While General Motors’ quality issues are slowly eroding its dominance, the company still held the largest share of the U.S. auto market as of 2021. It’s four brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – regularly deliver more than 2 million vehicles a year in the United States. Unfortunately, GM is known for producing vehicles with defective engines, transmissions, electrical components and other parts. Every year, thousands of buyers in California find themselves stuck with a GM vehicle that always seems to be broken.
Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys is a Ventura law firm entirely devoted to helping consumers with lemon law claims. Our attorneys spent years defending manufacturers against California lemon law claims, and now we use that experience to fight for consumers like you. We have helped hundreds of clients get compensation after dealing with a defective Buick, Cadillac, Chevy or GMC vehicle, and we’re here to help you, too. Call 805-870-8732 today.
General Motors Lemon Law Problems
Below you will find some of the common recurring issues with GM’s cars, crossovers and SUVs. If you own a Chevrolet or GMC truck, you can visit our GM truck page for truck-specific information.
Under California law your GM vehicle could be a lemon if it:
- Has a serious issue that could cause death or serious injury and two or more repairs have been attempted
- Has a non-life-threatening issue that isn’t fixed after four attempts
- Was out of service for repairs for more than 30 days during the first 18 months or 18,000 miles
If your GM vehicle qualifies as a lemon, you could receive monetary compensation and be eligible to have your vehicle repurchased and given your money back.
Buick Lemon Law Issues
Modern Buick is far from the luxury brand it was in the early days of automotive history. Today it produces just three vehicles, the tiny Encore and Encore GX crossover, the compact Envision crossover and the Enclave mid-size SUV. The Buick Cascada, Verano, Regal and LaCrosse, the company’s final non-SUV vehicles, were discontinued between 2017 and 2019.
All of these Buick models suffer from similar issues, including but not limited to:
- Engine problems: The 3.6L V6 used in the Enclave and LaCrosse is known for stretching the timing chain, which can ruin the engines.
- Turbo issues: The 2.0L ECOTEC, 1.6L and 1.4L 4-cylinder engines in the Regal, Encore and Envision often come equipped with turbochargers, and those turbos are known as some of the worst in the industry.
- Electrical systems: Various electrical problems can affect the infotainment systems, headlights and taillights, and gauges of today’s Buicks.
- Steering: The Buick LaCrosse and Enclave tended to have problems with the steering racks and related steering components.
Cadillac Lemon Law Issues
Once the epitome of American luxury and quality, Cadillacs today tend to suffer from some of the same problems as other GM vehicles, including but not limited to:
- Turbocharger problems: The 2.0L and 2.7L turbocharged engines suffer from variable valve timing issues. These engines are common in the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans and the XT4, XT5 and XT6 crossovers/SUVs.
- Water pump failure: The 2.0L and 2.7L 4-cylinders are also susceptible to water pump failures. Cadillac issued a recall on these in 2020. The circuit boards inside the water pumps seem to be the cause.
- Timing chains: The GM 3.6L V6 available in the Cadillac XT5, XT6, ATS, SRX and other models often has problems with stretched timing chains leading to engine failure.
- Transmissions: Cadillac models, including the XT5 and XT6, use various GM transmissions like the 10-speed, 9-speed and 8-speed automatics. These are known for various problems such as slippage and rough and erratic shifting, as well as shaking at highway speeds and high-pitched noise on deceleration.
- Electronic climate control: The Cadillac SRX and CTS tended to be vulnerable to issues with the heating and air conditioning systems.
Chevrolet Lemon Law Issues
By far GM’s best-selling division, Chevrolet regularly sells about 2 million vehicles a year. Here are some of the most common problems. This list is not exhaustive; there are plenty of other failure points on Chevrolet vehicles.
- ECOTEC engines: ECOTEC is Chevy’s lineup of small-displacement engines that are often turbocharged. They are known for excessive oil consumption, bad piston rings, timing chain issues and other problems. Issues affect various models 2010 and newer.
- Transmissions and the “Chevy Shake”: Various Chevy cars, SUVs and trucks equipped with 8-speed automatic transmissions can shake violently under certain conditions. The transmissions themselves can be defective, as can the aluminum driveshafts. Some of the affected models are the Chevrolet Corvette (2015-2019); Chevrolet Camaro (2016-2019) and the Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, which we discuss on our GM trucks page.
- Other transmission problems: Chevrolet 9-speed and 10-speed automatics suffer from gear lockouts, slipping, flare-up, noise and transmission fluid leaks. The Chevy Blazer, Chevy Traverse, Chevrolet Malibu and other models can be affected.
- CVT: The newest Chevrolets often come with CVTs, or continuously variable transmissions. These can suffer from overheating, non-responsiveness, and loss of power. CVTs are found in the new Chevy Trailblazer, Malibu, and Spark.
- ABS system: Chevrolet had problems with its anti-lock brake systems on the Chevrolet Equinox, Traverse, Trax and other models. The brake could pulsate, lock up, not release, drag and cause dangerous driving conditions.
GMC Lemon Law Issues
GMC focuses solely on trucks, crossovers and SUVs. Visit our GM trucks page for more about the trucks and large SUVs like the Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL.
GMC crossovers and smaller SUVs include the GMC Acadia and GMC Terrain. The Acadia rides on the same platform as the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, while the Terrain shares a platform with the Chevrolet Equinox.
The GMC Acadia and Terrain, being essentially the same vehicles as their Chevy cousins, suffer from the same weak points. Most frequently these are the engine failures with the 3.6L V6, oil consumption with the 2.4L ECOTEC 4-cylinder, transmission problems on virtually all types of transmissions, electrical issues, and the various problems we’ve discussed earlier on this page.
Get Help with Your General Motors Lemon Law Claim
If you own a defective Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac and it just can’t seem to be fixed properly, call Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys. Our attorneys can help you understand your legal options and whether your car could qualify as a lemon under California law. For a free consultation, call our Ventura office at 805-870-8732 or complete this this online form.