Notes: Ahh, the ole' sophomore slump. The 2008 Acadia suffers from widespread transmission failure around 75,000 miles.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,666 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.

2008 GMC Acadia drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 2 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #214

Sep 152014


  • 115,000 miles


During acceleration the vehicle vibrates when going between 35 and 45 mph. Was not able to reproduce issue at dealership last fall, but is now getting much worse. Happens almost everytime the vehicle accelerates.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #213

Jul 112015


  • 83,000 miles
My husband was driving our 2008 GMC Acadia and the power train started to make a whining noise, when the gearbox shifted the noise stopped. A minute later he stopped and then when he tried to proceed forward the vehicle would not shift into any gear and the car would no longer drive. We had several people in our vehicle, mostly kids, and had to recruit bystanders to help us push the vehicle off the road to a nearby parking lot. This is a huge saftey issue! my family had to stand on the side of the road while my husband and some gracious strangers had to push the vehicle since it was no longer drivable. And they we had to wait for someone to come get us. I have seen several complaints with the same scenario and really think this issue needs to be investigated. And this worst part to this whole situation is that we are military and are currently stationed overseas and will cost us over $5000 just to have the part shipped here.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #212

Jul 052015


  • 78,000 miles
Numerous uncommanded gear became stuck in 2nd gear....moved to right lane of interstate highway...event occurred during heavy almost uncontrollable....finally came to an creeping along....pulled into service station and stopped at pump...when trying to would not go forward...I was able to back to clear the pump...very scary incident...internet reveals numerous incidents of a similar nature...all were involved with 2008 GMC Acadias. Incident occurred Sunday 5 July 2015. Unable to enter date of incident

- Windermere, FL, USA

problem #211

Jul 012015


  • 121,500 miles


Driving vehicle with my family in it 3 kids and wife and it just stopped working. No warning no nothing just stopped.

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #210

Jun 302015


  • miles
Get on the freeway with 30 mph, then suddenly the car stop accelerate. Luckily, I was able to merge into exit ramp. The engine light is on and the car won't move any more. I be able to start the engine but there is no acceleration.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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problem #209

May 152015


  • 90,000 miles
As I was driving onto the freeway and trying to merge my vehicle had slipped out of gear while it was in drive. I had no acceleration and I was on an incline. Once my vehicle slowed to 20mph it had re engaged and I was able to merge off of the freeway. This created a safety hazard for my girlfriend and I and her 3 young children because the speed limit on the freeway was 65 mph with very limited space to merge because other drivers are trying to merge onto an exit ramp. This created a safety hazard not only for our family but for others trying to merge onto the freeway behind us at a very low speed and those trying to exit at the same time. Luckily for us nobody was hurt. The vehicle is now in the shop and we were told that it is the 3-5-R wave plate. After reading on multiple forums about this vehicle and the transmission issues I believe that GMC needs to be held accountable for the malfunctions in this transmission because it is a safety hazard to those on the road.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #208

May 132015


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 45 mph, the transmission slipped into a low gear in a jerking motion and the rpms increased rapidly. The engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. After restarting the vehicle, the contact was able to resume driving 45 mph with caution. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 92,000.

- Madisonville, LA, USA

problem #207

Jul 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Needed to replace the transmission due to wave plate failure.

- Sandwich, MA, USA

problem #206

Apr 132015


  • 152,000 miles
This is the second time I have had the same issue. I am driving the vehicle and the transmission does not shift out of 2nd gear. The check engine light comes on. I have the vehicle repaired once for this issue. I was told it was the valve body the first time and it was replaced out of warranty.

- White Bear Lake, MN, USA

problem #205

Apr 162015


  • 53,000 miles
2008 GMC Acadia with slightly under 53,000 miles. Was driving across town and the transmission started to shift unexpectedly as if slipping out of gear and the engine going to high revolutions. Check engine light came on. Vehicle stopped for awhile, restarted, began heading towards dealership. Acceleration completely failed and vehicle rolled to a stop with inability to go forward or in reverse. Vehicle towed to GM dealership. Been informed that the clutch broke and spread metal bits across the transmission. Transmission must be replaced even though vehicle only has 53,000 miles on it. Complaint also filed with GM customer care requesting financial assistance with the prohibitive cost of premature repair.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #204

Feb 152015


  • 83,000 miles


Transmission went out. Had to fight with dealer about the fact that this is a known issue on these vehicles. I understand I was out of warranty. But how many people expect their trans to go out in the first 100K? if you own an Acadia, expect to replace transmission between 75-85K. There are hundreds of horror stories on transmissions in the Acadia, traverse, enclave, and outlook alone on the web. GM knows about it but never issued a recall for a sub standard transmission with faulty wave plates. But when it goes out, you get to pay for the "new and improved" version. Dealers are well versed in the failure. In addition to the trans, my sway bars had to be replaced before 50K and I had to pay for it. The headliner was damaged from clogged sunroof drain tubes which new design was installed. New style water pump. All 3 of these items were newer style replacements because GM had to redesign them. That tells you they had known issues with them and instead of standing behind their problems, they hide behind a black and white warranty policy. At the end of the day, a one off problem should be black and white. But when you know there is a major failure history that causes you to redesign components, you should goodwill the customer and proactively perform recalls.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #203

Feb 132015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 739,421 miles
Driving down the road pressed the gas to go up a hill and car would just rev up. Acting as if it were in neutral and it was in drive. Lost all gears. Shut it off and started it again and I had low gear. Continued to go back up the hill to get to my mechanic and when I got to the top of the hill the car lost all gears again and would just rev up. Turned it off and started it again and it let me make it a little further down the road and did it again. I then had it towed. Was very happy with this car until this happened. There was no warning that my cars transmission was going to go. The car never acted up until the moment this happened. I have since looked online and seen that the transmission going around this mileage is a typical issue for this year of Acadia."action=search2 why hasn't there been a recall on this transmission????" it isn't right for people to have to replace a transmission at only 73-74,000 miles. Bought my Acadia (which I am still making payments on) last year on March 28th and haven't even put 10,000 miles on it and the transmission went.

- Morrisville, VT, USA

problem #202

Feb 092015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Power steering failed and transmission stuck in 3rd gear from a stop, couldn't move out of the way of a car and got hit.

- Mission, TX, USA

problem #201

Feb 052015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 84,800 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into any gear outside of first or second. In addition, the contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to accelerate above 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,800. Updated 5/5/15 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired at the owner's expense of $2,200. Updated 9/16/2015

- Duck River, TN, USA

problem #200

Jan 062015


  • miles
Yet another safety issue w/2008 GMC Acadia. Dropping daughter off at school (19 degrees out/inch of snow on ground), as I'm pulling out of parking lot going very slow thankfully, the car feels like it shifted and then flashing light service traction control, power limited or something and engine buckling like it's going to shut off. I only live a mile from school and kept driving on back road unable to go over 15 mph. Had I been on a highway or going 30 or so I can't imagine what would've happened the way the truck just buckled. I let the truck sit for a few hours, now when I turn on the check engine light is flashing but the service traction control is gone soooo taking it to the GM dealer will be useless, been here before and they never find anything wrong. Hoping it's just the very cold weather making it act up but cold weather should not make this happen, unacceptable. My Acadia acts up with lights, flashing low tires, etc. Etc. All the time when it's cold and this would be the worst time for the vehicle to not work and leave me stuck somewhere. All the $ I dish out for this truck ugh, I would be better off buying an old beater and taking my chances cuz this vehicle seems like if one thing is off the truck just has a mind of it's own and everything is out of whack. GM please stop selling unsafe cars!! I have kids and I do not feel safe driving this truck. I hope this issue gets recalled, read numerous complaints with the same issue but dealership never knows how to fix.

- Shillington, PA, USA

problem #199

Nov 292014


  • miles
2008 GMC Acadia. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmission problems. An inspection revealed a broken wave plate and a damaged clutch.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #198

Jan 012015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 52,875 miles
Transmission is slipping really badly to the point it is unsafe for me to drive and this is will less than 53,000 miles on the vehicle. Brought it into a mechanic and the transmission needs to be rebuilt or be completely replaced with an estimated price of $3,000-$4,000 for the repair. I know that there are many, many other people that have experienced this same transmission issue and have filed complaints so when are you going to hold GMC accountable for these defective transmissions?

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #197

Aug 272009

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
I have had continuous problems with this vehicle and now the transmission wave plate is damaged. How many transmission wave plates need to go bad before you make GM recall this defective item. I've searched your database and you have numerous complaints on this item, which affects more than one vehicle and is problematic to all GM mid-size crossovers. This problem needs to be investigate further to full resolution before someone get seriously injured. I was driving this vehicle with my wife and children, and they could have been seriously injured if I was not at the wheel. I want to be contacted by your Agency to discuss this further. --[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Austintown, OH, USA

problem #196

Dec 092014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 118 miles
I am requesting a recall on 2008 GMC Acadia's (throttle body). I have a 2008 GMC Acadia that is experiencing major issues. These issues include speed reducing in the middle of a busy intersection with my 16 year old son in the car. The panel displayed a red message "service traction control". went a few blocks further when the car shut off completely on a busy street; police pushed me off the main street to a less populated side street. Messages displayed on panel "'traction control reducing power". I'm concerned not only for my safety but concerned about the many other customers of GMC who have experienced the same issue (similar issues found on the internet/blogs). My son and I could have been seriously injured if not killed because of this faulty part. I trust that GMC will do the right thing and recall this item before someone is seriously injured.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #195

Sep 272014


  • 131,000 miles
We were out in South Dakota 200 miles from home. We were driving the Acadia and the transmission began to slip. We didn't think anything of it at first. We drove the Acadia home and scheduled to have the car looked at. On the Monday after we got home, I was driving my kids to school when suddenly the car went completely out of gear and the check engine light came on. I tried putting it into park and then back into gear and had no luck in getting it to go into gear. I shut the engine off and started it again and it did go into gear. I dropped my kids off at school and when in park it went out of gear again. I shut the engine off and on again and got it to go into gear. Drove it directly to the auto shop. They ran the codes. They said it was a 3/5 wave plate issue. Had to have the transmission rebuilt. 2200 for the rebuild. Reading online that this seems to be a common issue with vehicles. Talked to the transmission shop and they said they were rebuilding 8 of these a week from the Saturn, Buick, Chevy and Acadias with the 6 speed transmission. They said the wave plate wasn't heat treated at the factory or something like that. It gets heated and deteriorates. GM would do nothing to help. Hopefully, you guys can.

- Darwin, MN, USA

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