loses power. I turn the key back, wait about 5 seconds and the car will normally start. This happens all year around. I contacted the holt Fiat of fort worth where the car was purchased and took it in to be looked at. They could not replicate the issue. It is very random but happens very often.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 012012

500 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
I was driving on the highway when the vehicle shut off and dropped speed quickly, was advised by the dealer that it was an electrical shortage to the battery as the car was brand new. Took the vehicle back in for repair, and it has happened three more times since that over the past two years. Two of those times were also on the highway. The most recent was last month (September 13, 2014) while making a U-turn at a light in front of moving traffic the car completely shut off right after my turn. Luckily, I was able to coast to the side and the car behind me saw me in time to stop.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 122012


  • miles
This occurred about 6 times already. When making a left or right turn the vehicle shuts off and coasts until you stop to shut it off and turn back on. The battery and oil pressure lights come on during the coasting. Came very close to being hit twice due to this problem, but the dealer say they haven't heard anything like this before.

- Fort Meade, FL, USA

problem #11

Jun 122014


  • 49,837 miles
Pulling away from a stop light under light acceleration, multiple warning lights came on including "ESC disabled" and multiple light warnings for the gearbox, the steering, electronic throttle control, general malfunction light, ESC off light, and ESC malfunction light, and lost power steering, almost causing an accident while trying to get the car off the road. The car was shut off and restarted immediately with no change. After letting the car sit for a half-hour, the car was restarted and steering was restored and no warning light were on. The vehicle was driven home and parked until it was towed to the dealership. They drove the car over 50 miles and were unable to repeat the incident or identify the problem so they released the unrepaired vehicle to the owner.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #10

Oct 152012

500 4-cyl

  • 6,520 miles
Periodically the starter will not engage. It does a whine as though the starter on the vehicle is a starter that is going out. I took it back to butler Fiat in indianapolis, in on April 1st, as the problem became worse and worse. They replaced the starter under warranty but it started doing the same thing less than two weeks after replacement. Something was mentioned at the time about faulty bolt or a part in the starter causing a malfunction. If anyone has ever had a starter go out in a car it is the same sound when the rotary does not engage and you have to make a second attempt to start the car. My vehicle still has less than 13,000 miles on it and I need the problem fixed.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #9

Nov 012010


  • 25,000 miles
After dealer replaced faulty rear main seal in July/August 2013, rear wiper blade would activate with controls in off position, causing me to have to move front windshield wiper control arm up and down, and then rear wiper blades would stop. Also the car starter would intermittently make a electrical noise after turning the key and the car wouldn't start, then I had to turn key two to three times to start car. After two months with above, in cold weather below 35 degrees the stereo, cd player, blueme systems won't work! it only starts to work after the car and surrounding environment reaches 40-45 degrees. Called into dealer and have appointment for checking all and repair/replace components not working properly and safely.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #8

Jul 252013

500 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
Air bag lights are not showing on the instrument cluster the airbags are not working!

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #7

Oct 182013

500 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Reported electrical burning smell thru ventilation system. Dealership denied electrical burning but found gas puncture in plastic gas tank, says smell is from burning gas. (owner disagrees) however with no other suspension or body damage found except the gas tank puncture there is great concern that this is a serious dangerous design flaw. That the tank can be punctured so easily without the knowledge of driver of any event.

- Sardis, MS, USA

Read the next 6 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?