2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

There might not be a more capable heavy-duty truck than the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, with the automaker boasting about its “strong suit.” However, customers find the reliability to be poor, from the defective engine to the faulty electrical system and malfunctioning service brakes. Overall, this truck might provide more problems than it is worth.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022

Problems with the Engine

Heavy-duty trucks are nothing without a powerful engine. Yet, this is a part that seems to be one of the most complained about among drivers of the Chevy Silverado 3500.

One Edmunds review states, “The engine has a noticeable thump thump thump while in idle that’s louder inside the cab, my 18 didn’t have that at all.”

To figure out what is causing engine problems, one simply has to look at how the Silverado is built in general. A structure-related recall should help discern what is going wrong. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V324000 states that affected vehicles were built with defective hood-latch striker wires, causing the hood to open on its own, even while driving. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V814000 says that more than 550,000 vehicles were built with a carpet floor covering that can ignite after the front seat belt pretensioners deploy. With Chevy unable to keep the truck from bursting into flames or securing the hood, how can it be expected to build a high-quality engine?

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Engine And Engine Cooling:exhaust System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel System, Diesel
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes, Hydraulic:foundation Components:disc:caliper
Service Brakes, Hydraulic:foundation Components:disc:pads

Electrical System Problems

Issues with the electrical system are also flooding the internet. It seems this truck is incapable of performing basic functions.

Here’s an example from an Edmunds review. “Another huge problem is if you have an iPhone that is linked via Bluetooth, is that as soon as it pairs up it will drop your volume all the way down, so when you leave the truck the phone stays on silent. You can sit there and physically raise the volume while in the truck just to see it automatically drop again.”

It turns out that the technology included with the Chevy trucks is so bad that there’s a class-action lawsuit. Of the complaints, the most alarming is that the infotainment system causes the volume to max without any input from the driver. It might be difficult to blame an accident on the audio system in a truck, but in this case, it could very well be the cause. Just try explaining it to the officer on-scene.

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Problems with the Service Brakes

Another system that is struggling to operate as intended is the service brakes. This system is causing issues that could easily cause an accident.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and made an abnormal grinding sound. The contact stated that extra effort while depressing the brake pedal was needed to stop the vehicle. The contact stated the brake wear sensor indicated that the front brake pads were at 73 percent while the rear brakes were at 52 percent. The contact stated that the rear brake pads had failed. The contact took the vehicle to [dealer] and was informed that they should not rely on the brake sensor to accurately display the brake wear of the vehicle.”

If the brakes were to fail unexpectedly, it would be imperative that the safety systems set up in this vehicle were working as designed. However, with all of the recalls, it is clear that is not the case. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V792000 states that over 600,000 vehicles might have been manufactured with defective front seat belt brackets, causing a lack of restraint during an accident. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V446000 says that some trucks have a Roof-Rail Air Bag diffuser that wasn’t crimped properly, causing the system to malfunction during an accident. What’s more is that there is an open investigation (NHTSA Action Number PE21010) focused on air bag systems that aren’t deploying. From every angle, this heavy-duty truck is a death trap. Maybe its “strong suit” is that consumers are constantly in danger.

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

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