pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
71,950 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
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problem #9

May 302019

Sonic LS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

MY 2012 Chevy Sonic(manufactured in 7/12) supposedly does not have a fractured turbine shaft and supposedly does not fall under the transmission recall of 2014 #14234 or #14234a. Even though the description of the turbine shaft fracture in the recall absolutely matches the event in my car. At 72,000 miles there was a loud crunch and heavy lurch then the transmission was stuck in a single gear and lost reverse. Because the car is older than 5 yrs its out of the 5yr/100,000mi warranty so Faulkner Chevrolet Dealership in Lancaster, PA says that I have to cover the cost of repairs. I asked why I was supposed to accept a transmission failing at 72,000 miles and was told that its out of warranty and since I did all the recommended servicing at my local Napa Auto Masters garage it comes down to a loyalty issue. I wasn't loyal to chevy for my servicing so there is no way they will scratch my back and help out. The diagnosed failure was the 3-5 wave plate disintegrating and then pieces tore apart the rest of the transmission. Looking at a $3,327 rebuild. Which means I can't buy a quality replacement for that little but I'm not excited about trying to make this work.

As far as loyalty I have owned a 1954 chevy 3100 pickup for 19yrs, owned nothing but saturns, GMC and chevy vehicles and my parents have always owned Chevy vehicles. I'm sorry to say that I'm done overlooking all the complaints and failures to build quality vehicles and lack of customer care - I am not buying from chevy or GM anymore!

- trainermike, Spring Grove, US

problem #8

Feb 222019

Sonic LT 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I need to know if there is anyone else out there with a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LT (or otherwise) that is NOT in the recall, but had their transmission fail. This car was manufactured in Nov 2011. It stopped working while driving on the highway. Very bad scenario.

What was the final outcome? Fixed or not. Price to fix? New transmission or rebuilt. Did GM accept responsibility and pay for parts, labor or the whole thing?

- sonicowner, Chicago, US

problem #7

Sep 182018

Sonic LS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

My son bought this 2012 Sonic sedan new with 0 miles, no real problems and dealer was good. At 62,000 miles in Sept 2018, the automatic transmission went bad. The car just lurched to a stop after going over a speed bump (slowly ). the engine would turn over but if you tried to go,you would hear a loud whining noise and car would not go. Had to have it towed to my local mechanic. He says transmission locked up, needs to be replaced. The cost is $3,000.00 got no response from dealership service manager.

My son has been a Chevy consumer for over 15 years, they say warranty has expired, this really turns me off GM cars. I'm going to have to pay the money myself, because other than this transmission problem, the car has no rust , the interior is in excellent shape. But when its time to buy again .....it will not be a GM product! I'm an old retired guy who owned 12 GM products over 35 years, now I drive a Subaru ,with 0 problems for over 10 years.

- Charles R., Baden, US

problem #6

Aug 292017

Sonic LT 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,500 miles

Driving to work on 41 North (aka Lake Shore Drive). Stopped at traffic light. Light changed, car would not move, transmission stopped working. Called 911 and 1-800 Auto Assistance. Police and flatbed tow truck arrived, got to nearest Chevy dealership. Glad I had extended warranty. Dealer replaced transmission (approximately $4,500, my deductible $100). All good. Fast forward to October 2018. Again, occasional trouble transmission shifting gears. Now transmission starting to leak fluid. I can't go thru this again. Dealer wanted to buy my car in 2017. If the dealer still wants it they can have it. Looking for another car make and model this weekend.

- Cynthia W., Chicago, US

problem #5

Jul 162018

Sonic LT 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A recall for the same exact issue was released by GM, 14234 and 14234A/NHTSA recall 14V-315 000, but was told by the dealership that my VIN # was not included. While driving my transmission failed and my car was only able to coast to a stop. I had to pay for a rebuilt transmission and I am still fighting to be reimbursed. GM makes this difficult for anyone who doesn't have the time to invest 8+ hours a day to do. Upon further investigation, the problem stems from a bad part in the transmission that was made in India. Apparently the piece is not rounded and it creates an issue. This affected well over the 21,567 number GM gave.

In 2014 14,656 were remedied

In 2015, 68.230 were remedied...much larger than the 21,567 reported.....

Potential Number of Units Affected






General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2012 Chevrolet Sonic vehicles manufactured March 1, 2012, to June 29, 2012, and equipped with a 6 speed automatic transmission and 1.8L four cylinder engine. In the affected vehicles, the transmission turbine shaft may fracture.


If the transmission turbine shaft fracture occurs during vehicle operation in first or second gear, the vehicle will not upshift to the third through sixth gears, limiting the vehicle's speed. If the fracture occurs during operation in third through sixth gear, the vehicle will coast until it slows enough to downshift to first or second gear, increasing the risk of a crash.


GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the transmission turbine shaft, free of charge. The recall began on August 8, 2014. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14234.

- melb81, Cleveland, US

problem #4

Dec 182017

Sonic 1.8L Mfi Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,935 miles

A transmission that has a catastrophic fail after 56k miles should have been covered under a warranty recall. There was a recall of about 24 thousand cars, but ours was not one of them. There should be a total recall I have let several messages with the dealer with NO call backs, Chevrolet should do all they can to satisfy their customers, especially, after we bailed them out for the second time.Unless Chevrolet steps up and stands behind their product this will be the last GM product we buy.

- John K., Berkeley, IL, US

problem #3

May 202017

Sonic LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

mechanic said I'd be better off replacing the transmission than ordering and paying labor for the part needed to fix it.

- Stephanie B., Sylacauga, US

problem #2

Feb 012013

Sonic LS 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Dear Sir, It is highly regrettable to say that I lost my confidence about my Chevrolet Sonic. I was in a great impression and it was my dream to have a Chevrolet. Finally I just booked my vehicle even without having a test drive in 2013 February at Dubai, UAE. When I drive from the showroom itself, I feel something wrong about the transmission system. Then few days after I realized that, all vehicles have this problem of jumping while shifting to the next gear. In other word, it is not at all smooth gear shifting (I am talking about automatic transmission). Technically I can’t explain, but I am sure there is something wrong with gear ratio/acceleration/transmission set up. I had a visit to service center to fix this jumping while shifting to next gear, but no result. Anyhow after two three months, I been used to that error, but I come across to another irritating issue. Above 100KM speed, I am getting steering vibration!! Of course I know it might be alignment issues or balancing issues. I did spend lot of money and time to get it fixed at various service centers. Finally service agent come up with an answer “you have to change your tires, because your tires are flatten..!!”. I just keep my patience and keep on driving even this vibration was highly irritating. Finally I have changed all my four tires, but still it goes wrong. I am really don’t know what to do with this vehicle. As I told you earlier, I have booked my vehicle without having test drive because I trust on Chevy technology. But now I feel good part of this vehicle is only audio systems..!! nothing else!! If you guys have any reasonable answer, please advice. At least investigate the root reasons of all these errors. I hope Chevrolet will treat their customers well. IF ANYONE EVEN THINKS TO GET A SONIC….!!! THINK ONCE AGAIN, IF YOU REALLY NEED A HEADACHE, THEN GO FOR IT.!!!

Thanks and regards, Pramod Dubai UAE

- Pramod R., Uae, UAE, United Arab Emirates

problem #1

Mar 272014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

Just can't believe this ...still owe months....of payments and the quality of this car is a joke....I really don't want it back with a new transmission but, I have no choice.....It is what it is! Using a rental car for 5 days maybe it will be repaired or not.....per the dealer.....Whatever....

- Belinda A., Charlottesville, VA, US