really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,550 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.

2009 GMC Acadia drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Jul 042016


  • 78,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 65 mph, there was a sudden loss of engine power and the vehicle was unable to be driven over 40 mph. The stability traction control warning indicator illuminated. The dealer was unable to replicate and diagnose the failure. In addition, while driving highway speeds, "engine hot" and "A/C off" appeared on the instrument panel. The contact noticed smoke under the hood. The vehicle was coasted over to the shoulder of the road and turned off. The vehicle was unable to be driven due to the failure and was towed to the dealer. The dealer diagnosed that the water pump needed to be replaced. The dealer replaced the part. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and indicated that they also had campaigns that needed to be addressed. The timing chain needed to be replaced, there was a loss of power steering assist, and the transmission cutlet leave plate failed. There were no recalls. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Alburtis, PA, USA

problem #51

Sep 132016


  • 105,000 miles
Transmission failure at 105,000 miles car is being repaired bobs transmission, grand rapids, Michigan

- Rockford, MI, USA

problem #50

Aug 062015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. While the vehicle was parked, the contact attempted to exit the vehicle and it rolled backwards. The contact fell and the vehicle rolled over his body. The contact sustained a fractured tibia, fractured pelvis, punctured lungs, and seven fractured ribs. Medical attention was required. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V073000 (power train). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 10/26/16

- Sun City, CA, USA

problem #49

Mar 152015


  • 133,046 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the wave plate in the transmission was too thin and caused the transmission to fail. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 133,046.

- Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #48

Jul 012014


  • miles
2 months after I bought my vehicle used I have had to replace ignitions coils, so many recalls and only had some replaced cuz of being told they don't have the part in store at the dealerships. The electrical system for heat and A/C don't match up when turning the knob and the defrost doesn't work 3/4 of the times. I get flashes of loss power and my tire monitoring system keeps acting up. Now my engine and transmission are failing and no one can tell me exactly what it is without paying $5000 for them to diagnostic it and take it apart!! where do I have that kind of money"? this vehicle was the worst $16000 I have ever invested in and have only had it less that 2 years!! I am scared on a daily basis to drive my kids anywhere in it let alone myself to work. I so wish I would've kept my Jeep Grand Cherokee but we need more room for travel. Well you can't travel in something that's unsafe and unreliable. GMC won't call or respond back and either will the dealership. Lemon law in Michigan is for new vehicles only so I am basically paying for something I can't drive and I can't afford to fix. What do I do?"

- Midland, MI, USA

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problem #47

Oct 092015


  • 118,000 miles
I took my 09 GMC Acadia to the GM auto to fix the transmission and they told me they can not fix unless I pay the $2043 to fix my power steering, but I believe its all related to that power steering failure that is cover under the GM policy. And its the same problem to all the Acadia that are out there so I suggest the GM to fix all GMC Acadia without any cost to all the owneri if they fix it right we wouldn't complaint at all

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #46

Apr 262015


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. While attempting to park, the vehicle rolled forward while in reverse. The contact stated that the vehicle did the same thing while in the drive position. The vehicle would roll backwards with the vehicle in the drive position. The contact had to slam on the brake pedal and engage the emergency brake in order to get the vehicle to stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the vehicle was working up to specifications. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Rising Sun, MD, USA

problem #45

Jan 202014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
My wife was driving with children when transmission completely went out..the car was completely erratic and wife was able to safe area but not without significant risk to family. Only 1 year and a few months later, I'm driving and the transmission started to fail again with family in car.. after reviewing online, this is a blatant recurring themes with Acadias and we have now been at risk twice.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #44

Feb 132015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 68,875 miles
I was leaving work and noticed a shudder in the vehicle. Didn't think much of it at the time. When I got about 2 miles from my home the vehicle seemed to loose power. Engine would rev but could not get much speed out of it. Made it home and had vehicle towed to dealer next day. Dealer diagnosed issue as 3-5-R wave plate in the transmission broke. Ended up costing over $5,300 to replace transmission. After repairs I did some research and saw that there were hundreds (from the few websites I visited..there are probably many more) of complaints by consumers who owned 2008 through 2011 Acadias as well as other general motor corporation (GMC) vehicles that had the same issue with the wave plate failing. Called GMC and they told me since the repair work was already done there was nothing they could do. Apparently from reading all the posts GM is aware of the issue but did nothing about it. My bigger issue is what if this occurred on the highway in the middle of winter and we were left stranded? this could have been a serious issue and potentially put lives in danger if traveling on the highway or remote locations. GMC should be held accountable for this manufacturing defect and should extend the warranty on vehicles with these types of transmissions and reimburse all of us who had to shell out our hard earned money to get the vehicle repaired.

- Hofman Estates, IL, USA

problem #43

Feb 022015


  • 115,000 miles
The car began bucking and surging over time without the accelerator being pressed. The dealer stated it was not the ignition coils as I had indicated, but that it was the torque converter inside the transmission. Must replace transmission for $4800. Repair completed.

- Barnhart, MO, USA

problem #42

Jan 042011


  • 30,072 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while operating the vehicle, the check engine light illuminated as the vehicle decelerated and sputter. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on multiple occasions. The ignition coil was replaced but the failure recurred. The contact indicated that after experiencing the same failures, the dealer diagnosed that the fuel pump module was faulty. After replacing the fuel pump module, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who then diagnosed that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 30,072.

- Hugesville , MD, USA

problem #41

Jan 182015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 115,551 miles
Vehicle was missing in 3rd and 5th gears. Engine would rev to 5000-6000 RPM's without shifting gears. I would have to ease off the accelerator to get it to shift. Now the next day, when I put it in reverse to back out of the garage it will not go. Engine just revs when I press the accelerator as if I was in neutral.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #40

Jan 142015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
While traveling to work at approximately 65 mph on us 53 in eau claire, wi. The 3-5-R waveplate in my 2009 GMC Acadia broke causing my vehicle to rapidly decelerate. Luckily there was no other vehicles near me at the time and I was able to pull to the side of the road and stop without incident. After researching the internet it appears that this is a common failure of the 2007-2009 Acadia/outlook vehicles.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #39

Dec 292014


  • 92,000 miles
Brought it to the GMC dealer to replace the power steering pump which was on recall notice only if there were problems. Loss of power steering at low speed so I took it to dealer. As a result, pump was replaced as well as rack and pinion. Pump covered, rack and pinion not, $1700. The day after I picked up the car, the transmission failed. As I got on the highway, motor revved but transmission did not engage. Was able to make it into the breakdown lane. Had to have a flatbed pick it up and bring it to the transmission shop recommended by the dealer. Transmission replaced...$3,140. I feel that I was lucky to have been in the lane closest to the breakdown lane when this happened. Dealer offered no assistance. Eight months past warranty.

- Woburn, MA, USA

problem #38

Dec 192014


  • 83,300 miles
I had purchased the vehicle used from what I had thought was a reputable dealer, boy was I wrong. I was on my way home with it from the dealer an hour and a half drive 1 way, going down the interstate at about 65 mph, when the vehicle started to shake something severe, and the RPM, S went wild. I slowed down, but the shake, vibration continued. Finally it did straighten out, and I got home. A couple days later on my way to work the engine light came on, and than the service all wheel drive system light came on. The next day my dad who is a mechanic, drove it and it shook and vibrated so bad, he thought the wheels were falling off. Came back and put it in the workshop and checked the wheels for tightness, they were ok. Noticed a rather large coolant leak above the water pump, , seemed to be coming from under intake area. Called the dealer and said we were bringing it back on a trailer. On 1 / 1 / 15 at about 9:45 am dropped off at the dealer, told them again what the problems were and left it there. On 1 / 5 / 15 the dealer called us and indicated there was a upper radiator hose that the clamp was loose. I told them it was not and my dad knows where it was from. They also stated that they drove it and could not find any problems with it. After telling me that they said that they are a Ford dealer and do not have the tools to diagnose the vehicle. Right after that the general manager says that he did notice a problem with shifting, but its nothing to worry about. I said than you put your family in the vehicle and take them for a drive, because I will not put myself with my 3, and 5 year old kids in it. He said he will look at it again tomorrow. I will never buy another GM product ever again.

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #37

Dec 292014


  • 59,500 miles
2009 Acadia just under 60K miles, transmission slips, can't go over 45mph, took to GMC dealer who stated our wave plate was damaged, needs new transmission, warranty ended 6 months ago $4000 bill and GM won't back their vehicles, had vehicle at same GMC dealer less than 1 year ago complaining about transmission slipping but was told nothing is wrong.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #36

Jul 152013


  • 98,000 miles
The car felt as though the gears weren't catching and RPM would drop but if you took your foot off the accelerator it would go away for a second but then it would happen again. No one seems to know what's wrong, but it seems as though the transmission is slipping. It seems to happen at speeds of 50 miles and higher which is very dangerous especially when traveling on the expressways.

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #35

Dec 082014


  • 82,000 miles
We purchased a 2009 Acadia from a reputable dealer that claims quality in regards to their used vehicles. We have had the vehicle for 6 months and the vehicle has left me stranded on different occasions and compromised others individuals and my own well being. First incident the car was in gear but would not start. We never found the reason the vehicle would not start. The battery fully charged. No other issues noted. Second incident the vehicle the vehicle again did not start after several attempts to start. Eventually car just started, no issue was uncovered as the culprit. The vehicle overheated out of the blue while in route to respond to an emergency call and had the water pump replaced. While on the interstate with my 4 month old grandson the vehicle jerked after reaching the speed of approximately 65 mph and then the RPM registered about 3800 to 4500 and the vehicle came to a crawl on the interstate. The check engine light came on and I took it had diagnostics ran and it indicated transmission concerns. I took the vehicle to the dealer and the light had gone off and the dealer stated that there was nothing found. My husband and I left and while in route to another city the vehicle again jerked at approximately 65 mph and the RPM once again registered between 3500 and 4500. We were able to crawl along at about 25 mph and barely made it safely to a certified GMC dealer which stated that the transmission was completely gone and we needed another and the cost would be approximately $3900. The dealer refuses to honor or stand behind their product. We recently had the vehicle at the dealer to ensure safety recalls were taken care of, the dealer indicating no concerns after a "proposed" inspection. There is clearly documented concerns with this issue. We were lucky as there were no injuries, but the situations that we were left in were extremely dangerous.

- Morristown, TN, USA

problem #34

Nov 202014


  • 79,000 miles
I have a 2009 Acadia. It has 79K miles. We are 4 months out of our warranty. I have a broken wave plate. 5K to fix. I've had transmission issues the entire time I've had this auto but all my previous times they couldn't replicate the problem. This time, of course, now that there's complete failure and my warranty has expired, they've told me I need a complete transmission rebuild.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #33

Oct 252014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 76,176 miles
While driving our 2009 Acadia at highway speed (75mph) we experienced a sudden RPM spike and lose of acceleration. Any attempt to apply gas was just met with RPM with no acceleration. As speed slowed the vehicle lurched and the transmission engaged as we approached 40 mph. The vehicle struggled to maintain this speed and would constantly lunge and lurch trying to change gears to adjust for the speed. The timing was not good for this as we are stationed in germany, and we were an hour from home driving on the autobahn. While we were struggling to stay at the minimum speed (roughly 40 mph), other vehicles are approaching us at autobahn speeds, potentially causing an accident. Fortunately, germans are very good drivers and very aware of slower moving vehicles. We were fortunate to have pull off areas to cool the transmission, but our trip took five hours. Apparently this is a known issue with the 6T75 transmissions that GM put in the 2007-2009 Acadia's. no service bulletins or warnings ever went out to me to let me know about this issue. If I would've received one, I would have been able to catch this earlier and been able to save the transmission from catastrophic failure. The 3-5-R wave plate failed preventing shifting to those gears. I believe GM needs to own up to this and either issue a recall or offer owners with less than 100K miles on their vehicles compensation for the repairs. At a minimum, all Acadia/enclave/traverse/outlook owners with 6T75 transmissions need to receive a notification to expect the imminent failure, in order that they may get the 3-5-R wave plate replaced with a properly tempered plate. GM has already identified the reason for the failure, but has chosen not to act in a manner reflecting integrity to their customers. Thank you for your time.

- Apo, AE, USA

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