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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,523 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #53

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 #52

Apr 242014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I was making a turn at a curve and the steering seemed to lock up. I braked hard to stop before running off road. Steering wheel kicked as I tried to straighten the wheels, then started working again. The steering has gotten worse over the last few weeks making turning difficult at almost any speed. It is intermittent and comes especially at slower speeds. I have not been able to get it to the dealer yet.

- Hot Springs Village, AR, USA

problem #51

Jun 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 70,623 miles
Loses power steering at low speeds such as pulling out of a parking area or any time low speed. Very hard to turn until you accelerate.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #50

Nov 062013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 72,178 miles


TL * the contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds and when making a turn, the power steering malfunctioned making it extremely difficult for her to maneuver the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that there was a leak in the power steering gear. As a result, the pump and steering gear needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 72,178 and the current mileage was 80,000. Updated 08/11/14

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #49

May 302014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles
Acadia has become increasingly difficult to turn both left and right. My wife can't drive the car anymore because she can't turn the steering wheel enough so that she can park at work. Really dangerous and scary.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #48

May 122014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 55,134 miles
While driving I lose power steering, whether it's 10 miles per hour or 50 miles per hour. Difficult to turn while driving. It seems to have gotten worse over the last few months and the power steering makes a noise while moving the steering wheel. Upon recovery of the power steering, I nearly lose control from overcompensation for trying to turn the wheel with all my strength. Extremely dangerous and unpredictable. There are too many complaints with GMC and the NHTSA to continue without a recall.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #47

May 062014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


This is an intermittent problem where the power steering goes out while the engine is at low RPM. Typically at lower speeds, but makes it unsafe to steer when it happens. However, if you are exiting a freeway with gas off and engine idling it is difficult to steer when/if it happens. This is a common problem for this vehicle and saw that there is a class action lawsuit against GM for this. I hope they GM recognizes this and turns into a recall as this car has had many safety related issues.

- Shelby Township, MI, USA

problem #46

Apr 232014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Over the last year the turning on my Acadia while at slow speeds has gotten progressively worse. This especially happens at lower speeds, but I have always been able to complete my turn. In April it finally got worse where I needed "brute force" to make a turn and I almost hit another vehicle. At this time the automobile is an "accident" waiting to happen and I will not let my wife or daughter drive it anymore. I have taken the car to my mechanic and he has replaced the power steering pump and rack and pinion and the problem still continues!!! he does not know what else to do! I see that there are many other out there having the exact same problem. GM needs to find a solution to the problem and fix it!! this is a 45K car and these types of problems should not exist, and if they do, they should be handled by GM promptly. I am planning on filing a lawsuit as soon as I find a lawyer familiar with these GM issues.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #45

Dec 302013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 99,050 miles
Replaced steering pump, two days later replaced steering pump again. The issue is that at all instances of no acceleration the steering becomes uncontrollable. However pressing the accelerator restores power steering. At times there was also cases where the steering would not cooperate when entering a freeway when not accelerating.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #44

Apr 012013


  • 75,000 miles
There should be a recall on this car!!! while turning at low speeds, the power steering locks is impossible to muscle the wheel. I almost got into an accident several times. This has happened many times. I cannot drive the car anymore as it is very dangerous!! there are so many complaints of the power steering locking up!! why isn't GMC looking into this"? do we have to wait until someone is seriously injured or killed"

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #43

May 152014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles


We have had issues that are getting more serious with our 2009 GMC Acadia regarding loss of steering control at low speeds and when turning. The wheel will lock up and become extremely hard to complete the turn. It has gotten so bad that I will not allow my daughter to drive it as the issue could cause a serious accident. Our mechanic has been calling other dealers and nobody seems to know if it is the steering rack or pump. Both will cost around $1000 to fix and we still done know if the issue will be fixed. What is GMC doing about this. Steering issues could cause them more problems than getting this issue fixed.

- Morris Plains, NJ, USA

problem #42

May 122014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Wife was almost hit a couple of times today when there was a complete loss of power steering while turning at low speeds.

- Hamel, IL, USA

problem #41

Apr 282014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 92,100 miles
We were driving in a parking lot and as we began to turn left to park the car, the power steering failed. We had to stop suddenly to avoid a collision. It took incredible arm strength to straighten the car out to leave the parking lot - to return home with the car. When accelerating (higher RPM's) the power steering capability returned. When driving slowly to turn into our driveway, the steering not only failed - but also froze. No amount of arm strength could turn the wheels. This is a serious accident waiting to happen, and after searching online today - I found that this is a systemic issue with this make and model of GMC Acadia. I also found that a class action lawsuit has been filed for this same car defect. It is very disappointing that a recall has not been mandated, as this defect causes random steering failure and could be fatal.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #40

Jan 152014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that a knocking and creaking noise was present when turning the steering wheel. The contact also indicated that the steering wheel became more difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that the steering gears were faulty and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 69,000. Updated 9/12/14

- Springfield, NE, USA

problem #39

Nov 212013


  • 70,000 miles
When going at slow speed turning to right or left is tight.

- Hawesville, KY, USA

problem #38

Mar 042014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 74,800 miles
The rack and pinion steering gear and power steering pump appear to be defective in my 2009 GMC Acadia. For the past several weeks my power steering will lock up or freeze mid-turn, which is very scary. The power steering is gone completely and I have to turn really hard before it seems to re-engage. I am unable to take tight turns in this situation and I am often on the wrong side of the road as I try to pull out of the turn waiting for the power steering to re-engage. I have been lucky so far that I have not run into any oncoming cars when the system locks up. My car is currently in the shop and we are looking at least $1500 worth of repairs.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #37

Sep 202011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I took my 2009 Acadia into the GMC dealer with around 65,000 miles on it after buying it used (1 previous owner) with around 42,000 miles. They told me I had a power steering leak in the rack and pinion and it would cost around $2000 to replace a seal because they have to pull the whole rack off. He told me it would be okay for a while, but eventually it would cause the power steering to go out. After researching, I've seen multiple other Acadia owners who have had the exact same problem. I have refused to pay for the repairs because I think this is a safety issue that has effected enough of this model vehicle to warrant a general safety recall. I know of 3 other people in my hometown who have experienced power steering problems with their Acadia's, and the GMC dealership acknowledged to me that it is a significant problem with GMC Acadia model years 2008-2012. If that's not enough, then I'm not sure what is, but if my power steering goes out while I'm driving, well, let this serve as notice to GMC.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #36

Feb 272014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
When making a turn at a low speed, the power steering failed. After a minute or two and pulling hard on the steering wheel, I hear a click and the power steering re-activates. Another incident just like the first one happened the next day. I did not drive the car again until I took it to the local GMC dealership. It has been the for 3 days and they say that they can not determine what the problem is. The car is not safe to drive until there problem is solved. Although I did not have an accident when this happened, it was very scary when I felt that I could not control the turning of the car. I see there are many incidents described just like this posted online.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #35

Feb 012014


  • miles
Steering failure. Appears to be a prevalent complaint among owners of this vehicle. Safety hazard. GM should issue a recall.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #34

Dec 312013


  • 28,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated when the steering wheel was turned it made a knocking noise. The dealer performed a diagnostic test which located the failure in the steering gear box and the rack pinion ball rack assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 28,600.

- Crossett, AR, USA

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