Service brakes, structure, steering and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
As far as heavy-duty trucks are concerned, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is one that regularly gets chosen. After all, the manufacturer claims that the Silverado lineup is “balanced.” Still, customers are having a hard time figuring out what balances with the defective service brakes, poorly-built structure, malfunctioning powertrain and horrible steering performance.
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Whether someone is enjoying a drive to work or towing a big trailer, the service brakes are essential for a safe ride. However, the 2020 Silverado 2500 seems to be receiving a lot of complaints about this critical system.
One Edmunds review states, “Took ownership in late 2020 and the truck had 11,000 miles on it. Within a few weeks the brakes went from a small irritation to a noisy problem. I leave the house at 5-6 am every day, and my neighbors told me I was their alarm clock. Chevy warrantied all 4 pads. They have told me since then it’s an issue, but no longer covered under warranty as it’s a “normal wear” issue.”
It turns out that there are a lot of recalls that would hinder safety if the brakes were to fail. For example, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V792000 states that over 600,000 vehicles have seat belt brackets that are not secured correctly, leaving occupants at risk during a collision. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V446000 says that the Roof-Rail Air Bag (RRAB) inflator might not have been crimped correctly, causing it to malfunction during a crash. When GM was making these trucks, it appears that the safety part of the equation was left out of the balance.
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Service Brakes, Hydraulic
Problems with the Structure
It’s clear to see that the engineering of Chevy trucks has gone downhill, especially when factoring in the lack of care with the build.
Here’s another Edmunds review worth reading. “Once inside the truck the first thing I noticed was that visibility is absolutely horrible. The hood is ridiculously tall and way too long. There could literally be a small child sitting 20 feet in front of the truck and I would not be able to see it. Another factor contributing to poor visibility is the gigantic side mirrors. It’s impossible to see over or around them and they caused me to almost get into two accidents. One where I almost hit an elderly couple that walked out into a crosswalk and my view of them was entirely obstructed by these horrible mirrors, and another time when I almost pulled out in front of a vehicle coming from my right because the mirror blocked my view of that vehicle. While I’m on the subject of mirrors I’ll also add that the same idiot who designed the iPhone must have had something to do with the design of these mirrors because there is a ridiculous notch on the outside edge that blocks your view out of that mirror. The interior of the truck is moderately comfortable. The tiny little volume nob is annoying especially when the HVAC nobs are so much larger and easier to use. The touch screen display is also difficult to use and see from the driver’s seat.”
Again, a handful of recalls proves that Chevy didn’t take its time putting together a reliable vehicle. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V814000 states that over 550,000 vehicles are equipped with a carpet floor covering that traps the hot gas coming from the front seat belt pretensioners. When used excessively, this gas can cause the carpet to catch on fire, which will ignite the truck. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V142000 states that the hood-latch striker wires weren’t heat-treated correctly, so they can easily fracture. When this occurs, the hood can open on its own, even while driving. While this situation can be humorous in cartoons, there’s no room for it in real life.
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Problems with the Powertrain
To get a job done, a truck must have a reliable powertrain under the hood. As with all other systems on this GM truck, that isn’t the case with this model.
One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle independently shifted into four wheel drive. The contact stated that the vehicle was manually shifted back into Drive. The contact stated that the failure destroyed the front end, the differential and axle. The contact was concerned that there was a manufacturer’s design flaw with the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to [dealer]. However, the technicians were unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was later taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the front differential was damaged and needed to be replaced. The technician mentioned that the failure was due to the design flaw of the Auto Mode feature. The vehicle was not repaired.”
It should come as no surprise that there is also a powertrain-related recall on this truck. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V650000 states that some models might have driveshaft joints that weren’t welded correctly, causing them to separate while moving. On top of that, some Chevy vehicles have been the subject of class-action lawsuits because of a malfunctioning transmission that causes it to shift hard, jerk and shake. Maybe the Silverado is simply trying to “shake, rattle and roll.” Hopefully, it doesn’t shake too hard, or pieces could start falling off.
A final look at the steering system shows the same level of craftsmanship as the other components.
One final NHTSA review says, “At highway speeds of 55-80 mph the vehicle has a constant vibration in the steering wheel. This has been a problem since purchased brand new in July ’20. At 1,350 miles, in August ’20, I had the tires rotated and balanced, nothing changed. At 5,700 miles, in January ’21, I had the tires rotated and balanced again, nothing changed. I found that GM has a TSB out but it is not a recall to fix the issue or replace the bad tires.”
There’s another class-action lawsuit against GM just for the shaking that’s occurring in the steering and drivability. In fact, the condition has been dubbed the “Chevy Shake,” showing that GM is known for something. For a truck that claims to be “balanced,” it sure does vibrate itself down the road, sort of like an unbalanced washing machine. Maybe it’s time to jump ship to another truck brand instead of dealing with all these defects.
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