2023 Chevy Trailblazer Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Forward collision avoidance, powertrain, and electrical system issues are among the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

The automaker urges consumers to choose the Chevrolet Trailblazer because “experience is everything.” If you’re ready to explore, “the 2023 Trailblazer is the small SUV that’s ready, willing, and able to be your guide.” While there are no standout definitive faults or malfunctions that are pertinent to the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer, owners are finding lots of things wrong with a range of components. Forward collision avoidance, electrical system, and transmission issues are all topics mentioned in NHTSA complaints. Owners on other platforms are complaining about a plethora of noises, from rattles and knocking sounds, to loud whining noises. They can’t be blamed for wondering what kinds of experience they’re letting themselves in for.     

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

Most Common Problems

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer are varied. They range from issues that drivers identify as dangerous to others that are highly irritating.

Components and systems implicated in complaints include the electrical system, forward collision avoidance, powertrain, and brakes.

In brief, forward collision avoidance becomes an issue when the Trailblazer stops and the driver loses control of the SUV. This is clearly dangerous. In cold weather, some drivers cannot shift the higher gears. Depending on the circumstances, this could be a safety issue too. The same applies to backup camera malfunctions.

Several complaints about noise are featured on Edmunds. While these generally state that dealers aren’t able to identify the cause of the problem, service bulletins filed with the NHTSA by the automaker, General Motors (GM), suggest that at least some of them may relate to the engine and/or powertrain.

2023 Chevy Trailblazer Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Power Train
Air Bags
Fuel/propulsion System
Lane Departure: Assist
Unknown Or Other
Back Over Prevention
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Forward Collision-Avoidance Problems

Losing control of any vehicle is undoubtedly a potentially scary experience, whether you’re exploring the countryside or simply traveling between 2 locations. An owner who was driving on the 190 interstate highway near Belvidere in Illinois was terrified when this happened.

All of sudden, while driving west through a construction zone, “the vehicle stopped by itself. I had no control except for the steering.” He managed to get onto the left shoulder of the four-lane highway, very aware of the other four lanes on the other side. The complaint states that there was a cement barrier blocking traffic on his side from traffic on the other side. At the same time, there was the smell of burning rubber. After checking under the hood, and being unable to see or smell anything burning, he realized it was the brakes. He had to wait a few minutes until he was able to restart and move the SUV.

“I was afraid for my life, just waiting for a vehicle to hit me.”

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Problems with the Electrical System

While the complaint quoted above also regarded the problem as a possible electrical system issue, another owner reports a totally different experience with faulty electrics.

“When I start my car, my CarPlay will not connect.” CarPlay is, of course, an Apple standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and a controller for an iOS device. You don’t really need it. But when other components malfunction at the same time, it can quickly become an issue.

The complaint goes on to say that when starting the car and putting it in Reverse to use the backup camera, and then putting it back into Drive, the backup camera stays on. Sometimes the speakers are static. And sometimes the screen doesn’t work and it will be slow or will shut off completely. “I have pulled over, shut off my car, and opened my door to shut off (the) screen. And it remains on for a couple of minutes playing music even when I shut it off.”

Powertrain Problems

An NHTSA complaint about the powertrain states that when it’s very cold, the Trailblazer won’t shift to the two highest gears until more than 20 minutes into a trip. “And that’s with having auto-started the vehicle 10 minutes prior to getting in it. So it takes about 30 minutes for the vehicle to shift into whatever the two highest gears are.”

The day the owner decided to complain, more than 20 minutes into the trip, traveling 71 mph while pushing 4,000 RPMs, the gears wouldn’t shift. “The temperature outside was 1 degree Fahrenheit. The same thing was happening when it was cold in December. That day I don’t think it got above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Awarding the Trailblazer a 3 rating, an owner commenting on Edmunds tells a similar story. “I’m having trouble with the engine not working right and it makes a knocking sound when I turn it on now. When I push the gas the RPM will go up to 4 or 5 but the car will move at like 2 mph. I was coming out (of) my driveway one day and pushed the gas, and it slowly started poking into the road. I pushed the pedal harder and had it all the way to the floor since a big truck was coming. When it finally caught up, I drifted out (of) the driveway because the car took off. It does not happen all the time but it is starting to become more frequent, which is very dangerous.”

Noise Issues

The heading of a comment on Edmunds that also awards the 2023 Trailblazer 3 rating, is Noise Blazer. It states that there’s lots of noise on the highway and the SUV is bumpy on “normal roads.”

Someone who leased a 2023 Trailblazer for his daughter says that when the SUV had only 210 miles on the clock, “We noticed the car making a loud, whining noise. Brought it back to the dealer. They have no idea what is wrong with the car, nor how to fix it. 9 days into owning and now we are without the car until GM engineering can inform the dealer on how to proceed.” Awarding 2 stars, he states, “Ridiculous!”

Even less impressed, another owner who leased a 2023 Trailblazer for a while, awarded just 1 star. There was a rattling noise from the right interior side of the vehicle. The service department was unable to locate the source of the noise and even replaced the panel. “The GM field engineer stated that noise was characteristic of the vehicle.” This, he states, is an “unacceptable response.”

So what is the problem? Different noises may not be related to one another, but there are a few clues in service bulletins released by GM. At the same time, the noises described in complaints aren’t necessarily the same as those described in the service bulletins.

Service Bulletin Information About Noises

Two service bulletins on file with the NHTSA provide information about noises that are regarded as characteristic of the vehicle. And they don’t only relate to the Trailblazers.

The service bulletin, 23-NA-021 issued on February 15, 2023, relates to the powertrain as well as the engine and engine cooling. It affects 69 products including 2021-2023 Trailblazers, and other Chevrolets, plus Buicks, Cadillacs, and GMC vehicles. And it advises dealership technical departments that “the rotational clicking noise heard after engine shut down may be normal characteristics of the vehicle.”

It states that the noise is “a design characteristic,” and dealers should not attempt any repairs. The transmission control module (TCM) “is functioning as designed.” A more detailed explanation is provided in the bulletin.

The service bulletin, 99-04-02-002N issued on February 16, 2023, relates only to the powertrain. It affects 889 GM makes, models, and model years spanning 2010-2023. The bulletin provides information on a “driveline clunk noise” and explains “what is acceptable and what is considered normal operation.”

It states that customers may notice the “clunk” noise when shifting gears with automatic transmissions. Those with automatic and manual transmissions may notice it when driving if the accelerator is depressed quickly and then released. Dealers are discouraged from trying to repair the “driveline clunk conditions.” More comprehensive details are provided in the bulletin.

What Should You Do If Your 2023 Chevy Trailblazer is a Lemon?

If you have a problem that tends to recur and affect the use or value of your 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer, you may have bought a lemon. But it’s best to get professional advice before trying to negotiate any type of settlement with the automaker.

Lemberg Law has helped many vehicle owners with lemon problems over the years. And we have successfully negotiated many settlements on their behalf.

If you’d like us to assess your problems, free of charge, contact us by calling our Helpline or filling out a contact form. The law says that GM must pay the legal fees for lemon law cases, so you won’t have to worry about legal bills.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

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