The CTS outscores some of the best of the imported luxury sports sedans. Drivers will like the responsive steering, agile handling, eager acceleration, and excellent brakes. All passengers should appreciate the steady, composed ride and plush interior. However, the cockpit was too snug for some, and the rear seat is a bit tight.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Cadillac CTS has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Cadillac CTS owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"Same problem as transfer case. Shaft between transmission and transfer case failed due to allowing shaft to be exposed to moisture and no lubrications"

Anonymous, WV (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"HAVE AN INTERMITTENT CHECK ENGINE LIGHT WITH A "SERVICE STABLE TRAK" WARNING"

Fred W., TX (2012 Cadillac CTS)
Driveshaft or axle

"Rear hub bearing needed replaced."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"Bolt through the u joint worked out, and was hitting the heat shield, which in turn slapped the floor pan on the passenger side"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Right rear wheel bearing failure"

Richard W., OH (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Mounting of drive shaft brokek, bolts came loose"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Transfer case

"Car quit moving, also would not hold or park the car. The shaft between transmission and transfer case had rusted away all splines on shaft requiring replacement of both parts. Cost $3000"

Anonymous, WV (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Sunroof leaked causing need for complete headliner replacement due to staining."

Kellis W., TX (2012 Cadillac CTS None 6.2-L V8 supercharged)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Door seals frequently fall off for no reason allowing water to get into the vehicle."

Kellis W., TX (2012 Cadillac CTS None 6.2-L V8 supercharged)

"The car has a moon roof. The seal has to be replaced because of a leak"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"Leaking around the sunroof. I took it in twice I still don't know for sure if it's fixed. It hasn't rained lately. They said if if the adhesive seals don't work this time I will need a whole new sunroof/ tracking system. I'm selling the car ASAP...I will never buy a cadi again"

Haydee R., FL (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"annoying noise on movement. turned out to be a too tight ball joint"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Steering column has a squeak. Not very noticeable, but still there"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"Ordinary wear & tear supposedly required the arm and bushings to be replaced. It was at Martin Cadillac for TWELVE (12) WEEKS for the repair, because the Cadillac dealer had trouble getting the Cadillac part for the recent model Cadillac!"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Cadillac CTS None 6.2-L V8 supercharged)
Power steering leaks

"steering fluid was low, not determined if there was a leak or not. It was repaired by a steering fluid flush and adding new fluid."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"no operational problem.dealer noticed"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Leaking shock"

Edward L., TX (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"rear sway bar made noise replaced as strictly prevenvative did not affect any performance"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Cadillac CTS None 6.2-L V8 supercharged)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"Electrical harnesses for rear door power supply are too long and kink when the rear door is opened, eventually leading to harness failure. Passenger-side harness has failed and Cadillac has refused to repair"

Brad H., PA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"fog lights will not come on"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"Heater element failed. The replacement cost was about $400."

Anonymous, CT (2012 Cadillac CTS 3.0-L V6)
Keyless entry

"the latch release buttons inside the car would not work"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"In the last year of ownership the check engine light has been activated a total of three times for purge valve and fuel cap replacement. Check engine light is on again for emissions currently and a smoke test will need performed to discover defect"

Brad H., PA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"a valve stuck open and was replaced at factory expense"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Fuel injection system

"check engine light on due to cloged air filter. needed new filter and cleaned fuel injectors"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Car performed perfectly until routine oil service at dealer. Check engine light came on while driving hone and the nightmare began. There are no more "auto mechanics" just "technicians". Changed the same part 3 times. B cause the "computer" said so. Obviously, the next technician failed to see what had been done previously. After changing the gas tank, sending unit, fuel pump, the check engine light is off. I believe after the oil change during their "complementary 32(?) point inspection" sens"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Had transmission or torque converter flutter. Probably original transmission fluid. Technician recommended changing fluid and adding Flutter Stop. Problem has gone away for now."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"I had an oil change at a repair shop. Cadillac said the oil filter was installed incorrectly. All of the oil leaked out and caused the engine timing to be off."

H V., IL (2012 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Jul 02, 2014
If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Summary:
This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. General Motors LLC (GM) notified the agency on July 2, 2014 that they are recalling 554,328 model year 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS vehicles manufactured August 16, 2001, to April 28, 2014, and 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX vehicles manufactured March 20, 2003, to August 11, 2006. In these models, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will install two key rings and an insert in the key slot or a cover over the key head on all ignition keys, free of charge. The recall began on September 15, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14172.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V394000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 554328
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Nov 02, 2011
THIS COULD RESULT IN A LOSS OF ABILITY TO BRAKE AND a vehicle CRASH WITHOUT PRIOR WARNING.
Summary:
GM IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 CADILLAC CTS VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM OCTOBER 21, 2011, THROUGH OCTOBER 26, 2011. THESE VEHICLES MAY HAVE A CONDITION IN WHICH THE POWER VACUUM BRAKE BOOST PUSHROD RETENTION NUT MAY NOT BE TORQUED TO THE PROPER SPECIFICATION. IF THE NUT IS NOT TORQUED TO THE PROPER SPECIFICATION, THE NUT COULD LOOSEN AND ALLOW THE PUSHROD TO SEPARATE FROM THE BRAKE PEDAL.
What should you do:
CADILLAC DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE POWER VACUUM BRAKE BOOST PUSHROD RETENTION NUT, AND IF NECESSARY, TORQUE THE NUT TO THE PROPER SPECIFICATION. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 1, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CADILLAC AT 1-800-458-8006.
For more information:
GM'S SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 11318.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V536000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 674
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