Print this page Notes: There are a fair-number of power steering related complaints which is a continuation of problems from the previous model year. Considering the problem tends to happen beyond the standard warranty (73k+) it's best to avoid this vehicle or at least be prepared for the $1,300+ repair.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,162 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.

2011 Chevrolet Traverse drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jan 262011


  • 25,000 miles


TL-the contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 70 mph, the speed decreased independently to approximately 40 mph as the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the throttle body sensor needed to be cleaned. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic, who performed a tune up and informed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000. Djr

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #20

Nov 202014


  • miles
I was driving home from work one evening. I just came off of the highway, then there was chimes coming from the 2011 Chevy Traverse. Then on the dash read traction control off stability control off service traction control service stability control engine power reduced. I went form 40 mph to 20mph in less than a second. Contacted the dealership was told to stop driving immediately and have it towed to them. I get a call the next morning regarding the Traverse and an estimate of $230 for a diagnostic and cleaning the throttle. Not even a month later it happened again right before I was about to enter a highway, I called the dealership again and they told me to have it towed and they will perform another diagnostic and give me another estimate for the exact same problem. They called back later that day with another estimate of over $500. I told them I was not paying another cent to repair the exact same problem that I brought the truck in for the first time. He gave me some story about it could be 1001 problems that causes this problem and I told him that is the purpose of a diagnostic to find out what the problem is the first time. Long story short I did not pay the $500 to fix my Traverse a second time for a repeat problem. The worker made it seem like he did me a favor for not charging me. Thank god I was not onb a highway when this happened or that I did not have my children with me. Chevy needs to fix this problem asap before a very bad accident happens and they will be sued.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #19

Sep 222014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 74,300 miles
Traction control turned off, stabilitrak trak turned off and then it said they needed service, immediately after it then started down shifting and quickly slowing itself down. It is a real hazard on icy roads and on the interstate in traffic when the vehicle quickly slows itself down. Many posts on the internet with this problem repeatedly occurring with multiple repair attempts at dealerships. I'm starting on my 2nd trip to the dealership. This is a definite safety issue when the car takes control and slows itself down. By shutting off the car it will reset the system and then it will work properly for a while. But this problem keeps recurring after it has been driven for a while.

- Malta, ID, USA

problem #18

Nov 142014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 51,928 miles


Wife was on the highway when the stabilitrak turned off and the engine went into a safe mode dropping her speed instantly. Luckily, she was in traffic and not going full highway speed or else she would have been a major accident hurting many people involved. There was a recall on the 2010 Traverse for this same issue, and even though there are plenty of complaints about this issue on the 2011 (, no recalls have been issued. Do there have to be deaths involved with this issue before Chevy decides fix this issue? the complaints also include the dealership attempting a bunch of attempted fixes, with some of them correcting the problem and some not (throttle body being one). In this state, this vehicle is not safe, and its not due to customer abuse or high mileage parts. This needs to be addressed by Chevy and corrected asap. We have also had to have the seat belt fixed under recall, the A/C unit under warranty, and recently received a notice that the power steering unit has a recall but not to bring it to the dealership until it fails. I expect a call from Chevy in order to get this issues fixed at their cost. I will continue to post on all forums, blogs, social media, etc until this is given the proper attention.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #17

Sep 192014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 81,251 miles
I was driving the truck on the main street when the truck just turned off, everything shut down even the radio...checked the ignition and the key was still on, luckily when the car stopped the cars behind me stopped.I was then able to turn the key again, and the truck turned on...this has happened one other time but don't remember the date exactly... I also had the water pump replaced after being told by the dealer that it was ok...I am looking to get refunded for that repair...bulletin no. 13079.

- Oak Forest, IL, USA

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problem #16

Oct 262014


  • 32,000 miles
Have had two incidents where the stability track has come on and had to pull over and turn vehicle off wait 10 minutes and restart and finally it goes off. The last incident was I was driving the light comes on saying engine power reducing and it drops speed down to where I have to pull over not to get hit. I pull over turn the truck off and it starts but reduces power again and turns itself off this happens about three times before I give up. I then have to call a tow truck when they arrive and tries to start it does start now. I have been having this vehicle for 6 months.

- Batchelor, LA, USA

problem #15

Apr 112014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 45,265 miles


This vehicle and many other General Motors cars like it have been on many post and forums on the internet at least in the hundreds. I have purchase this vehicle used and therefore the date of the incidents are recent. I would describe this a design problem. If the vehicle is stopped on a slight incline and the transmission is in drive and you then take your foot off the brake pedal in order to proceed (as you would do when stopped at a traffic light), the car will roll backwards until the gas pedal is depressed enough to overcome the incline. This could be a danger if a pedestrian is walking behind your vehicle or you could roll back into a vehicle behind you. If you are on an incline (facing downhill) in reverse gear, the car will roll forward until the gas pedal is depressed enough to overcome the incline. This requires the driver to step on the brake so as not to roll with one foot and depress the gas pedal with the other so as not to roll. The Chevrolet dealer ship describes this as normal and is due to the 6 speed transmission and the standards for fuel economy. I was told their is no cure for this such as raising the idle speed for the engine, reprogramming the ECM (control module or other fix. General Motors does offer a feature on some models which is a hill hold assist so it must be a concern to many customers. I feel this could be a potential safety problem and is widely known although I am not sure how many complaints NHTSA has received. Thank you in advance.

- Holliston, MA, USA

problem #14

Mar 242014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My issue started when I was making left hand turns it would sound like the engine would make a loud noise with some grinding noise. Then it started happening with right hand turns as well. Took it to the dealership today and they believe that it is the transmission. After doing some research I found alot of similar issues. This needs to be fixed by GM. I am curious to see how this is handled by GM and the dealership. Basically it should be a no brainer, the vehicle is 4 years old, transmission should not go out that fast. Already filed a complaint and contacting GM this afternoon as well. I have a feeling this is going to be a fight. Below are other issues reported to NHTSA, I stopped looking after page 3 took car in for odd noise in steering. Was told pump was bad and seal was bad. Appears that this is a common issue with this type of vehicle and no recall has been made. Its not just one or two cars, after research is hundreds of cars. NHTSA id number: 10567931 loud whining sound coming from front end. When turning steering wheel slowly you can hear a loud scratching noise. Bought the car brand new and only have 17K miles in 3 years. Entire steering column had to be replaced. Power steering fluid leaking. NHTSA id number: 10566861 TL* the contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that there was an abnormal vibration in the steering wheel when turning in either direction. The contact also indicated that the vehicle was stationary. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the power steering fluid and pump were replaced but the failure was not remedied. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 20,000. NHTSA id number: 10555889 power steering has issues at low speeds when turning. Dealer cost to replace pump and gear is 2,500! NHTSA id number: 10520885.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #13

Jan 032014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Multiple times without warning, traction control off light turns on followed by service stabilization system and engine power reduced to 10 %. this happened while going 60 mph on a highway with a tractor trailer behind me, I suddenly went down to 20mph and had to swerve off the road. I was nearly hit by the truck as it passed me. Very dangerous situation that multiple Traverse owners have complained about. When will this be a recall? only after someone is killed or seriously hurt! dealer replaced the throttle body at a cost of nearly $500, a 3 year old car should not be having these issues, GM should be paying for the fix!

- Mendon , MA, USA

problem #12

Nov 082012

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 61,334 miles
I was driving on a state highway with nowhere to pull safely off the road when the throttle body failed. This failure caused the engine control computer to set the engine to "reduced power mode" where I could not drive the car past 20 mph with the engine barely running. I had to drive the vehicle for about 1/2 mile in this condition before I could get the car off the road. This happened on a dark winding stretch of road where traffic normally moves at around 45 mph so there was a significant potential for a rear end collision with a car speeding up behind me.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 242012

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles


While stopped and positioned facing uphill, the vehicle, when placed in drive, will roll downhill unless the accelerator is pressed. While stopped and positioned facing downhill, the vehicle, when placed in reverse, will roll downhill unless the accelerator is pressed. The rolling is not limited to inches or a couple of feet. The rolling was stopped by applying the brake after rolling over 10 feet. The 2011 Traverse is an all wheel drive with automatic transmission.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #10

May 182011


  • 6,000 miles
When stopped on any type of grade from approximately 2% or greater, with transmission in drive, the vehicle will roll backwards when moving the right foot from depressing the foot brake to the accelerator in preparation to continue in the forward direction. When the vehicle was taken to the dealership for service reference this complaint, we were advised that this is common in the newer four and six cylinder travers and Malibu and that they are still functioning as designed. I feel this is a safety issue even though it may not result in reportable crashes or injuries, the number of incidents related to this issue could be in the hundreds, yet due to most damage not being of a reportable nature it could be years before enough people report this and Chevrolet takes notice. Thank you for your time and consideration reference this issue. Fyi, your system did not recognize my listed VIN, but I copied it straight from my VIN plate.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #9

Jun 152011


  • miles
The Traverse was parked in the lot of the local grocery store, when started and placed in reverse it backed up just fine, however putting it in drive it broncoed up and would only go 30 miles per hour. This has happened 3 times. Now the power steering unit whines, the seats in the back do not recline well and the middle seat belt in the middle seat locks and I am unable to secure my 2 year old in his carseat. I am not pleased at all with the 2011 Traverse, I should have stuck to my first thoughts and bought the suburbon that I know. The Traverse is the worst vehicle I have ever owned, while it was being repaired at the dealership, they offered me another one to drive....I laughed, I went and rented a Yukon. Now when I go out of town I rent a vehicle my $40,000 Traverse sit in the driveway as a lawn ornament. Chevrolet in Florida got me real good, now they state I am upside down in this vehicle and am not able to trade without a big down payment. Funny they sell me a lemon and I can't even make lemonade with it. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #8

Feb 142012

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 350 miles
Purchased 2011 Traverse on Monday, by Tuesday evening the traction control and the stabilitrak service soon codes were showing. The present mileage is 440 and this started around 350 miles on odometer. Also, while backing out of driveway on incline put car in drive and let off brake began pressing gas, the car continued to roll backwards until I pressed the brake and got on the gas at the same time.

- Lucedale , MS, USA

problem #7

Sep 222011


  • 27,154 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled backward and forward on an incline with the brakes engaged. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who noticed the failure and stated that there was no repair available. They vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 27,154.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #6

Mar 152011

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
The vehicle always roll backs when you are stopped on a slope. This happens to me at all times when I am picking up kids from school and have a stop sign at a slope. The slope is not very steep and other car I have does not have this problem. Just bizzare that you really have to accelerate your way out, even then the car rolls back....almost hit another vehicle behind me.

- Laurence Harbor, NJ, USA

problem #5

Nov 192011


  • 9,400 miles
My Chevy Traverse rolls back when stopped at a stop sign on a hill before applying the gas, when you attempt to take off, you really have to rev up the engine or leave your foot on the brake while applying the gas or it will roll back. This happens on any incline no matter size. The dealer stated this is how the car is designed. What manufacturer would design something unsafe like that? I fear for my safety in the snow and ice. My second incident involved backing out of my garage, I backed approx 4 ft and then had to go over a 3" speed bump, but my car wouldn't continue to go backwards, until I revved up to 2000 rpms. Then if finally made it over the 3" hump. They say this is normal for the 6 speed transmission I have because of the "green' environment changes made to give it more fuel economy. Green environment over safety what is our government thinking, if this is really the truth. I am now concerned I will not be able to keep my car in my garage, when the snow and ice fall as I won't be able to rev it that high or I will wreck my vehicle into the side of my garage. I would like for GM to make this right and if not and I have a wreck they pay when my insurance goes up due to their poor design!! I do love the style and room in my SUV. That's probably what I was sold on as well as the color. However, the room in the vehicles means nothing, when I'm afraid I am going to crash into someone behind me. This is absolutely an unsafe vehicle. GM needs to do something about it.

- Lapel, IN, USA

problem #4

Jun 012011


  • 1,000 miles
This Chevy Traverse rolls back when stopping at a stop sign on a hill. When you attempt to take off, you really have to rev up the engine or it will roll back. This happens on any incline no matter size. The dealer stated this is how the car is designed. What manufacturer would design something like that? my 16 year old is driving now, and I won't allow her to drive this vehicle because of safety issues. I would like to trade this car in for something safer, but that would not be economically smart since I just purchased it 7 months ago. I also think the headrest need to be redesigned. They protrude toward your head and pushes your head forward. Not comfortable at all. I wish I could have test drove this car for week, I would have never purchased it. I do love the style and room in it. That's probably what I was sold on. However, the room in the vehicles means nothing, when I'm afraid to have my children riding with me in this unsafe vehicle. GM needs to do something about it.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #3

Sep 022011


  • miles
While in the drive position on a hill at a stop sign or traffic signal, I removed my foot from the brake. The vehicle began to roll back almost hitting the vehicle behind me. It startled me and almost hit the car behind. In the second incident, my wife was pulling back from parking spot which has a slight incline (ground level in front is a bit lower than that in the back). She removed her foot from the brake after trying to park out with the gear 'R', the vehicle now began to roll forward almost hitting a little stone. My wife was terrified. We further tested the vehicle on various hills/inclines both in drive and reverse and it continued to roll in the opposite direction of the engaged gear. Apparently, this is a characteristic of the automatic transmission on this vehicle, and it does not have "hill-hold" or "hill assist". however, since this family SUV carries is being driven by mothers, and this might cause the serious safety issue. I saw there are a lot of complains of the same case, this issue should be brought up and Chevrolet should do some action on this.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 012010


  • 7,500 miles
When reversing out of my driveway I cannot put it in drive or stop it. I had to put it in park turn it off and press the emergency brakes in order for it to stop rolling down the hill. This has now occurred approximately 4X. Last night it happened again but the emergency brake didn't work the engine made a whining/screeching noise and the car slammed into rocks and a fire hydrant. Which tore off my back bumper. I had brought this to the attention of the dealership when I brought it in for service and they couldn't find anything wrong with my car. After it happened an additional 3 times they told me to call them the next time it happened and they would come pick it up. Since this happened again last night they have yet to pick it up. They were closed and wont be open again until around 8am central time. I am fortunate that this did not happen on a major roadway.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

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