2018 Chevrolet Sonic Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Seats, electrical and powertrain problems issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Compact cars aren’t as popular anymore, but drivers looking for a cost-conscious model were fond of the 2018 Chevrolet Sonic.  In fact, it turns out that this compact model features a faulty electrical system, defective seats and a shoddy powertrain.


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Problems with the Electrical System

The electrical system of any car is needed to start it and keep everything running the way it should. When something malfunctions, it becomes a major nuisance to drivers.

That’s perfectly illustrated with this Cars.com review. “This car is a pile of garbage. Bought it with 6 miles on it. First week of owning it they had to replace my seat. They have had to replace my radio to as it shuts off and skips. Doesn’t connect to my phone half the time. The on star light is red an none of the buttons work… the car only starts when it wants..Wouldn’t recommend this car to anyone.Also the gas mileage is terrible!!!”

While numerous issues were addressed within that review, it’s vital to pay attention to the electrical system complaints. GM hasn’t attempted to hide any troubles, with nearly 70 communications about this system alone. Service Bulletin #PIT5655A is one of the more humorous notes. It states that some owners receive a Bluetooth call that continues to ring through the system until the car is shut off. Of course, the automaker attempts to blame the problem on the phone manufacturer but claims it can resolve it with a software update. It’s quite hard to “Keep Calm” when the phone won’t stop ringing during a morning commute. In fact, it’s downright dangerous.

Problems with the Seats

Another top concern with the 2018 Chevrolet Sonic has been the seats. While no one expects this car to provide luxury seating like that found in a Mercedes or BMW, it’s still common to think that the seats will be safe, but that’s not the case.

One NHTSA complaint states, “My driver seat drops a level while I drive. Very dangerous and hazardous.”

It turns out a recall was issued for other seat-related concerns. In fact, NHTSA Campaign Number 18V342000 says that the seatback frame joint might not be welded correctly. If the car were to be involved in a rear-impact crash, it’s possible for this seatback to fail and cause injury to occupants. To fix the situation, the entire seatback must be replaced. Maybe the assembly welders were a little too calm during the production of this vehicle. What else would explain the lack of strength to the seats?

Problems with the Transmission

Again, no one is looking for high-end features or components out of the 2018 Chevy Sonic, but it should have basic functions that get occupants down the road. Yet, it seems to really struggle with the powertrain.

Just look at what Consumer Reports had to say about this car model. “The six-speed manual transmission is somewhat balky, but the automatic has to dig for gears constantly.”

It turns out these aren’t the only transmission issues that Sonic owners need to worry about. Service Bulletin #16NA019 states that it can also suffer from low mileage harsh shifts, flares and slips. It turns out that the powertrain wasn’t given the time and care it deserved. Instead, owners are left with a bucking bronco as they attempt to travel down the road. It’s unclear yet how Chevy expects customers to remain calm behind the steering wheel of this model. Obviously, the only peace of mind would come from switching brands entirely and chalking this one up to being a lemon.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Chevrolet pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Christine R

    I owned a Chevy Sonic 2018. I was forced to trade in. It has a lot of electric problems. The rear camera half the time did not turn on automatic. The radio constantly shut off. The blue tooth did not work. My phone could not connect maps to car. OnStar sometimes wouldn’t work and car was hard on gas.

  • Paul S

    My car loses power while driving, now it will not start

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