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 5 of 12)

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problem #154

May 152014


  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that when servicing the vehicle, she was notified that the brake booster, rack and pinion and the wave plate failed. As a result, the transmission, brake booster, and the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 39,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #153

Jul 302013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
We bought our 2008 GMC Acadia in January 2008. The battery died in July 2008 while vacationing in Canada leaving us stranded. After it went dead several more times the dealership replaced it. The air conditioning went out several times in 2010 and we had to pay to have the ac recharged twice since. In July 2013 we had to have the transmission replaced when it stopped shifting into gear. Our warranty had expired in January of that year. The dealership did get GM to pay half but it still cost us almost $2,000. Now it is at the dealership again and we have to replace the entire steering column as it lost power steering at low speeds. We are having it repaired at an estimate of nearly $1,800 more. This vehicle cost about $36,000 in 2008. Since then we have paid thousands of dollars just to keep it on the road and safe. This is a lemon and I would like to see a recall for both the transmission and loss of steering at low speeds. I see that both of these are common problems with this vehicle. I would like to be reimbursed for our expenses.

- Swartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #152

Jul 012013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Bought this life altering mess of a vehicle in June 2013 with 77K miles. Since that time a wide spectrum of issues have arose and cost me for than just money. Windshield wiper quit working and needed to be fixed (I now see that was a recall) constant electric issues in using beeping, lighting up at inappropriate times, not registering a grown adult in passenger seat. Also, leaking transmission fluid. GM did cover that charge which was no help with the rear end that had to be replaced at a cost of nearly $3000. Transmission still (before leak "fixed") and after will read idle transmission hot at many times. Leaking water when we receive heavy rains. Leaking comes from drivers side airbag "label") I have been financially strapped because of this vehicle I had worked and saved so hard for just trying to keep my job! I need my vehicle to work and my life is at risk when I'm forced to get behind the wheel because of these issues that GM is aware of. With the money I've spent (I'm a single working mother with two young sons) because of GM turning a blind eye I am in dire need of the proper resolution to this year long devastation of preventable events. Please assist me in this fore I'm unable to go further with continuing to fix problems that thousands of other owners are having with the same vehicle. Thank you. In 2011 my children and myself lost our home to a devastating flood that rocked our city and as of Feb 2014 we were finally able to move out of the camper and get a home. I cannot prevent a flood and all the pain it caused myself and my children but I will not cease to fight for what it right. That is replacing my vehicle with equal, reliable safe vehicle immediately! after all, this was completely preventable and should've been fixed before now. Please help me. Thank you for your time.

- Burlington, ND, USA

problem #151

Apr 292014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


I was pulling out into an intersection from a stop sign and check engine light came on and vehicle no longer moved forward when I pressed the gas pedal. Engine was running, so I put it in neutral and pushed it out of the intersection and oncoming traffic. Turns out transmission died and had to be replaced. Mechanic said it was a known problem and that the wave plate failed.

- Caseyville, IL, USA

problem #150

Mar 152012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 52,086 miles
Vehicle failed to shift into the next gear smoothly. Gears within transmission broken. GMC replaced under warranty, but at 52,086 miles the transmission should not be breaking down.

- Livemore, CA, USA

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problem #149

Apr 212014


  • 63,458 miles
I just had the clutch wave plate break into pieces inside my transmission causing us to almost get into an accident as my kids and I were getting on the freeway. We lost our gears and had to be towed. I looked up the issue and it sounds like this is a more than common issue with the Acadia at this mileage. If this is such a well-known issue why does GM not fix this issue?

- Mead, WA, USA

problem #148

Apr 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


While driving the transmission would not shift out of third gear. I am told that a wave plate has failed and the transmission needs to be replaced, cost $3000+.

- Springfield, GA, USA

problem #147

Apr 172014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 67,060 miles
Transmission failure @ 67070 miles. 35R wave plate. GMC dealer service rep. Said they had never heard of this problem. Personally talked to dealer mechanic, and he states that he has replace a number of these transmissions for wave plate failure. It's bad enough that this is a know problem and GM does nothing about it, but for the dealership to lie to me right off the bat, takes the cake. No more GM products for me, ever.....

- Airville, PA, USA

problem #146

Apr 112014


  • 48,700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate from a traffic light, the vehicle failed to move. The contact stated that the check engine warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 48,700.

- Alamo, TX, USA

problem #145

Apr 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while traveling approximately 60 mph, the vehicle suddenly failed to respond to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000. Also, the check engine light illuminated. Updated 06.19.14

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #144

Apr 012014


  • 70,000 miles


Transmission wave plate issues....the car shifts into different gears and about caused an accident. Took it to a mechanic and it is a transmission wave plate that needs replaced. Going to cost us around $4000. Just spent 1000 dollars to fix the power seats that quit working also.

- Lincoln , NE, USA

problem #143

Apr 032014


  • 120,000 miles
The transmission again is going out on it for the 3rd time. This last time there was snow on the road and when it kicks down because of the wave plate failing again this time I was going around a corner and it kicked down and made me slide off the road I was able to get out and almost hitting the guard rail

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #142

Apr 112013


  • 71,000 miles
I purchased the GMC Acadia from a dealership in kaiserslautern germany in May 2012. By April 2013 the transmission completely stopped working. At first the SUV would jump gears 6-3 sometimes 6-1 while moving at speeds higher than 35 mph. I have 3 young children and the result of such sudden shifting could have caused whiplash and did cause fear. I took the vehicle to auto schneider in weiden germany who identified the speed sensor as the problem via the computer and replaced the part. By 10 May 2013 the vehicle was completely immobile. I conducted research and have found over 1000 entries specifying that people have had to replace the transmission around 70000 miles, and sometimes twice, with GMC covering 0 costs. As a us service member I believe that the NHTSA should monitor complaints on other sites and investigate poor mechanics especially when tax dollars were used to rehabilitate GMC in 2008. Anytime there is a mechanical failure in a vehicle's transmission it can cause incident.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #141

Dec 052013


  • 75,000 miles
Transmission went out on turnpike. Causing family to miss a family members college graduation. Car was stuck on side of turnpike for 3 hours with little kids in car while high speed vehicles drive by. When I took car to mechanic for repair they had identical problems with another Acadia. This car is very dangerous and expensive for families.

- Drumright , OK, USA

problem #140

Aug 192013


  • 78,000 miles
My GMC Acadia had the transmission fail and it will cost me $4000 to put a new one in. I am finding out that this is a common occurance in the Acadia at fairly low milage.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #139

Feb 192014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
While driving car bucked and shifted irregularly, transmission slipped, no power, no reverse.

- Aquebogue, NY, USA

problem #138

Sep 272013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
My 2008 Acadia transmission failed as I exited a highway (70 mph) and was going up the exit ramp. It began bucking like a horse. Once I pulled over and parked, I could not go in reverse. The car had to be towed and a new transmission had to be put in it after only 56K miles. Also have had the sunroof / moon roof trays overflow because the drainage tubes are not large enough to drain all the water from the trays. The dealership stated it was a poor design and nothing could be done to replace it. Now water has entered my vehicle causing the electrical box to become wet causing the horn to blow randomly and the car to continue running after turning it off and removing the key.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #137

Feb 152014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
Driving the vehicle that had 7 people. I turned onto a street in town and the vehicle started shaking like the transmission was slipping. So I turned to head to the nearest parking lot. Stopped at a stop sign and again the vehicle shook from a take off. Didn't even make it into the driveway before the transmission completely failed in the middle of the busy intersection and we had to push it into the parking lot.

- Bath, MI, USA

problem #136

Feb 152014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 88,300 miles
While traveling a busy highway going uphill, my transmission began to have what felt like slipping clutch issues, and finally failed - leaving me stranded on a very busy stretch of highway 80 East bound. It was very scary to be just barely off the roadway (was lucky to make it all the way off the road) with huge trucks whizzing by. I have had it diagnosed and the clutch waveplates on these Acadia gmcs have a well known and common failure issue. A $3500 bill is not what I need right now, it's going to really hurt. This transmission needs to be recalled before someone gets killed on a busy freeway. The problem is there was not much warning of an eminent failure before it basically left me dead in the water - I was just fortunate this time that I was traveling in the right lane. If I had been in the left lane or middle, I am not sure I would have been able to get over before it would just leave me in the middle of the road. It's definitely a safety issue. Who could make an argument that it is not unsafe?

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #135

Feb 122014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the clutch had failed. The vehicle was being repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 5/27/14

- Hamden, CT, USA

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