2020 Chevrolet Spark Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Build quality, steering and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Compact cars don’t dominate the street anymore, but there is still a place for them in urban settings. The 2020 Chevrolet Spark is labeled as a “city go-getter,” but getting it to actually go can be trouble. This vehicle suffers from a defective steering system, poorly-built structure and unimpressive engine.


Steering Problems

While driving a compact car, it shouldn’t take much effort to keep the vehicle on the road. After all, the Spark is just a tiny little package. Yet, customers are complaining about the steering system.

Here’s one comment left on the NHTSA website. “Driving 3-5 mph in a parking lot, while in the apex of the left turn to Park in the spot, the steering wheel started to shutter left and right, not so violently that I could not control the vehicle, because I was driving very slow, but just enough to feel, and see the steering wheel move left and right between 1/8-1/16 inch in rapid pulses. It lasted about 5-7 seconds. The vehicle only had 26 miles on the odometer. The new vehicle was delivered by flatbed truck on 3/31/2020 with only 5 miles on the odometer, the date of the event was 04/05/2020. Weather dry, tires full. It concerns me, as my wife drives this vehicle with my grandchildren. Please advise. Thank you.”

This isn’t the only steering issue being talked about. Service Bulletin #16NA109 also discusses how some of the steering gears might have too much grease or sealant applied. This seems like such a simple thing to have overlooked, which could also lead to trouble down the road. Basically, the only way this car is going to “go-get” anything in the city is if the street is completely straight.

2020 Chevrolet Spark Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Air Bags
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Electrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Seat Belts

Problems with the Build Quality

While the Spark isn’t as cheap as a Hot Wheels car, it doesn’t cost a lot. Budget-minded drivers don’t expect to sit behind the wheel of a luxury model when buying this car, but they do expect it to stay together and work correctly.

One Cars.com review talks about some manufacturing problems with the Spark. “I could not adjust the mirrors when driving, unlock the doors from the driver seat nor from outside the car, nor control the windows. That was very inconvenient.”

Aside from these problems that have been overlooked, Chevy talks about another issue that should have never occurred. Service Bulletin #PI0281H states that customers are bringing cars in because of underbody corrosion. New vehicles should never deal with rust as the Spark does. In fact, there are many older cars sitting in the junkyard that look better than the Spark. Maybe that’s where this Chevy belongs after all.

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Engine Problems

Above all, the engine in the Spark must function good enough to get around the city. Yet, this is another top issue among owners.

That same Cars.com review goes on to say, “My biggest complaint was lack of acceleration after a full stop at stop sign. I live in Phila. and when there are four people at a stop sign and it is your turn to go and your car won’t move it becomes dangerous when the others decide you aren’t taking your turn. On more than one occasion this happened with a close call collision.”

Beyond this, Service Bulletin #PIP5598B further talks about a no start or extended cranking situation that is caused by the exhaust cam reluctor being out of position. While no one is expecting the Spark to come with a Corvette engine, it should at least be built correctly. Maybe the people working on the assembly line were too busy dreaming about how they were going to head to the city and be a “go-getter” that they missed installing valuable components in a functional way.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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
  • Jeanne m

    My new car I bought September 2020 spark
    My wifi has locked me out move. 2020 at&t inform me
    I didn’t have any rights it’s all about a copyright claim by google amazon apple github to name a few. It’s being used for chat lines impersonating me on line. My personal data is being sold to some and given away my email address and password is there for anyone who wants it.

  • Dave

    Well sorry to hear so many people out there have problems with this car, I live 60 miles north of Toronto Ontario, Canada. I ve had my spark for 18 months winter, summer I drive it full time great on the highway, great in the snow with snow tires. Lots of room inside and I m 6 foot tall. I think for those that have acceleration problems try prime gas it will help or run a mixture. Also don’t be afraid of stepping on the gas it won’t get away on you! And remember it’s power steering it helps if the car is moving.come on people it’s not a Cadillac, drive it like you own it.

  • Jacob

    We have a 2020 Chevy spark LS the only good thing about the vehicle is the great gas mileage just as everyone has already said the acceleration is horrible almost feels like it wants to stall It’s a shitbox forsure I even bought the shitbox label and put it on the right side of the trunk.

  • Linda S

    I got my 2017 Chevy spark from a auction it sputters sometime when I go 40 mph.its like its running out of gas.and sometimes when I push the gas to take off it goes dead.

  • Concern S

    I have had my spark for almost a year. About a month after i got it my cousin wanted to ride in my car she went to fasten the seabelt because i will tell u to get out. It fasten. Mind you it was night time was slowing down on a back road for a intersection a deer pops out. I slam hard on my brakes my steering will jerks both ways on this gravel road and her seat belt comes flying off hits the windshield and freaks us both out. Then wouldn’t click back no matter how many times we try for over an hour until we give up and she rides in the back the rest of the way to home. I am afraid to let anyone ride shot gun in my car ever after that. The ones who do know they can’t because my pasenger seat belt doesn’t All ways latch or comes undone after it is fastened. I agree also with the acceleration of my car as All ways. Was at a stop light at the bottom of a hill in cinncinati ohio picking up a relative. It turned green a four lane road making a turn it took a min just so it would accelerate and i almost get t-boned when a person ran a red light That day. I love the gas mileage since i drive up to an hour to an hour and a half to work 5 to 7 days a week. Other than that i proubly would by a old manual honda civic before i bye another new car. And I am still learning how to drive a manual.

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