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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,076 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 Traverse drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Aug 062016


  • 117,000 miles


While driving our 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, lt, back from vacation, we experienced a sudden high RPM rate while noticing a decrease in acceleration. Took vehicle to a transmission repair center and was told it is a common issue with the GM models similar to the Traverse. The manufacturer recognizes the issue, as it relates to their service bulletin sb-07-30-012A. Had to have the transmission wave plate replaced, as well as some other internal parts. Total cost of $3500. Vehicle has 117,000 miles. Will be contacting gmac to discuss their knowledge of this issue while not offering a solution from a manufacturer's standpoint. I feel this could be classified as a safety issue and as such should be covered by the manufacturer, regardless of year of vehicle.

- Mogadore, OH, USA

problem #31

Oct 012015


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle experienced a complete loss of power. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the timing chain was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. In addition, while driving, the vehicle would not shift into third gear which resulted in a lack of acceleration. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the wave clutch plate was defective and the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact also stated that the traction control warning indicator illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Vienna, WV, USA

problem #30

Feb 292016


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle hesitated to switch gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The contact took the vehicle to an independent mechanic for a second opinion where it was diagnosed that the third gear, fifth gear, and reverse function were slipping while the vehicle was in use. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Highland, MI, USA

problem #29

Jan 132016


  • 76,545 miles


Failed tcm module, causing transmission to race and slip constant transmission leaks.

- Platte City, KS, USA

problem #28

Jan 022016

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
This is the 13th issue we have had with this vehicle. Some covered under warranty, some as recall, some at our cost. Driving on the highway, alarms went off, messages appeared that stabilitrak was off. Told us to service braking system. As per manual we turned the car off to let system reset. Ok for about 1/2 hour driving time, did it again. Turned off, reset. Did it again but this time the stabilitrak will not come back on. Going to dealership on Thursday to address this issue. We also have a bulletin about transmission failure where we can lose 3rd, 5th & reverse. This is a serious safety issue which GM will not address until there is a problem. After 30 loyal years we are finished with GM. We are trading in this vehicle after repair & buying another brand. We feel that no one cares about the consumer until deaths happened. At this point our $35000 vehicle is unreliable & unsafe! thank you.

- Cape May, NJ, USA

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problem #27

May 302015


  • 58,742 miles
This incident occurred on a Saturday evening as my husband and I were trying to return home after being out. I was driving at the time of the failure. I was trying to speed up to gain access to the highway and was already committed to the lane and I had others vehicles behind me as well. The transmission was not gaining speed as I was pressing down on the accelerator nothing was happening except the RPM's were raising but no response from the vehicle. We had a car swerve out of our way to let us gain access to the roadway.I had no more of the merging lane ahead I had to try and merge with traffic.... thank god my son was not in the vehicle that night!!!! after dealing with frustrated drivers around us, we had finally got onto the highway and the vehicle made a bang as it tried to change gears.we stayed in the right lane and traveled ten miles approximately to make it home. When we finally got to the driveway I backed it in and it wouldn't let back all the way into the driveway. Reverse was failing as well. Called GM on Monday 6/1/15 and they have a special bulletin about this problem, but yet they haven't issued a recall!!!! what if we had gotten into an accident. We bought this vehicle because of the 5 * safety rating!!! I just hope that no one else finds themselves in this situation. GM is fixing the "wave plate". special bulletin 14404 : which covers 3,5 and reverse gears... wished we would have had been notified of this defect earlier!!! obviously GM is aware of this situation but still hasn't issued a recall. Business as usual for GM.

- Blue Point, NY, USA

problem #26

Apr 012015

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles


Vehicle began shifting rough. Would not shift higher than 4th gear on open road. Vehicle has bad hesitation in reverse. Received copy of GM's service bulletin about the wave plate failure in these vehicles on April 9, 2015. Contacted GM about this issue and was told because my vehicle has 122,000 miles on it, they will not cover repairs. Was told the max allowed mileage was 120,000. The issue is my vehicle may very well have been below the threshold when the bulletin was released. It took over a month to receive notice of the defect. If GM knows they have put defective parts in vehicles, why would they not fix the issue?

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #25

Jan 052015

Traverse 4WD 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Had to replace the transmission after the car had difficulty shifting at higher gears. Spent $3500 getting a new transmission. This after having the power steering failing, a new timing belt installed and a leaking water pump.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #24

Mar 042015

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 53,700 miles
Driving 2009 Chevy Traverse front wheel drive and noticed that the transmission was not shifting correctly. While taking off from a stop the car moved slowly the shifted hard into gear causing the car to lurch forward violently. I almost hit another car in from of me and was almost rear ended by the car behind me when I slammed on the brake. The problem is the 3 5 R waveplate, which is a common problem with this vehicle and all GM lambda platform vehicles. Got no help from the dealership or GM in fixing the vehicle.will cost $2500 to $3500 to repair.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #23

Feb 282015


  • 73,000 miles
Vehicle violently shaking in reverse. Late shifting in drive.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #22

Feb 282015


  • 73,000 miles


Vehicle violently shaking in reverse. Late shifting in drive.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #21

Feb 172015


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure was 117,000.

- Trufant, MI, USA

problem #20

Feb 132015


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the speed decreased and failed to accelerate over 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000.

- Ceres, CA, USA

problem #19

Jan 302015

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is a hazard to drive! this is the 3rd major break down in the last 4 years and is also currently under recall for bad airbags and seatbelts, whereas should there be an accident, the actual deployment of said bags would "injure the occupant" (recall words). In 2012 the entire power steering system failed. Later recalled and good thing I was in they driveway and not the interstate! 2013 the catalytic converter system failed to a tune of $2,020.84 - totally out of pocket expense, and once again, the engine could have caught fire and caused injury. 2015 just a few weeks ago, the transmission fails completely and is estimated at $3,896.36 at just over 100,000 miles, less than 5 years old. All Chevrolet Traverses are potentially hazardous and should be totally recalled. Thank you

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #18

Feb 072015

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 99,300 miles
35R wave plate failed inside transmission causing extensive damage. GM used non strain relieved/heat treated wave plates causing a well documented failure rate.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #17

Jan 272015

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
The transmission went out. Last it was the fuel injection and year before that it was the power steering. Air bags and seat belts are currently under recall. Not a safe vehicle.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #16

Jul 302014


  • 87,321 miles
While driving the vehicle slipped out of drive and by the time I got home reverse was gone. I took it to the dealership, sunshine Chevy in asheville nc, and it was only one month out of warranty. They tried to sell me a new transmission for $6,000 then after much fighting only charged a warranty deductable (never heard of such a thing) of $500. It has been five months and this new transmission is now doing the same thing! this car is a death trap. It rolls backwards when it is in drive, they have since claimed it is a design flaw and not covered under any warranty. It is like driving a straight drive, you have to keep your foot on the brake until you accelerate. I live in the mountains and it is a huge problem. There is also an seat belt recall that they have not fixed yet. I have had it in for a timing chain recall, and air bags, plus three others since purchasing this vehicle. I was told when I purchased this vehicle it had 10 years on the power train, is the transmission not a part of that" I have over 25 complaints for this same transmission issue and I am gathering more. How do we get this vehicle recalled"

- Rosman, NC, USA

problem #15

Nov 202014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
During the first incident of this problem the car would stutter/hesitate/shift strange when going up a hill at higher speeds. The problem continued for about one year and then had a transmission failure with no shift from 2nd gear to 3rd, difficulty shifting from 5th to 6th, and no reverse.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #14

Nov 212014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 73,200 miles
My wife the driver was taking my son to school and the transmission was making a winning sound then the transmission failed. Thankfully there was no accident. Took the vehicle to the dealer and the customer rep said that the transmission will have to be replaced. They said it would cost $4850. I immediately called GM and they said that I was up by 5 months on warranty. It has a 100,000 mile or 5 year power train warranty. They will not help replace my transmission or give good will assistance. It really makes me mad that this is a known bulletin and problem that GM ignores to fix. The problem is bulletin no.: 09-07-30-012A which is a broken 35R clutch wave plate inside the transmission causing metal shavings in transmission an a total failure on the transmission. It's a $20 dollar part that comes off and it destroys the transmission. Thankfully my family is ok. I believe that GM should extend this issue under warranty and fix this problem before some gets hurt or killed. I would hate to think what would happen if she was in a metropolitan area and it went out in heavy traffic. Please do something about this!!!!!! thanks

- Fort Gibson, OK, USA

problem #13

May 052014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle lost power and the battery was completely drained. All the lights on the instrument panel illuminated. Also, while the vehicle was parked, it started to roll away. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the vehicle was working up to standards. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 1/13/15

- Hammonton, NJ, USA

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