2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is a heavy-duty truck that continues to be among the top choices. The automaker claims it provides “towing that pulls rank,” but customers couldn’t be any unhappier. Between the faulty electrical system to the defective engine, there’s a lot of issues for current owners.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Fuel/propulsion System
Electrical System
Power Train
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Fuel System, Gasoline:fuel Injection System:throttlebody/manifold

Problems with the Electrical System

With a solid electrical system, driving a truck can be extremely enjoyable. However, the Silverado 2500HD models seem to have a lot of faults.

One NHTSA complaint states, “After two weeks of ownership, the rear camera has stopped working. Instead, I receive an error message. There is no shortage of complaints like this on various model Chevrolet forums. Most 2020/2021 customers indicate there has not been resolution of specific issues identified.”

GM hasn’t been shy about dealing with electrical system problems. Even Service Bulletin #PIT5387J discusses the Instrument Panel display blanking out, connections dropped and volume changes occurring on their own. To resolve these situations, GM advises technicians simply to tell customers that they are working on figuring out what is wrong. However, if history teaches anything, it’s that the automaker doesn’t resolve problems promptly. Just look at the class-action lawsuit that spanned many model years dealing with the “Chevy Shake,” which might not even be fully resolved now. Drivers of this Silverado truck are going to be waiting for help with hopefully nowhere to be anytime soon.

Problems with the Engine

When most people purchase a heavy-duty truck, the hope is that the potent engine will provide all the towing and hauling power needed to get big jobs done. With this unreliable engine, that might not be the case.

Here’s a review left on Cars.com. “My 2021 Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Edition is back at the dealership with less than 90 miles on the odometer. Also this is the second time the vehicle is back at the dealership. Apparently the problem was fixed and when I left the dealership, within 8-10 miles the engine light came on and I received and alert via text to have ‘problem’ taken care of. I am truly disappointed with GM as this is the second Silverado I have purchased within the past three years to have issues. Actually the last Silverado was turned back in due to the same recurring issue. I am totally frustrated with this situation.”

Looking at the integrity of the build, it’s no wonder customers are having trouble. This pickup is riddled with recalls and investigations into the safety. For example, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V792000 talks about more than 600,000 vehicles equipped with a seat belt bracket that wasn’t secured properly, leaving occupants at risk of an injury during a collision. Even worse, shortly after that recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V811000 was issued stating that the wrong bolts were also used to secure some seat belts. What’s even more alarming is the open investigation into the Silverado trucks. NHTSA Action Number PE21010 is looking into consumer complaints that the air bag systems are malfunctioning. Not only are some air bags not deploying, but the investigation led to rust particles on the terminal interfaces, which is causing some trouble. It seems that Chevy is in hot water, not only with the safety administration but also with customers. Maybe it should be known as the “best-in-class” for complaints.

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 09, 2023
The contact owns a 2021 chevrolet silverado 2500. The contact stated while driving at various speeds and depressing the brake pedal, there was an abnormal squeaking sound coming from the rear of the vehicle. The dealer was not notified of the failure and informed the contact that the brakes needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, where it was diagnosed with brake pulsation, and a rear brake bolt was loosened. The mechanic tightened the bolt. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 15,000.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System, Power Train
DateJan 30, 2023
July 2022 dpf filter was throwing check engine light. Took to dealer to get diagnosed, part was ordered and the dpf was replaced august 19th 2022. Started to get headaches in vehicle while driving it. Oct 9th ended up in hospital after driving vehicle and was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. Experienced symptoms of losing consciousness, worst headache I've ever had, nausea for 5 hours, loss of feeling in body and seizing of body. Took truck to dealer to get inspected twice and nothing was found to be wrong with it. Nov 10th took truck on another road trip and was having similar symptoms as before however had more chest pain this time so went back to hospital. Took truck back to dealer to have inspected again and was told that it was fine. Nov 18th took truck on another road trip and within 20 mins of driving had another horrible headache. Pulled over and needed to get air and ended up driving truck 4 hours home with windows and sunroof open to avoid getting carbon monoxide poisoning again. I have been ill since august and that is due to diesel and carbon monoxide poisoning every single time I drive the vehicle which is daily. The truck has been now at the dealership for 70 days without any update or improvement in the case.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes
DateJan 19, 2023
The “service trailer brake system” warning will not stop popping up and beeping
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Warnings, Steering
DateOct 16, 2022
Service steering column lock continually appears on my screen. Front collision detectors are also going off for no reason.
CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 08, 2022
The brakes have squealed since the day we purchased it new. The noise is usually at low speed, under 10 mph. The dealer has told me that they could replace the pads but I would have to cover the cost.
CategoryService Brakes
DateAug 16, 2022
The trucks brakes squeal very badly and won't go away there are complaints all over the internet for this and when I contacted chevy they said there isn't anything they can do.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJul 16, 2022
Very bad brake squeal while applying brakes at 10pm or less, coming to a stop. This started to happen when the vehicle had approximately 5,500 miles.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Structure:body
DateMar 16, 2022
Gas smell while driving. Not reported
CategoryPower Train
DateMar 16, 2022
Def tank heater vehicle goes into a limp mode after a defined mileage. Dealer confirmed the tank heater is bad. The part is on backorder with no known production date.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateDec 15, 2021
Starting smelling gas inside of the cab, at first thought it was non-issue, but the smell persisted. Several days passed, and when I went to warm up my truck in the morning smelled a strong gas odor, and when I looked under the engine - there was a pool of gas, and gas was leaking. Took it in to the dealership (thinking it was a simple loose filter line) but they now say that it is more than that. Not sure if this has been a re-occurring issue with these new trucks, but it could have been a very dangerous situation.
CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 20, 2021
Non stopbbreak noise. No matter what you do, what is or isn't added, how clean they are, they constantly squeak and loud! Dealers won't help. Tell you to get on the brakes hard. That helps for a few minutes! Over 50k fix the brakes!!!
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 14, 2021
My fiance started the truck. Drove about 2 miles from my mothers house, the check engine light came on. The traction control light came on and then she informed me that it felt like all braking power was lost. Truck is being towed to dealership. Could have killed or badly injured someone.
CategoryService Brakes
DateAug 27, 2021
While in a mcdonalds drive through truck lost all braking ability. Pedal went right to the floor. Truck had to be put in park to stop and shut down. After re starting engine brakes started functioning again. Very scary incident.
CategoryService Brakes, Steering
DateAug 08, 2021
Brakes: the brakes do not stop the vehicle without excessive pressure to the pedal. Especially carrying a trailer with the exhaust brake & trailer brakes in effect. Takes excessive distance for vehicle to stop. Pedal must be pressed 3/4 to the floor for it to start to apply brakes. It is extremely difficult to stop this vehicle at any speed over 45mph. Have not taken to dealer, was expecting a recall but none until now. Steering: when I turn the steering wheel at low speeds such as backing into a parking spot, there's a loud squealing noise coming from the engine bay.
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Warnings, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateJul 09, 2021
Front park assist (fpa) system did not provide any level of advanced alert until after impact when all conditions were fully met as stated in the user's manual for the park assist system. Note: text after bullets are extracts from user's manual while test in () are owner's feedback during incident when fpa failed to alert. •as the vehicle moves at speeds of less than 8 km/h (5 mph) ( the vehicle was going 1-2 mph) •the sensors on the bumpers may detect objects up to 1. 2 m (4 ft) in front (front park assist (fpa) detection was not until pipe contact was made with bumper/sensor) •within a zone 25 cm (10 in) high off the ground and below bumper level. (pipe was in full zone from 0 to >30" high) •blocked sensors will not detect objects and can also cause false detections. Keep the sensors clean of mud, dirt, snow, ice, and slush; and clean sensors after a car wash in freezing temperatures. (the sensor was not blocked in anyway. The truck has never been in mud, dirt, snow, ice, or slush.) •when an object is first detected in the rear, one beep will be heard from the rear, or both sides of the safety alert seat will pulse two times. (initial fpa alert level was never reported) •(there was not an intermediate level description in the user's manual as implemented by gm. Intermediate fpa "yellow" alert was never reported) •or
CategoryFuel System, Gasoline:fuel Injection System:throttlebody/manifold
DateJun 16, 2021
The contact owned a 2021 chevrolet silverado 2500. The contact stated while driving 35 mph, the contact noticed flames coming from the cab and the bed of the vehicle. The contact stated that the flames grew bigger and the contact pulled over to the side of the road and exited the vehicle before the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames. A report was made with the fire department. There were no injuries. Medical attention was sought for mental and emotional purposes related to the incident. The vehicle was deemed a total loss. The dealer was contacted and informed the contact that the vin was not under recall. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and a case was filed. The approximate failure mileage was 12,000.
CategoryElectrical System
DateMay 11, 2021
After two weeks of ownership, the rear camera has stopped working. Instead, I receive an error message. There are no shortage of complaints like this on various model chevrolet forums. Most 2020/2021 customers indicating there has not been resolution or specific issue identified.
DateApr 03, 2021
My truck will not start randomly. The truck will crank but won't fire. If I wait a while it will eventually start. I took it to the dealer and was told that they could not recreate it. No check engine light on and no error codes noted.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateFeb 04, 2021
I'm having a severe problems with the extremely large side mirrors causing a blind spot with crossing traffic. I believe I'm a very careful driver to avoid accidents, so a couple days after purchasing the vehicle, I came to an intersection and stopped to make sure there was no crossing traffic before driving through. As I began to go through the intersection, I nearly pulled out in front of a crossing vehicle, a vehicle that was no where in view when I started to go through the intersection. I was thinking to myself where did that vehicle come from? A few days later I nearly did the same thing again, and I realized I wasn't doing anything wrong, that it was that huge side mirror creating such a huge blond spot that when the crossing vehicle is at a certain point the mirror totally blocks the view of that vehicle. I am really worried about having an accident because of this large mirror. I'm considering going back to the dealership to see if the truck can be fitted with a smaller mirror, but there is probably a huge cost to the customer. There must be thousands of people with this truck having the same problem. I don't think that I have ever complained to thenhtsa , but this is very dangerous and I'm worried.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateJan 18, 2021
6. 6l gas truck would not start. Forums ive visited state this is a known problem with the ecm. After approx 30mins it started. However before that it sputtered out every time I would try to start it. It appears to be an intermittent problem. It ran fine once it eventually did start. Also auto start wouldn't engage when this problem was occurring.

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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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  • Ray

    Poorly cast Ujoints on the fwd front end.
    With a shaft of machined steel, what could go wrong???🤔😂 i got photos

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