NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,735 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.

2003 Cadillac Escalade electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Cadillac Escalade Owner Comments

problem #12

Feb 282015


  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Escalade. While driving approximately 55 mph, all of the warning indicators illuminated and the accelerator pedal failed to respond for approximately three to five seconds before independently responding. The failure recurred on multiple occasions at various speeds. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000. Updated 09/21/15

- Spring Valley, NY, USA

problem #11

Mar 212015


  • 182,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Escalade. While driving at 25 mph, the contact noticed smoke emitting from underneath the cup holder. Upon further inspection, the contact noticed that the part beneath the cup holder had melted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 182,000.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #10

Mar 042014


  • 140,000 miles
In starting to accelerate, the traction control light comes on and the car looses power significantly.

- Brookfield, NH, USA

problem #9

May 202014

Escalade 8-cyl

  • 158,000 miles


My blower motor is staying on continuously and the smell of plastic burning in the vehicle. I was told by a mechanic it is a blower motor control module shortage from the factory. I have found this as a recall on some 2003-2006 Cadillac Escalades but my VIN is not on the recall they say it is a fire hazard. I was thinking that mine should also be on the recall list.maybe they missed mine for some reason.

- Trezevant, TN, USA

problem #8

Apr 042004


  • 25,000 miles
After approximately 1 year the truck started releasing the brakes on its own while descending a mountain and had to reapply to engage for brakes to work this has happened at least 10 times since we bought the truck. Its was inspected at the dealership where it was bought and nothing was ever done. I was told it was normal for this to occur and nothing was wrong with the truck. Other issues are the electrical in the dash has shorts and sometimes the A/C does not work and comes on by itself. The gauges, speedometer and fuel gauge do not work anymore and the air bag light stays on. This truck was purchased with zero miles on it and purchased for over $ 70,000 and now only has 103,000 miles on it.

- Kingsburg, CA, USA

problem #7

Dec 152010

Escalade 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
The battery in my Escalade had been dying on me for a while. One day, my gauges all stayed stuck as if I was driving on the freeway. I drove it for a while until I was tired of jump-starting it almost everyday and I finally replaced the battery.the gauges all stayed the same. A few days went by and the battery started to die again. I realized that this was more than just a battery problem. I drove it 5 miles away from my place on the freeway and as I was coming back home it started to decelerate all on it's own. It marked "system stability disabled" and would not let me go over 25 mph. I have not driven it since November and would like to know what is going on with this. I read about a recall but this problem was supposed to be fixed since 2002 when the recall notice was sent out. As I have read the descriptions on what people's problems with this same type of vehicle was, I notice that it is exactly what is going on with my vehicle. (BCM recall 2002 #02066).

- Sunnyside, WA, USA

problem #6

Jul 282011

Escalade 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


On July 28th 2011, my 2003 Cadillac Escalade AWD would not start. It had power to the seats, horn, lights, but no power to the locks, windows or radio. Therefore, I knew I didn't need a battery jump. I check the inside fuse panel and no blown fuses were found. I went to the fuse box underneath the hood and discover the 40amp ignition-B fuse was blown. I installed another 40amp fuse and it immediately blew out. I disconnected the battery, installed another fuse and the fuse blew out when I reconnected the battery. I removed the starter, disconnected the alternator, crank sensor, oil level sensor and both ignition coil packs. The fuse still blew out when I reconnected the battery. I reconnected all items previously mentioned and went underneath dash-board on the driver's side and check all the wiring harnessing and wires. I went back to the fuse box under the hood, flipped the fuse box up to see the underside. Located the wire that's connecting to the blown fuse, trace wire underneath the dashboard to the harness near the steering shaft. The connecting wiring on the other side of the harness (red wire with a white strip) was shorted on an eighth inch metal bracket bolted to the firewall with four nuts. This same metal bracket is up against and possibly cutting into the wires attach to the wire harness next to the steering shaft. I applied electrical tape to the wire that shorted on the metal bracket to repair the problem. I installed another fuse and the truck started up.

- Accokeek, MD, USA

problem #5

Jul 152007


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Escalade. The contact noticed that the speedometer displayed inaccurate readings, which prevented her from determining how fast she was driving. The mechanic stated that she needed to replace the instrument control cluster. The vehicle was not repaired at that time. One year later, the contact received a recall notice from the manufacturer stating that the instrument control cluster was defective. She called the manufacturer and was informed that they would not be financially responsible for the repair because the vehicle exceeded 80,000 miles. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure mileage was 72,000 and current mileage was 98,000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #4

Dec 242006


  • miles
2003 Cadillac Escalade. Consumer states that the vehicle caught on fire while parked. The fire dept ruled the cause of the fire as electrical fire. Consumer also states that Cadillac is refusing to accept liability.

- Bergenfield , NJ, USA

problem #3

Mar 102006

Escalade 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Cadillac motor division blew off my inquiry. 05/26/2006 22:06:32cident description: When turning off ignition with 2003 Cadillac Escalade, and touching exterior mirror button to fold mirrors in or out, power seat automatically moves driver into steering wheel crushing said victim into steering wheel. Removing key did not stop. Only way to release this a second incident was to open the car door to kill the power. Correspondence from General Motors response is no further action. When this happens a third time, I will deliver said automobile to the closest Cadillac dealer and remove my license plates. Dear Mr. Weale, thank you for contacting the Cadillac customer assistance center. I appreciate you taking the time to write me in regards to your service request. This office gathers information and based on that information we are able to determine the best method of handing your request. We are continually making improvements in ways to assist the needs of our customers. Again, I have reviewed your request 1-410654614 with the Cadillac customer assistance center. I apologize that the decision was not in accordance with your wishes, however; this is the final decision of General Motors and we will no longer address additional messages on this subject. Please feel free to contact us again with any other concerns you may have outside of this issue. If you should need to contact us in the future, simply reply to this message or call our Cadillac customer assistance center at 1-800-458-8006. Customer relationship managers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sincerely, nancy castaneda, customer relationship manager Cadillac customer assistance center : bricksco@aol.com power seat crushing the driver into the steering wheel when the key is turned off and the mirror retraction button is pushed... the paint damage without advising owners this is filled with a liquid which

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 122004

Escalade 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Constant problems with vehicle not starting. Towed to dealer, replaced fuel pump and battery. The consumer stated that the ignition circuit was inoperable. The battery had a defective cell and had to be replaced. After the battery was replaced the vehicle would not start again.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #1

Sep 102004

Escalade 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,822 miles
While driving at 20 mph, the vehicle stalled. The consumer tried to restart the vehicle but was unable to do so. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic inform the driver that the battery needed to be replaced, however the problem recurred. The dealer discovered that the fuel pump was defective and caused feedback on the computer system and made it shut down blowing a fuse. The consumer replaced the vehicle and is now on the road again.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

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