Most Common Problems with the 2018 GMC Acadia

The 2018 GMC Acadia is a well-built mid-size SUV. It is also a comfortable and quiet ride with good maneuverability in parking lots. Its strengths include decent power, classy interiors, high safety scores, and good gas mileage.

Although it is a well-known and popular brand, several consumers have complained about specific GMC features. For instance, the fuel system defect increases the risk of stalling and car accidents.

Although vehicle defects are common, some are persistent and difficult to fix. California lemon laws protect vehicle owners who buy new or used vehicles with persistent defects whose manufacturers have been unable to fix them after a reasonable number of attempts.

Consult a trusted California lemon law attorney to understand your rights and how to hold automakers accountable.

GMC Acadia Problems

Although many GMC Acadia vehicles have high reliability and safety ratings, some consumers have expressed dissatisfaction with a few features, including:

Powertrain and Braking System Concerns

Braking System Concerns

Service is a crucial feature in a moving vehicle for reducing speed, controlling acceleration, and stopping. You can use service brakes(albeit briefly) to hold the car stationary while a driver is in complete control, for example, at a traffic light.

Some of the service brake concerns with the GMC Acadia include:

  • While driving at 40mph, the driver applied service brakes but failed to stop the vehicle, causing a rear-end accident.
  • The vehicle failed to stop appropriately after slamming the service brake to avoid a collision.
  • My 2019 GMC Acadia automatically brakes while driving 10-15 mph without a car near it. The vehicle automatically slammed the brakes, engaged the parking brake, and made a grinding noise.
  • The vehicle may lock the steering wheel and the service brakes, leading to total loss of control.

Power Train Defects

The power train assembles all components that push the vehicle forward. The GMC Acadia powertrain produces energy from the engine and delivers it to the wheels. The main components of the powertrain include the differential, axle, driveshaft, engine, and transmission.

Despite the crucial role the powertrain plays, consumers have registered several complaints, including:

  • In an attempt to park the vehicle, the transmission failed to shift into the park(P) and displayed an inaudible alarm.
  • After parking and turning off the car, the vehicle displayed a message ‘Shift to Park.’ The affected driver had to shift to park a few times before the message disappeared.
  • When the vehicle is parked, the monitoring system displays a different message.
  • As the first owner of a 2019 GMC Acadia, the transmission crashed at 30,461 miles with warning signs like a slipping transmission.
  • Shift to park malfunction.
  • There are transmission flares when going in and out of second gear, which makes the vehicle feel as if it is about to stall
  • An abnormal beeping sound occurs when shifting the vehicle into park

Fuel System Problems

A fully functional fuel system is crucial for optimal engine performance, efficiency, and vehicle longevity: the fuel system stores and supplies fuel to the engine and cylinder chambers.

Some of the typical fuel system defects with GMC Acadia vehicles include:

  • The vehicle fails to provide fuel properly. The fuel nozzle stays closed unless the driver holds it at the lowest delivery point.
  • The fuel gauge keeps an inaccurate account of fuel levels, including a low-fuel beeping while in motion.

Fuel System Recall

On October 15, 2020, General Motors LLC issued a recall to fix a defect related to insufficient fuel supply, which may have caused the engine to stall.

According to the recall, the fuel pump jet nozzle may have a plastic burr that occurred in the manufacturing process, leading to a blockage in the nozzle and insufficient fuel supply to the engine.

Unfortunately, insufficient fuel supply can lead to unexpected engine stalls, increasing the risk of car accidents.

The vehicles affected by the recall notice include:

  • 2020 Buick Enclave
  • 2020 Cadillac XT5
  • 2020 Cadillac XT6
  • 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2020 GMC Acadia vehicles

The automaker instructed the dealers to replace the defective fuel pump module.

General Transmission Problems

Your vehicle transmission is a crucial component that requires proper care and attention for a long-lasting vehicle. That said, it pays to be attentive to the following symptoms and problems:

Grinding or Shaking Sensation

When gears are engaged in an automatic system, it should be almost unnoticeable. Smooth changes occur in complicated machinery and computing systems, making everything effortless.

If you experience a grinding or shaking sensation during the gear change, your transmission might have a problem. Transmission fluid is one of the common causes of transmission component problems.

Transmission fluid is a source of lubrication running through the power train that prevents gears from grinding together. If you notice a grinding sound, the transmission fluid in the powertrain may be insufficient or have lost its lubricating properties.

Gears Fail to Engage/Shift

If you put the vehicle into drive or reverse mode, it should respond immediately without delay. However, if the vehicle delays or fails to engage, both are substantial issues that may signal a transmission problem.

First, it could indicate a problem with the transmission fluid, whose protective properties have degraded and become thick. A change of the transmission fluid could help fix the gear defect. Alternatively, there may be a problem with the shift mechanism.

Sometimes, a gear that fails to shift or engage can be traced to a defective vehicle engine control unit (ECU). The ECU uses information like throttle position or engine speed to determine when to shift transmission.

If the ECU sustains some damage, you may experience transmission trouble.

Produces a Burning Smell

If you notice a burning smell coming from under the hood, the vehicle might have a transmission defect. One common cause of a burning smell from the transmission is an overheated fluid.

When the transmission fluid has diminished its qualities, there is increased friction that leads to faster part breakdown. A leak can also cause low transmission fluid levels and a burning smell.

If you notice a burning smell coming out of your hood, act before it is too late. You can perform a quick diagnosis by checking the transmission fluid levels, followed by a comprehensive inspection by a qualified mechanic.

Slipping Gears

Gear slipping is a common problem in automatic transmission vehicles but can also occur in manual transmission models. When the gear slips, the vehicle doesn’t correctly switch gears when prompted or engages into gear without a prompt.

The transmission defect can occur for various reasons, including:

  • Low transmission fluid
  • Contamination due to water leakage or improper maintenance
  • Internal wear and tear on the transmission parts
  • Damages or worn clutch plates

Transmission Fluid Leak

If you notice a red fluid under your vehicle’s hood, that’s a signal of transmission fluid leak. In addition to transmission defects, transmission fluid leak is a safety risk. If the transmission fluid comes into contact with a hot surface, the vehicle may ignite.

The GMC Acadia Transmission Recall

Driveshaft Fracture and Separation

On August 22, 2017, General Motors LLC issued a recall dubbed driveshaft fracture and separation. According to the recall notice, the right front intermediate drive shaft may fracture and separate during driving.

If the front-right intermediate shaft assembly detaches during motion, the vehicle may lose propulsion, increasing the risk of an accident. If the assembly separates as the vehicle is parked without a parking brake, the vehicle may move away unintentionally, increasing the risk of a vehicle roll-away.

The recall notice affected the following vehicles:

  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
  • GMC Terrain vehicles
  • 2017-2018 GMC Acadia vehicles

Missing Bolts on Start-stop Accumulator End Cap

On October 29, 2020, General Motors, LLC issued a recall notice to fix a start-stop accumulator end cap that may have missing bolts.

According to the notice, missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator may trigger a transmission oil leak, which can cause loss of propulsion and increase the risk of accidents.

Further, a transmission fluid leak in the presence of an ignition source may increase the fire risk.

The transmission recall affected the following vehicles:

  • 2018-2019 Chevrolet Cruze
  • Buick LaCrosse
  • 2018-2020 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2018-2019 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2018-2019 GMC Terrain
  • 2018 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2019-2020 Buick Encore
  • 2018-2019 Buick Enclave
  • 2018-2019 Cadillac XT4
  • 2018-2019 Chevrolet Blazer
  • 2020 Cadillac XT6 vehicles
  • 2018-2019 GMC Acadia

The automaker instructed the dealers to inspect the start-stop accumulator and replace it free of charge if any bolts were missing.

Your Rights for the 2018 GMC Acadia Issues

California lemon laws protect consumers who buy new and used vehicles with manufacturer’s new vehicle warranties. The lemon law protection applies irrespective of the vehicle’s purpose. It can, therefore, apply to the following 2018 GMC Acadia vehicles:

  • Vehicles bought or leased for business purposes
  • Vehicles purchased or leased for family, household, or personal purpose

If an automaker or dealer can’t repair a serious warranty defect in your vehicle after a ‘reasonable number’ of repair attempts, the manufacturer must either:

  • Replace the vehicle
  • Refund its buying price—whichever you prefer

Establishing a Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts

There is no set number for a reasonable number of repair attempts. Even so, California lemon law presumption contains the following guidelines to determine if an automaker has made a ‘reasonable number’ of repair attempts:

  • The manufacturer or dealer hasn’t fixed the defect after four or more attempts.
  • The vehicle defect could cause death or severe injury, and the manufacturer has made at least two unsuccessful repair attempts.
  • Your 2018 GMC Acadia has been in the repair shop for more than 30 days— not necessarily consecutive for a repair problem covered by its warranty.

The lemon law applies if all the following aspects are present.

  • The vehicle defect occurred within 18 months from the date of purchase or within the first 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.
  • A new vehicle manufacturer warranty covers the vehicle.
    • The vehicle has a substantial defect that impacts its value, use, and safety.

Benefits of a Lemon Law Claim for Your GMC Acadia

The purpose of the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, commonly referred to as California lemon laws, is to safeguard consumers who’ve bought new or pre-owned vehicles with significant defects.

If your 2018 GMC Acadia has a substantial defect and meets the eligibility criteria, you may qualify for lemon law protection. It means you have a right to either a refund or replacement under California lemon laws.

Vehicle owners must file lemon claims against the automaker to protect their rights.

Although the process of filing lemon law claims may seem intimidating, its benefits are significant, including:

  • Protecting Legal Rights: Defective vehicles make it difficult to run business and personal errands, so you can file a lemon law claim to obtain a refund or replacement. Consumers have substantial safeguards under California lemon law, which shifts the responsibility of proof from the consumer to the manufacturer.Therefore, the automaker should demonstrate they have made enough repair attempts instead of requiring the consumer to prove vehicle defects.
  • A Speedy Resolution: The process of a lemon law claim has several options to expedite the resolution of disputes involving automakers and vehicles. Most automakers have arbitration programs certified by the state, which offer quick solutions compared to the time-consuming traditional court case approach.
  • Cost Savings: You could sue the automaker for breach of warranty terms or file a lemon law claim. A lemon law claim saves you costs because the law requires the manufacturer to refund a vehicle owner the legal expenses incurred during the proceedings.

Get Legal Advice From an Experienced Lemon Law Attorney

Suppose your 2018 GMC Acadia has an engine defect that makes it lose drive power while in motion. In that case, the vehicle can stall anytime, exposing you to the risk of accidents and additional expenses like car rental or towing charges.

You deserve representation from an experienced attorney who’ll aggressively fight to protect your rights. LemonLaw123’s lead attorney, Valerie G. Campbell, has a 99% success rate, which gives us confidence in our ability to represent you. Contact us online or at 657.529.5239 for a free case review.

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, known as The Lemon Law Lady, has dedicated her entire legal career to the specialized field of Lemon Law, a journey that began immediately after her
graduation from UCLA School of Law.

With a 99% success rate and a policy of no fees unless you win, her practice stands as a testament to her expertise in California’s Lemon Law, her commitment to her clients, and her unwavering dedication to justice and consumer rights.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, personally handled over 500 lemon law cases and settlements.