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

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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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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Problems with the 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.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train:automatic Transmission:lever And Linkage:floor Shift
Service Brakes
Fuel/propulsion System
Seat Belts

Problems with the Electrical System

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.

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Problems with the 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.

Problems with the 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.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • James W

    Trouble regarding placing the gear shift into park without the warning appearing, “ not in Park!”. I know it is, I put it in park, after restarting the car, I try and try several times before it registers as correct and I am finally able to turn off the car and exit.

  • carrie

    I have a 2019 Chevy Traverse LS recently I have been having issues with the auto stop function. When it first started I would get a message and alarm to service stability track, that went away, and now when the auto stop is engaged and the car turns off when I release the brake the vehicle dies, and will not start, no dash lights , no hazards and brakes very hard. I can shift it into park and get my dash lights to come back on and hazards to work, but the car will not start, I replaced the battery. but till having the issues. The vehicle has been in the shop for 5 days and they don’t know what’s wrong with it, I don’t have an extended warranty on it so this is all out of pocket for something they cant fix!

  • Cheryl G

    I have a 2019 Traverse and have had several issues. I am a home health therapist so most of my driving is on the hwy with limited in town, just a reason for my mileage. About a year after getting my car, when I had the air conditioner on, it would be driving then all of the sudden die and I would have to pull over and it would start and I wouldn’t have any more problems. Well last year, it started having a shudder. Definitely not the transmission because its not when it is changing gears but more when I am accelerating and then it would level off. It actually got better once we had the manifold replace but that is even another issue that I am going to talk about. But today it finally died on me. I was driving from one patient to another when the car acted like it was going to die and the door locks unlocked and then locked. Did that a couple of times before it died. I was at least able to pull to the side of the road so I was stuck on a busy road. While it was dying, the low fuel light came on and it has a full tank of gas. We ended up having to tow it home because it wont start.
    Now there is a recall on the manifold but my car does not qualify because of the mileage. It has a manufactured defect on the manifold because it didn’t fit correctly and it rubs a hole in it. Well I guess I drove it like that long enough that the manifold actually broke and we had to have it repaired costing over $2000 to repair it, because Chevrolet redid the manifold and it went to over $800 for the manifold itself.

  • Liz S

    I purchased a used 2019 Traverse and recently EVERY idiot light comes on if the temperature drops below 50 degrees. This morning it would not start at all and indicated that my hood was opened. It was not.

  • Kathy j

    Have a problem when I shut off the car I get a warming to shift to park even though the car is in park I have to jiggle the steering wheel while shifting the gear stick back and fourth it drives me crazy.

  • Pat D

    My wife had an issue today. At a light the engine stopped as usual, but then wouldnt start again. She did eventually get it to start, but said battery low, then charging system info came on and then most of the lights came on. After getting it home, I started it and all issues went away. Now I don’t trust it. Anyone ever have this issue?

  • Stevie

    I bought my 2019 traverse Lt brand new July 2019.From the beginning it shifted weird/hard, Within a year I had to replace the alternator and battery, the sound on the back up camera stopped working, replaced tires and brakes multiple times. My rear hatch only opens some times. Recently my radio/navigation/touch screen completely quit working and there no sounds from speakers, turning signals, safety reminder dings. Tuesday while driving it kept kicking my vehicle out of awd when I’d step on the gas the tires didn’t spin engine didn’t rev. I waited a few minutes turned the knob back to 2wd and was able to continue down the road, while driving the rear wheels locked and sent me sideways down an icy road. Luckily I maintained control. I kept the car in 2wd and issue seemed to stop. Later in the day while driving car completely died and wouldn’t restart or jump. Vehicle was leaking oil at a heavy rate out of nowhere. And the smell of gas was strong. I’ve had nothing but issues with the vehicle since buying it. Although I have put many miles on the traverse I’ve always been on time with oil changes/maintenance and it didn’t matter. If I could give negative stars I would.

  • D. M

    I purchased my 2019 Chevy Traverse new and at 50K miles I’ve already had to have $2800 of major repairs done. I had to repair my Front Exhaust Pipe and Muffler that was not covered by my powertrain warranty that cost $1600 to repair and my bank 1 catalytic converter was cracked and had an exhaust leak that would have cost $1200 to repair. Fortunately, the catalytic converter was covered under my powertrain warranty.

  • James

    Niece bought a used 2019 traverse a couple months ago. The brakes started squeaking so she brought it to me to check out. I found the driver’s side rear brake caliper was not working. The piston is seized up in the cylinder. Won’t go back into the cylinder using a compressor tool, even with the bleeder valve cracked open. Anyone else having the same problem? The pads look almost new also. I’m wondering if this could be a manufacturing defect?

  • Robert

    I purchased a 2019 Traverse High Country new. We like the vehicle and have taken long trips without any issues. A few months ago my wife noticed my front camera was not sounding an alarm or showed distance to object lines as it did when new when parking the vehicle. Took the vehicle into the dealership where purchased and the maintenance supervisor said my car never had this set up for the camera. Either I have been hallucinating or we have a problem. I hoping this is the only problem we will have.

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