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

Air bags, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2020 Chevrolet Trax is a two-row SUV that appeals to a mass market. The automaker tells owners to “Get in. Stand out,” but most drivers simply want to get out of the SUV instead. This vehicle suffers from a defective powertrain, malfunctioning air bags and a faulty engine.

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Problems with the Transmission

The powertrain consists of every part that transfers energy from the engine to the wheels. The main component of this system is the transmission, which seems to be causing trouble with the Trax.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 Chevrolet Trax. The contact stated that while driving at an undisclosed speed, the transmission slipped and inadvertently changed gears while the vehicle shuddered. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] to be diagnosed. The technician was unable to deduce the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. Manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact to take the vehicle back to the dealer. The failure mileage was approximately 13.”

Sadly, Chevy is doing nothing to work on these powertrain issues. In fact, Service Bulletin #990420002K discusses how the driveline can make a clunking noise. However, the automaker goes on to call some of these “acceptable” and “considered normal operations.” Tell that to the operator that only made it a few miles off the dealership lot before struggling to move the SUV at all.

Problems with the Air Bags

Air bags are added to vehicles to ensure occupant safety. But, when these systems don’t work as intended, everyone is put in danger.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 Chevrolet Trax. The contact stated that the passenger’s occupant detection system failed to detect a passenger seated in the front passenger’s seat. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the sensor was installed to the manufacturer’s specifications. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 518.”

While this owner got a little farther than the first, it wasn’t by much. In fact, no major systems should malfunction within the first 1,000 miles of an SUV. However, the biggest difference is that Chevrolet doesn’t want to talk about this system malfunctioning. Currently, there are no communications from the automaker about how to fix this problem. Over the past few years, the automakers have become quite sensitive to air bag complaints, so it’s something they are probably hoping will just go away. In the meantime, getting in the Trax might not be something people want to do if they hope to get out.

Problems with the Engine

A final issue seems to be coming from the engine, which is considered the most valuable component of all.

One Edmunds user states, “We have leased this car for eight months and randomly, after stopping at a red light, it would not move. Tried putting in reverse but the car shook violently. At first it was a perfect compact SUV for us but after this problem we are questioning its reliability.”

Again, Chevrolet is talking about the engine issues. In fact, Service Bulletin #PIP5598B says that there have been problems with a no start or extended cranking condition. The automaker claims that this problem relates to an exhaust cam reluctor that is not in position. Should this be a problem with a newer SUV? Absolutely not! At this point, the Trax is able to “stand out,” just as Chevy suggests, but not for the right reasons. Instead, it’s becoming quickly known as a 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.

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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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16 COMMENTS
  • Alice A

    So far my 2020 leased Trax runs perfectly. Of course, in SC, no hills down in the Chas area. I have 1 year left on the lease and only 6300 miles on it. I’m not sure if I’ll purchase it or lease a new one

  • Louise B

    My hill assist has never worked, it can’t go up hill without losing power, it cuts off frequently, and now, my 2020 is down cause the air conditioner won’t cut off. So it keeps killing the battery! I’m over this vehicle! There’s no recall on any of this stuff! I’m renting a vehicle cause I can’t afford to get it fixed, but I got to get to work!😡

  • Ramona

    We bought a new 2020 Trax, have serviced as manual says, had no problems. June 2022 we left Kansas on a three week vacation. In New Mexico we noticed the AC was not cooling like it used to, we had to add 1/2 gallon of coolant. Every night when we stopped we checked, sometimes we needed to add a little bit and sometimes not. The car was not overheating, we called our dealership and it was probably evaporating, but should get it checked. Stopped in Paso Robles California dealership, they pressure tested and was told it was ok just keep a eye on the coolant. We continued on, seemed like it was doing better, especially once we started going north on highway 1. No more trouble. When we left Portland Oregon on July 4th, we made it about 300 miles engine overheating shut engine off was on the message center. We had to waited 7 hours on I -84 about 30 miles from the closest town. Where we were at it was like a desert, and was on a incline and a curve. Very unsafe. We was towed to La Grande. We spent 4 days in a motel and the dealership still didn’t know when they were going to be able to check it to see what was wrong. Our family in Portland came to the rescue and towed us back to Portland. The dealership wasn’t able to get it in until the 14th. They found the radiator had a crack, a/c condenser was out. We waited a week to get an approval from the extended warranty, then another week for parts. While they were working on it they found out the water pump was leaking, that took 2 more days to get the approval And parts. Next day we started home. We drove 1½ hours and it overheated again. This time was able to limp back to Portland the next day they found out the over flow tank was leaking was able to get the parts and fix it the next day. So then we leave again, we drove 1 hour and overheated again. The dealership was very puzzled. So they used a camera and found a micro leak in the head. GM was contacted, they told the dealership to tear the motor down and check to make sure there was no internal damage. Just our luck they found that the head and block was warped from overheating, so now the whole motor had to be replaced. GM fast tracked a motor which took a week, then another week to put it in. We finally got home September 5th. Thank God for family and being retired. GM nor our extended warranty would pay for accommodations up front we have to be refunded our expenses or for a rental car. Once it was determined that the repairs were covered under factory warranty we then was given a rental car. Had it not been for family we would have been sleeping with all the homeless there and eating in the soup kitchen. Would this be a lemon? We are still worried this car will leave us stranded again.

  • Stan

    2020 Trax 33000 miles car rolls back when you take foot off break on hill. Hill assist has only come on 3 times. Car thumps when you take foot of break at light. Like a converter lock up issue. A/C is useless over 86 degrees. Funny to say otherwise the LS model is good compared to some other cars

  • Brooke

    Bought my Chevy trax 2/2020 with 8 miles on now over 75,000 I’ve had to replace my turbo left strut mount and a bunch of stuff in my engine Dec 2021. It’s been a constant nightmare, I take very good care of my car always getting oil change 10 miles before it’s due. is there anything I can do or if there’s any help I can get I want out of this

  • Makeda w

    I brought my 2015 Trax in June of 2022 the very next week after purchasing I was back at James Mitsubishi telling them my car wasn’t accelerating up hill,they tell me my gears was stuck . I had driven my new car to SC the week I purchased an was going up Pennsylvania hills an I noticed my car was not going it was if I was doing 80 it was going down as I try to give it more gas ,I was on my gas all the way ,pedal was almost to the floor before it wanted to take off to the point the 18 wheeler behind me was to the point was pushing me an that was scary truck on one side behind you an in front an your car won’t drive with children in car ,talk about stressed out with the fact I just financed this car for more then it’s worth . Now when I took it back to where I purchased they gave me a hassle they started to proceed to say that there’s nothing wrong with the car but they took the car in and they said they was going to change this change that . I got the car back came back again the same problem with my car then I called a few weeks later my car ended up in the shop again for at least 2 months I had one of their loaners for like 2 months and still I had the engine light was on and all this other problems was going on with the car so eventually the worker that James Mitsubishi had working for them couldn’t fix the problem so they started to send my car to a Bob Johnson dealer the first time my car was sent to Bob Johnson they were stating that something was in my fuel tank and when I called the people who I purchased my car from which is James Mitsubishi they proceeded to tell me that I had someone putting something in my gas tank so just to be cautious I went and bought a gas cap that has a lock to it after that I proceeded to have the same issue my car started shutting down on me with daughter in car in the bus lane. I had to keep putting dry gas treatment in a multiple times so eventually went to the Bob Johnson shop and then they found out that there was something in my tank that they couldn’t even describe but James Mitsubishi said it was vegetable oil when it went to Bob Johnson Bob Johnson couldn’t recognize what the substance was in my fuel tank so my fuel tank had to be removed. going to get my car after my fuel tank was removed and cleaned out what so now I’m driving and then I noticed that something is not right so I go back I find out my fuel tank wasn’t properly put back up so I’m driving around town with fuel tank full of gas just riding on my tires I guess that’s how it was doing after that I took it back and they kept the car for another week and I had to actually start paying for rentals myself they did help me with one payment of $108 which is one day but other than that I had to pay for like at least a whole month because my car ended up back in the shop and then I had to pay for a whole month for a rental they just had me going back and forth with getting the car fixed and still the car never got fixed I have videos about how they would say what they’ll do this and an on top of that they have a worker down in service he says to me I don’t know why they even want to keep putting money in that piece of *** it’s a lot that they put me through and I’m still financing this car I’m to the point where I don’t want the car it’s at $19,000 that I have left on my car note the car was like at least 23 thousand if I’m not mistaken. When I had to bring it back once again to James Mississippi they had me told me to my tow it tow an use my insurance and I towed it to Bob Johnson and one situation where they have my car just sitting there for like a week and I called like that Friday and they told me James Mitsubishi should never approved it so a week that I had to pay for a rental I feel like they just been lingering me on with this car and I just been paying more on rentals than anything I’ve paid one time about $1,500 on rentals and then this time I’ve been in his rental for a long time now they told me that I they couldn’t help me because the previous the very last time that it was at Bob Johnson they I denied them fixing my car due to the fact of the length that they keep they kept on keeping my car and they neither one of them had a way for me to get to work in order for me to pay for this car I have to go to work I am a single mother taking care of three children I paid my own rent I pay for my own fixes I pay for everything myself the fact that I went in there with good credit with enough money in my credit I mean my account and I also had a Jeep trade-in that they gave me $500 for I just feel like I just been ripped off and just scammed and I just purchased this headache that I’ve been having problems since I purchased .I haven’t even been a year yet and my car is just acting a fool ,I changed my spark plugs twice and everything but somehow my oil is getting inside to spark plug 4 if somebody could help me on this situation cuz don’t nobody want to fix my car and if I send my car back to Bob Johnson and I have to pay for it there’s no way that I can pay for the diagnostic test and the fixes due to the fact that I done exhausting my money trying to fix it myself ,might have to get unemployment due to not being able to get to work this was the worst experience I ever had it beats marring the wrong man.but anyways my number is *** if someone can call me back on this matter my name is Ma k e d a W e a r e n.

  • Tammy R

    I have a 2020 Trax and have had to replace the turbo twice within a years time and it has under 9,000 miles on it, I bought it brand new, is this an ongoing issue?

  • Talyn S

    I’ve been having non-stop throttle position sensor problems. whenever i stop at a light or stop sign I never know if my car will go into limp mode. I’ve taken it in 5 times and they keep claiming it just needs to be calibrated again. Obviously something else is wrong with this car. ive had the vehicle since the 1st of November and on Christmas eve it started going into limp mode. I live in the rocky mountains and I cant even let my car warm up and defrost without it shutting down on me. the hill assist activates when im not even going up any form of a hill. ive had the same MAP Sensor replaced 4 times and it still has problems.
    Literally the worst car ive ever bought and the sad thing is this was my first car ive ever bought and its frustrating that it has so many problems

  • John p

    My turbo went out at 75,000 miles. The next month all during Christmas shopping my throttle body went out and then major oil leaks and now my vehicle is leaning now my check stabilizer like came on at the same time. This car is a lemon and I think we need to all stand together and ask for reimbursement through Chevy

  • Jolene

    I have a 2016 Chevy Trax. I purchased it with 18,000 miles on it. At 65,000 miles, the Turbo went out on it and I had to have a new motor. Now, at 161,000 miles, it is doing the same thing. It is no longer under warranty. I still owe almost $8,000, is there any hope for my situation?

  • Don

    I’m with Kenneth, Mine does the same thing. Sad part is I sold my tacoma because it had similar intermittent issues and I bought the trax new and it’s the worst driving car I’ve ever driven. Bumpy. I took it to the dealer and they told me they didn’t feel what I was feeling. This while the guy was sitting in the car with me.

  • D.w.

    My 2020 Chevy Trax just started to violently shake white driving. The dash says “service stabilitrak” yet the diagnostic check says code p0304 which is a possible ignition coil or a spark plug. How can a 1 year old vehicle have this kind of issue?

  • Tracy W

    My 2020 trax rolls back too like Kenneth R. has stated. I just bought new wheels and tires for it last week, now it’s making a weird squeaking noise. My information center turns itself off while driving down the road all the time. It also stays on when I park it sometimes. Usually restarting the car and turning it back off will make it finally shut off right. I haven’t taken it to the dealership yet for the squeaking that just started this morning because it stopped when I arrived at work 3 miles away. I’m afraid it won’t make the noise when I go to the dealership. The airbags don’t always notice when my 18 year old daughter is in the passenger seat, but sometimes it notices my purse in the passenger seat!

  • Kayla

    My trax does quite a bit of these things and when brought to the dealership all they can say is well its not acting up now so we can’t do anything about it

  • Kenneth R

    My Chevy tracks does all the transmission stuff shutters, clunks in and out of gear. On a hill if you take your foot off the brake and don’t immediately apply the gas pedal down the car rolls backwards which is a safety problem. This is the roughest riding car I’ve ever had. I am handicapped So it beats me to death. I absolutely hate this automobile. Took car in for transmission problem was told this is normal. The information center stops working at random. Took in for servicing they said they updated the software. Now the information center is doing the same thing just going black coming back on at random.

  • Brian B

    It seems like it is in the dealership being fixed. I know for sure 2 turbos on it has been replaced. Now the light is on again. I’m sure it’s been in fixed 8 times in 2 years.

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