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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,453 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.

2002 GMC Envoy transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 GMC Envoy Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Dec 072008


  • 65,000 miles


After pulling away from a stop light at a normal pace and reaching a speed of almost 50mph there was a loud clunk and a rrrrr sound coming from under the vehicle. The vehicle began to slow as the RPM's went up, all forward drive was gone. We almost got rearended... there was no warning at all that there was a problem or was going to be a problem, it just broke..dealer says need new transmission.. apparently GM has a sun gear issue with this type of transmission..

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #43

Nov 102008


  • 92,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2002 GMC Envoy onto a local expressway when she tried to accelerate, she heard a loud noise from the engine/tranny area, then noticed high rpms and the transmission not shifting, she immediately pulled over. I came to her location and noticed loss of reverse and a "whine" coming from the transmission, the vehicle was towed to the local GMC dealer, that same day it was diagnosed as the sun shell. It appears that this is a common failure, I will be pursing this further with GM.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #42

Jan 052007


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Envoy. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle it will randomly jump from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive without warning causing the car to become idle and you must turn the car off completely. She took the vehicle into a local mechanic where he replaced the brakes and checked the wheels and stated that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. She is also experiencing problems with the front passenger seat belt it locks when fastened. She took the car to the dealer and they informed her that it was no longer covered under warranty and any repairs made would be at the owner's expense. The vehicle is also experiencing exterior light failure, both headlights burned out within weeks apart and they were replaced at owner's expense. The failure mileage was 38,000. The current mileage was 86,000 (SC) updated 06/25/08. The consumer also stated when driving past 70 mph, the vehicle would shake. The windshield wipers were replaced. The consumer stated the motor failed. Updated 06/25/08

- Bloomfield, NJ, USA

problem #41

Jun 052007

Envoy 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,770 miles


56,779 mile and transmission failed on my 2002 Envoy. Dealer told me they had never saw this happen. We had just made a 2300 mile trip to the 'no man land' of Colorado. The next day my wife came to a stop sign, said the car made a weird noise and would not go. No reverse or drive but crippled it home in low. Was very surprised that the GM dealer would not back the transmission. $2,903.94 to replace with a 1 year guarantee which is about up and I refuse to drive on a long trip again in this auto.

- Saginaw, TX, USA

problem #40

Feb 012008

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Envoy. While making a left hand turn at 5 mph, the vehicle made a whining noise and catapulted forward. The vehicle shifted gears and the speed decreased. The gears returned to normal and the contact was finally able to pull over. The vehicle was towed. The contact stated that the reverse gear failed and the first and second gears were barely functioning. The dealer stated that the sunshell in the transmission needed to be replaced in the transfer case. The previous damages led to the entire transmission needing to be replaced. The contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id numbers 03V075000, 01V283000, and 01V334000. The purchase date was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 63,000.

- Morgan Hill, CA, USA

problem #39

Feb 032008

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
Normal driving conditions. Exiting from parking lot, heard loud bang, car jerked, came to a complete stop. Limped car home(1/2 mile). Upon further inspection 2002 GMC Envoy had no reverse gear. Researching online shows 4L60E transmission, reaction sunshell & reaction sungears prematurely fail due to substandard parts.

- Shorewood, IL, USA

problem #38

Jan 172008

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,100 miles


2002 GMC Envoy slt 60K...went outside to start car and had a loud swishing sound...tried to put in reverse...would not go...had to push out to get to work...extremely high rpms (3500-4500) to get through first...it also is jumping gears...if you try to go over 50 mph the car will redline...was told reverse reaction shell/sun shell gear...they had a bunch of names for it...was defective and failed...we never towed w/ this vehicle, never got stuck (the GM service pro stated that this was possibly the reason for failure)...the vehicle is maybe driven 10K miles a year...we have had nothing but problems w/ this thing...we already have replaced the clutch fan last year...and had numerous little problems since...all the posts I have read clearly shows there needs to be a recall...the prices I have seen on posts is ridiculous to repair the transmission...$2K to $3K...so for now it is sitting in my driveway...I will get the quote this week from my mechanic and am not looking forward to it.

- South Dartmouth, MA, USA

problem #37

Jan 162008

Envoy 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,275 miles
Transmission failure at 60,000 miles due to defective parts installed during the original manufacturing process.

- Canon City, CO, USA

problem #36

Oct 232007

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,233 miles
Manufacture knew of inferior components within my vehicles transmission and did not issue a recall. Existing service bulletin #00-07-30-022C dated Dec 10, 2004 (within my warranty period) indicates same issue I experienced in my vehicle on 10/23/2007. Bulletin title states replace reaction sun shell with more robust heat treated parts". this was known while my vehicle was still under warranty. Failure happened after standard warranty expired.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #35

Aug 272007

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
Transmission sun gear failure on my 2002 GMC Envoy at 56,000 K. GM is only picking up 50% of the $1747 bill.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #34

Aug 222004

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


My Envoy was put into park when I went to lock the front door. When I got out of the car and took two steps, it slipped out of gear and went rolling down (very slight grade) the driveway in reverse. I jumped in to try and stop it before hitting neighbors cars. I grabbed the steering wheel to pull myself in, which made the Envoy turn to miss on car, then it threw me out, almost running over both of my legs with the front wheel. It then proceeded to hit a satellite dish, and air conditioning unit (which all but ripped the door off the hinges.) it then finally stopped after running through a fence and it rested with one wheel in the air on a mound of dirt.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #33

Oct 262006

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,187 miles
: the contact stated while traveling 25 mph, the vehicle lunged, a whirring noise occurred, and the vehicle would not accelerate. It was driven home with high RPM's and low acceleration. At the contact's residence, it was noticed that reverse did not operate. The vehicle was driven to the dealership, but would not operate above first or second gear. The dealership determined the sun shell inside the transmission failed and the transmission needed to be rebuilt.

- Mechanicsville, MD, USA

problem #32

Jul 252006

Envoy 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2002 GMC Envoy with 49,000 miles. The transmission failed, did not want to shift from first, then no reverse when I left the destination. Had towed to dealer. Service manager stated she had a hunch what it was but had to get it in the shop first. Sure enough, the sun shell failed and the transmission has to be replaced. Called GM customer service in an attempt to get them to fix it at there expense since this is an regular occurrence with there trucks. Have not heard back as of yet. Seen many many many posts around the internet about this very problem. This should be looked into.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #31

Jun 072006

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
Have a 2002 GMC Envoy, bought new. 8 recalls, ball joint and speaker failures. At 32000. Miles, the transmission failed. Dealer diagnosed with sun-shell gear problem, that was addressed by a GM repair bulletin. At 37000. Transmission failed again. Dealer advised the entire transmission needed replacement, but it was not related to his Oct. 05 repair. Contacted GM customer service, have a file number, but have not heard from anyone in 2 weeks. They advise that the GM area representative has not called anyone back, either the dealer or GM cs. "? asked to contact him myself and was told I could not do that. Asked where I could contact CEO rick wagoner and was told that no one can give out that info. A bunker in colarado maybe"

- Berlin, CT, USA

problem #30

May 122006

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 10 mph, the sun shell gear fractured inside the transmission suddenly, causing the transmission to lose reverse, second and fourth gears. The vehicle was able to be driven to the dealership. Repairs have been made to the vehicle.

- Chance, MD, USA

problem #29

May 132006

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
Went to back out of neighbor's driveway & there was no reverse gear; just like it was in neutral. After pushing the GMC Envoy out of driveway, it would go forward, but was very "strained" to get into gear. I am the owner of his Envoy since it was new; it has only highway miles; has always been serviced by the dealer from which it was purchased.

- Hingham, MA, USA

problem #28

Sep 152005

Envoy 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
We own a 2002 GMC Envoy sle, which was purchased new December 2001 by us. In September 2004 at approximately 65,000 miles the transmission went out. My wife was driving the vehicle at the time. The Envoy has a automatic transmission and 2nd gear and reverse went out. My wife was able to pull over and we took it to the GM dealership where we purchased it. They would only pay 50% for the repair to the transmission and we had to pay the other 50%. less than 25,000 the transmission has went out again, having the exact same problem 2nd gear and reverse went out. Again, my wife was on her way to work and was able to control the vehicle and safely get it stopped. We took the vehicle back to the GM dealership and they are now willing to replace the transmission, however we have to pay 50% of that amount. My question is why was it not replaced the first time" I paid approximately $576 for the first repair and now they want me to pay another $1500, which is over $2,000. Why is another repair now not good enough to fix the problem? why should we have to pay for a defective transmission" I have been doing some research on the internet and have found at least 119 complaints for the exact same problem as we are having, with GM settling with others on a 50/50 basis. I am just thankful that both times my wife was uninjured and I believe strongly that someone really needs to investigate this problem. Any assistance you might be willing to provide us would be most appreciated.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #27

Sep 252005


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2002 GMC Envoy with 70,000 miles on it. Went to drive to the store and the truck would not move. There is a wining/ spinning sound coming from the transmission. Reverse works, but all others do not. I have read quite a few forums on this topic and found this problem happens often. Please let me know want I could do about this.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #26

Mar 162005

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
Drove vehicle as normal without warning and after I stopped (shutdown the vehicle and restarted it) there was no reverse gear or forward gear. Vehicle was towed to the dealer where I was later told that the reverse gear had blown apart. Damaged parts were replaced and transmission was flushed and refilled. I'm concerned now because the vehicle is out of warranty and it is sluggish or slipping when it makes a 1st to 2nd shift. Will it require additional transmission work in the near future and huge $$ to repair?

- Mars, PA, USA

problem #25

May 242005

Envoy 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,920 miles
I own a 2002 GMC Envoy that I purchased new in February 2002. On 24 May 2005, the transmission failed with 68,920 miles on the odometer. There was no reverse or drive. The vehicle operated marginally in gears 3,2, and 1---enough to limp into the dealer. Luckily, it didn't fail on the highway...or I might not be here writing this complaint! after tearing down/checking out the transmission, the technician found a damaged sun reaction shell and sun gear. The parts were replaced, along with new gaskets and seals, the transmission cleaned and power flushed. The total cost of this effort was $2277. :-( :-( in doing a bit of research on this particular failure, I've discovered other GMC Envoy, Oldsmobile Bravada, and trail Blazer owners have been victims too. According to one of them, who works in the service department of a GM dealer, the repair instructions state the material used in the sun shell of the 02 Blazer, Envoy, and olds Bravada wasn't able to withstand the heat in the transmission, causing it to strip (which is exactly what happened in my vehicle). He goes on to state. That in vehicles from 2003 on, GM used a "more heat resistant material" in the transmission that reduces the likelihood of the sun gear failure. I'm writing this complaint because I believe the root cause of my transmission failure...and those experienced by other owners... was due to faulty material...which the manufacturer knew about...yet didn't inform the consumer about. I've never owned a vehicle, GM or otherwise, where the transmission failed at a young 68,000 miles! help please!

- Dayton, OH, USA

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