Electrical system and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
In the world of crossovers, the 2021 Chevy Equinox stands out from the bunch with its sporty style and high-tech features. The automaker tells customers to “leave it all behind,” but many owners think the Equinox itself is what should be left. This newer Chevy SUV comes equipped with a defective electrical system and malfunctioning powertrain.
Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019 2020 2022 2023
Most Common Problems
Common complaints include defective electrical systems, malfunctioning powertrains, and issues with technology, including advanced safety features. Other issues relate to steering, exterior lighting, and tires.
Even though there were relatively few complaints to the NHTSA in 2021, the same components feature in complaints year after year!
There were 6 complaints relating to:
- Service brakes
- Exterior lighting
- Powertrain (2)
- An unknown issue that appears to be electrical and/or technical
One of the two powertrain issues resulted in a minor accident in which no one was injured.
2021 Chevy Equinox Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Electrical System:body Control Module/bcm|
Electrical System Problems
In today’s modern vehicle, it’s expected that the SUV would come with the latest bells and whistles. However, customers are complaining about the technology this Equinox provides.
One Cars.com review states, “the ‘advanced safety features’ are annoying more often than not and they will go off simply because a car in the opposite lane passes you. As a result I have deactivated them all. Most can be permanently deactivated but the “auto start/stop” requires more effort to permanently deactivate. Have yet found a way to remove the front camera to disable the most annoying safety features. The ‘lane keep assist’ can be turned off but must be deactivated every time you start the vehicle, another reason I wish to remove the front camera entirely as I do not desire the subtle steering wheel impulses while driving on snow and ice.”
When it comes to building the Equinox, Chevy has a lot to learn. After all, these advanced safety systems require precision and skill to create effectively. Considering that the Equinox already has a recall because of the wrong bolts being used with the seat belts, it’s no wonder that high-tech features don’t work right. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V811000 states that the wrong bolts were used with the seat belts, causing it to fail when restraining an occupant. Maybe Chevy should go back to the basics before attempting to add in today’s modern systems. The company could start by working on something from earlier days – such as Fred Flintstone’s car.
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Problems with the Powertrain
You don’t have to be a driver of the Equinox to know just how faulty this SUV is. Even the top auto publications are speaking out.
Here’s what Motor Trend had to say. “On-road performance is disappointing, as well. The Equinox pushes and plows through corners and ride quality is unimpressive, especially on higher trims with larger wheels. We liked the punchy 2.0T offering, but for 2021, buyers are left to make do with the 1.5-liter offering that, while torquey enough, is muddled by a transmission always reaching for its highest gear.”
It’s no surprise to Chevy that the Equinox struggles with the powertrain. Service Bulletin #16NA019 discusses how the transmission has trouble with low mileage harsh shifts, flares and slips. This isn’t something that new car owners should be dealing with, but Chevy thinks it’s completely normal. Maybe the automaker is too busy trying to figure out what bolts to use with the seat belts to spend any time increasing the performance and durability of this model. Word of advice – “leave it all behind” and choose a different manufacturer instead.
There were 5 recalls in 2018, 4 in 2019, 3 in 2020, and 2 in 2021. Whether they continue to decrease in numbers and components affected remains to be seen.
The first recall was in December 2020 after Chevrolet realized that incorrect bolts were used to attach seat belts in some vehicles. Potentially, 470 units may be affected, including the 2021 Equinox.
If seat belt assemblies aren’t attached to vehicles correctly, the device may not restrain the occupant in a crash. This increases the risk of injury.
GM was to notify owners and dealers were told to replace the bolts free.
The second recall in August 2021 was because the tread of tires was separating. Their report states that the tires may have been manufactured without enough of the curative agent. Tread separation can lead to loss of vehicle control, which can increase the risk of a crash.
A total of 9,597 Chevrolet Equinox 2021-2022 and GMC Terrain vehicles were affected. GMC was to inform owners in August that their tires could be replaced free by dealers.
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