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Does Your Chevrolet Traverse Smell? You Are Not Alone.

November 27, 2012 By: LemonLaw Category: chevrolet

Imagine purchasing a brand new vehicle for $40,000, but instead of enjoying that fresh “new car” scent, your driving experience is being marred by a propane, gas or rotten egg smell.  Chevrolet Traverse drivers are dealing with some unsavory scents in their vehicle and in certain cases, the dealer cannot figure out a fix.

In one of our cases, our client purchased a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse and immediately started smelling propane in the passenger compartment,  especially when braking and using the air conditioner.  He first complained of this issue under 10,000 miles and the dealer blamed the Traverse smell on clogged air conditioner lines. During the second repair, the dealer flushes and refills the differential three times and adds more fluid.  This was repeated again for the third repair visit and on the fourth visit, a new vent kit was installed as well as a hose to the fuel tank door area.  Sadly, the smell has resurfaced but has now moved to the rear of the vehicle.

We intend to fight this claim and ensure our client receives a significant recovery under the Lemon Law.  If you are experiencing any sort of Chevrolet Traverse smell, be it propane, gas or rotten eggs, it is essential that you report the issue to a Chevrolet authorized dealership as soon as possible.  And if these problems cannot be fixed after reasonable repairs, you need to fight for your rights.  Feel free to fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon Form and let us know about your issue.  We will be glad to review the situation and determine if and how we can help.


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33 Responses to “Does Your Chevrolet Traverse Smell? You Are Not Alone.”


  1. #1 Sherry Cowan says:

    YES! We have the same problem with OUR 2011 Traverse too!!! This is VERY frustrating! Can only stop the smell by constantly hitting the re-circ air button and it will stop only by putting on the A/C

    • #2 Jody McCord says:

      We experienced this with our 2012. I fought hard for months for a buy back and I won. Now I notice Traverse AWDs as rentals in locations where AWD is just not needed. It was a shame at the time and a nightmare of an ordeal, but we’re grateful we had the chance to buy a Honda Pilot instead.

      • #3 Pam Lira says:

        Our 2010 had a bad smell too! We had to get the windshield washer fluid changed. That was it. Took it in one time and it was fixed. Never has a smell with the A/C.

        • #4 S.T. says:

          My 2012 Traverse has the same problem. They changed the filter, cleaned the vents and more and the smell is still there.

          • #5 Rob says:

            Just bought 2012 Traverse. Smells like gas outside the car and inside when vents are blowing.

            • #6 adrian says:

              Horrible gas smell in car on drivers side seems like coming from vents.

              • #7 Mark says:

                I have the same problem in my 2015 Chevy Traverse. It has a very strong gas smell which is intermittent.

                • #8 Josh says:

                  My wife’s 2013 Traverse has been doing this since we bought it….we are currently dealing with GM to hopefully get a replacement. If not we are going to arbitrate through BBB. Thank you all for giving me this information for the GM Rep when they call tomorrow.

                  • #9 LemonLaw says:

                    @Josh: Be weary of the BBB. They are funded by the manufacturer so it’s like going to the lion’s den to battle the lion.

                    • #10 Marc says:

                      We have a 2014 Traverse with 19500 miles, we started getting a smell which the dealer could not find right after we took it for service. Service was for oil change and brake booster replacement. They had the truck for at least a week, they ionized it, they changed the ac filter, it smells like a burnt chemical smell. Mainly from the drivers side. You can still smell it in the back and the passenger side. It was so strong the day we picked it up, we had a headache, and other symptoms, almost went to ER! We had truck towed back to dealer!
                      When the AC is on with outside air, you can put your nose to the vent and it smells ok, but when you go on recirculating air, it smells, it also smells when you just open the door up with the truck siting there, it is not in the carpets, the floor mats, etc… We filed Lemon law, but GM has not called us back in almost 2 weeks. Truck is sitting on driveway! Will not be taking our child in the truck, only way to drive it, is with windows open and AC set to outside air!

                      • #11 Randy says:

                        I have a 2014 Silverado with 28,000 miles and it has the same problem. Very intense chemical smell with the A/C off. I have had it into the dealer many times and they said there is nothing wrong. I hate driving this truck, but have so much invested in it.

                        • #12 Bill says:

                          Has anyone encountered a propane smell with their Chevy Equinox? We have a 2015 Equinox that has a propane smell, sometimes a hot smell, has an engine idling/cutting out problem, as well as a rear hatch that will not stay in adjustment. I truly think we have a “lemon.” It’s going back in to the ship, AGAIN, to see if they can figure it out.

                          • #13 LemonLaw says:

                            @Randy: I am hoping you have your invoices. I would certainly speak to a lemon law lawyer to see if you have a claim.

                            • #14 Dawn Schopieray says:

                              We have this same problem! We purchased a 2011 Chevy Traverse at the end of April with 56,000 miles and the day we took it home we had the “pleasure”, of smelling the odor. I would say it smells like rotten eggs. It seems to happen mostly when accelerating while going up hill, however it does happen other times as well. We have had it in and they say they don’t smell it and only thing they can come up with is it could possibly be the catalyst converter, they won’t do anything about it until it has an error message. If anyone has any suggestions as to how we should handle this, I would really appreciate it.

                              • #15 Amy says:

                                I have a 2015 Chevy Equinox and it has a very strange smell, like propane or plastic or something strong. Mainly coming from the rear of the vehicle. My son will NOT ride in the car because of the smell …

                                • #16 LemonLaw says:

                                  @Amy: How many times have you been back to the dealer to address the smell?

                                  • #17 brenda says:

                                    I have a 2015 chevy equinox that has a horrible smell/vapor . Had the car for a year now. Been at the dealer at least 8 times. Dealer claims they cannot duplicate the problem. they have installed the after blowers and claimed to have changed the cabin filter but the problem remains. I do not believe this bad oder/smell is isolated to the Traverse. I believe it exist in several Chevrolet vehicles.

                                    • #18 Kourtney says:

                                      Our 2014 Equinox recently started having the burning plastic / exhaust smell coming out of the vents. So bad it makes you dizzy. Took car to dealer once and they couldn’t find anything. It happened twice since then, so we called GM customer service. The dealer then called us, asked us to bring car in, and even offered a loaner car. Taking it in for 2nd evaluation this week.

                                      • #19 Shirley says:

                                        We have a Chevrolet 2015 Equinox ad the noxious smell when the ac is on is making us sick!. It is at the dealership now ( 2nd time) and they want to take everything out and clean the interior for mold! We don’t want to keep this car if it makes us sick. thank you

                                        • #20 LemonLaw says:

                                          @Shirley: If the problem continues you could have a claim under lemon law or breach of warranty. Click here for a list of Lemon Law lawyers throughout the country who may be able to help.

                                          • #21 Velma Scriven says:

                                            I have a 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, when the air conditioner is turn on, it smells like the reon is coming through the vents inside of the car. The Chevrolet Company said it will cost $1700 or more to fill it. I cannot afford this amount to repair. This should be recall from the Chevrolet Company. I have always had a Chevrolet vehicle, I will never purchase another Chevrolet again. This is not the only problem I have had with My Traverse. Done with Chevrolet!!!!!

                                            • #22 RAYMOND WEST says:

                                              What is the defect of chevy impalas 2006 where the computer is reading cut engine off engine is loosing or reduceing power

                                              • #23 LemonLaw says:

                                                @Raymond: I am not sure what you are referring to but you can check out the consumer complaint database at http://www.safercar.gov

                                                • #24 Ina Hodder says:

                                                  We have a smell in our 2011 traverse. Just spent $200 should have read this article before. Going to dealer today will inform you of what they say

                                                  • #25 Lynn Klein says:

                                                    My 2011 Traverse has had a melting crayon smell lately. It’s not all the time and it doesn’t happen consistently (like when I accelerate, run the a/c, etc.) I haven’t taken it in yet, just curious what it could be before I do!

                                                    • State: Iowa
                                                  • #26 Marsha says:

                                                    I leased my 2014 traverse when it had 11 miles on it, so there’s been no other owner, and I bought it about a year ago. The smell started about a year and a half ago when we started using the AC in the summer, and I thought it might be a mouse nest in the vents, so I brought it to the dealership and they found nothing, but flushed it out and said it was a bit dirty but no mice, except they forgot to flush out the vents that fed to the back seats. I dealt with it because it wasn’t that bad, but now, in the winter without using the AC I’m noticing the smell is coming back, and is what I’m seeing described here on this site by others. I have to wonder if its mold growing in the vent system. So, now I don’t know what to do because I don’t even get the truck serviced at the dealership now that I don’t lease it anymore.

                                                    • State: Ma
                                                  • #27 Joe Gallegos says:

                                                    I finished paying my 2011 chevy traverse last year, it has 75,139 miles on it. After at about the 3 year or of having purchased my vehicle i began to have air conditioning problems, from the heater blowing only cold air to my cold air blowing out hot air. I took my teuck into the dealer 3 seperate times and got my air condenser fixed on the third time, also under warranty. Only a frw months past and the problem began again, and has not gone away. Is there something that i can do to try and fix the issue or get the original warranty to service to do rhe servicing all over without having to pay a dime

                                                    • State: Ca
                                                  • #28 Aline Swink says:

                                                    We just bought a 2017 chevy traverse in December 2017. I’ve noticed the same thing. After it’s running for a while, there is a very strong propane smell front and back. Will be taking it to the dealer and see if they can get is fixed.

                                                    • State: Washington
                                                  • #29 David Morris says:

                                                    We bought a 2012 Chevy Traverse LTZ AWD in 2013 and had it in a few times for a bad smell coming from the vents. Almost smells like exhaust. took it in all they would tell us is your recycle button isn’t working. So now the extended warranty has ran out and they’re still smells coming from this vehicle and it’s not paid off until July. I guess I should have looked into it more and not just make sure the air in the vehicle recycles properly

                                                    • State: Arizona
                                                  • #30 Susan Fagan says:

                                                    It is happening to me as well but my Traverse is 2017. I have had it to the shop at least 6 times with no end in sight of it being repaired! They tell me they can’t recreate the issue when they drive it. So i drive with them and immediately recreate it.

                                                    • State: PA
                                                  • #31 LemonLaw says:

                                                    @Susan: If you have not done so already, please call our office to discuss at 1 800 536 6652 or send us your information at http://www.lemonlaw.com/rid.html . I beleive we can help.

                                                    • #32 Mandy says:

                                                      I purchased a 2011 Chevy Traverse in April. Every time I roll the windows down while idling or turned off, it smells like body odor. It only does it when the windows or down.

                                                      • State: Louisiana
                                                    • #33 Taylor says:

                                                      I have a 2014 GMC Acadia, I have had these same issues, I haven’t even had it a year and it’s been in the shop 5 times! I also have been doing lots of research! Seems to be all GM SUV’s!! My Sister in law has the Buick Enclave and has had nothing but issues with this! SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE! Ford had a outbreak with their ford explorers and they were all recalled shouldn’t someone be recalling these??? Buick, Chevrolet and GMC are all same parts etc.. just a different model!!

                                                      • State: Florida

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