NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2004 Cadillac CTS (Page 2 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,451 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.

2004 Cadillac CTS electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Cadillac CTS Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

May 182013


  • 186,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Cadillac Cts. While parked, the contact was unable to release the key from the ignition switch and all of the doors automatically locked. Also, the anti- theft service system warning message illuminated on the instrument panel. In order to remove the ignition key and the doors to unlock a screw driver was used to release the mechanism on the steering column. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 186,000.

- Beltsville, MD, USA

problem #8

May 032013

CTS 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
This incident occurred twice. The first time (April 29th 2013), the car was at a stop light. The engine turned off by itself and the message: "anti-theft" was displayed on the car sat-nav screen. Key was removed from ignition and reinserted. After turning the key, the engine restarted. The second time (May 3rd 2013), the car was in motion in a parking lot. While pulling into a parking spot the engine turned off again. The message: "anti-theft* was displayed on the car sat-nav display. After removing the key and reinserting the engine started when the key was turned. My mechanic informed me of this website to report the incident. The car has been brought to a Cadillac dealership and I have also reported the incident with Cadillac corporate. A rep from Cadillac will be in contact with the dealer. Said that I will receive a call back between 5/6/2013 and 5/9/2013 with the options to resolve the issue.

- Malden , MA, USA

problem #7

Jan 012013

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Cadillac Cts. Consumer writes in regards to ECM board recall. The consumer stated the dealer there was a recall on the vehicle. The cost to repair/replace the ECM board was $800. The day after the vehicle was returned to the consumer, it would not start. And the same message displayed on the vehicle, from when it was originally taken to the dealer. Also, the key would not come out of the ignition.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

Jul 242010


  • 4,200 miles


I purchased a 2004 Cts in may of 2007. There was approximately 30,000 miles on the car. There is now 52,000 miles on the car. My concern is that since having the car on four occasions the car has failed to start. The dashboard goes black, the first time we thought it was the battery, but when the battery was tested we were told it was fine. The other times it was taken to the dealership for repair. No clear explanation was given for the breakdown. The problem is that car goes dead the dash panel is black and silent. There are no significant events leading to the failure.

- East Point , GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 272010

CTS 6-cyl

  • 29,635 miles
Was traveling approx. 55 mph lost all power except engine power. All dashboard features cd power and time. I have proceeded to pull off road turned key on again even though it was on and everything lit up again... if engine would of stopped this could of caused a serious accident.

- Virginia Beach , VA, USA

problem #4

Aug 012008


  • 53,751 miles
While driving in slow traffic, lost power in all electronic components (windows, door locks, air conditioner, dashboard indicator lights). Luckily car kept going. Drove off freeway and manually unlocked car to get out. Car started up normally after that.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #3

May 122008


  • 65,000 miles


I am writing to report a very dangerous problem that occurred to my wife's 2004 Cadillac Cts. While she was driving to work that morning she began to smell a rotten egg type of odor inside the vehicle. She thought what she smelled was an exhaust odor. At this point she decided to return home with vehicle. When she returned she had me inspect the car, as there was steam emitting from under the hood. Upon opening the hood the source of the steam was revealed as the vent outlets on the battery. The battery was hot and was venting sulfuric acid steam. The battery is located in front of the firewall on the passenger side directly adjacent to the air intake grills for climate control system. The sulfuric steam was being sucked into the air intake of the HVAC system and then being emitted into the cabin via the vent system. My wife had inhaled this caustic gas for the period she drove the car causing her to have severe respiratory distress requiring an emergency room visit. She was treated for severe respiratory irritation due to exposure to the caustic gas. The symptoms and illness from this exposure lasted 8-10 days and included a number of follow up visits to the doctor. At this time there has been no definite cause or reason to why the battery failed. A certified mechanic said that the battery probable had a major plate failure and went into an internal, dead short circuit causing the overheating. I want to warn/document this incident as a dangerous threat to the occupants of 2004 Cadillac Cts and other similar models. My concern is that this problem may occur to others and someone may die due this poor design. GM patented the design of the battery and making it a dealer only replacement part. This demonstrates their responsibility for the battery design and location in the vehicle. It appears that they are negligence in providing safe vent path for the battery in the event of such a failure.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 292006

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
: the contact stated at various speeds without warning, the vehicle lost power and would not accelerate above 20 mph. Also, without warning, the vehicle stalled on several occasions, and would not restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealership, who replaced the throttle twice and the throttle body assembly harness, but the problem persisted. Updated 10/25/2006 -

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 252004


  • miles
Several issues with the 2004 Cadillac to report. #1 (most significant) the rear seat child seat latch mechanism does not work. I had this inspected by the dealership and then admitted that the design is defective and will not properly latch and hold the belt. Any wiggling of the seat will loosen the belt through the latch. The cadi does not have a lock type mechanism where you pull the belt all the way out and then it won't give. They claim the latch mechanism will hold. I drove around for two weeks with a two year old in a four inch slacked car seat. #2 - remaining miles display is defective. I recently ran out of gas when the display read "41 miles remaining". the service department admitted that this is the sixth time they have seen this and that I should us the gauge and not the display. What is the point of the display? very dangerous! I was stranded on the side of the road in a snow storm for over an hour. #3 - bose cd player has errored over 20 times and locks up with an "initializing cd" error. Not common to any one cd. Cd player will lock up and will be unusable for five minutes to two days.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

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