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:
14,450 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 engine problems

engine 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

problem #10

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 #9

Nov 202016


  • miles
There is an existing recall S34 / NHTSA 16V -302 on my vehicle. The service center, helfman Fiat alfa romeo maserati 7720 katy fwy, houston, tx 77024 is unable to remedy this defect until May 24th 2017. This is an unreasonable amount of time.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Oct 272016


  • 18,500 miles
Manual clutch recall received June 2016. Per only Rhode Island dealer, Fiat still has not provided the repair parts as of October 27, 2016. Serious safety issue as clutch continues to stick or not return unpredictably in moving traffic situations. Five months have passed since recall and manufacturer has failed to remedy. NHTSA should impose a serious and exemplary fine and other penalty. Recall is S34 / NHTSA 16V-302. Please respond to me at [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Barrington, RI, USA

problem #7

Aug 012016


  • miles


Failed clutch cover diaphragm spring may result in the inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and the potential for a loss of motive powerwhich could cause a crash without warning. No accidents to report

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Feb 162013


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. While driving various speeds with the accelerator pedal depressed, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate without warning. The contact also stated that a burning plastic odor emitted from the vehicle. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to start. The contact mentioned that the failures recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch pedal needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V302000 (power train); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- West Richland, WA, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Aug 042012

500 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


Shortly after purchasing my vehicle I began to have issues with a soft clutch or a stuck clutch. Usually while driving at freeway speeds and attempting to downshift or come to a stop the clutch pedal will lose all pressure and either become stuck to the floor or not operate normally. Upon stopping and pumping the clutch some pressure will return and the clutch will operate abnormally for a shot time before returning to normal feel. Usually the clutch will get stuck to the floor and I will be unable to pull the car out of gear while driving 50+ mph. The fluid level in the master cylinder has never fallen below normal and 2 separate dealerships have checked it multiple times and said there was no fault to be found but I experience this problem on either a monthly, weekly or even daily basis during the worst episodes. The car is currently at about 25,000 miles now and the problem remains a constant annoyance that leaves me feeling unsafe in operating the vehicle at times because I do not know when or how bad the problem will be.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 012014


  • 12,400 miles
I experienced unintended acceleration twice this week. The first incident took place on January 31, 2014. The other was February 1, 2014. Both incidents took place at low speeds. Basically as I was coming to a stop, the car just accelerated out of control. I was under 5mph on both incidents. What it feels like is as I am coming to a slow down the transmission does not go down in gear and just thrusts and takes off. I ran into a hedge in the parking lot on the February 1st incident. I was able to apply the brakes, but not in time to avoid the collision with the hedge. I did not have my foot on, or near the accelerator. Both times my foot was on the brake.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Feb 152013

500 4-cyl

  • 5,600 miles
The steering column, down by the floor sucked my floor mat up under my accelerator and brake pedal. I could not brake, or turn the steering wheel....updated 06/28/13

- Niles, OH, USA

Not what you are looking for?