One of the most recognizable brands of American automobiles in history, Cadillac has been a division of General Motors since 1909. The company was founded in 1902 from the remnants of Henry Ford's original automobile venture, the Henry Ford Company. After Ford left the company following a dispute with investors, the Henry Ford Company rebranded as Cadillac in honor of the French explorer that founded Detroit. Today, it has become the most popular luxury brand of automobiles in the United States.

Popular Models

For Cadillac, the name of the game is luxury. Whether it is a coupe, sedan, or a Sports Utility Vehicle, Cadillac's models outsell all other luxury automakers in the U.S. Arguably the best-known Cadillac model to date is the Escalade. The full-size luxury SUV first entered production in 1998 and has since become the standard for the American luxury SUV market. It is the longest continuously-running Cadillac vehicle in production.

An executive car designed to compete with mid-size sedans, the Cadillac CTS is one of the flagships of the Cadillac brand. In production since 2002, The CTS began as a compact coupe but has slowly grown in size from one generation to the next.

The most popular coupe designed and built by Cadillac is the Cadillac ATS. Smaller than the CTS, the ATS is described as an executive coupe that comes in 2-door and 4-door models. With Cadillac long-known for their large vehicles, the ATS was designed to appeal to Cadillac's typical audience but provide a slightly smaller option. 

Cadillac Safety Ratings

While the safety ratings for Cadillac are generally strong, they fall short of the scores of many of their competitors. For instance, while the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration gave the 2019 a perfect score for side crash testing, but four out of five stars for an overall rating. This was due in part to the Escalade's middling rollover rating.

The 2019 Cadillac CTS fares a little better from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to the IIHS, the CTS gets a “Good” rating for crashworthiness on every part of the vehicle except the driver-side. The scores aren't perfect, though, as the CTS is rated “Marginal” or worse in three areas including driver-side impact, headlights, and the ease of use for child seat anchors. That said, the 2019 CTS was given a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention.

By IIHS standards, the highest-rated Cadillac for safety is the 2019 Cadillac XT5. The midsize luxury SUV gets a perfect score for crashworthiness as well as front crash prevention. The only marks against it are a score of “Marginal” for headlights and an “Acceptable” rating for the ease of use of child seat anchors.

Recalls, Defects, and Safety Issues

Generally speaking, Cadillac vehicles are on the higher end when it comes to safety ratings. That said, Cadillacs have been plagued by a variety of safety issues over the years. Many of those issues have led to recalls. To see if your Cadillac has been subject to a recent recall, visit their official site and search using your VIN number. Below are some of the serious safety issues that have affected Cadillac vehicles in recent years.

Power Steering Failure

In March of 2019, General Motors announced a recall of more than 26,000 vehicles, including several Cadillac models like the CTS and ATS sedans. According to the manufacturer, the electric power-steering assist was prone to fail while the car was in motion. This failure is dangerous, as sudden power-steering failure could lead to a crash. The risks of a collision are especially high if the vehicle was traveling at lower speeds. The recall affects Cadillac CTS sedans from model years 2016 through 2018 as well as 2017 Cadillac ATS sedans.

Seat Heater Fire

After more than two years of complaints, Cadillac issued a recall for more than 50,000 CTS sedans over the risk of fire from malfunctioning seat heaters. At least two car fires in the CTS models can be attributed to this issue over the past few years. The malfunction with the seat heaters isn't that it won't work, however. On the contrary, without a human sitting a seat to cool it down, the seat heaters in the CTS were so effective they were heating the seats to the point of combustion. The problem was compounded by the fact that when the Cadillac CTS is started remotely in cold weather, the seat heaters automatically engage. However, there are serious concerns that the recall doesn't go far enough. According to Cadillac, their solution was to simply disengage the heated seats when the vehicle is started remotely. It is still likely that these models are at risk for fire if the seat heaters are turned on manually while the car is unoccupied.

Seat Belt Failure

A small number of 2019 model XTS vehicles were recalled by Cadillac in February of 2019 due to the risk of front seat belt failure. Cadillac claims that there were no injuries or crashes stemming from the issue, which involved a faulty rivet that secured the cable mounting strap. If this rivet were to fail, the seat belt buckle could potentially separate from the seat belt in a crash, causing severe injury. This isn't the only recent seatbelt recall for Cadillac, as the company has also had issues with seat belt retractors properly securing child safety seats in the 2018 and 2019 models of the CT6 and the Escalade.

Cadillac Problems? Discuss Your Options with an Attorney and Get the Help You Need

Regardless of whether your Cadillac suffers from a long-standing safety issue under recall, or if it has only recently come to light and has not yet been resolved by Cadillac, you should discuss your issues with The Lemon Lawyer immediately. California's Lemon Law protects vehicle owners in a variety of circumstances, but you can only use your rights under the law if you are informed. To discuss your options with an experienced attorney, contact The Lemon Lawyer today for a free consultation.

Don't Hesitate

The longer you let your car sit in the shop, the greater the cost is to you. If you think you may have a case, get in touch with one of our attorneys today.