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


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,612 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Aug 172013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Started the vehicle and immediately there was an air bag message warning message on the dash. There have already been many complaints regarding air bags on the NHTSA website with the same or similar issues. Hopefully you can issue a recall to force GM to make it right since they will not take responsibility. There is also is an active recall on 2007 models so I believe it is a known issue and there should be a recall on 2008 models as well. This being a safety issue that many Acadia owners are experiencing it definitely should be a recall. Water also leaks from the roof. It comes in contact with electrical systems including wiring components for the air bag. I wonder if that has something to do with the airbag warning message. A lot of people also mentioned how the power steering makes a loud whining noise. I have that problem as well. You can even feel it in the steering wheel because the noise is so loud it creates a vibration. I believe like there is a lack of responsibility on GM's part for not correcting known issues.

- Maysville, WV, USA

problem #22

Jul 292013


  • miles
Problem #1 of 3: during heavy rains, water would leak in through the sun visors on both sides. Took it to the dealership several times. They said the drain tubes from the sunroof were clogged, they blew it out, when that didn't work, they charged me to put it longer tubes, when that didn't work, they said it was because they only replaced the front tubes, not the back. Problem #2 of 3: when driving through water puddles at low speed I lose power steering for a brief time (which is troublesome when turning). Problem #3 of 3: two warning lights for airbags come on everytime I start the vehicle. I can push a button each time to make the written warning go away, but the red light with a picture stays on. Not sure if the airbags would deploy or not.

- Savoy, IL, USA

problem #21

May 262013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Had to wait to give my daughter a ride. Sat in the pouring rain for about 40 minutes. Put the car in drive and began to pull forward and water poured down the windshield from the inside. Water also came in from the front left curtain airbag and the visor arm. Engine began to idle rough. Anti-lock brakes grab on low speed slow down. Our area of Texas is drought prone so no more significant rain until July 14-16. Water pours in the front windshield, both driver and passenger side. Water from curtain airbags and under the dash. Standing water in the floor board. Obd light is on and my parking break warning light turns on and off. Park assist goes on and off. The warning chime comes on while driving and won't turn off. No telling how much damage all of this will cause. I have one more payment until the thing is mine free and clear. No warranty and no recourse. It figures.

- Harker Heights, TX, USA

problem #20

Jun 282013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 86,355 miles


I had my vehicle checked for the airbag light that was consistently on in the 2008 GMC Acadia. It was found to defective and out of warranty. My concern is that the vehicle hasn't even been used for more than five years and the part is no longer effective. Shouldn't the part last longer than five years?

- Zanesville, OH, USA

problem #19

Jun 012013


  • 67,000 miles
1. transmission going out at 67K miles and appears to be very prevalent with this make and model of vehicle. Very dangerous as the car will not go into gear at any given time and basically leaves you stuck in neutral in the middle of a busy highway. 2. service air bag light stays on after dealership claims to have fixed the problem. If in a crash, have no idea if we will be protected. Not a comfortable feeling.

- Hoover, AL, USA

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problem #18

May 102013


  • 92,532 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, another vehicle traveling 40 mph crashed into the front driver's side of the contact's vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The manufacturer was notified but they offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 92,532.

- Reading, MA, USA

problem #17

Jan 012013


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that when attempting to complete a sharp turn at low speeds, the power steering assist failed. The failure recurred frequently. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated intermittenlty. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing and the dealer stated that the power steering pump was failing. There was also a defect found in the air bag but the exact part was unknown. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and they advised the contact that they would assist with partial repair costs. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 65,000. The current mileage was 75,000.

- Pottstown , PA, USA

problem #16

Mar 042013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
My wife was driving the vehicle and approached a stop sign. Once she tried going again the car would not accelerate and we had to tow it to the dealer. They said the transmission went out @ 68,000 miles? also the waterpump, powersteering pump. Master cylinder, as well as something with an air bag connector. The air bag connector has been going on and off for the last two years since we bought it two years ago as a GM certified pre-owned vehicle. I am not sure how this vehicle has not been recalled.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #15

Dec 082008

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
I was taking my daughter to Florida for cheer leading competition; I was just outside of Illinois when the check airbag light and message screen came on thankfully the light went off but came back on on our way back to Chicago and kept coming on and off. Took it to dealer but they only said that the harness was tight they only wiggled it and light went off but came back a couple of days later. Then the power steering started making noise dealer said they didn't hear anything and didn't do anything and noise is getting louder. Then suspension stared it making noise. Took it to dealer and had tie rods replaced. Then the service airbag problem came back and this time didn't go away. Took it to the dealer and they said that the harness was to tight and they rerouted it so it wasn't tight anymore. Worked for a couple of days and its on again but I didn't take it back and now is past its warranty.then head lamp went out. Had to pay dealer $180 (rip off) next the other head light went out. My nephew replaced it in less than 10 min. Now there is a recall for that head light problem. Then wipers arm came loose from motor I had my cousin fix it for me. Now I have had the check engine light on for a couple of weeks took it to autozone came back with the code to replace the canister purge solenoid now I have the transmission problem, it started to act funny shifting pretty hard some times and then a few days ago I was driving on the freeway coming home when I notice the rpms at about 45000 and it wouldn't change gears and the fuel gauge started going nuts I don't know why and had to drive it home on the same gear. Took it to autozone and came back with the same code for the solenoid plus P0700/P0716/P0717 for the transmission. Now my Acadia is just sitting on my driveway no money to fix it and driving my 15 year old truck hoping GMC does something about this nightmare

- Northlake, IL, USA

problem #14

Apr 022012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The passenger air bag sensor/light and warning light on the dash began to intermittently flash on and off at about 60K miles. Depending on how your sitting in the front passenger seat, the passenger air bag light will flash on and off. We took the vehicle to the dealer where we purchased at about 71K miles. The service rep stated the problem was with the passenger presence sensor module and that it would need to be replaced. The cost to replace would be around $900. A quick online search noted multiple accounts of faulty passenger air bag sensors in these cars, not to mention that there is an active recall on the 2007 models for the air bag control module. We feel this is a safety issue that GM should have to address.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #13

Dec 082011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles


Our vehicle has had the air bag service light on for a very long time, when we got the recall notice, we took it in to the dealership and they stated that our vehicle was fine and our light was caused by a different problem. As time has gone by, it has done the rest of the items listed on the recall such as on/off light remaining off with a passenger in the seat and now it actually flashes back and forth with or without a passenger. Our power steering has been making a whine sound since 2009. It has only worsened over time and now has depreciated our vehicles value for a trade-in. We are completely dissatified with the quality of vehicle we have gotten. I would not recommend an Acadia based on the reliability of GMC and the lack of responsibility to fix problems that are obviously on the manufacturing end. We know several others having the same problem with 2008 Acadia and have found many forums of people discussing their issues and it appears that the 2008 has the greatest amount of issues. We have been advised to seek legal action.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 252012


  • miles
Pps module bad. We got a letter from GMC that the airbag wires/connector terminal pins may be corroded. Soon after we got the notice, the air bag warning light started coming on intermittently. We took the Acadia in to dealership. They said the connectors are ok but now the passenger presence module needs replaced. Of course not under warranty. When we left the dealership now the light is on full time and won't turn off. When I asked why the light is on full time they said now that they scanned the codes it may have caused it to stay on.

- Shipshewana, IN, USA

problem #11

Jan 242012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 69,449 miles
Pps module-passenger presence system- detects front seat passenger presence to activate restraint system, the dealer found to have a short and was sending signal to dashboard alert-- "service airbag" dealer also found front sensors also bad. However, no warranty coverage even though an extended GM warranty was purchased when vehicle was new. Appears from other complaints with NHTSA dealing with airbag issues on same model vehicle there is a safety issue GMC needs to address, or NHTSA needs to get GMC to issue a recall..see my prior submission case #[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #10

Jan 022012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles
GMC is aware of the problem with the Acadia that the car leaks water from the roof, and I mean pours in. This water also enters the electrical system of the vehicle and affects the airbags. This is a huge safety concern for me. There is no telling what other safety features will be compromised with this water leak issue. Any help concerning this issue will be greatly appreciated.

- Athens, AL, USA

problem #9

Aug 252010

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Repeated (at least 5 times) leak along the airbag driver and passenger side. Dealer says they fix it and the problem reappears on the next rain event. Causing electrical problems and mold problem in the car.

- Montpelier, VA, USA

problem #8

Dec 162008

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Our 2008 GMC Acadia was purchased in October 2008. A few months later we took the car in for service because the passenger side airbag would intermittently go off when an adult was in the seat. The light would never come on when our son, then 100 lbs, sat in the seat. Because of him, we were able to duplicate the problem. Had the car in for service four more times over these past two years for the same reason. At one point, the dealership even had one of their employees, 27 year old man, approx. 125 lbs., sit in the seat - light never came on. They had him sit on a board, straight up, get out, turn the car off then on, get back in etc. (it was ridiculous)..light never came on. We have been told "cannot duplicate the problem, " "don't have people who don't set it off sit in the seat." The light will be on for some people and then shut off while you are driving down the road. You can bounce up and down and shift around, but the light does not come back on. Our son, today 112 lbs, 5'7", still never turns the passenger seat airbag on and we are still told "there is no problem." We have spoke to GMC headquarters and they will not help because the dealership says there is no problem. We asked what would happen if we took the car to another dealership at this point and they found a problem. Headquarters said they would not cover the cost of repair because it could be a new problem. We intend to take it to another dealership, but wonder why we have to. We have other problems with this car as well, but not as serious as this one. We do not feel safe in our supposed 5 star safety rating car. We no longer want this car and will never buy GMC again.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #7

May 242010


  • 45,614 miles
For the third time in less than a year the airbag warning light has come on with a message to "service airbag." Today while stopped at a stoplight my wife smelled something burning but couldn't determine the origin. 15 minutes later after picking up our 5 year old from kindergarten and starting the car, the service airbag light and message came on. We will again go to the dealership for repair (our deductible is $200 on the warranty). I have three children age 2, 5, and 12 that ride in this vehicle. Previously, the dealership told us that when this light comes on the airbags may not work or may discharge involuntarily even without a collision.

- Copperopolis, CA, USA

problem #6

May 022010


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC arcadia. The contact stated the air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The dealer advised that the passengers side air bag had a coil fan that was on high resistance on stage one and that it was not a common failure. The dealer had to order the necessary parts to make the repair. The manufacturer was contacted but would not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 49,000 and the current mileage was 49,500.

- Twin Falls , ID, USA

problem #5

Oct 282008


  • 8,127 miles
Own a 2008 GMC Acadia that has been to the dealership 5 times since I bought it in August for the air bag system. The light first came on in Oct. Of 2008, after driving only 4000 miles. The problem was unable to be diagnosed by GMC service as the light came on intermittently. The first thought was that it was the result of faulty wiring, but light still came on after wiring was repaired. After the second trip to GMC, , the front seat air bag was replaced on driver side in order to correct the problem. I had to wait three weeks for the part to come in though, as they were back ordered. As soon as I drove off the lot with the driver's seat air bag replaced, the light came on again. This was the fourth time now, and the very same day! this time I was told it was the passenger seat airbag. It too was replaced in hopes of solving the problem. One month later the light is on again. I once again notified GMC of the issue as I feel the air bag system is defective, and don't feel safe driving my family in the car. I have stated this to the dealership and GMC, something has to be wrong when the service air bag light comes on every month. I have read many similar complaints and also one of the air bags not deploying during a crash. This is my biggest fear, and now will be pursuing other avenues to return this vehicle to GMC.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 202008


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator continues to illuminate on the instrument panel. The vehicle has been to the dealer four times, but they could not duplicate the failure. On the most recent visit to the dealer, they ordered new air bags in hopes that this would remedy the failure. The vehicle has not been repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 1,500 and current mileage was less than 6,000.

- Bondurant, IA, USA

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