2019 Chevrolet Traverse Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, electrical system, brakes and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Among Chevy SUVs, the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse is one of the more popular models. In fact, the automaker claims,“it’s hard not to notice.” While that statement has a lot of truth, the SUV isn’t gaining attention for the right reasons. It turns out that the Traverse suffers from engine trouble, electrical system malfunctions, a defective steering system and faulty brakes.

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Engine

The engine is the heart of any vehicle. It needs to be potent and properly functioning in order for customers to be impressed. Yet, the Traverse can’t boast of either.

One Edmunds user states, “I was in love with this vehicle as everyone should be when purchasing a new vehicle. I purchased the 2019 Traverse Premier, I was afraid of changing from a compact car to a SUV but I have gotten adjusted to it. At about 6,000 miles a few weeks after my 1st oil change my engine light came on resulting in a catalytic converter issue, replacement. I took it in for service and within about 1 week and half my Traverse catalytic converted was repaired. I took my Traverse for its second oil change to the dealership which I had to pay out of pocket since my dealership only offers 1 free oil change and shortly after, 2 weeks or so the engine light came on again, shocker! It turns out being the catalytic converter needing to be replaced this part went to a “special case”  so there is no ETA  being that it’s a 2019 and they are having trouble getting the part. I’m sure they are sending them off the line without issues but here I am in a Tahoe loaner basic model and I must say it drives a lot better than the Traverse plus it has the HD radio stations that for some reason the Traverse does not. I’m just very disappointed with this experience. For a warranty of only 30,000 and only at less than half with 2 issues already is worrisome.”

It seems that the company is dealing with numerous engine issues. As an example Service Bulletin #18NA246 talks about how the engine oil might have excessive fuel in it, which would require a PCV valve replacement in the camshaft cover and an update to the ECM. Whatever the engine troubles are, customers have taken notice, just as Chevrolet hoped.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Traverse Engine Problems:

I WAS DRIVING VEHICLE AND STOPPED AT LIGHT. THE CAR COMPLETELY CUT OFF. I HAD TO PUT IN PARK TO RESTART THE CAR. THATS WHEN THE ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON. RECEIVED AN ADVANCED DIAGNOSIS THAT STATED ISSUE WITH ENGINE/TRANMISSION SERVICE WITHIN ONE DAY. TOOK CAR IN 7/16 AT 7:30 AND GOT BACK THAT DAY STATING THAT CAR TRANSMISSION COMMUNICATION DROPPED. THE VERY NEXT DAY 7/17 AM, SAME THING HAPPENED. TOOK THE CAR THAT AFTERNOON BACK TO DEALER AND IT HAD BEEN THERE SINCE. THEY STATE THEY ARE WAITING TALK TO GMC. NOTHING YET.

WHEN BRAKING TO DO A U-TURN AND NOT STOPPING THE ENGINE SHUTS OFF AND DOESN’T COME BACK ON RIGHT AWAY. AND IT ALMOST CAUSED ME TO GET INTO AN ACCIDENT FROM A CAR FROM THE OTHER DIRECTION. WE HAD THIS CAR FOR 3 MONTHS AND IT’S HAPPENED ABOUT FIVE TIMES NOW.

Electrical

If something isn’t running right in a modern vehicle, there’s a good chance that it has something to do with the electrical system, since so many parts rely on this power.

An NHTSA complaint illustrates just one thing that can go wrong. “When stopping the vehicle, the auto-stop kicks in, which sometimes works well. Other times it kills the whole car, shutting it down completely. The infotainment center goes black like the car was shut off using the start/stop button. So then it takes a bit to get it running again to go. This has happened to us 6 times now within the last 2 weeks. In high traffic areas this can be a safety concern. Also when it shuts down completely the brake pedal goes soft and drops down to the floor. All this seems to happen when it is supposed to automatically start back up after being stopped for a short period of time.”

Chevy dealt with a recall because of an electrical system issue that put owners at risk. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V774000 discusses how some air bag Sensing Diagnostic Modules never got turned off of the manufacturing mode before installation. Because of this error, the system won’t deploy the air bags in the case of an accident. Apparently, the Chevy workers don’t know how to properly configure the parts in this SUV, which should cause plenty of concern for owners. What other electrical malfunctions could lead to danger? No one knows for sure.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Traverse Electrical Problems:

ON JUNE 20, 2019, I BOUGHT A 2019 CHEVY TRAVERSE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE VEHICLE WAS IN GOOD CONDITION WITH NO DEFECTS. ON JULY THE 18 WE TOOK VEHICLE TO THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT, DUE TO THERE WAS A VERY STRONG ODOR WHEN INSIDE THE CAR. IT WAS CAUSING BLOODY NOSES AND BREATHING ISSUES FOR MY FAMILY. THE SMELL WAS SO STRONG THAT IT COULD BE TASTED. THE DEALERSHIP TOOK ABOUT 15 TO 20 MINUTES TO DIAGNOSE CAR AS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. WE TOOK IT HOME. ON AUGUST 1, 2019, THE VEHICLE STARTS GOING CRAZY WITH ELECTRICAL ISSUES. WHILE MY WIFE IS DRIVING WITH MY KIDS THE HORN, LIGHTS, AND EMERGENCY LIGHTS START TURNING ON AND OFF AND THERE WAS A LOUD UGLY SOUND FROM THE ENGINE. THE CAR HAD TO BE PARKED TO AND I HAD TO GO DRIVE CAR HOME DUE THE UNSAFE CONDITIONS OF VEHICLE. AS I LOOKED UNDER THE HOOD, I COULD SMELL A BURNING SMELL AND SMOKE COMING FROM THE ENGINE. SO WE TOOK VEHICLE BACK TO DEALERSHIP. AFTER BEING ON THE SHOP FOR ABOUT A WEEK , WE GOT OUR CAR BACK AND ACCORDING TO DEALERSHIP IT WAS FIXED, ALONG WITH THE SMELL THEY TOLD US IT WAS A RARE SITUATION BUT THAT WE HAD MOLD AND MILDEW COMING OUT OF THE AC UNIT WHICH WAS CAUSING THE ODOR AND HENCE BLOODY NOSE AND BREATHING ISSUES. THEY ALSO FOUND THAT THE BATTERY WAS THROWING SPARKS AND WAS BURNING ELECTRICAL WIRES IN THE ENGINE. AT THIS POINT WE JUST WANTED OUR CAR BACK. THE FOLLOWING DAY MY WIFE AND KIDS WERE PUT IN A DANGEROUS SITUATION DUE TO DEFECTIVE CAR, WHILE DRIVING THE TRAVERSE IT TURNED OFF ON THEM WHILE ON THE HIGHWAY. MY WIFE AND KIDS ARE TRAUMATIZED AND SCARED WHILE BEING PUT IN THESE DANGEROUS SITUATIONS.

Service Brakes

When a person is driving down the road, it is automatically assumed that stepping on the brake pedal will cause the vehicle to come to a stop. When brake issues present themselves, it can be discouraging and scary.

Just like this Edmunds user deals with. “Only issue I have encountered is the brakes have been squeaking since a couple weeks after I purchased it and they keep telling me it is normal.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to pay for a brand new car that squeaks.  I have gotten a different explanation every time I have asked about it but still no resolution!  Chevy should notify customers in humid areas that the brakes could possibly be squeaky.  I would have NEVER purchased this vehicle had I known that they can’t figure out how to make brakes that hold up to the environment. I definitely won’t make that mistake again!”

While this dealer has failed to resolve the problem, the automaker is aware of brake issues. Service Bulletin #19NA115 talks about squealing noises as a result of the material used on the rear disc brake pad shim. Chevrolet even offers to replace the disc brake pads with a set that has an updated material. If an automaker can’t figure out how to make brakes, which have been around forever, that should be a clear warning sign that something isn’t right. Apparently, Chevrolet is so adamant about being noticed that they want others to hear the Traverse coming before it even arrives. The squealing brakes are merely a way to turn heads.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Traverse Brake Problems:

THERE ARE CONTINUOUS DEFECTS AND CONCERN FOR SAFETY REGARDING MY 2019 CHEVY TRAVERSE. I PURCHASED A NEW 2019 TRAVERSE REDLINE ON MARCH 22, 2019 AND THE PROBLEMS BEGAN WITHIN TWO WEEKS AND LESS THAN 400 MILES ON THE VEHICLE. I WAS DRIVING MY NEW VEHICLE ON A RESIDENTIAL ROAD AND BEGAN TO SLOWLY PRESS THE BRAKE WHILE APPROACHING A STOP SIGN WHEN THE “SERVICE BRAKE ASSIST” ALERT APPEARED, THE BRAKES MADE A GRINDING AND CLICKING NOISE WHILE SHAKING AND FELT LIKE THE BRAKE PEDAL NEEDED TO BE PUSHED ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR TO STOP. I BROUGHT THE CAR IN AND THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT REPLACED A VACUUM BOOSTER SENSOR WHICH THEY SAID WAS FAULTY. THEN TWO MONTHS LATER, WITH ONLY 1800 MILES ON THE VEHICLE, THE SAME ISSUE OCCURRED AGAIN WHERE THE “SERVICE BRAKE ASSIST” ALERT APPEARED, THE BRAKES MADE THE SAME NOISES AND SHAKING. I IMMEDIATELY CALLED THE DEALERSHIP TO BRING IT IN FOR SERVICE. DURING THIS SECOND OCCURRENCE, THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT SUGGESTED IT MUST HAVE BEEN A “BAD BATCH” OF PARTS AND OFFERED TO REPLACE THE SENSOR AGAIN. I RETURNED TO THE DEALERSHIP TO PICK UP MY VEHICLE AND DURING THE LESS THAN TWO MILE DRIVE HOME, THE SAME ISSUE OCCURRED FOR THE THIRD TIME. I IMMEDIATELY RETURNED TO THE DEALERSHIP AGAIN AND THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT SAID THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS CAUSING THE PROBLEM. AFTER REPLACING THE SAME PART FOR A THIRD TIME, THE SAME ISSUE OCCURRED AGAIN. ULTIMATELY, THE SERVICE TECHNICIANS & ENGINEER ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE ISSUE AND MERELY SUGGESTED REPLACING THE SAME PART FOR THE FOURTH TIME. WHILE THE SERVICE MANAGER HAS OFFERED TO CONTINUALLY REPLACE THE SAME PARTS, THEY ALSO ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSE AND STATED I NEED TO CONTINUE DRIVING THE VEHICLE UNTIL IT HAPPENS AGAIN AND PERHAPS THERE WILL BE A NEW PART UPDATED IN THE FUTURE.

WE PURCHASED THIS VEHICLE IN JUNE OF 2019, AND HAVE HAD IT AT THE DEALERSHIP 4 TIMES FOR AN ISSUE WITH THE BRAKES. TO THIS DATE THEY HAVE NOT FIGURED OUT WHAT IS CAUSING IT, BUT IT CAUSES THE BRAKE SYSTEM TO LOSE POWER MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO BRAKE. WE WERE TOLD BY THE DEALER JUST TO KEEP DRIVING IT UNTIL THEY FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON.

Steering

Another system worth examining is the steering. On the Traverse, it’s just one more malfunctioning part that’s driving owners crazy.

This NHTSA complaint states, “On July 11, 2019, while operating this vehicle, an error message appeared on the dashboard which stated, power steering malfunction. At the time of this error message, power steering had failed and maneuvering of the vehicle became difficult. During this incident, the vehicle was in motion on a highway. Vehicle was brought to a Chevy dealer and the rack and pinion was replaced due to an electrical issue.”

And there you have it – another system failure that resulted from an electrical problem. It turns out that isn’t the only steering issue out there. Service Bulletin #16NA109 also instructs technicians how to inspect the steering gear for excessive sealant. That would imply that too much was left on again during manufacturing. What were these workers doing during assembly? Maybe they were too busy noticing the Traverse that they failed to follow common procedures, like removing grease and setting electronics to the operating function.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Traverse Steering Problems:

WHEN TURNING THE STEERING WHEEL, THERE IS A LOW WHINING SOUND. THE DEALER SAYS THIS IS “NORMAL”. THE STEERING COLUMN SHOULD NOT MAKE ANY NOISE. NOISES COMING FROM A STEERING COLUMN USUALLY INDICATE TROUBLE.

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