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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,497 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Fiat 500 Owner Comments

problem #13

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 #12

Jun 142016


  • 48,000 miles
At 47,500 miles and 4 years, 9 months of ownership, my passenger side lower front ball joint broke. There were no signs of problems leading up to the breakage. Unfortunately Fiat no longer makes the 2012 lower front ball joints and the 2013+ ball joints require a new assembly so the entire ball joint, control arm, etc. Assembly has to be created.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #11

Oct 272015


  • 61,500 miles
2012 Fiat 500 prima edizione. Backing out of parking lot, driver's side front wheel disconnects from the lower control arm. Car falls almost to the ground. Dealer identifies worn ball joint. Just under 62K miles. Recent alignment and tire replacement done by the dealer. All regular service done at same local dealer since new. First and only owner. Very fortunate this did not happen on the highway at speed.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #10

Jul 152015


  • 66,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. The contact stated that the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver when making a turn. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 66,000.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #9

May 232015


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Fiat 500. While driving at approximately 70 mph, the steering seal was loose. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the failure was located at the ball joints. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Rodchester, MN, USA

problem #8

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 #7

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 #6

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 #5

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 #4

Dec 232013


  • 40,047 miles
I was driving home on a road flat/straight road with a 50 mph speed limit. I was shifting my gears (manual) as I noticed that the light ahead was turning from red to green. I could not get the gear to grasp 3rd. Moreover, the when I tried pressing the brake, it did not feel like it normally does. It was much more difficult to push the brake. I was really scared and almost had an accident. I was somehow able to coax my car to the side of the road. I turned the car off, and turned it back on. I fully pushed the clutch in with my left foot, but was unable to moved the gear shift from neutral into any of the gears (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or reverse). I turned the car off again, at this point I took my foot off the clutch and was able to freely more the gear shift into any of the gears. Something is tremendously wrong with this car. If this had happened to me on the highway I could have been seriously injured. The dealer has said that the clutch, bearings, and pressure plate needs to be replaced. My concern is that this may happen again to me if the dealer replaces the bad parts with new ('potentially defective') parts. A recall needs to be issued. I do not want this to happen to again to me or someone else.

- Sparks, MD, USA

problem #3

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

problem #2

Jun 202012

500 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The steering wheel makes a bad noise when turning the wheel. I brought the vehicle in to the dealership and they verified that it is a defective steering column. They put part on order. It has been a month and still not in. I called the corporate headquarters and they said that they would try to expedite the part. I explained that I've been waiting for a month now, and the dealership said they would cancel the order and re order it. What do I have to get in a crash first and wait another month" maybe hurt not only myself, but god forbid others" please help.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 012011

500 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
Axle is making cracking noises and dealer said they can't duplicate after 2 attempts. Noise is getting louder. First started at 600 miles. Safety issue.

- Glendale, CA, USA

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