General Motors Company, or GMC, is a subsidiary of GM that focuses on the manufacture of trucks and utility vehicles. Originally Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, it was bought by GM in 1909 where it became the GMC Division of General Motors. In the present day, GMC builds consumer vehicles like trucks and SUVs as well as commercial vehicles like ambulances, buses, and motorhomes.
Unlike some automakers including Ford and Nissan, GMC is not known for a diverse offering of cars and trucks. GMC sticks with the vehicle types that they have successfully built for years: namely, light trucks and SUVs.
The GMC Sierra has been on the market longer than any other current GMC model. Mechanically identical to the Chevrolet Silverado, the Sierra is a full-size pickup truck that has become one of the most popular pickup trucks available in the United States.
The Sierra isn't the only GMC pickup that has a Chevrolet counterpart. Released in 2004, the GMC Canyon is the mechanical equivalent of the Chevrolet Colorado. Originally a compact pickup, the Canyon has grown into a mid-size pickup over the years.
GMC is also well known for its line of SUVs. Much like with GMC trucks, these SUVs correspond to a similar Chevrolet model. They include the Yukon, the Acadia, and the Terrain.
GMC Safety Ratings
The vehicles offered by GMC may not have the same safety scorecard of some high-end manufacturers, but they still score well in most cases. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the GMC Acadia tops the company's list when it comes to safety. The 2019 Acadia received the top score available for all Crashworthiness ratings, and only had one “Marginal” rating for its headlights.
The 2019 GMC Canyon had similar results, although not quite as sterling. While the vast majority of crash safety ratings were at the highest level possible, the Canyon did score a “Marginal” rating for passenger-side crashworthiness.
Despite a “Poor” rating for its headlights from the IIHS, the 2019 GMC Terrain otherwise had a perfect score across the board. This includes not only the Crashworthiness score but also a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention.
Recalls, Defects, and Safety Issues
While GMC has fairly strong safety ratings, they are prone to safety issues and defects just like any other auto manufacturer. While some of those defects have only been recently discovered, many have led to recalls. Curious if your GMC vehicle has been subject to a recall? You can find out by searching GMC's official site for recall notices. All you need is the VIN number from your vehicle. Below are some of the recent safety issues GMC owners have faced.
Power Steering Failure
In 2018, a recall of more than 1 million automobiles including numerous GMC models was issued due to a defective power steering system. According to GMC, the 2015 GMC Sierra as well as a number of other GM vehicles were recalled due to the power steering system suddenly failing while traveling. In most cases, these failures only lasted a second or two before the power steering system engaged again. However, that short window created a substantial impairment to driver and occupant safety. According to GMC, the issue was more prominent at low speeds and stemmed from a combination of software and electrical issues.
Fuel Tank Overflow
GMC Sierra vehicles from model years 2016 through 2018 face a serious risk of fire due to the potential for the fuel tank to overflow and leak. The issue stems from a faulty fuel level sensor in the rear tank. In some cases, the sensor would stick, causing the front take to overflow thanks to the faulty sensor. This isn't the first time the issue has arisen for the GMC Sierra – 2011 through 2015 models were previously recalled for the same condition. Replacement of the faulty sensor is enough to fix the issue.
Nearly 100,000 2018 GMC Terrain vehicles have experienced faulty airbags that, in the right situation, will fail to deploy in a crash. The potential for serious injury is obvious in cases where airbags fail to deploy, deploy late, or even activate without a crash. In this instance, a software issue led to the potential failure of the airbag to deploy entirely. According to GMC, the problem never led to any crashes or injuries, but the potential for a disastrous result was too high for comfort. Because the issue was entirely software-related, the fix involved only a quick software update from a GMC dealership.
While the above issues were all resolved through recalls, not every recall is successful. In that case, the best option available may be a lawsuit against the manufacturer. In some cases, there are even compelling reasons for a class action lawsuit. According to a lawsuit against GMC and parent company GM, GMC models from 2015 through 2019 suffered from serious transmission defects that would cause the vehicle to hesitate when accelerating and decelerating. Some drivers complained that shifting gears would cause the vehicle to jerk hard enough that it felt like a collision. GMC was quick to recall the affected vehicles and proclaim the issue fixed, but complaints of transmission issues lingered. Now, GMC will have to address their response to the transmission issue in a court of law.
GMC Problems? Discuss Your Options with an Attorney and Get the Help You Need
If you are a GMC owner that is dealing with a defect or safety issue, it is worth your time to discuss your situation with The Lemon Lawyer. Regardless of whether the issue affecting your vehicle has been subject to a recall or not, it is possible that GMC has failed to meet their responsibilities under California's Lemon Law. To discuss your options, contact The Lemon Lawyer at (844) 227-7762 today to schedule your free consultation. If you are being taken advantage of, The Lemon Lawyer may be able to get you a refund or a new car at no cost to you.