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

Air bag, brake and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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.

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

Problems with the Air Bags

To protect the occupants in a vehicle, the air bags must be in working order. However, this Tahoe seems to struggle with the basics.

Here is one NHTSA review. “The contact stated they rented a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that while coming to a stop to make a U-turn, the steering wheel suddenly locked. The vehicle continued to accelerate forward crashing into a wall on a driveway of a home nearby. The vehicle’s air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was towed and had not been deemed totaled as of yet. A police report was filed. The contact received injuries to the head and knees. The contact stated there were 5 passengers in the vehicle, not including the contact, there was a passenger in the front and four in the rear. The contact stated the passenger in the front had head, mouth and wrist injuries. The passengers in the rear received injuries to their head, foot, ribs, legs, face.”

This is a serious situation that should be addressed, but even more importantly is the risk of fire this SUV possesses. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V837000 says that vehicles might not have a pressure regulator included in the fuel pump. If this occurs, the fuel pump could become over-pressurized and crack, which leads to a fuel leak. When gasoline is leaking out of the car, there is a higher chance of a car fire. Whether the Tahoe is attempting to crash people into walls with defective air bags or it wants to burst into fire, none of these situations constitutes being deemed “the best.” The only thing it is the best at is failing.

2020 Chevrolet Tahoe Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Air Bags
Power Train
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System: Integrated Trailer Brake Control
Fuel/propulsion System

Brake Problems

Speaking of failing, the brakes on the Tahoe are just as defective. Without functioning brakes, there is another chance of causing an accident and injury.

Just look at this NHTSA complaint. “My new 2020 Tahoe has auto/power pedal height adjustment. It allows both pedals in unison to be lowered or raised for comfort and dexterity of use. The height distance between the brake and gas pedal is extreme. There is an inherent danger of hitting the side of the brake pedal prior to getting one’s shoe onto the brake pedal. Women wearing sandals or open face footwear can possibly snag their footwear to the side of the pedal platform. Any heavy working type shoe is also prone to hitting the side of the pedal first. My wife and I both noticed this during our separate test drives. In each case, the timing of actually engaging the brake pedal endangers the driver’s ability to slow or stop his vehicle. Accidents will occur. I asked the salesman if the pedals could be separately adjusted, to which he stated it wasn’t possible. The inability to adjust either pedal’s height independently for each driver’s dexterity of engagement is important. Would both automatic powered side view mirrors be effective if they were set to be adjusted in unison only? I’m not sure when automakers made the decision to negate the ability to adjust the distance of height independently of at least one of the pedals. This is our first vehicle purchase since our last in 1985. It appears to me that it has been an unapparent or unnoticed possible reason for accidents.”

Aside from this, there’s another issue causing unintended braking. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V761000 states that over 650,000 vehicles have a serious software malfunction. If the wheel speed sensor fails, the Electronic-Brake Control Module (EBCM) software could activate the driveline-protection system. This defect causes the brakes to apply on the opposite wheel, which pulls the vehicle to one side. Not only can this lead to an accident, but if the air bags aren’t working either, occupants are put in a lot of danger. This only proves it is in fact the “best” – at putting people at risk of peril.

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Problems with the Electrical System

One final aspect that needs to work well with a family vehicle is the steering system. Yet, this is just one more area for the Tahoe to fail.

Here is one KBB review. “The magnetic ride is harsh vibrations in the steering wheel and seat. Returned the vehicle with 81 miles to the dealership did road force balance no change. Told by service that is the way it is. Have owned Tahoe and Yukon in the past. Asked the dealership to buy the vehicle back no response. Very disappointed! Trading for Ford Expedition. If you are considering buy any GM vehicle with Magnetic ride control do an extended test drive!”

While this customer talks about the harsh ride, there is more to focus on here. In fact, the company claims that even the basic details of the steering system have been overlooked. With Service Bulletin #16NA109, Chevy tells technicians to inspect the steering gear for excessive grease or sealant. True auto technicians shouldn’t be dealing with this problem in the first place, as there’s no reason to have excessive amounts of grease on parts. From small to large, everything seems to be an issue with the Tahoe – making it the “best” lemon.

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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