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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,300 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 GMC Acadia electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 GMC Acadia Owner Comments

problem #20

Sep 152011


  • 47,274 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the day time running lights failed on several occasions. The contact indicated that the sockets and housing failed to support the power for the lighting wattage, causing the components to prematurely melt. The bulbs were replaced more than twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who recommended that the housing be replaced for the day time running light assemblies. The failure recurred with both lights shorting. The dealer, per the contact's request, disconnected the day time running lights to prevent the failure from recurring. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and provided no remedy. In addition, the contact experienced the rear liftgate closing with force, which bruised his head. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V415000 (structure) but was waiting for months to determine when the manufacturer would be able to supply the remedy and the part to repair the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 47,274.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #19

Apr 222015


  • 70,000 miles
Car stalls as I am turning into parking spots, turning or going around significant curves in the road, while im in a round about etc. Luckily I have been able to put the car in neutral and it starts back up and off I go. I am the second owner of this car and I bought it from a non GM dealer. My mechanic is at a loss as to what is wrong because a) there are no codes that are coming up and B) the stalling is very sporadic, it will do it twice in one week and then not do it again for 3 weeks. I have had this car about 5 months and it has happened about a dozen times. I pulled the carfax and called the dealership that did all the work on it with the previous owner. After speaking with the service department, I was told that the previous owner had the same problems and the dealer could not get the car to malfunction while they had it in for servicing. Although she didn't tell me everything that they did to try and resolve the issue, I do know that they went as far as to replace the cylinder head hoping that would solve the issue, but clearly it did not. This is a very dangerous safety issue, I have almost hit several cars due to the fact that when the car stalls, everything locks up and you have no control over anything.

- Canandaigua, NY, USA

problem #18

Mar 262014


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start properly when the key was inserted into the ignition. The vehicle only started after multiple attempts. Also, while driving, the vehicle would not accelerate over 30 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the dealer. The technician stated that the VIN was not included in any recalls and diagnosed that the ECM was defective and there was a loose wire harness. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V223000 (electrical system, fuel system, gasoline). The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #17

Jan 262015


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the vehicle stalled as the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the coil and the spark plugs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the failure occurred after the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V266000 (seat belts) and 14V118000 (air bags). In addition, the contact stated that the all the doors locked and unlocked sporadically and the battery failed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,000.... updated 03/19/15

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #16

Jun 092014


  • 58,700 miles
Incident (first big symptom): Braking and slowing to yield sign from offramp/ steering felt as if ignition turned off and car became much less stable in steering with a stiffening and rattling/tapping noise somewhere just left to the center of the steering wheel. Once trying to turn realized there was no power, thought the engine had stopped running and then hitting the gas the steering suddenly pops back into assist. This is a very unsettling first occurrence that I see on multiple internet sites has been happening since at least 2011 in many different versions of this chassis. It would have been nice to have known this before two things: 1. before I had my four daughters and the neighbors kid in my car to put at risk of killing them ( GM shame on you as you this problem exists for 4 years) 2. before the warranty was one month out of contract. The dealer states this is "unusual to them', they have not heard of it happening and do not think it is unusual that a vehicle with only 58000 miles on it has the entire steering pump, gear, and rack assembly blow seals. Repair costs are quoted at $2000. Need to replace rack, pump and something else. Additionally, there are 56 posts relating to steering alone. Some of us driving these vehicles feel that being able to have a chance of piloting the car safely may be important. I used to think my dad was silly when he would say something is a poor design, but did the engineers actually do any testing on these vehicles" do you test the problem or just keep saying it's not happening" thank goodness this is all low speed and no one has died yet ( at least that we know of).

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #15

Jan 122014


  • 104,000 miles
Various GM vehicles have a known defect that allows water from the sun roof drain to enter the passenger compartment and more importantly allows water to enter the passenger compartment fuse block. This defect is covered under service bulletin #08-08-57-003C. This vehicle has had numerous electrical system issues that only occur during heavy rains and the dealer has been unable to recreate the problem after things have dried out so to speak. Most recently after a heavy rain, the battery was dead and when replaced with a new battery, the engine would not shut off even after the key was removed. This is a serious safety concern that can result in injury or death. The only way to shut off the engine is to remove the ECM fuse from the under hood fuse block. Not being able to shut the engine off via the key can have serious life consequences in the event of an emergency. This is a wide spread issue that seems to get worse over time and ends up with not being able to shut the engine off. The GM models affected by the service bulletin as follows: 2008-2012 Buick enclave 2007-2012 GMC Acadia 2007-2010 Saturn outlook

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #14

Mar 302013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 28,240 miles


Passenger side low-beam headlight failed. Upon inspection, it appears the light socket itself has melted and caused the wiring shielding to melt as well. Attempted replacement of the bulb resulted in the socket housing crumbling in my hands. The dealer claims it will cost upward of $500 to change my lightbulb. This is outrageous and clearly the fault of GMC, who seem to have purposely designed these bulbs to overhead their housings, melt, and be almost impossible to change without taking the vehicle to the dealer. I want GMC to pay for new wiring and illumination.

- Dumfries, VA, USA

problem #13

Jan 222013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The daytime running bulbs next to the headlights overheated and melted the back of the housing that the bulb socket mounts in the back of the headlight housing. Obviously there is a design defect in the socket/harness that is causing overheating. There is a technical service bulletin on this for 2009 Acadia and other makes with the same design but this is a safety issue as it can cause a fire and also the lights can short out. The bulletin is #10-08-42-001: Low beam headlamp bulb diagnosis/replacement (inspect bulb and connector) - (May 14, 2010). This needs to be recalled.

- Cypress , TX, USA

problem #12

Oct 052010

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 31,500 miles
The vehicle is equipped with a gear driven power liftgate that opens and closes the rear hatch at the touch of a button. I approached the rear hatch of the Acadia to load groceries, and signaled it to open. The hatch powered open normally to its full height. I walked underneath it. With no warning, the hatch suddenly fell and struck me in the head / back of neck / shoulder area. It hit hard enough to cause serious injury.

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #11

May 012012


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the traction control light remained illuminated and caused the traction control system to become disabled. In addition, the instrument panel information center failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the instrument panel control module however the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 65,000 and the current mileage was 70,000.

- Waterford , WI, USA

problem #10

May 022011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


The headlight went out and GMC quoted me at approximately $120 to replace. Husband attempted to replace it but you had to take off the wheel in order to get to the actual light. I gave GMC the go ahead to replace and they called me back and told me that the wiring had melted and that it would now be over $300 to do it. I told them no and made a complaint. They called me a few days later telling me they would do it but I had to pay $50 deductible (assuming they went through some type of warranty). It eventually became a recall and I am now looking into getting reimbursed for my $50. Noticed my car started over heating and took it into a mechanic friend, let us know that the water pump needed to be replaced this was at approx 45,000 miles. I did my research and the GMC warranty covered the cost. At approximately 56-57,000 miles the car started making a whining noise when driven slow or first thing in the morning when it was cold. Took it in to GMC to get it checked out and it turns out that the steering rack had a leak on each side of the wheels and pinions, and power steering pump needed to be replaced. Quote almost $1500 dollars. I could not afford that price so took it back to my mechanic to see if it would be cheaper. He ended up replacing the pinions and rack but said the pump did not need to be replaced and ended paying $600 out of pocket. I'm hoping that GMC will see that many of us are having the same problem and will make it a recall. I will not be buying anymore GMC vehicles. All I want is a reliable car that won't break the bank.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 192011


  • 50,000 miles
The driver side low beam headlight went out. When replacing the light bulb found that the wiring connector was partially melted and one of the wires was hanging out. The insulation on that wire was also melted off so bare wire was exposed. The original bulb also had a burnt spot where the connector attaches.

- Plainview, NE, USA

problem #8

Nov 142011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Driver side low beam headlight bulb went out. Purchased bulb to replace myself, but discovered harness was burnt. I then took to shop to have harness replaced. They told me it looked like something that should be a recall and told me to report and keep receipt of cost to replace. Now I am concerned about the left bulb and wonder if I should go ahead and pay again to get that replaced for safety precaution.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #7

Oct 262011


  • 60,000 miles
Wiring harness to passenger side low beam headlight is defective. Thought bulb was out but after inspection found the wiring harness plug had completely melted where plugged into bulb. One wire was just hanging and could see burn marks where it had been arcing as it bounced around. Could definitely have caused much bigger problems than driving with one headlight I.e. fire, shorting whole electrical system, and on and on. This is a very big safety concern. These were the oem headlights not aftermarket bulbs that pull more current so should not have melted the harness plug.

- Wall , TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 172011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
At approximately 38,000 miles on our Acadia, the passenger headlight appeared to fail. Upon reconnecting the headlight, I found it would work intermittently. Upon further inspection, I found the wiring connector to the low beam bulb to be melted and cracked. This appears to be a very common problem as I am a member of an online community at www.acadiaforum.net. many owners have reported this same issue and it is also a common issue with sister vehicle Saturn outlook. As these bulbs can fail at any time I think it would be in the best interests of the consumer to have these wiring harnesses replaced either in a recall, or a tsb. What would happen if the bulbs failed at night while negotiating a curve? replacing the harness is a huge expense to the owner if their vehicle is no longer covered under warranty. This is a substandard part and a huge safety hazard. Please help.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #5

Jul 242011


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC arcadia. The contact stated that the wiring for the exterior light melted and would no longer activate, making it difficult to see at night. The dealer was in the process of repairing the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 53,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #4

Jul 012009

Acadia 8-cyl

  • miles
I believe I have some type of electrical issue. I started testing different parts of the dashboard lights such as the driver seatbelt. I purposely drove several miles in my neighborhood with the seatbelt over me, but not engaged and the light did not come on. My airbag service light came one for service, they serviced it, it came back on, they replaced a seatbelt component, the light was off, but came back on, they did another replacement and the light is now off. My frontend was making funny noise when making turns, they replaced my rack and pinion. My service stabilitrak light, service traction control light came one, they fixed it, they came on again, they kept my vehicle for a day and fixed it. They are back on again along with the ABS light and now I'm told that I probably need a break job. Breaks were not mentioned the other times. My electronic key pad deteriorated and no longer works, they said it was user handling, my other key pad is not malfunctioning, you can see were the pad is begining to sink in, but they said it's my handling. The case is chipped and the chipping has occurred in the same place on both key pads. My middle seat passenger side case came apart twice, each time they fixed it, it's now broken, and I was told they don't repair broken parts. I am still under the bumper to bumper warranty, but GMC will not replace my key pads, and the service tech says he will try really hard to get my seat covered. The tint on my windows have been replaced three times and still is not correct. My dvd player does not play correctly and has not been fixed since it's been in my vehicle. My vehicle is a 2009 Acadia. I had a leak in the trunk, they fixed that. Air pressure will not stay consistent, was told by service advisor to over inflate to compensate, which is different from what the owners manual states. Tire pressure issues needed sensor replaced after several trips to service department. The vehicle is an expensive piece of junk.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 282010

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 2,691 miles
The battery has died three different times after being driven the night prior. I have taken it into the shop once where they said nothing was wrong, but the battery was low, they charged it. The second time (a week later) I was told the battery could not keep a charge so they gave me a new one. Now three months later, it dies again. Waiting to hear what they are going to do now. I can't imagine a car that is a year old can go through two batteries, needing a third.

- Porter Ranch, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 142010


  • 25,235 miles
Power door locks inoperative after shifting into park intermittently. Locking occupants inside of vehicle. Vehicle has been repaired three times where it was purchased for this safety issue. After shutting vehicle off, issue resets itself with proper power door locks operation.

- Westfield, IN, USA

problem #1

Nov 282009


  • 360 miles
Purchased a new 2009 GMC Acadia, the navigation, radio and dvd system failed. Vehicle only had 405 miles on it. I noted that there were 4 electrical failures documented in NHTSA report on the Acadia. The nav. Radio and dvd are powered by the electrical system as is the computer system and for this reason I have concern that a computer failure might occur while driving the vehicle which could be a serious safety concern. The vehicle was taken to dealer for repair, they could not repair the failed system nor did they even know what was wrong with the system. Dealer had to replace the system. No reason by the dealer was given as to why the navigation, radio and dvd system failed. They said they may never know why it failed. The failed equipment was to be sent into GMC for a failure analysis.

- Alpine, UT, USA

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