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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,448 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2012 Fiat 500 Owner Comments

problem #18

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 #17

Oct 032016


  • 179,880 miles
I have had to take my vehicle to ken garff Fiat at 198 E 500 S in salt lake city Utah in order to get the clutch fixed the clutch went out at 179840 miles and now I am being charged $925 to replace the cluth. I am also being told that there is no recall for the part on my clutch when I know there is and that I must replace the whole clutch I am also being to told that my steering colum is broken however as of todays day no one mechanic at ken garff Fiat has driven the vehilce. I have also been given a loaner vehilc to drive from ken garff Fiat I just I want my vehilce and I want it woring properly and I want it to pass safety and edmissons before the vehicle is released to me I have contacted chysler at 888-242-6342 over 387 times since 2013 chysler has been unwilling to intervene I am concerned about the saftey of myself and my 14 year old child in this vehilce. My car has been at ken garff Fiat since 10-03-2016 and as of todays date 10-19-2016 the work is still not complete!

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #16

Oct 092016


  • miles
Parked my 2012 Fiat 500 in our outdoor parking space. I opened my driver seat door and got out shut my door and turn to go. I than heard a loud pop/ bang and turn to see my air bags side curtain and seat air bag had deployed. My girlfriend was in passenger seat when they deployed. The car was parked and ignition/ engine was off with keys out. There was no reason for the deployment of air bags. I was not injured but my girlfriend has hearing issues. We have had no help from the Fiat dealership.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 152016


  • 25,000 miles


Takata recall? traveling on a poorly designed new tollway heading toward an exit ramp decelerating from the 70 mph speed limit, the vehicle hydroplaned and impacted a retaining wall. The driver, passenger, and lower curtain airbags deployed. There was no passenger in the car. The driver was struck in the upper right chest with something that sliced through the fleece lined rain jacket worn, and whatever it was was so hot that it melted the edges of the cut material. The driver also sustained extensive deep bruising in the location of the strike. Had the driver not been wearing the jacket, there would have been serious damage to the flesh beyond bruising, and had the strike happened slightly higher, injuries leading to death could have occurred. There is no published information stating that the airbags in this vehicle are takata, but the damage and injuries resulting from the deployment suggest that they are. The driver was taken to the hospital via ambulance. All injuries were seatbelt and air bag related. The driver's corneas are also severely abraded due to paticulate material projected during the airbag deployment.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #14

Jun 012016


  • miles
Takata recall. The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V302000 (air bags) however, the parts for the recall were not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- College Park, GA, USA

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problem #13

Jun 152014


  • 70,000 miles
Warning says airbag malfunction, all the time.brakes wear every 1000 miles.wheel bearings went out at 70,000 miles..these malfunctions happen when moving...

- Warsaw, IN, USA

problem #12

Sep 222015


  • 122,290 miles


I took my car in to Fiat in slc Utah ken garff they took my car said I had an oil leak then came back and said I needed a catalyst converter I believe the electronic system has been hacked into by the dealership in order to make money which puts me and my 13 year old child are at risk in this car please help I have been though this same thing in buford ga please help I want Fiat to buy my car back I own it out right please I dont trust the dealer something is going on with the electonic system

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #11

Jul 112015


  • 25,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. While driving at 40 mph, the contact's vehicle crashed into another vehicle that was stopped. The air bags did not deploy. The contact mentioned that the air bag warning light illuminated. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a whiplash that required medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an impound lot. The failure mileage was 25,500.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #10

Jul 272015


  • miles
Brakes almost failed while driving, ignition stalled several times, steering is loose at times while driving. Reported on July 27,2015 to landmark Fiat of atlanta, ga.about these problems and no one has gotten back to me as yet for repairs! scared to drive vehicle!

- Aragon, GA, USA

problem #9

Jul 152015

500 4-cyl

  • 79,800 miles
My 2012 Fiat 500 vehicle was moving @ 55mph on cruise control when it experienced a crash with another vehicle that pulled across its path. The Fiat struck other the vehicle broadside near the rear of the other vehicle with right half of front of Fiat. Fiat then pitched to the right and then rolled (side to roof) twice landing finally on its wheels. As the driver, I assure you I feel lucky to be alive. However, not even one single airbag in the Fiat deployed --- not the driver's airbag, not the passenger airbag, not the side air bags, not the rear head air bag and not the side head curtain air bags. There have never been any air bag warning lights illuminated on this Fiat. This Fiat has always been serviced at a fca/Chrysler dealership. There has never been any mention of any air bag problems by any of the service personnel who have serviced the vehicle during any of the service visits. Part of my decision to buy this particular vehicle instead of another compact car was the vehicles abundance of air bags and 4 and 5 star overall, frontal, side and rollover crash ratings. If the airbags do not deploy on these vehicles, I do not think the safety rating can be considered correct..updated 07/21/15 updated 9/22/2015

- Pikeville, NC, USA

problem #8

Sep 272013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. After being involved in a head on crash, the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact endured a shoulder injury and the passenger suffered a neck injury that required medical attention. It was unknown if a police report was filed or not. The vehicle was taken to a collision center and the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Oct 302014

500 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
I constantly get a "driver side air bag failure, see handbook" notification on my dashboard. There's no rhyme or reason. No set speed when it happens. It happens typically if you go over bumps, like there's a short in it. But no one can fix it.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #5

Sep 272013


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. Another vehicle crashed into the front end of the contact's. the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact's prosthetic arm had to be replaced and a rotator cuff was torn, which required medical attention. The vehicle was repaired, but the details of the repairs were unknown. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The speed was unknown. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Apr 242013


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500C. The contact was driving 40 mph and crashed into another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The vehicle was destroyed. There was damage to the front fender and the front driver's side door. The contact sustained a mild concussion. A police report was not filed of the incident. The vehicle was not inspected to determine the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but did not offer any assistance. The failure and current mileage was 20,000.

- Surfside , 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 282011

500 4-cyl

  • 2,999 miles
The airbag failure warning light has consistently activated on my new Fiat since I purchased the vehicle new. Have returned the car for service to the dealer numerous times regarding this issue; many times the dealer has informed me that they show no indication of the airbag failure light being activated. Since then, I have taken numerous photos with my phone of the airbag failure warning light being triggered as the dealer's service department seemed to need more evidence of this occurrence. However, the issue has yet to be resolved and I am seeking resolution through the better business bureau.

- Perris , CA, USA

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