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

Steering, electrical and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

For families that require three-rows of comfort, there aren’t a whole lot of options on the market. The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe continues to be a popular option, since its first release in 1995. The company is quite proud of this model, even stating,“it’s the best for a reason.” On the other hand, research shows that there are plenty of reasons that it is one of the worst. The steering malfunctions, there are electrical issues and it comes equipped with a faulty powertrain.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
11
Steering
7
Engine
6
Power Train
5
Air Bags
4
Service Brakes
4
Unknown Or Other
3
Structure:body
3
Fuel/propulsion System
2
Suspension
2

Problems with the Steering

The steering wheel is simply one aspect of this system that needs to work right. When traveling down the road, it’s necessary for all of the components to work in harmony, but that’s not the case with the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe.

One NHTSA comment states, “While driving at 70 mph the power steering stopped working without any warning, nearly causing loss of control.”

What a scary situation this owner experienced. Sadly, it’s only the start of steering issues with the Tahoe.

Service Bulletin #PIT5565B talks about repairs needed to remove the squeaking noise coming from the lower column and footwell while turning. With this repair, Chevy outlines how to lubricate the column shaft boot to ensure a seamless operation. It’s good that everything is properly lubricated, but what about when the power steering decides to stop working? There’s no amount of lubrication to fix that.

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

STATEMENT FROM DRIVER- “I WAS DRIVING MY RECENTLY ISSUED 2019 TAHOE AND THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED UP. FORTUNATELY, I WAS TRAVELLING AT LOW SPEED AND THE BRAKES WORKED. REVERSE DID NOT WORK (IT ACTED LIKE NEUTRAL). THE STEERING STAYED LOCKED UP FOR QUITE A WHILE, UNTIL I TURNED THE ENGINE AND ALL THE ELECTRONICS OFF AND LET IT SIT THAT WAY FOR 3-5 MINUTES.”

Problems with the Transmission

The powertrain also consists of several components, but the most important is the transmission. Again, Tahoe owners aren’t thrilled with the performance of this part, either.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle jerked and then returned to normal. When the contact reached an intersection, the vehicle shut down without warning. The contact’s spouse called [dealer] and was informed to hit the OnStar button if the failure recurred. The failure recurred while the contact was driving and she hit the OnStar button. The contact was connected to the Roadside Assistant who could not help her. The contact called [dealer]. The dealer sent a van to pick up the contact and a tow truck to tow the vehicle to their facility. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not assist. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 1,500.”

No one picks up a new SUV expecting that it will need a new transmission in just a month. It seems that this powertrain has other issues besides simply failing.

Service Bulletin #080730026F discusses how the Tahoe will move forward or rock when putting it into Park. This action sometimes occurs with a clunking noise, as well. Strangely enough, the automaker claims this is normal and there’s nothing to be concerned about. Honestly, it’s just as normal as having a bad transmission in a new SUV.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Tahoe Transmission Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 CHEVROLET TAHOE. WHEN THE CONTACT’S WIFE ATTEMPTED TO SHIFT THE VEHICLE OUT OF PARK, THE SHIFTER FAILED TO OPERATE PROPERLY AND THE POWER ASSIST WARNING INDICATOR ILLUMINATED. A TOW TRUCK WAS CALLED AND THE TOW TRUCK DRIVER WAS ABLE TO START THE VEHICLE AND DRIVE TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD; HOWEVER, THE VEHICLE WAS DIFFICULT TO STEER. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO KENDALL AUTO MALL TO BE DIAGNOSED, BUT NO FAILURE WAS FOUND. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE AND PROVIDED A CASE NUMBER. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,445.

Problems with the Electrical System

The last step on the journey of discovering why the Tahoe isn’t actually the best is the electrical system. Considering these components power up everything in the vehicle, one fault could be detrimental.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “Purchased 2019 Chevy Tahoe LT on 10/27. Began having serious electrical issues on 11/26 with the message of Reduced Steering Assist Drive With Care appearing after vehicle startup. When the message appears, vehicle will not go in Reverse and steering wheel won’t move and car only goes about 5 mph in Drive. Car was towed and issues wasn’t duplicating at dealer. They did inspection and returned after a week of testing. About a day after return of vehicle, message occurred again and this time we videoed malfunction. Vehicle is back at dealership and they cannot replicate again. First time vehicle was in shop, error code U0100 was present and we are currently trying to get codes currently present. Vehicle has been in service for 3 weeks and they haven’t found a solid cause.”

The Tahoe was part of a massive recall related to electrical issues. In fact, more than 600,000 vehicles were included with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V761000. It turns out that the Electronic-Brake Control Module can active itself, leading to an accident for drivers that don’t expect it. This occurs with the 5.3-liter engine while traveling between 41 and 60 mph. Imagine the shock of having the brakes suddenly applying at this speed. Maybe the SUV figured out it wasn’t actually the best, which stopped it dead in its tracks.

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

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 CHEVROLET TAHOE. WHILE THE DRIVER?S SEAT BELT WAS UNFASTENED, THE SEAT BELT WARNING CHIME WAS LOUDER AND LASTED LONGER THAN NORMAL. AS A RESULT, THE CONTACT WAS UNABLE TO HEAR AN AMBULANCE BEHIND THE VEHICLE. THE CONTACT WAS ABLE TO AVOID A NEAR CRASH WITH THE AMBULANCE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT TAKEN TO THE DEALER. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 1,000. 

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Complaint Data

CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateJan 23, 2023
StateSC
Description
Sunroof randomly exploded/shattered while driving 65 mph on the highway. The noise sounded like an explosion/gunshot had gone off in my car. Nothing hit the sunroof and the sunroof did not have any cracks present at the time.
CategorySteering
DateJan 17, 2023
StateCA
Description
Vehicle lost power steering while driving. Steering became difficult and unsafe while family was in vehicle.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 30, 2022
StateVA
Description
Transmission went out right at 70,000 miles!! I purchased my truck jan 2021 certified from a chevy dealership. I have the app and everything connected to my phone. Not once did I ever get notified that anything was wrong. My truck has been broken down for a month now. I look up info to found out there's a whole lawsuit for our transmissions!! How was this not a recall item?? The warranty won't cover it which is absolutely ridiculous. So now I'm out of a truck. With a huge bill to replace my transmission. Literally I can send you a picture of my "chevy app" it says transmission is 100% good to go. It's broken down. If maybe my app would of worked correctly I could of had my truck in the shop before the transmission went down in the middle of me driving. There was absolutely no warning signs at all. I keep all the maintenance on my vehicle. Not one sign. I took it to a chevy dealership to get looked at. They just said it's the transmission.
CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System, Power Train
DateOct 14, 2022
StateNC
Description
When rain of moisture in around the vehicle, the safety restraint system warning light turns on. The transmission pump vibration on load in low speeds, afm sytem does not allow availble power when accelerating upon downshifts. The electrical usb outlets short making device projection feature, at time while using carcharger/cigarette lighter dc outlet.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes
DateSep 01, 2022
StateSC
Description
I purchased my 2019 tahoe 12/4/2018 and it is a 2019. I have only 9900 miles on the vehicle. In a parking lot my vehicle would not start correctly it was weak but eventually did start. Then a message appeared and said service trailer brake system. I drove to starling chevrolet mt. Pleasant, sc and they diagnosed it as a module that is going to cost me 1,227. 00 . I have never used a trailer. It is only 8 months over the warranty per the dealer. I looked on line and found numerous owners have had this same service trailer brake system service issue.
CategoryElectrical System, Steering
DateMay 18, 2022
StateCA
Description
The power steering failed while driving and we had our baby in the car. We had to make quick adjustment to our driving. We made it home bit very difficultly. I believe there is a problem with the control module because I was able to get it working again but almost immediately it faults out again.
CategoryElectrical System, Power Train, Steering
DateApr 04, 2022
StateFL
Description
Sudden and unexpected loss of power steering several times. In all cases, the loss of power steering has happened when starting the car. Turning the ignition off and immediately on again did not resolve the issue. Turning the ignition off and letting the car sit for 10 minutes before re-starting the car appeared to resolve the issue. The vehicle has been inspected several times by the service department of mayer chevrolet in st. Petersburg, florida, who has been unable to replicate the issue and therefore has responded that they are unable to resolve the issue. Gm has issued a recall for the same issue that has been identified on the 2021 chevrolet tahoe and other related gm vehicles, recognizing there is an issue, but no recall exists for the 2019 tahoe. Issue continues to happen every few months.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateNov 04, 2021
StateWY
Description
Vehicle will stall while parked causing a strong odor of gasoline. Takes several minutes of sitting with vehicle off before it will start again. The vehicle has also done this while coming to a stop. This vehicle has 41000 miles on it and continues to do this. It is used for law enforcement agency. I am required to respond to calls and this hinders response times to calls as well as emergent responses. The dealership has looked at the issue and blamed it on fuel having water in the fuel. They have replaced several items involving the fuel system. This has not solved the problem. Bob ruwarts has not given an answer.
CategoryElectrical System
DateOct 31, 2021
StateNC
Description
Air condition evaporation control faulty.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Service Brakes
DateSep 07, 2021
StateCA
Description
While driving on the freeway truck had lost all power and steering and braking capacity. The screen on dash went completely black with no warning signs. Vehicle could not accelerate and or brake other than drift in lane. Vehicle was without power for a brief time until power came back was able to not crash vehicle as this happened at a high rate on speed on busy freeway. When power did engage back on the dash lights now were full brightness and no control to dim it down could have been sign of definitely electrical issues. This had occurred several times since it had this major problem! I then urgently took my vehicle to specific chevy dealership for service and was refused service at dealership for the major electronic black out. I had no other choice but I then had contact chevy customer service line to bring them this major problem four months ago. To this current day I still haven't had any support or assistance in addressing this major problem with my vehicle! Chevy support or lack there of has only delayed addressing my to get serviced to see what's causing this problems!
CategoryElectrical System
DateAug 10, 2021
StateCA
Description
The contact owns a 2019 chevrolet tahoe. The contact stated while driving 65 mph, the vehicle temporarily lost power and stalled. There were no warning lights illuminated. The contact stated he was able to continue to drive the vehicle however, a warning message appeared on the instrument panel regarding the trailer brake. The contact also stated that the alarm was frequently engaging inadvertently a month prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the dealer informed the contact that they could not assist since the contact had not purchased the vehicle or had it modified at the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and a case opened. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 28,000.
CategorySuspension
DateMay 27, 2021
StateTX
Description
The contact owns a 2019 chevrolet tahoe. The contact took the vehicle to a tire shop for regular maintenance and was informed that the passenger's side strut was leaking and had seized. Additionally, the driver's side strut was also leaking. The contact took the vehicle to the local dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that air bag suspensions were corroded and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not yet repaired. The vehicle was next taken to classic kia (902 walton dr, texarkana, tx 75503, (903) 793-4623) to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the driver's and passenger's side struts needed to be replaced. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 63,000.
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Suspension
DateMay 03, 2021
StateNC
Description
Vehicle has a tremor idle problem, resulting in improper motor mounts per dealership motor mounts replaced, now bolts and shims added problem not resolved
CategoryElectrical System, Exterior Lighting, Structure:body
DateApr 08, 2021
StateTX
Description
I was turning left from the freeway feeder light that was already green upon approach. Assk I passed the intersection, I colided from on directly at the front passenger side, impacting the rear driver side of a smaller vw atals. My vehicle spun out of control stopping at the opposite side of the intersection at the median. My airbags never deployed. The other car involved we hit at the rear driver side and all his airbags deployed. I hit my chin, head, and arms and feel naseau since the accident. Airbags should have deployed to prevent my head from hitting various parts of the car or worse brain shaking. My car sustained frame damage and extensive front damage.
CategoryStructure:body
DateMar 07, 2021
StateNE
Description
Back lift gate door leaks in dust. Have talked to dealership and got no where. We live in country. We had a 2008 tahoe and had no issues.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes, Steering
DateFeb 22, 2021
StateTX
Description
Driving at approximately 70 mph on one occasion went to overtake a vehicle by passing and the vehicle suddenly lost all power for approximately 3 seconds and then it started right up. Lost steering, brakes, it was like the car had been turned off and started back up again. On another occasion I was driving approximately 35 mph and the same thing happened.
CategoryAir Bags
DateFeb 09, 2021
StateUT
Description
Front driver side hit at 35-40 mph while tahoe moving at 7 mph. Substantial damage including destroying cars frame. Not a single airbag deployed. No seatbelt lock ups. Driver hit head on steering wheel causing injuries.
CategoryAir Bags, Seat Belts, Structure:body
DateDec 08, 2020
StateDE
Description
I had pulled away from back door of store after dropping off a donation. I drove about 30 feet when my passenger side rear door popped open and tapped a fence post. Every airbag went off in the vehicle, except for the steering wheel. I could not have been going more than 5mph. It sounded like an explosion went off and frightened me terribly as I am claustrophobic and was trapped in the vehicle. The insurance agent, and tow service said that that door hitting a fence post should not have blown every airbag in the vehicle. They both acknowledged that they had never seen that happen in all the accidents they have been to. I do not feel like my insurance company should have to cover this and I should not have to pay the 00 deductible when there is clearly problems with all the recalls on airbags.
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other
DateOct 11, 2020
StateWA
Description
My 2019 chevy tahoe has given me carbon monoxide poisoning in the cabin of the car while driving. I had a portable co detector pick up co and I had co in my blood at the hospital multiple times and received treatment.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 29, 2020
StatePA
Description
Car is a little over 18 months old and ac problem just like other tahoes same problem but this time all coils are on back order and no date for replacement it is summer and can not use truck price to fix will be over 1000 to replace coil and refill with new r1234 freon the freon cost more than the part I feel chevy did not fix the problem form the last recall. *tr
CategoryWheels
DateJun 16, 2020
StateIA
Description
Tires have 23,000 miles on them and have been rotated every other oil change since brand new at the dealer. One of the tires has a slipped belt at only 23,000 miles. The other tires do not appear to be in good shape either. Thankfully we noticed before the tire blew. The tires on contentintal cross contact lx20, p275 55 r20. I have researched and this same tire has been recalled on 2015/2016 tahoe and suburbans. *tr
CategoryAir Bags
DateJun 11, 2020
StateUT
Description
I was hit I entered an intersection by a large semi/gravel truck that I did not see because there was a semi on the other side closer to me and going slower. It hit my left front driver side hard enough to spin my car across 2 lanes with a lot of damage. My airbags did not deploy. I hit my head along with other bruising. I am worried that the airbags did not deploy and do not want this to happen to someone else. I am worried that if it had been closer to the cab I would not be alive. *tr
CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 31, 2020
StateID
Description
My wife was pulling on to concrete in pad in front of our shop. She applied the brakes and it was stiff but the vehicle rolled forward and slammed into the shop door.
CategorySteering
DateFeb 14, 2020
StateMN
Description
Pulled from pump after fueling and steering assist reduced warning popped up. Steering wheel was tight and hard to turn. Also reverse would not work.
CategoryEngine
DateDec 17, 2019
StateNC
Description
My vehicle idling is missing I ask dealer to check it when I recently had oil change. Dealer reports bad motor mounts requiring motor and transmission removal. I have a new vehicle yet it needs major repair.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateAug 21, 2019
StateFL
Description
Rear window suddenly glass fell out as be a defect in the rear window. The border of the rear window of this suv remain completely intact apparently the lining was loose or the installation was not done correctly when the vehicle was assembled. There are previous incidents reported on the internet on earlier models.
CategoryPower Train
DateAug 14, 2019
StateID
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 chevrolet tahoe. When the contact's wife attempted to shift the vehicle out of park, the shifter failed to operate properly and the power assist warning indicator illuminated. A tow truck was called and the tow truck driver was able to start the vehicle and drive to the side of the road; however, the vehicle was difficult to steer. The vehicle was towed to kendall auto mall (15700 idaho center blvd, nampa, id 83687, 208-467-7000) to be diagnosed, but no failure was found. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided a case number. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 2,445.
CategoryElectrical System
DateJul 29, 2019
StatePA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 chevrolet tahoe. While the driver's seat belt was unfastened, the seat belt warning chime was louder and lasted longer than normal. As a result, the contact was unable to hear an ambulance behind the vehicle. The contact was able to avoid a near crash with the ambulance. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure mileage was 1,000. The vin was invalid. *bf *as
CategoryElectronic Stability Control, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateJul 28, 2019
StateFL
Description
The exhaust blows white smoke out when just turned on and continues when driving and parked. When in motion I feel shaking and nudges in the vehicles motion when going a consistent speed. The engine line flashes and traction control light turns on while in motion when not need to too.
CategoryPower Train
DateJul 12, 2019
StateKY
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 chevrolet tahoe. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle jerked and then returned to normal. When the contact reached an intersection, the vehicle shut down without warning. The contact's spouse called dan cummins chevrolet buick at 859-353-4892 (located at 1020 martin luther king junior blvd, paris, ky) and was informed to hit the onstar button if the failure recurred. The failure recurred while the contact was driving and she hit the onstar button. The contact was connected to the roadside assistant who could not help her. The contact called tom gill chevrolet at 859-371-7566 (located at 7830 commerce drive, florence, ky 41042). The dealer sent a van to pick up the contact and a tow truck to tow the vehicle to their facility. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not assist. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 1,500. The vin was unknown.
CategorySteering
DateJun 05, 2019
StateWA
Description
Statement from our driver- "I was driving my recently issued 2019 tahoe and the steering wheel locked up. Fortunately, I was travelling at low speed and the brakes worked. Reverse did not work (it acted like neutral). The steering stayed locked up for quite a while, until I turned the engine and all the electronics off and let it sit that way for 3-5 minutes."
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateApr 04, 2019
StateTX
Description
Driving east on I-20 after sierra blanca checkpoint starting the incline uphill. I was on left lane, had cruise control set at 80 as per speed limit. On my right a semi just a vehicle away, at my rear another semi also on right lane. Front truck started right exit turn signal and just when he started to exit at curve, my vehicle slowed down to 52 in about 2 seconds and semi behind me switched to my lane to avoid semi exiting interstate, semi slammed on his brakes while switching to my lane, hit the horn and I could see the smoke from his tires locking up. My vehicle shifted down to second gear and sped up to 80 mph in about 4 seconds. My vehicle detected the semi on the right lane at the curve, me not knowing if my brakes lights came on as soon as my speed dropped. Had my vehicle not sped up right away, the semi would have crashed my vehicle at the curve.
CategorySteering
DateMar 30, 2019
StateOR
Description
While driving at 70mph the power steering stopped working without any warning, nearly causing loss of control.
CategoryElectrical System
DateDec 14, 2018
StateTX
Description
Purchased 2019 chevy tahoe lt on 10/27. Began having serious electrical issues on 11/26 with the message of 'reduced steering assist drive with care' message appearing after vehicle startup. When this message appears vehicle will not go in reverse and steering wheel won't move and car only goes about 5 mph in drive. Car was towed and issue wasn't duplicating at dealer. They did inspection and returned after a week of testing. About a day after return of vehicle, message occurred again and this time we videoed malfunction. Vehicle is back at dealership and they cannot replicate again. First time vehicle was in shop, error code u0100 was present and we are currently trying to get codes currently present. Vehicle has been in service for 3 weeks and they haven't found a solid cause.

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Brian Jones

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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1 COMMENT
  • John N

    2019 tahoe keeps losing power steering and starter problems..been in service repair approx 9 different weeks in one yr. bought in Aug 2019..

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