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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,790 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.

2012 Chevrolet Traverse drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Apr 042024


  • miles


Traveling at 70 MPH on a highway Traction control/stabilitrac and engine turn on and acceleration stopped, car wont accelerate causing to cars behind me to start swirling around due to my car lost of acceleration, then pulled over to the shoulder thankfully with no accidents, then turn off car and turn on again and car worked normally for about 100 miles and it did it again.

- St Cloud, FL, USA

problem #43

May 152022


  • miles
First I already had to rebuild the transmission which is showing the beginning signs of failing again. Then around the same time I started having another issue that I find a lot scarier as the driver. It started giving me severely Reduced engine power, traction control off and stabilitrak messages with the ABS warning light lit up like a Christmas tree. This is by far the most dangerous of any issue I've ever experienced with all of my vehicles I've ever owned. It starts with a huge jump I cant stop or control to a car behind me it seems like I'm really getting on it and speeding up. But in a split second too quick for any human to process what is happening it just drops out big time. It then wont go above roughly 30 mph and the engine is revving very high to even get it to that. All the while it is heavily shuddering and jumping back and forth at a very fast rate and it does this with a high force to it. I have no control over it either. Before I could hit traction control off and it would all stop. However today it did this again for the first time in a long time and man was it 20 times worse than anything I had ever seen before. By the time I decided to turn back and go home (which I wasn't any further than a half mile into my drive to begin with) I made it maybe another quarter block and that is when the bottom fell out. It stopped moving at all at that point. Nothing we did to correct it that had totally controlled it in the past would help for the first time. In the end my husband hooked an o2 sensor to it and reset the codes and now it's back to driving beautifully. The reason I feel this needs recalled is it's a huge danger to myself and anyone else around me. When this starts you have no prior warning what so ever and then bam your all the sudden in a car that is jumping back and forth and its visible to other drivers then its starting like it's going to really go but it malfunctions so fast no one behind you would have time to react to such a sudden drop.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #42

Jan 052022


  • miles
2012 chevy traverse. Feb 20 2020. Milage 127691 My valve cover gaskets failed causing the cabin to fill with smoke. Sept 11 2020 right front axel seal failed causing ptu to lose all the transfer case fluid and bearings. Transfer case replaced. Feb 22 2021 milage 141464 transmission slipping had new one installed. Jan 5 2022 milage 153350 had timing chains replaced. Check engine light came on. Back on june 29 2012 Chevrolet issued a bulletin No. 11340B special coverage adjustment timing chain wear. It is for 2007-2009 traverse acadia outlook enclave equipped with the same 3.6L Engine as my 2012 and other years. they extended warranty coverage for 10 years 120k miles. seeing this problem existed in 07-09 models this should be looked at and to include other years as well. I am a member of 2 facebook traverse groups and there are a lot of others with the same issue. The owners manual says to change engine oil every 5000 miles I have done that. Please look into adding additional years to this recall. Timing chains should not fail stretch or need replacing as much as I have seen others needing to. A vehicle should go well over 200k miles before needing replacing.

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #41

May 132020


  • miles


UNKNOWN, I first bought my Chevy Traverse Ltz in April of 2020, and about 2 weeks of driving it, I noticed that all(4)of my wheels/brakes instantly locked up while driving in traffic, almost causing a pile-up collision. The rotors and brakes releases alot of smoke as the wheels scrub and the suv doesn't move forward nor backward. I reported it to the car lot/dealership where i purchased it from and was told to take it to a certain auto shop. I arrived there, just to be told that he doesn't fix those type of problems. The dealership where i bought it from didn't look at it either. So, from that time til now in 2021, I have been dealing with the same exact problems being terrified with my children in the car, not knowing if/when the next time the wheels lock up for no reason, if it will be fatal for me and my children or other drivers. I've contacted GM about it, taken it to Chevy dealership a few times, even a couple of auto shops, and no one seems to know what the problem is. I recently had the transmission serviced to see if that was the issue and turns out, it wasn't. I don't know what to do, I am still financing it and the warranty only covers the transmission and engine, half the cost of the repair and the other half is my responsibility it states. I've been trying to prevent any fatal accidents best I can, sometimes by not driving it at all and having to ride with family members and friends. I was recently told by my warranty company that there is pretty much nothing they can do about it.

- Brown Deer, WI, USA

problem #40

Apr 042021


  • 133,000 miles
The traction control goes on and off. Stability trak error message. Engine power reduced. The car would not accellerate which couldve resulted in an accident. This is the 4th time this has happened since January 23, 2021. This issue on the truck needs to be recalled and resolved.

- Memphis, TN, USA

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problem #39

Nov 012019


  • 110,000 miles
While driving the vehicle will shudder and lose power, occasionally the vehicle will stall almost like it is attempting to grab gears while down shifting and it will cause the whole vehicle to shake, it has happened so hard I have had to exit the interstate for worry of mine and my passengers safety. The vehicle upon entering will slam into gear and when driving in rural areas the transmission even feels like it is slipping and the car will jerk back and fourth until it grabs a higher gear. I purchased the vehicle in 2018 with just over 100,000 miles and even now the vehicle is only sitting at roughly 132,000 miles and has has regular services to maintain the vehicle. Upon further investigation, the Traverse has several complaints of this same issue including older and newer vehicles, and most have resulted in torque converter/transmission replacement. The vehicle has stalled completely in the middle of intersections while attempting to downshift for take off and has also done so while attempting to merge onto the interstate. The issue was originally noticed towards the end of 2019- to early 2020 and has proceeded to get so bad we no longer trust the integrity of the vehicle for family trips or even to routine doctor appointments for fear of the vehicle stalling in heavy traffic.

- Zeigler, IL, USA

problem #38

Apr 152016


  • 80,000 miles


Knocking engine, running like a old tractor. Engine stalled!! had to replace motor. No power found tranny went bad on the middle of busy intersection. Had to replace tranny. Now power steering pump went couldn't turn the wheels on the highway. Had to replace. All repairs paid out of my pocket. Wheres the recalls?? so many people with this same year vehicle same problems. All of these have costed me several thousands of dollars out of my pocket. Also had to pay dealership for the brakes that were bad. 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020 all the years happened. Wipers were the 1st to fall off got replaced.

- Poplar, WI, USA

problem #37

Nov 042020


  • 164,160 miles
P0019, P0018 stability track issues and reduce engin power and I was driving when happen and the air bag light won't go off

- Col, OH, USA

problem #36

Mar 022020


  • 125,000 miles
The vehicle at 125,000 the check engine light turned on and there is a problem with the timing chain stretching. It is the crank shaft/cam shaft. It is over a $2,000 repair and the mechanic said this is a common problem with Chevy Traverse's.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #35

Feb 072020


  • 99,000 miles
My vehicle has 99,000 miles on it and is outside of the 5 year warranty period. My timing chain and actuators are being replaced. I have read that this is an on going issue with my specific motor. I have always had the oil changed at the dealership in the time and mileage that is recommended. The timing chain problem caused my vehicle to not drive correctly and bog down and not get power when applying the gas. When driving home on the highway I applied the gas and the Traverse sputtered and would not get up to speed to keep up with traffic.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #34

Jan 272020


  • 139,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated the while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The stall lasted for a few seconds before the vehicle resumed normal operation. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the contact was informed that the stall was due to an electrical issue. The contact then took the vehicle to another independent mechanic who informed him that his vehicle had a defective battery. The contact replaced the battery however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had not notified a dealer nor the manufacturer of the failure. The failure mileage was 139,000.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #33

Jan 312020


  • miles
The timing chain needs to be replaced and is a known problem with Chevrolet even though they have not done a recall. Eats oil, ticks and my check engine light is on. My mechanic looked at it and said it was the timing chain. I don't have 3K to fix my car.

- Owego, NY, USA

problem #32

Jan 242020


  • 104,939 miles
Was bringing my children home from school and engine light and traction control light came on, reduced my speed and I couldn't keep up with traffic so quickly got off the road. Looked at the dash and saw it said engine power reduced. Turned off the car few seconds and I was able to drive home luckily I wasn't to far.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #31

Dec 152019


  • 94,610 miles
Whining and winding sound on acceleration at all speeds..rumbling noise from engine. Strut leaking and front suspension issues. This turned out to be transmission and torque converter. Along with pto pinion seal, crankshaft seal, water pump, harmonic balancer, struts, sway bar links, and drive belt.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #30

Jul 232019


  • miles
The brakes have never been fixed even though they said (there times) that they have been replaced. There is a leak in the suspension, struts, cv/U joints, oil leaks, and possibly the coolant. The alignment is off even though the dealership stated they fix the alignment, but they can't if there's a leak they wouldn't be able to properly fix it. The check engine light has never gone off even though they said they fixed it but said they could not replicate the issue. Even though everything was supposed to be covered under warranty they no longer return our calls even when we go down there, they're not available to talk to us about the warranty. It was never disclosed to us that this was a previous rental vehicle. Now the brakes make sounds while we drive and while pressing down the whole vehicle shakes.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #29

Sep 072019


  • 74,000 miles
For no reason the service stabiltrak light comes on. The gages start going on their own. The vehicle goes into limp mode while driving. It has happened on highways, city roads. I have taken it to a dealership "who said I cant make it reciprocate so I just reprogrammed the tcm, and if that doesnt work I will recommend anew tcm." In short they have no idea. I have taken it to an independent mechanic who was able to trouble shoot it back to the fuel control system module vs comm module. However. I think there is more to it than that. Chevy needs to fix this issue it's a very common issue on Traverse forums. Nhsta please do something about this issue someone is going to die.

- Fort Eustis, VA, USA

problem #28

May 282018


  • miles
The engine started running like a old, old tractor. I was told the motor keeps losing oil pressure known that type engine has problems but yet no recall. I spent thousands of dollars to pay for a new motor and installation on this. Just got that fixed and now the transmission went another expense on my part. What next!! this car is a lemon law problem!! what can I do about it" please help!! wheres the recalls?" this 2012 Traverse is scary to drive not known whats next going to happen on the road. Cant go anywhere that involves distance.. I was stalled in the intersections in town on a busy street with little children and an elderly lady.

- Poplar, WI, USA

problem #27

Jun 012019


  • 96,000 miles
Without any warning got the following messages: Traction control off, service stability trak, service traction control, engine power is reduced. Then the check engine light went on and I was told it was the camshaft correlation. I've looked on line and have noticed many Traverse owners are having this problem where the car slows down to a halt in the middle of the road or refuses to go faster than 25 miles per hour. We purchased this vehicle as a certified pre-owned 4 years ago and it does'nt even have 100,000 miles on it. I was on the road when the messages came on and I had to quickly pull in to a gas station because I was driving on a 55 mile an hour road and the car quickly slowed down to around 25mph.

- Hudson, NH, USA

problem #26

Jun 102019


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse. When the gear was shifted into reverse, the vehicle failed to respond. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that an unknown part related to the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Piedmont, SC, USA

problem #25

Sep 262018


  • 55,000 miles
I was driving with my children while exiting a highway off-ramp, and our Chevy Traverse suddenly malfunctioned and I temporarily lost power steering/control of the car, had no acceleration, and all instruments went wonky (turning on/off, going back and forth). I was forced to pull off the highway off-ramp onto a dangerously narrow shoulder with minimal room, and had to coast the car to the end of the off-ramp-- and then was stuck at the off ramp at a red light in rush-hour traffic. After towing the vehicle to the dealership, we replaced the battery at the suggestion of our local Chevy dealership. Then about 4 months later, the problem has happened again as I was exiting our driveway on my way to work. We had it towed to our local Chevy dealership, and after 4 days of running diagnostics and test driving it, they finally concluded it was a faulty transmission module. We now have to pay $ $1,700 out of pocket to repair the car, as were one year over the 5 year warranty (but only 55K miles on the car). At the time this happened, our Traverse only had approx. 57K miles on it.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

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