NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,565 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.

2005 Cadillac STS electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Cadillac STS Owner Comments

problem #18

Aug 252016


  • 144,719 miles


Just bought the vehicle used and I hear a noise coming from the rear back of the car. The key fob wasn't working correctly and drained the battery and I had to buy a new battery. I really don't know what wrong with the vehicle but its driveable for now besides the slight banging noise. It need to be checked for recalls.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #17

Jun 032016


  • 82,920 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Sts. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle shook and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was driven back to the contact's residence and smoke emitted from the engine. The vehicle was able to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the ignition coil had total meltdown surrounded by small flames, and the fuse was blown for the odd injectors. A fire report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 82,920.

- Traverse, MI, USA

problem #16

Feb 132014


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Sts. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start without warning. The failure was persistent. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The contact had the battery changed, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 64,000.

- Harvey, LA, USA

problem #15

Jul 052015

STS 6-cyl

  • 143,689 miles


While driving down the street in my Cadillac Sts a (service electric system) warning flashed on my dash. A few moments later everything electric in my car started to shut down. The radio, power steering, lights, and finally the engine. I cruised to the side of the road and put the car in neutral and engaged the emergency brakes.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #14

Jul 082014

STS 8-cyl

  • 30 miles
My 2005 Cadillac Sts brakes locked up and caused my car to crash. After research I am showing that there was a recall regarding the brake system. In addition, when changing gears you can hear the gears changing from the outside of the car. I researched this as well and apparently there is a defect and recall on the axle. I am not happy about this vehicle that I just purchased for alittle over 7 months. There is also an electrical problem. As I am driving, the hood ajar light comes on and there is no sign of my hood being ajar. In addition, the transmission seems as thought it is going out as well. Before I consult with an attorney I wanted to first give GMC an opportunity to resolve this issues. My vehicle has less than 100,000 miles. Also, please note that due to the electrical problem, my reverse lights has never worked. The unknown other would be the axle and transmission.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #13

Apr 112013

STS 8-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I was driving along a city roadway when the vehicle's stability, traction control, and engine light came on simultaneously when all of a sudden the vehicle just stopped, almost causing the car behind me to collide with my vehicle. I called the dealer, lawley's GM store in Sierra vista, AZ. Where I had just purchased the vehicle and told the service manager what happened...he sent a tow truck to pickup the vehicle and after inspecting the vehicle at the dealership told me it was the throttle body needing replacement...I bought a new one and had it installed. Ran fine for a couple of weeks after which the vehicle began stalling while driving on a city road when the same thing happened again, but this time when the vehicle stopped without any warning causing the vehicles behind me had to swerve around me almost causing accidents with oncoming vehicles. Called the dealer again, had the vehicle towed in and this time was told that the vehicles computer was not programmed right and that it also needed throttle body harness...bought the harness and had it installed as well as the dealer reprogramming the computer. Car did well for a few months when it happened again (vehicle stopping unexpectedly), this time approaching a major crosswalk and once again causing the vehicles behind me to come a abrupt stops, fortunately a city police vehicle was on the opposite side of the crosswalk and the officer witnessed what happened, put his vehicle's emergency lights on and came over to help me push out from the street to a walgreen's parking lot where I once again called the dealer, had it towed to dealer where they told me the throttle body pin connectors had to be soldered on which they did. Car is running ok for now, but I am concerned that I may be driving and the vehicle will once again stop unexpectedly and cause an accident.there are consumer posts on this problem on the web.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #12

May 012009


  • 60,000 miles


Car disabled power under load first time 4 yrs ago. Then for the next 4 years continued to come and go. Still happening to this day. Codes: P0651 and P2108. At various speeds and intermittent times would put on check engine light and traction control light. Car cant accelerate. Have to pull over and restart. Biggest mistake was buying an american car.

- Bloomfield, NJ, USA

problem #11

Mar 212014

STS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,029 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Sts. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled and the accessory active warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the computer module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 83,029. Updated 05/12/14 the fuel pump relay was replaced. Updated 05/14/14

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 012013

STS 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
After leaving restaurant got into car and adjusted driver seat, proceeded to exit, approached stop light, then heard faint popping sound then smelled odor and saw smoke.immediately pulled into adjacent restaurant across street, exited vehicle and car was on fire. An employee at restaurant advised to move away from car fearing an explosion. Immediately called 911 and was dispatched to local fire dept.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #9

Jul 032012

STS 6-cyl

  • 99,130 miles
Car shuts off without warning going down the freeway at 70 mph. Must get out of harms way come to complete stop put in park and restart. When car shuts down loss of power steering, power brakes, radio, gauges and lights. This has happened seven times. GM Cadillac customer support is working on it case no [xxx]employee [xxx] phone 1-866-790-5700 ext [xxx] however tec in detroit wanted to use a brand new switch replacement they overnighted to van Cadillac in Kansas City however[xxx] nor I can find out if they used it or a reconditioned one from stock as repairs were completed before shipment arrived. Service manager [xxx]phone 816-454-6666 will not return calls and I am afraid to have my wife drive it again unless it has been repaired according to the GM tech team in detroit. They will not tell me if this has happened before and is a recall problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Smithville, MO, USA

problem #8

Feb 222008


  • 40,898 miles


The car has had several documented electrical and mechanical failures. Over the past 2 years the car has been shutting down automatically in the middle of traffic. The display shows ¿engine power reduced¿ and is followed by other messages like 'service anti-lock brake sys¿ or 'service radar¿ or service stability sys and traction control.¿ before the car shuts down the traction control is automatically disabled. I have had to bring the car in for the same symptom 4 different times. The in-service dates that were described and documented for this problem are as follows: 1.)February 22, 2008 ¿ ¿poor drag on C102 connector under hood¿ 2.)April 24, 2009 ¿ ¿failed converter¿ 3.)October 1, 2009 ¿ ¿ECM failed¿ 4.)May 5, 2010 ¿ ¿reprogram PCM¿ all of the above were serviced by classic Cadillac Saab. Each time they fix something new but the same symptom continues to occur. I am extremely concerned for my family's safety when traveling in the car, especially when it has shutdown numerous times both on a highway and in the middle of an intersection. The car has become a severe liability for both me and my family. Sometime in December 2010 the car had shutdown again and the engine light has been on and off since then.

- Willoughby Hills, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 082008


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Sts. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle lost power and shut off. The hazard lights were inoperative. The dealer stated that the negative battery cable was loose. The vehicle is currently out of the shop; however, the contact is concerned about the issue and no longer wants the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 61,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #6

Nov 012006

STS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Sts. The gas tank was filled with gas and the fuel gauge indicated that the tank was full. However, immediately after filling the gas tank, the contact noticed that the fuel gauge indicated an empty tank. The failure was noticed while driving 65 mph. The emergency onstar button activated automatically. Onstar stated that the fuel system failed. The vehicle was at the dealer for ten days and was still unsafe to drive because no repairs were made. The current and failure mileages were 47,000.

- Spotsylvania , VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 232005

STS 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles
The contact owned a 1995 Cadillac Sts. The speedometer indicator moved without the vehicle being driven. When the the signal lights were activated the radio lights blinked on & off. The air conditioner immediately switched from cold to hot air. The cruise control activated, but did not work. The vehicle has not been diagnosed at this time. The current mileage is 133,000, and failure mileage was 96,000.

- North Augusta, SC, USA

problem #4

Sep 252006

STS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,227 miles
Vehicle parked in garage for 4 days. Car battery was completely drained of power. Needed to be re-charged. Dealership was unable to identify cause of battery loosing power. Problem originally occurred on September 25, 2006 same as March 2, 3007 - battery completely drained of power. Car was towed to dealership - dealership claimed problem was body control module (would cause high beams to come on when car was off) - replaced.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 242006


  • 15,526 miles
The consumer has problems with the vehicle not wanting to start. The consumer was told that since the vehicle is completely electric that sometimes the circuits or transmitters blow out, 2005 Cadillac Sts. While approaching a red light the brakes failed and the vehicle's speed increased. The consumer purposely ran into a divider to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it remained for 45 days.

- Park Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 102005

STS 8-cyl

  • miles
2005 Cadillac Sts indicator illuminated on the dashboard stating "vehicle speed limited to 80 miles per hour". ** answer required*** the indicator illuminated two days after the vehicle was purchased. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they were unable to identify the cause of the problem because no other trouble codes were triggered. The problem occurred several more times but the last time it happened the vehicle lost power to the engine while attempting to pass another vehicle. The indicator remained on until the consumer pulled over, shut the vehicle off then restarted it. After the vehicle was driven several more miles the light came on again and the vehicle continued to perform erratically. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer but they still couldn't find any trouble codes. A software upgrade was performed but that did not fix the problem.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #1

May 082005

STS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact states the vehicle's voice recognition system is not working. If you state a command 50% of the time it will execute a different command. Once a command has been executed it is difficult to stop the command. The manufacturer has issued a file number(GM file no. 1322945605) but not yet fixed the problem.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

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