2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, structure, powertrain and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners


2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

When it comes to finding a reliable heavy-duty pickup, many customers turn to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD. This truck claims to be the “first in command,” but current owners are ready to give it back. This pickup suffers from a defective electrical system, malfunctioning engine, poor powertrain and horribly built structure.

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Problems with the Electrical System

It might be easier to list all of the components the vehicle’s electrical system isn’t responsible for, because it isn’t many. A system this important needs to be reliable, but this Chevy truck only brings disappointment.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500. The contact recently purchased the vehicle. The contact attempted to exit the driveway, the rearview camera screen went blank. The contact had to reverse back into the driveway, placed the vehicle into Park and the camera worked again. Also, ‘Service Rear Vision System’ appeared on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] to be diagnosed, but the test produced no results. The failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact to bring the vehicle to the dealer. The failure mileage was 20.”

Basically, this customer barely got the truck home before it began malfunctioning. With over 40 communications, it’s clear that Chevy is aware this truck has some major electrical issues. The automaker even instructs technicians to inspect the chassis wiring along the frame to ensure there is no damage when trouble occurs. Service Bulletin #18NA144 wouldn’t exist unless the company is facing these problems on a larger scale. While it’s unclear what caused the backup camera malfunction, it’s clear that this truck is only “first in command” unless the owner wants to move backward.

Problems with the Engine

A heavy-duty truck must be equipped with a potent engine to tow and haul with, but this particular pickup suffers from major engine concerns.

Here is another NHTSA complaint worth reading. “The contact owned a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500. While pulling into the driveway, the engine compartment caught fire. The fire spread and burned the entire vehicle. The police and fire departments were present. The fire was extinguished by the fire department. The driver was able to exit the vehicle before the fire spread. There were no injuries. The cause of the failure was not determined. The dealer was not notified. The manufacturer was contacted. The contact was informed online that the manufacturer decided not to mail the recall letter because no one was injured or killed, and there was no remedy for the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle remained at the contact’s home. The failure mileage was 5,000.”

It turns out that there are known issues that could be causing a fire. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V328000 shows that more than 300,000 vehicles could be equipped with an engine block heater cord that could short circuit and cause a fire. Dealers are instructed to repair the problem, but many are simply disabling the engine block heater, further upsetting owners. Of course, with all of the other complaints being dealt with, there are also drivers that are hoping their truck would burn up in a fire so they can get behind the wheel of a different model.

Problems with the Powertrain

As with the engine, the powertrain is a vital part of any vehicle, but even more so with a heavy-duty truck. Again, the Silverado 2500 has failing components that make driving anything but enjoyable. 

One NHTSA comment states, “November 20, 2019 with only 1380 on the new 2019 Silverado. While leaving a parking garage in the morning in Reno, Nevada it was 28 degrees. When driving out the transmission seemed to have lost connection. The engine was running but the transmission was not engaging. I feathered the throttle and it reengaged. After entering the street, I traveled about 300 to 600 feet and the transmission went to shift but neutralized. Again, I feathered the throttle and it engaged again. At about 2500 miles the transmission did it again. The dealership said that they have contacted Chevrolet about the problem, but Chevrolet does not have a fix for it. The dealership service advisor told me that in the future to start the vehicle and let it run for 3-5 minutes before driving the vehicle.”

When all else fails, just let the truck warm up and hope it doesn’t malfunction. What kind of advice is that? It’s almost as humorous as Service Bulletin #990420002K, which discusses all the possible reasons for driveline clunking noises and why many of them are acceptable. It seems that Chevy has lowered its standards, now allowing major malfunctions to be considered normal. Maybe the truck just needs to warm up first so it doesn’t make excessive noise. It’s only the “first in command” after it reaches a certain temperature.

Problems with the Structure

While the previous complaints looked at all of the mechanical defects of the Silverado 2500, it’s also important to look at how the structure was built, because it’s quite poor.

Here is one more NHTSA complaint to read. “My brand new, one month old truck has excessive paint chipping. My truck has only 4500 miles and I have over 20 spots where my paint is chipped or peeling. I have seen hundreds of other people online (some that were able to get the issue recalled) with the same problem. I do not find it acceptable as paint should last at least 4 years without the amount of chipping and peeling I’m experiencing. I have called just about every dealer within 80 miles of me, they all tell me they understand there is a paint issue, but none of them will do anything about it.”

It turns out that some dealers are covering paint concerns. Service Bulletin #19NA255 instructs technicians to repair the peeling wax coating on the frame when metal is showing through to prevent corrosion. Whether it is being repaired or not, the problems shouldn’t occur in the first place, especially on a brand new truck. How can Chevy call this model the “first in command” when it should be sent to the back of the line?

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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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.

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