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

Airbags, Electrical and Suspension issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

On the Chevy Trax website, GM states that all eyes will be on you, and they aren’t wrong. With a 2018 Chevrolet Trax, you can expect to spend lots of time with technicians looking at your SUV. There are too many problems to count, as reported by drivers. Some of the most problematic include the dangerous suspension and troubles with the electrical system, which also consists of the airbag sensor.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Chevrolet Trax

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Electronic Stability Control

Problems with the Suspension

It’s not every day that you encounter a vehicle with such a serious issue that it needs to be recalled. With the 2018 Chevrolet Trax, many users faced a failure with the control arm weld. Unfortunately, this leads to serious safety concerns while on the road.

One user on the NHTSA stated, “the control arm weld was improperly welded on both sides of the car which can lead to fatigue causing the wheel to rub and causing an accident. After being notified by OnStar of the potential issue, I had my vehicle inspected. The car failed inspection. Chevrolet is claiming that there is no recall and therefore not covered by the warranty and want me to continue to drive it despite the dealership stating it failed the inspection and is unsafe to drive.”

It’s clear that this comment was made in the early stages of the problem because GM later did issue a recall. The recall affected particular 2017-2019 Chevrolet Trax vehicles. The front lower-control arms might have an improper weld in one or both of the joints. When this occurs, the car might have a partial separation of the lower-control-arm from the SUV. The dealers had to replace the parts to repair it.

The control arm connects the wheel hub and steering knuckle to the frame of the vehicle, so it’s vital that it operates correctly. Hopefully, this driver got the Trax fixed once the recall was issued. It probably brought some relief to get the repair done once and for all. At least it opened up the door to focus on some of the other troubles.

Problems with the Electrical System

Among the numerous complaints about the Trax is the electrical system. Whether it’s dealing with the radio or the rear camera, users have plenty to say about the malfunctions. When we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, we all want to use our equipment the way it was intended, but Chevy owners aren’t always able to do that.

Let’s look at one comment made by an owner on Edmunds. The review states, “So yeah I have one of these Trax Redline and let me tell you something…stay far away. Horrible engine, transmission,seats, all noise and no go, can’t fold the rear seats down and have anyone taller than 5’5″ person sit up front. Gas milage is 17.4 mpg. Creaking and cracking noises in the interior and seats. Seat foam is caving and collapsed. My vehicle has 4600 miles on it and I’ll be lucky to get 60000 miles on this car…the transmission has started to slip and shift rough, front windows crack when being put down and back up, my fancy Bose radio shuts off and doesn’t come back on along with the rear camera, and OnStar. This is by far the worst vehicle I have ever owned and will be trading this POS ASAP!”

While some of the complaints weren’t related to electrical issues, you can see what aspects matter. The radio shuts itself off plus the rear camera and OnStar doesn’t turn on sometimes either. Among the many ways GM attempted to address these situations, Service Bulletin #17-NA-405 discusses an intermittent radio screen when the vehicles starts.

Sometimes the radio restarts and takes time to reset. The radio display also goes black and changes to a white screen for some customers. GM points to a problem with the infotainment system attempting to download massive amounts of data. If that’s not the case, then they are willing to say it might be an internal radio concern.

In typical automaker fashion, they simply aren’t willing to take responsibility for problems, even though multiple people complain about the same things. Maybe they just don’t feel that having a working radio is important. Let’s take away their Taylor Swift during a commute and see how they feel.

Problems with the Airbag Sensor

Along the lines of electrical problems, the 2018 Chevy Trax is also plagued with a malfunctioning airbag sensor. Drivers also find that the battery light and other warning lights tend to illuminate for no apparent reason. This isn’t just annoying but also makes it impossible to find out if something is wrong with the vehicle.

There’s a letter posted to the NHTSA website from one driver who states, “The 2018 Chevrolet TRAX which we leased on July 31, 2018, from Graff Chevrolet in Okemos Michigan, has a defective passenger Airbag sensor or a faulty electrical connection. This is a serious safety problem. The vehicle was taken to the Graff Service Department on August 13th for a correction of the defect. The passenger airbag indicator light indicates “off’ at least 50% of the time when my wife is in the seat. She is an “adult-sized occupant” as referenced in the operations manual on page 81. Also, no additional covers or materials have been placed on the seat. The manual also indicates that the light may indicate “on” when a bag of groceries or a lap-top computer is placed on the passenger seat. Those items certainly do not equal the weight of an adult. After raising our concern, nothing has been done to address the issue.”

At this time, we couldn’t find any communication from the manufacturer regarding the airbag sensor itself, but there are other bulletins. For example, Service Bulletin #11-08-49-001Y relates to a Transport Mode On Message or the Battery Light display on the dash. The trouble with Transport Mode is that it requires a specific procedure to turn off. The bulletin walks the technician through the steps for each model but doesn’t suggest how to stop it from happening.

What we’ve learned is that the Trax prefers to turn off the equipment we want, such as the radio, but illuminate other things we don’t want to see. Between these annoyances and the safety recall, we understand why drivers are so upset with the automaker.

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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.

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  • Carla F

    My 2018 trax I bought new have had lots of issues with electric steering, front end issues, heating and air issues, trunk wont open and now its parked due to blown turbo and motor.

  • Tiana

    I bought my 2018 Chevy Trax November of 2021. Within months I’m driving and the car started stalling and eventually stopped while I was on the expressway. Took it to the shop and they said it was the Turbo which fortunately was covered under warranty. Got it out the shop the very next day the check engine light came back on and remote starter isn’t working. Code come up it the catalytic converter, plug detached from turbo and oil leak. Get that fixed and now literally less than a week it’s back stalling with the check engine light back on

  • Melissa

    2018 Chevy Trax Redline- “Service Brake Assist”, and now fuel system purge, and all these fuel/stalling issues. This began many miles ago but I cannot afford to fix this because of course it happens right after the warranty is over.

  • Daniel M

    2018 Chevrolet Trax, 32,000 miles. Last summer at 28,000 miles the Service AWD message displayed and AWD disabled kept coming on and off the dash constantly while driving, was very annoying. Waited a month and took it to the dealer to find the AWD control module was corroded and replaced it (Why was it a good idea to put electronics outside the cabin engineers?…) Long story short its 6 months later and Service AWD is on again… great so now I have to wait another month to get in the dealer. Mind you the first repair I had to pay out of pocket because it is not covered under the powertrain warranty… I will buy 1 more Chevy, if I have as many problems again, I am switching to Foreign cars.

  • Trevor

    The heat knob in my 2018 Chevy Trax has quit working many times, it has never put heat to feet, the front end clanks, has been taken in for the recall, turbo has had to be replaced, just hit 60,000 miles. The radio fails to connect Bluetooth, then will shut off and not come back on. Do not buy a Trax!

  • Mark

    2018 Trax and 137K miles on it and have twice now replace the intake manifold. This should be a recall.

  • Mary

    I have a 2017 Chevy Trax. The breaks sneaks and grinds from day 2 of my purchase. I took it to the dealership twice. They claimed to not here anything. At that point the car was under Bumper to Bumper warranty. It is now still under extended warranty.
    In December 2021 my Trax heater wouldn’t warm up. I took back to the dealer ship and they put some coolant in it and charged me $160.00. The invoice states there were no leaks. In April 2022- four months after the engine light came on.
    I’ve put an entire gallon of coolant in the last 3 weeks. There is a leak or thermostat issue here.
    I just cannot see paying for a car the will give me engine problems before or after the ext warranty is exhausted. I have 44k miles on it.
    And there is more.
    Any suggestions????

  • Terry A

    I have a 2018 Chevy trax. 40,000 miles. The check engine light and the stability light the vehicle turns off at lights and stop signs. Has some acceleration problems. I’ve changed the spark plugs the filter the gas cap the gaskets. Every time I go to auto zone to find out what wrong it reads something new. Dude 40,000 miles. My friend has the exact vehicle. Yar model color. Exact same problems

  • Yung t

    i bouught 2018 chevy trax on November 2017..Six months later the trax stabilitzer came on and i brought it to my dealer who said its the light and they already repair…same problem few months later. THe light just came on yesterday so I called Chevrolet (Auto Nation West at ) 5124269660 and schedule to bring it in tomorrow. This is my fourth visit . I asked them to make sure they fixed this problem because it keep re occurfing

  • Brad L

    My comment is this thing is a turd! I’m dealing with a 2018 Chevy Trax, that has never been right. I get no reception on the stereo ( Bose system), intermittent leaking of water into the spare tire well, AWD doesn’t engage, gas mileage sucks! When I can get rig of this thing, I’m switching brands!

  • Pam W

    The 2018 Trax I bought in January of 2018 has had a control arm recall, broken cargo shelf clip, display screen and stereo that turns itself off, roof strip fly off while driving on the highway, hatch door working itself loose and now $150 and 2 day wait despite an appointment, just to investigate an engine light alert that revealed a $600 purge valve malfunction warranted to only 36,000 miles! I get to pay an increasing rental fee for a vehicle that boldly advertises a dealership while waiting for a response from a Chevrolet senior warranty advisor who is working remotely as I commute with an additional insult of no wiper fluid in the rental.
    I suggested that “lasts one year plus bonus recall vehicle” verbage should have been added to the window sticker

  • Ashley T

    My onstar dashboard for my radio and everything keeps going out. Also my camera works when it wants to work. Ive had my 2018 trax for 15 months, and they refuse to fix the issue.

  • Amanda L

    Bought the car November 2018, Chevy Trax scared for my life to drive this car it keeps misfiring brought the car in several times and they can’t fix the issue

  • Sherry O

    I have a 2018 Chevy Trax. Bought it in July 2018 with 7 miles. Brakes started to squeak right away, it was in the shop more than 4 times. They say they are safe and that the squeaking (non stop) can’t be fixed. Long story short- I did have a lemon law firm look at it earlier this year. I got $4,000 for it. Which basically was my downpayment. The dealership wants me to buy a whole new car and start over with payments – heck no! I bought and financed for 5 years….i’m not starting over! The brakes squeak grind, etc. I have a lot of highway miles already. In addition, I have a handful of other problems. The front end is always out of alignment. The dealership had said in writing they’d aligned my car several months ago, but then a service tech said it wasn’t, so they did that over amonth ago. Still, it handles horrifically, always veering nonstop to the right. My hands/wrists literally hurt driving this POS. The oil change part of the dealership noted some wear and suggested I get it fixed, yet the service dept. said, nope, not a thing wrong with it. My radio half the time doesn’t work, my check oil light will never come on (I thought it was supposed to), when getting low. The steering wheel is already warped like it’s super faded or something. Shouldn’t be at this stage. This dealership has basically shoved me to the side they have their money they do not care. I am a single mother working hard for my money. I can’t afford this. There are so many things wrong with this vehicle. My daughter and I do not feel safe in it whatsoever. The brakes not only squeak but they grind a lot. As I said I did get $4000 from a Chicago firm on the squeaks alone; but I was not about to put that down on another new car as I felt this was my down payment/trade in money back for this piece of crap. A brand new car, I’ve never been able to enjoy. Is there anything else I can do? I promise you this dealership has just shoved me to the side.

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