Problems with Your Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac?
General Motors makes four auto brands and lots of problems. But owners of defective GM vehicles have rights under state lemon laws.
For 90 years, General Motors (GM) was the best-selling automaker in the U.S. In 2021, it lost that title for the first time to Toyota. Industry analysts suggest the change was due to Toyota’s superior ability to handle supply chain problems and a global semiconductor chip shortage, but are GM customers also experiencing vehicle problems that might affect the automaker’s sales?
GM produces four distinct automobile brands – Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac – all of which have repeat problems. When a recently purchased vehicle has significant problems that cannot be repaired by the manufacturer within a reasonable time, a vehicle owner can turn to state lemon law for protection. Lemon laws typically allow problem vehicle owners to get cash back or a replacement vehicle, while also making the automaker pay all the legal fees.
At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we hear a lot of complaints about GM vehicles. Some of the top problems that we see in the four core GM brands are:
Chevrolet’s Failing Brakes
Chevrolet models including the Silverado pickup truck, the Trax, and the Tahoe have issues with failing brakes, increased stopping distances, vibrating brake pedals, or noises from the braking system. From 2019 to 2021, Chevrolet initiated multiple recalls due to braking problems, affecting millions of Chevy pickup trucks and SUVs. Whether problems with the electronic brake control module leading to a risk of fire, a failing pump in the power-assist brakes increasing stopping distance and the risk of a crash, or a fractured brake caliper, Chevy appears to have persistent problems with their brakes. Some of these recalls also affected Cadillac and GMC vehicles, and the 2020 Buick Encore GX was recently singled out by Consumer Reports as a vehicle likely to have brake system issues.
Chevy also has a reputation for transmission problems and locked up steering, particularly in the Colorado and Silverado pickup trucks; faulty A/C in its cars and SUVs, which is a problem in multiple GMC models; excessive oil consumption, especially in the Equinox; loss of engine power in the Chevy Corvette and Equinox; and of course the fire hazard that is the Chevy Bolt.
Buick Transmission Issues
Buick vehicles generate a lot of complaints about defective transmissions. Symptoms of a bad transmission include difficulty changing gears; slipping and sticking gears; a burning smell; jerking; or clunking noises. The Buick Enclave and Encore are two of the many GM vehicles that have trouble with hard shifting and sticking gears as a result of transmission defects. Transmission issues seem to be a problem across GM brands, with Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC owners all reporting failing and problematic transmissions.
GMC Engine Troubles
Multiple GMC owners have come to us with stories of engine failure, excessive oil consumption, and total engine failure in their GMC Sierra, Yukon, Acadia, or Terrain. Consumer Reports highlighted the major engine problems of the GMC Sierra (and the Chevrolet Silverado) specifically in a recent reliability survey. Some GMC owners report that they have had to completely replace the engine in their new GMC vehicle, and we have heard similar complaints about other GM brands, including Chevrolet models. The GMC Yukon and the Chevy Equinox both have issues with excessive oil consumption, and a number of GM models have problems with power loss and sudden deceleration.
GMC vehicles have other issues too. The Yukon, like some Chevy models, generates a lot of complaints about malfunctioning A/C. The Sierra, Canyon, and Yukon are part of a class action suit with other GM vehicles, including Chevrolet and Cadillac models, as a result of problems with the eight-speed automatic transmission. Airbag defects in GMC (and Chevrolet) trucks have led to major recalls for GM.
Cadillac Electrical Problems
Cadillac is the luxury division of the GM brand. However, electrical issues such as failing power windows, defective sensors, and problems with the infotainment system frustrate some Cadillac owners. From the Escalade to the XT5, owners are making repeat trips to their dealer to try to fix electrical issues in their Cadillac vehicles. Electrical problems are not just seen in the Cadillac brand but in all the GM brands. As recently as June 2022, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks were recalled due to defective brake lights, and the problems don’t stop there. Chevy’s electric vehicle offering, the Chevy Bolt, has made headlines for catching fire causing a huge risk for owners and their property.
What can GM vehicle owners do?
If you have a problem with your recently purchased Chevy, Cadillac, Buick, or GMC, you should first check for any recalls on your vehicle at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Your dealer should carry out any repairs under recalls for free and within a reasonable time. If your problems are not covered by a recall, your vehicle repairs may still be covered under a new vehicle warranty and you may be protected by consumer protection laws. Lemon laws require that a manufacturer repair significant defects in your recently purchased vehicle, or provide you with a replacement vehicle or reimbursement of the purchase price.
For more information on lemon laws, check out the resources on our website, including blog articles such as this one on recognizing a lemon vehicle, and what you can do next. You can also contact one of our experienced team at Timothy Abeel & Associates to answer your qgeuestions and find out more about your options. Contact us today for a free case review.