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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,191 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Chevrolet Tahoe electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments

problem #19

May 092015


  • 79,300 miles


The 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe automatic lift gate became a significant danger to those accessing the rear compartment of the vehicle. Typical operation of the automatic lift gate is that the rear hatch opens completely and remains open with a single button click. The same automatic lift gate typically closes and remains shut with a single button click. On or around May 28th, 2015, my son was placing several items in the back of the vehicle when the liftgate began shutting on him. In an attempt to hold the liftgate open, it continued to close forcefully without raising back up. Thinking quickly I was able to pull him away from the liftgate as it continued to clamp anything in its path. My son received a bumped head and scratches as the door shut on him. The issue appeared to be an electrical issue that caused the liftgate to close forcefully and clamp shut without consideration of anything in its path. I also was not able to prevent the liftgate from closing as it just clamped shut, crushing anything in its path. This is a major safety concern and we fear that other people may be injured or killed as a result of this malfunction. There is no rapid functionality to override the the motor (switching to manual) that controls liftgate operations. This could very well have crushed my child if I hadn't been standing next to him. Other issues that occurred at the same time within the vehicle included: 1) a single event where the radio stayed on one channel and would not change without restarting the car was when the issue began; 2) xm satellite radio began working without a subscription; 3) the automatic memory position of the driver seat did not remain in position as typical; and 4) the liftgate would automatically open about 18 inches and immediately close, crushing anything in its path.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #18

Feb 032014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I own a 2009 Chevy Tahoe and I have been dealing with door lock problems for the past year. The driver door will not open at this point and rear passenger door will not open from time to time. At this moment we have 2 working doors, but I am concerned that in case of an emergency these remaining 2 currently working doors will not open either and my family may be trapped. Someone suggested we contact the national transportation safety board and file a complaint to see if maybe we can force GM into a recall since this is a safety issue. Is this something you would be able to help us with? please advice on how I should proceed with this issue. Thank you so much in advance for your help and cooperation with this issue.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #17

Dec 112013


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated the rear left door failed to unlock when using the driver's control panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician replaced the door actuator. However, after the vehicle was repaired the failure occurred on the right side. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- Graham , WA, USA

problem #16

Dec 012013


  • 71,000 miles


Driver door and rear door on driver side do not lock/unlock consistently with key fob nor do they lock/unlock with power lock button. I have to manually lock and unlock both doors most of the time. The previous owner said they replaced these a few years back under warranty shortly after purchasing vehicle. Obviously there is a design flaw or mechanical issue causing this to happen. Numerous people have reported the same issue. I have to manually lock and unlock my doors when I leave the vehicle. Passenger side doors appear to work fine all the time. The cost is close to $300 per door to correct and I believe only a 30 day warranty. So it doesn't appear to be a permanent resolution.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #15

Mar 022013


  • 28,942 miles
Vehicle's rear passenger side door lock stopped functioning. Door lock will not respond to wireless transmitter, nor unlock button in the vehicle. Lock can be manually opened or closed from within the vehicle, but that does not do me any good when I have a 4 year old child in the back seat.

- Fresh Meadows, NY, USA

problem #14

Jul 012012


  • 74,000 miles
Both back doors on my Tahoe began to stop unlocking and locking when using the clicker. A month later they stopped locking and unlocking using the unlock/lock button inside the vehicle. At the time I had a two month old who I was having to carry through the driver's side door and crawl through to the back to put him in his car seat. I asked the Chevrolet dealership about this & I was told it would cost me around $600 per door. By that time, my front passenger door had also stopped working. I do not understand how this is not a recall. What if there were a fire and I could not get to my children? or heaven forbid I get into an accident and I can't unlock the vehicle to get to my kids. I have done plenty of research on this matter and it seems as if thousands of people are having this issue. Chevrolet has always been our vehicle of choice. I will never buy another Chevrolet vehicle after this. My husband was just looking at buying one of the 2014 trucks and I forbid him to do so.

- Picayune, MS, USA

problem #13

Sep 212013


  • 81,580 miles


Door lock actuator failure. Rear doors can not be unlocked or locked with the key fob or the manual unlock button on the driver control panel.

- Cove, TX, USA

problem #12

Jul 262013


  • miles
Stabilitrak will disengage, air bag light comes on then off, ABS light comes on then off, cruise stops working when using turn signal, door locks start unlocking then locking, brakes start applying themselves, engine slows to a crawl, lights start going on and off on the dash with dinging sound.

- Atwater, OH, USA

problem #11

Jul 012013


  • 61,000 miles
Doors will not lock or unlock. Locks make sound that they are trying to engage but have to be manually locked or unlocked. I have small children that I am afraid that will be locked inside my vehicle and I will be unable to open doors without breaking the window.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 182012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
We have had nothing but problems out of this Tahoe. When driving the dash lights flash, door locks move up and down, speedometer will go to zero then back up to speed an so forth, the Tahoe will start gearing down on its own, the air will go off, and the radio will flash on and off. The vehicle has even shut completely off before when going down the interstate. We have replaced the negative ground wires and the 175 amp mega fuse. Second vacation with this Tahoe and still having problems!!!

- Lexington, TN, USA

problem #9

Mar 052013


  • 70,000 miles


Doors do not lock when car moves or when they are locked or unlocked with remote. Kids sitting in back seat could open door and fall out, faulty door lock actuator.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #8

Dec 012010


  • 98,000 miles
The first thing that happened is our right front door lock actuator went out and we just thought it was broken and have not had it fixed and then the service air bag warning light has been coming on for several thousand miles. Then the truck would not start and we replaced the battery but even after doing that there are times when the truck electrical system just goes dead and we can open the hood shake the wires or just wait and it starts working again. Then in the last few thousand miles the " warning light" comes on and a bell starts ringing and then the drive train does not operate correctly. I was on a project and my wife told me all this and she parked the truck and started driving my truck. When I got home I took it to allen samuels Chevrolet and they worked on it and said that the computer showed the air bags and stabilitrac showed something had happened and they reset it or something. I didn't get down the road 10 miles and the "service air bag warning light" came back on. They then wanted $112.50 an hour to try and find out what was wrong. I took it home and a few days later I was driving it and came to a stop and the door locks started going up and down quickly, the stabilitrac light came on, and the truck would not go over about 2 - 3 mph per hour. I pulled over to the side of the road and after a mile or two everything started working again. When we got home I parked the Tahoe and turned it off and the whole electrical system went dead. We couldn't lock the doors. This has happened several times. I have called Chevrolet and they have said they would pay for 1/2 of the problem but you call the dealer and they will not give you a price, they just say it may be this and it may be that. It could cost thousands of dollars. All of these electrical problems are safety issues and could cost one or both of our lives or someone else. "???"

- Robstown, TX, USA

problem #7

Sep 012009

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Auto door locks failed to function. This has continued thru several repairs including today - 11/30/2012.

- Union Grove, AL, USA

problem #6

Jan 012011

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Actuator failed on 3 out of five doors, so far. Several forums have a lot of reports of failure. I would appreciate someone looking into this. Today, I am paying out of pocket over $500 to have this fixed at a Chevy dealership. You can never be sure a dock is locked or unlock, which poses a safety risk for my child who could open the door while I am going down the road; not to mention the risk of someone entering the car while it is stopped (attended or not).

- Shiner, TX, USA

problem #5

Apr 122012


  • miles
The battery gauge will drop or fluctuate. It does not occur immediately, but after driving for a couple minutes. Once the battery gauge drops many things are affected. The car hesitates to increase speed, braking is affected, cruise control is affected. The cruise control will turn on unexpectedly at times. When needing to accelerate it hesitates and once it goes the engine puts out more than is needed or expected. Braking is slow and pulsates slightly as the transmission is downshifting. The battery and alternator have been checked and appear to be in working order and nothing wrong with either of them.

- Hatley, WI, USA

problem #4

Apr 102012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a failure in which it would intermittently resist acceleration accompanied by a warning chime sounding. The contact also stated that the door locks would unexpectedly lock and unlock. The failure occurred regardless of the speed traveled. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 57,000. Updated 07/06/12 on four occasions the door began locking, unlocking, chiming as if the doors were open. The warning lights began flashing and the vehicle would decelerate quickly as if the vehicle was placed in neutral and the accelerator was unresponsive. The dealer was unable to diagnose the problem. Updated 07/17/12

- Inez, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 302012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I have an 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe ltz that has several electrical issues. My local Chevy dealer (lakeside Chevrolet in warsaw) hooked it up on their computer system and can't find anything wrong, so the dealer where I purchased this used vehicle (theautopark.net) replaced the ignition switch because they "think" that may be what's causing my vehicle issues. Below are the various issues that I am experiencing: 1. periodically, the door locks will cycle up and down and the power on the dash (radio, headlights, etc) goes black and the vehicle sputters like it's going to die (even while driving down the highway) 2. after that happens, and the vehicle comes out of this state, but if you smash down on the pedal the whole thing will occur again (huge safety issue while on the highway...no headlights and decreasing speed) 3. sometimes, the vehicle won't start (nothing happens) 4. the cd player sounds like the motor inside is constantly running. The dealer (theautopark.net) said this is a cooling fan...but it always runs? 5. the vehicle will completely die when placing the car in park and shutting off the engine (no power....nothing. Coasts to a halt.) note: We've already replaced the battery and still have all of the aforementioned issues. Update: The ignition switch replacement was a huge fail. On the way home last night, the vehicle did some really wacky things when I used my turn signal (the vehicle slowed dramatically while driving down the highway and the headlights and dash lights flickered off and on). All of this has made me angry enough that I disconnected the battery overnight to reboot the computer....I don't know if this helped or worked, but I am desperate enough to try anything right now because my family's safety is in jeopardy.

- Warsaw, IN, USA

problem #2

Mar 012011


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe. While parked, the contact noticed that the passenger side air bag warning light was illuminated with the passenger seat occuppied. In addition, the gauges on the instrument panel would not provide an accurate reading. The failure would recur intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics but the technicians were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 28,000.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #1

Feb 062010


  • 4,810 miles
2009 Chevrolet Tahoe - with 5,194 miles intermittent and complete failure of all gauges on instrument panel and also intermittent cycling of door locks and horn as if the vehicle were being locked by using the remote. The failure of the gauges has occurred twice in the last 200 or so miles and the door lock cycling has happened once during the same period of time. There is no apparent pattern to the described problem. Since there are no gauges when the problem occurs, the drivability of the vehicle is severely limited; the speedometer, tachometer, oil, temperature and transmission gear selection indicator are inoperative. The vehicle is scheduled to be inspected on 02/10/2010 by the dealership where the vehicle was purchased and a replacement vehicle is being provided while the vehicle is out of service.

- Chipley, FL, USA

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