2021 Chevy Trailblazer Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes and electrical system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Originally launched as a high-end variant of the Chevrolet Blazer in 1999, the Trailblazer became a standalone model 3 years later. A large 7-seater SUV with lots of options, it initially only lasted 7 years, until 2008, but was relaunched in 2012. The 2021 third-generation Trailblazer is the 2021 model, a subcompact crossover CUV.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2022   2023


The problem history of the Chevrolet Trailblazer is an eye-opener. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 1,281 complaints about the first standalone 2002 model.

These covered just about every possible component in the car, with the engine and cooling system topping 158 complaints, exterior lighting 157 complaints, and the fuel system/gasoline, 125 complaints. There were also 14 recalls, 3 related to the powertrain, and 2 to exterior lighting.

There were almost as many complaints the next year (1,265), with 9 recalls. The next year recalls decreased to 2 but there were 1,366 complaints. There were only 2 recalls in 2005, but even more complaints (1,690). Then they started to decrease, with 1,334 complaints but 8 recalls in 2006 and 773 + 5 recalls in 2007.

Things were getting better in 2008, with only 191 complaints to NHTSA and no recalls from General Motors (GM.) Even though the 2020 model was available in the U.S. there are no NHTSA records relating to this model.

2021 Chevy Trailblazer Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train

Problems with the Brakes

While there are undoubtedly fewer complaints about the Chevy Trailblazer than ever before, the 27 complaints to NHTSA cover a wide spectrum of problem components.

Service brakes hit the top of the list with 10 related problems. Other complaints affect airbags, the electrical system, the engine, equipment, exterior lighting, forward collision avoidance, the fuel/propulsion system, the structure of the vehicle, tires, vehicle speed control, visibility/wipers, and the wheels of the car.

Brake problems are not something any car owner can ignore. If your brakes fail, you are in danger. So, complaints of brakes failing or reduced functionality are a major issue. While one complaint said the brakes squeaked, more said theirs failed.

A complaint made in September 2021 described a 3-car collision that resulted in the complainant’s car catching on fire after brakes failed.

Another complainant states that the dealer won’t do anything about brake-squealing issues because, “there is no bulletin out for the car model.”

An eleventh service brake complaint is listed in “unknown or other.” This reports a loud popping noise from the stereo speakers when applying the brakes, The complainant says there are several other similar complaints on the Trailblazer forum.

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Electrical System Problems

These complaints range from major to minor.

The complaint mentioned above that resulted in a fire after brakes failed is also listed as an electrical system fault. Other issues relate to popping sounds before the power steering and brakes failed, the auto-stop not functioning properly, and noises made by the speakers in the car.

Trailblazer Structural Problems

Structure problems are also varied, but with no apparent link. The first complaint in October 2020 is about bubbling paint. The problem stems from July that year, and when the complaint was made, the claim to GM was still open.

Another much more serious complaint reported the panoramic moonroof of the car exploding from the inside out. It reportedly sounded like a gunshot and the glass shattered!

The third complaint relates to multiple issues including faulty emergency braking,  continuous noise, tire pressure that doesn’t work, and a bumper that is coming loose. This complainant claims that the dealer “put a bandaid on my problem and I still have all of these issues.”

What to do if your 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is a Lemon

With lemons dating back a decade, you may not be surprised if you buy one. But what do you do if you think that your Chevrolet Trailblazer is a lemon?

Don’t panic. Lemberg Law can help. We are a specialist consumer law firm and we handle lemon law cases free. So, if you believe that you’ve bought a lemon, contact us as soon as you can.

You don’t need to be stuck with your lemon. We will assess your case and do whatever we can to get you some sort of a settlement. It may be a buy-back, a replacement vehicle, or a cash settlement. We will represent you for no out of pocket cost. The law states that GM will pay your bill!

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
  • coless w

    Hello everyone,
    I just got a 2021 trailblazer in june 2023 its now sept. and I’ve only had the vehicle for 2-2 1/2 months and now I’m experiencing the same issues. When I put it in reverse, it will go backwards but will not go to drive and when it finally catches it will have a hard jerk to it. I was stranded in the middle of a parking lot cause it would not go into drive. Now the dealer as of sept. 15th 2023 has my vehicle and says no information available yet. I just made my first payment and I don’t want to keep taking my vehicle to the dealer for repairs. What should I do? Can anyone give me some incite?

  • Katheryn G

    I bought my 2021Chevy Trailblazer in feb 2022, was so happy with it till March of this year my engine light came on took it to the dealer and said it was the turbo starter switch, they fixed it the in May the light came back on, to it back to the dealer, it is the turbo can’t get the part they have had my car since just got a call today July 25 and said it won’t be here till Oct now. I am so frustrated Gmac will not help in anyway because they gave me a car to drive. I am still paying my car that I can not drive. I will never buy a car from them again. They know this is a problem and will not help you, don’t buy from them. I know this will not help me but I hope it will show and help others not to buy cars by them

  • Apparently J

    The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer in my opinion of it is a swing and a miss. We are leasing ours and it only has 15000 miles on it. So far it’s brakes squeal with a shrill sound that is like fingernails on a chalk board. The dealership has given us the run around. They supposedly scoured the rotors to deglaze them. It did nothing to remedy the problem. At that time the vehicle only had under 5000 miles on it. I was told later by the same dealership that they would correct the problem by replacing the brake pads with a softer version, the work would be performed at my cost, both parts and labor. We’re still driving it with the original equipment since it’s a lease, we are not going to pay for these high cost repairs. That is the whole logic behind leasing, you’re driving a new car that is technically their vehicle and you rent with all applicable warranties. Now we have a new issue with the Engine Power Reduced message and Service Engine Soon light on. Had it at the dealership last week, they had it for 2-3 days. They said they had to take the front clip off to get to a boost sensor. Picked it up after they said they fixed the problem. After 2-3 days driving it maybe 100 miles, same thing happened again. I popped the hood and I looked at the bolts that would hold the front end clip they said they removed. Either they put every bolt back exactly the way it was to perfection or they never removed it. I’m not sure who’s to blame here, I just want a quality vehicle that runs and operates as it is intended to. After I revisited reading the original window sticker it was only then that I came to the realization that this car is basically a Korean car. Why and when did Chevy let the competition start building their cars? The global economy and greedy bottom liners I’m thinking. A 1.2 liter aluminum block with an aluminum head 3 cylinder Turbo Engine. Maybe they need to focus their attention to a Mechanically sound approach rather than if a car has a high tech appeal with even more things that can fail and disappoint owners or lessees. I am aware that the Trailblazer LS is not a luxury vehicle, but I thought that Chevy would at least make it Reliable. There I go thinking again. Stop the foreign practices before you get a horrible reputation as a so called American Company that outsources our jobs and sells sub par equipment to hard working Americans that count on that vehicle to get them to their jobs to pay for these vehicles made overseas. Come on American Car Companies, get your priorities straight. The Old saying is Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. Not Kia.

  • Michelle B

    I bought my 2021 TrailBlazer brand new, maybe 5 miles on it, in May 2021. Within 4 months maybe sooner, sometimes when I step on the brake I get a very loud scary boom from the speakers, I don’t know another way to describe the sound. My brakes started squeaking and have developed a very touchy brake, when I’m coming to a brake stop it damn nears sends me through the windshield. I noticed about 6 months ago my transmission seems to be clunking or dragging when I accelerate and when I accelerate the tranny kicks up suddenly forcing it forward.

  • Rose

    I bought a 21 TB in December of 21 brand new. After 25,000 miles, the battery dies and the engine leaks oil. Dealer says battery tests good and the oil leak seems to be residue from an engine detailing job. I have never had my engine detailed. It’s blowing oil out of the oil filler cap that can be seen by Ray Charles.

  • Sylvester B

    I’m a owner of a 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. It was purchase in February 2021 with 17 miles on it. As of June 2022 16,000 miles the transmission started slipping, put it in drive it stalls then takes off. It was taken to the dealership 4 times. They had no clue, now they say bad transmission. They have no loaner vehicle, and they’ve had my vehicle for over 35 days. The dealership says “General motors wants them to tear down the transmission”. Dealerships says “they have no open bay to work on it”. As of today 9/22/2022 have not started the tear down. I DO NOT WANT THE VEHICLE BACK! General Motors, and Tm Lally Chevrolet Very POOR Customer service. Never will I purchase a Chevrolet again.

  • Erin A

    Cassie and Corrie,

    Same problem here.with my 2021 Trailblazer. I was told it is the turbo boost and it needs to be replaced. Long story short my car has been in the shop since July 20 and as of today August 12 they are still waiting for the part. Was advised they have no clue even when they get the part they are waiting for they have no idea on how much longer they will have it.
    Im very disappointed ans frustrated on how dealership has been handling it. I had to.make all the calls to check up on my vehicle. I honestly do think I will ever own another Chevrolet again.

  • Corie

    CASSIE- we are having exactly the same issue with the reduced engine power. First time, was with the dealer for over a month. Said it was the selinoid (sp?) turbo part that has something to do with the shifting of the gears. Same thing: part on back order, no one in the country has it, blah blah blah. Finally they put the giddy up on when we were on our 3rd unreturned call – and they realized the loaner truck was only 200 miles from the 5000 mile threshold for being able to sell as new. A week later, same issue. Took it back. Another week and driving to try to get the code – nothing. We picked it up last Thursday and on Sunday – guess what happens? Yep. Same issue. When my husband called, dealer said no loaner available today – would have to be tomorrow. He’s a sheriff so he told them he works doubles – would have to be Thursday. They told him that would not be good because if something went wrong … and they found a loaner. When he mentioned the Lemon Law, the guy said @thats tricky cuz it’s gotta be the same code”. It’s getting ridiculous and it’s clearly an issue on these cars!

  • Cassie

    Good morning,
    I am the owner of a 2021 Chevy trailblazer. My car has around 29,000 miles on it. Recently I have been having a reduced engine power light as well as a check engine light appear across the dash. When this happens I am unable to drive faster than 35mph and the power to the rest of the car seems limited. I have taken my TB to 2 different area dealerships to service. Both of the dealerships are telling me that it is not throwing or storing any codes for them to know where to start to fix the problem. Also the brake pedal is sometimes hard to depress to push start the automobile. Both dealerships are at a loss of what the next steps should be to help my car. One dealership does have a call into GM to help with the issues, but seems to be a loss. So now I own a chevy trailblazer that I am payin on that I can not drive. This angers me and frustrates me very much. I picked this automobile because I thought that it would be a dependable car and now I am without a car. The dealership has recently discovery that it is the turbo that is bad in my car . After having my car for 30 days and putting 250 miles on it to make it throw the code . Now we are on day 36 and I still
    Do not have my car because the part is on back order and they have idea when it will be in . There is a open Chevy case on it . Chevy is telling me to be patient and just wait .

  • William

    I have water that was in my spare tire compartment
    Must be a leak when it rains . I have a 2021 trailblazer

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