Factory V92 Required
Thought I would share my experience on buying a new Traverse with the tow package. Much of the bottom line can be found on the various messages in this forum (which I was fortunate to find before I purchased), but thought it would help see it all together. Even though this covers the whole "buying a new car" experience, I'm putting it here because so much of it was centered around the V92 tow package, and apparently it's widely misunderstood.
First, the bottom line. If you're buying a new Traverse, or even one in still in the warranty period, and you plan on towing anything over 2,000 lbs and want to be 100% sure you're covered by your warranty - insist on a factory installed V92 tow package. Anything else, no matter how well done, is not covered by GM's warranty.
My wife and I had been planning on a new vehicle for a while, and frankly the Traverse wasn't really on our radar. Then I saw a commercial on one, and liked the seating and cargo arrangement, and decided to go look. After driving one and playing with the seating, we abandoned our plans for a Pathfinder, and decided to go for it.
We had a lot of "desires" on what we wanted (color preference, in order - blue, red, dark grey, or silver; no black or white), and even a couple "really would likes" (heated front seats, maybe the "style and technology" package, and likely the "hit the road" rails and steps); but there were two "absolute must haves" - 8 passenger seating (wife insisted, we have grandkids) and the tow package (we have a 4,000 sailboat that we occasionally tow).
What I didn't understand was the difference between the V92 package, and an add on tow package. I eventually learned.
The first dealer we went to (dealer #1) didn't have a vehicle on site that would work, but found a titanium model with the factory tow package, 8 passenger seating, "hit the road" and "style and technology" packages. I really wanted the blue, but we knew that if we factory ordered one, chances of getting a better price slimmed down, so we agreed on that one. Worked out an acceptable price, turned over our trade-ins and went home with a loaner.
Unfortunately, we ran into some issues with promised delivery dates with the dealer. I finally insisted on returning the loaner to get our trade-in back, and told them we'd talk again when they had the car; and that I would be looking to find one among other dealers.
I went to 3 other dealers, with the same list of what we need and what we want. One of them (dealer #2) spent an hour finding a car on the lot that was "right". Except it was white (ignored my "no white"), a 2016 model (an LTZ, but they were going to knock a lot off because it was a 2016), and had no tow package (but they would add that). I opened the door and it was a 7 seater which was a disqualifier. We were already at their closing time, and they had just wasted an hour of my time, so I told them to find the car I asked for and give me a call.
Next day I called 2 other dealers (#3 and #4). They both found cars for me that were close, but were missing some of the "want haves". However, none of them had the tow package. Both dealers assured me that they could add the two package as soon as they got the vehicle on site. While they were looking, I stumbled on this site, and started to get suspicious about the dealer installed promises. I finally broke down and called GM. They said in no uncertain terms that there was no add-on tow package that could be installed that would be covered by the GM's warranty. Dealers may choose to cover a warranty on their installed tow package, but it would not be covered by GM.
I'll repeat that one, when I called GM Customer Service, they told me the only way the Traverse would be covered under warranty to tow 5200 lbs would be if it had the factory installed V92 towing package. Without that, the maximum warrantied tow weight was 2000 lbs.
Dealer #4 called me back, and said he had several cars he'd like me to look at. None had the towing package but that their service department could add it. When I told him what GM said, he said he wasn't aware of that, and said he'd look more (I never heard back from him).
Dealer #3 called me back, and said he had a couple of cars, but none had the tow package. I told him the same. He checked with his service manager, and said that they would install the proper hitch, and the wiring kit to control the transmission, and that would "be the same". When I asked about Chevy's claim that the V92 tow package includes a "Heavy-duty cooling system" and asked about the GM warranty, he put me on hold to talk to the service manager again. When he came back, he said the service manager said it's not "cost effective" to put in an additional cooling system, and believed that the GM warranty would be covered. I passed.
Dealer #2 called me back and said he was going to look for a car. By this time, I knew what I needed, and made it clear that whatever car they found had to have the V92 package installed from the factory. He called me back the next day, and said that the only one they could find anywhere nearby was the one that dealer #1 found, and they weren't releasing it (I can only guess why...).
Meanwhile, the general manager from dealer #1 traded emails with me, and apologized for the confusion on the delivery date. When he got the car in (they went ahead with their dealer trade), he let me know it was there, and we went back and got it.
Even that though, had a little bit of a surprise for me. Because of all of the confusion about the tow package, I wanted to be 100% sure of what we had. I looked at the bumper of the car, and didn't see a hitch. I asked the saleslady about it, and let her know I wanted to be 100% sure this had the tow package, since I couldn't see a hitch. She casually said "If it doesn't, our service department would add it". My heart sank. I figured it didn't have it and we would be back to square one. I told her that wouldn't work, that it must have the factory installed V92 package. She got the sticker and showed me where it said it had the V92 Trailering Equipment. I figured if it wasn't there, that paperwork would be enough that I could bring it back. When I got home, I finally crawled underneath to figure out all out, and discovered the removable panel that hid the hitch. I actually did have the V92 tow package.
My take-away from all of this is that if you want the 5200 lb towing capacity, and want it covered by GMs warranty, the car must come that way from the factory. Anything else is just a bunch of dealer/salesman promises. I also don't think the salespeople are deliberately lying, they're just not as knowledgeable as they should be.