2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs: 13 Recalls, Engine, Steering Complaints, Airbag Investigation

 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs: 13 Recalls, 65 Complaints and Airbag Investigation

Owners of the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV are dealing with a range of complaints since hitting the road over a year ago with this popular SUV.

Complaints range from seat belt failures and steering issues, to complete engine and lifter replacements. These are major problems for the full-size SUV introduced by General Motors as a vehicle worthy to star in Hollywood films and transport both military heroes and world leaders.

The redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe came out with its fifth generation in the 2021 model. The Tahoe is one of a range of full-size SUVs built by General Motors. Other large SUVs made by GM include the Suburban, the Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade.

Some of the problems with the Tahoe such as loss of power steering assist or fuel pump failure could be a crash risk. Meanwhile, other issues such as the seat belts and airbags may increase the risk of injuries to passengers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is one of several places where owners can vent about problems with the Chevrolet Tahoe. It also lists recalls and investigations. The following is a synopsis of some of the top issues and complaints for the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV Complaints


One owners reported to the NHTSA that their “steering has failed completely (and they) cannot turn at all unless its slightly.” Another reported the “service steering column lock continues to message every timem they start the SUV. Chevrolet issued a recall on June 17, 2021 for “Loss of Power Steering Assist” due to a crash risk from increased steering effort, especially at low speeds.

Seat Belts

There have been numerous seat belt problems over the past year or more that led to recalls. The first three recalls were in November and December of 2020 because the bolts for the front seats were either missing or incorrectly installed. Also, the front center seat belt bracket was not secured and seat belt assembly was not properly attached. Just a few months later in March 2021, another recall warned the seat belts could become damaged and potentially break during a crash.

Additionally, a fifth recall said passengers in the second row center seat were unable to wear a seat belt because the latch got trapped. Finally, problems with seat belts continued in August 2022 with a recall because some seat belts had deformed rivets that may not properly restrain an occupant.

Lifter Problems/Engine Failure

There are roughly 20 complaints to the NHTSA about engine failures, stalling and weak acceleration and failure of valve lifters and broken push rods. Owners complain to General Motors, but the automaker appears to wait until the engine completely blows up rather than fixing it. Some say the 5.3 and 6.2 engines are a “ticking time bomb” as engines may fail at any time when a lifter fails or a push rod gets bent.

Drivers have many complaints, such as their 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe begins to shake uncontrollably, the engine starts popping, cylinders misfire and sputter and in some cases it leaves the driver stranded on the side of the road.

Some owners are complaining their vehicle started shaking and they experienced “sudden engine failure.” It turns out they had broken valve lifters and lifter rods. One owner told NHTSA their engine suddenly stopped and when they restarted it there was heavy smoke coming from the tail pipe. The found out it was a collapsed lifter and had a bent rod. They soon learned they were not alone as others reported the same issue to the Chevrolet owner’s forum and NHTSA website.

It appears to be a problem with the 2021 models with a 6.2 engine and it happens with under 10,000 miles. GM is reportedly aware of the problem and has decided to redesign the lifters for new models. Frustrated owners say GM won’t immediately repair their vehicle and tell them to wait until the check engine light comes on or flashes to initiate the warranty repair.

Furthermore, at least one owner in California reported their vehicle caught on fire while it was parked and unoccupied.

Finally, to make matters worse, drivers are left in limbo as parts are often on backorder and it can be many weeks before they can get their vehicle fixed or engine replaced.

Air Bag Investigation

The NHTSA has received fifteen consumer complaints about the malfunctioning air bag system in the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and similar vehicles. Nine of those consumer complaints involve the illumination of an air bag malfunction indicator (MIL). Additionally, there are six collisions where the SUV had significant frontal damage, but the driver’s front air bags did not deploy.

So far, the complaints involve several General Motors vehicles including the 2021 Tahoe, but also for other vehicles including the 2020 and 2021 Silverado, Sierra, Suburban, Yukon, Yukon XL, Escalade, and Escalade ESV) covered by GM Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 21-NA-005 or CT4, CT5, and XT4 vehicles.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Recalls

November 25, 2020 — Bolts for Front Seats Incorrectly Installed
December 17, 2020 — Front Center Seat Belts may not be Secured
December 23, 2020 — Incorrect Bolts Used To Attach Seat Belts

2021 Recalls

June 17, 2021 — Loss of Power Steering Assist
February 11, 2021 — Fuel Tank May Leak

March 18, 2021 — Seat Belts May Become Damaged
March 25, 2021 — Second Row Center Seatbelt Latch Trapped/FMVSS 208
June 3, 2021 — Air Bag Light May Not Indicate Malfunction
July 29, 2021 — Brake System Calibrated Incorrectly
September 23, 2021 — Power Control Module May Cause Fuel Pump Failure

2022 Recalls

January 27, 2022 — Rear Wheel Driveshaft Assemblies May Fail

August 11, 2022 — Improper Rivets on Seat Belt Buckle Assembly
November 3, 2022 — Running Lights May Not Deactivate/FMVSS 108

Related: Read about other possible lemon vehicles made by Chevrolet

California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson

 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs: 13 Recalls, Engine, Steering Complaints, Airbag Investigation

Did you purchase a 2021 Chevrolet, Tahoe or another vehicle with a major safety issue? If so, and your vehicle is still under the original factory warranty, you may have a lemon law claim. Also, any vehicle that is in the shop for 30 days or more may have a cause for legal action.

California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson will review your case and let you know if it qualifies as a lemon.

Also, we recommend that you obtain an invoice for all repairs and recall visits from the dealership. These documents will support your potential case. Should the vehicle experience repeated issues or become a safety risk, these documents support the Lemon Law Claim. Contact us for a free case review at 1-800-235-6801.

James Johnson ESQ