'21 Tahoe Z71 Transmission Failure

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Ta-dahoe

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This is my first post on the forum, but I've followed many discussions over the last years. This is also the first place I turned when I was experiencing vehicle trouble, so I wanted to make sure to document the issue I'm experiencing for any other users who may go through something similar.

I currently have a 2021 Tahoe Z71 with under 25,000 miles, and we bought it just shy of 3 years ago. Most of the miles are actually from long road trips as this is the primary vehicle that we use for trips to the mountains and the coast. My daily commute is only 5-6 miles, hence while we're averaging about 8k miles a year.

A few weekends ago, I went to park in front of a grocery store and found that the truck would not enter reverse. Luckily, I was in street parking and was able to position the truck so that nobody could park in front of me. After grabbing some items, I drove back home and didn't notice any other problems. I've worried about the longevity of the push button shifting, so I was hoping that it was something minor. I called the dealership the next morning and told them about the problem, and they didn't see any reason why I should avoid driving it in. After about 10 minutes on the road, however, the transmission began slipping all over the place. Onstar/GM took about 2 hours to get me a tow truck, but all in all, it was a simple process—no major complaints.

The next day it was diagnosed as a faulty valve body, and they happened to have the replacement part on hand. But after working on it all day and reprogramming the transmission, the new valve body failed. I understand these types of things happen, but when they told me I was thinking that at this point that's two defective valve bodies, which doesn't bode well for the future. A new one was ordered, and they attempted the install yesterday. Again, the transmission failed.

So at this point the ball is now in GM's court. The dealership put in a ticket and is waiting for instructions on what to do, noting that it is possible that GM will need to send out an engineer. I'll make sure to update the post with resolutions.

I wanted to post to see if anyone else has experienced such issues as well as to provide anyone who experiences this problem in the future something to reference. To be clear, I absolutely love this vehicle. I've casually looked at what I would replace it with if problems persist, and all of the alternatives have been disappointing for one reason or another. However, on a trip to Cali we had a Subaru Outback completely lose power steering (2k miles past warranty), and it was on that trip that I swore I wasn't going to let myself fall into the sunk cost fallacy (we had also already replaced 2 windshields on the Outback due to their own problems). I do realize that it's never advised to jump in at the first model year, but we had our reasons and are here now.

I could only find one other post with similar problems, and I don't think there was a final update. I'll make sure to provide one when it comes, but in the meantime, has anyone else been in this position?
 
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Ta-dahoe

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Thanks for the link to this one. When the dealership first contacted me, they also said that they diagnosed the problem as a "broken valve". It was only after the first fix attempt failed that I understood they were taking about the valve body. The first phrasing made it seem like it was only a minor issue. I'll hopefully receive word on the GM support ticket this afternoon, but if not, I'm reaching out to them directly on Monday.
 
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Ta-dahoe

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A quick update for posterity: Dealership got a response from GM. Their advice: try replacing the valve body a  third time with another new part. Everyone involved was dumbfounded.

I have now opened a complaint with GM and communicated that even if this works, at this point this is not a satisfactory resolution. After three failures, everything needs to be replaced.

On the bright side, everyone has been easy to deal with, but I'm fairly livid and have to keep telling the people on the phone that I'm sorry if I sound irritated with them—I'm irritated with the situation.
 
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Ta-dahoe

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Last update for anyone who may have this issue down the line:

GM Customer Care was worthless. I provided contact information when submitting the complaint, but they apparently did not record it. They contacted my wife asking if there was a number at which we could be reached and then never did reach out. We have the truck back after three weeks, and we have sent the following email to Customer Care:

Chevrolet Customer Care,

For your records: (1) We were never contacted by Customer Care despite providing contact information within a half hour of the email you sent, and (2) our concerns with the proposed repair were not heard or addressed. The parts for the valve body were already on order when we contacted Customer Care, so it is obvious that opening a case with Customer Care was not productive in the slightest. The Tahoe is now in our possession with a fourth valve body. The first one failed at 24,000 miles. The second and third failed on installation. As we communicated when we contacted Customer Care, it is confusing how GM thinks that we can place any faith in the installation of the fourth valve body long term.

As a result, we are likely to begin looking at non-GM replacement vehicles in the near future.

I hope that anyone who experiences this issue in the future receives better support.
 

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