really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,048 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #78

Apr 012015


  • 115,000 miles


An intermittent steering issue developed whereby steering input would become restricted and prevent the driver from adding or subtracting steering. The issue presents during turning and cornering and resulted in numerous hazardous situations and one serious near miss. Upon inspection by a mechanic, I was advised that the entire rack and pinion assembly would need to be replaced. It is not clear whether the rack and pinion were inherently defective, or the consequential damage of other steering defects which is very concerning. Upon further review, I have found that this model year along with several others have been plagued with defective steering issues. Given the apparent incidence rate and the high risk nature of the issue, I am surprised and disappointed this has not culminated in a recall.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #77

May 132015


  • 56,496 miles
Last June during a routine inspection the dealer told me I had a slight leak in the rack and pinion. I questioned him on why a vehicle with approx 48K miles could have a problem. I was told that GM allows some leakage. Shortly there after I noticed an occasional ratcheting feel in the steering wheel. I then would experience several occasions where I momentarily would lose power steering, the beginning of this year I received a letter from GM stating that there may be a problem with the power steering pump and to bring it to the dealer.I brought it to the dealer and was told there is a charge of $130 to determine if it is the pump and no charge if it was bad. I was told the pump was in fact bad and that the rack also needed to be replaced at a cost of $1400. I politely told them that the rack should not leak at 56K miles and the pump caused the problem and that GM should pay the entire bill after I was told that a certain amount of leakage was ok. They said GM would only cover the cost of pump. I also replaced 4 low beam head lights in the past year.

- North Babylon, NY, USA

problem #76

Apr 052015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 46,450 miles
While exiting garden state parkway, vehicle was coasting going through the off ramp turn with brakes applied. Engine RPM was at low idle and the power steering suddenly and with out warning stop working. It was near impossible to turn the wheel and vehicle began to leave the roadway and drive onto the grass. It took an incredible amount of strength to turn the wheel and stay on the and avoid crashing into the trees. GMC and the NHTSA knows about this problem. This should be recall, not an advisory or a service bulletin. NHTSA id number: 10056459.

- South Amboy, NJ, USA

problem #75

Jan 222015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Rack and pinion seizes up while turning. GM knows about this issue. Happens on most of the Acadias.

- Lake Ozark, MO, USA

problem #74

Jan 052015


  • 81,286 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 10 mph, an abnormal loud sound emitted when turning the steering wheel. The problem recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 81,286.

- Portage , IN, USA

problem #73

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 #72

Oct 092014


  • 61,919 miles


Power steering rack is leaking, power steering pump is whining. GMC dealer refused to replace eventhough GM has sent letters to owners regarding power steering problems. The problem could result in the loss of power steering thus causing unsafe driving conditions.

- Bechtelsville, PA, USA

problem #71

Jul 092013


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 25 mph, the steering wheel seized. The dealer stated that the steering rack and power steering pump failed. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Morristown, NJ, USA

problem #70

Oct 092014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My son was driving down a residential street which has a right turn/merge over a canal. Upon reaching the right turn the power steering failed and he was unable to navigate the turn. The Acadia drove forward into a large pipe which crosses over the canal. The front of the Acadia was crashed including the front bumper, radiator, head lamps, engine, driver side front panel, passenger side panel, and the frame. None of the air bags deployed during this crash. There is a recall on the side airbags at this time but not the front airbags. There is no recall on the power steering on this GM model. I have had experienced the power steering intermittently fail when turning both left and right. My daughter also experienced power steering failure one week prior to my son's accident. I was in the vehicle with her. This power steering failure is not exclusive to my GMC Acadia 2009. Consumer reports as well as the Acadia forum also has mentioned this power steering failure in other GMC Acadias. The airbags not deploying during this incident is also very concerning. This air bag failure could have caused major injury given another scenario.

- Meraux, LA, USA

problem #69

Sep 012014


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated while stopped at a traffic light attempting to make a left turn, the steering wheel seized and excessive force on the steering wheel was required. The failure caused the vehicle to independently drive onto a curb and no warning lights illuminated. The contact was able to resume driving the vehicle. However, the failure recurred multiple times intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic for diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #68

Sep 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 91,972 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 20 mph, the power steering failed without warning and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road and the engine was turned off. The vehicle operated normally after it was restarted. The dealer stated that both the power steering pump and steering gear needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 91,972..updated 10/14/2014 the consumer stated his/her vehicle was fixed. Updated 10/21/14

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #67

Sep 052014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 63,824 miles
I was driving the vehicle when I came to an intersection to turn. When I turned the steering wheel it was making a rubbing noise. I notified the dealer, and they said to bring it in. The vehicle was passed its warranty. I was told the issue was that the steering gear was going bad and needed replacing. I was told that if I did not replace it at that time, in the future there would be a catastrophic failure to the gear which would also damage the steering pump and I would not have power steering. The quote was $1,600 to replace the steering gear and bushings. I was told it would have been double that if I also had to replace the steering pump. The steering gear should not have failed at 63K miles!

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #66

Mar 022013


  • 78,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle from a GMC dealership on March 1st 2014. The very next day I replaced a headlight (no big deal), a few days later it was veering to the left very hard so I took it back. They said the alignment was off 45 degrees, so they fixed it. 1 month later the steering started locking up when turning at slow speeds. I had it diagnosed by the GM dealership who said it was the rack and pinion, and struts and bearings. I took it to another auto shop who said it was the power steering pump and replaced it, the locking up stopped. They said the rack and pinion were bad but could last a bit longer. A month later the air conditioner was completely out(the very first time I turned it on), and a month later the entire car is whining very loudly which I am assuming is the rack and pinion finally giving out. I have spent 20K on this vehicle and had it for 6 months now. In that 6 months it has been in the shop at least once a month. That is on top of the 3 recalls it has been in for in the 6 month period also. Now it has to go back in to fix this rack and pinion. Thankfully I purchased an extended warranty, but this steering column is not all covered. I am beyond frustrated and tired of throwing in thousands of dollars when I have had the vehicle a short amount of time, and this replacing of the steering rack is a bit ridiculous since the vehicle does not even have 100K miles on it. I was told it is unsafe to drive, but when I dont have an extra few thousand dollars to throw into it after putting a huge downpayment on it, and having a brand new Ford vehicle for 9 years and never having to put a dime into it. I am sick of it. It is wrong that GM put faulty cheap parts into their vehicles.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #65

Jun 022014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Most common at slower rates of speed, the power steering goes out & the vehicle becomes extremely hard to steer. However, this has also happened to me on the highway while traveling at 65+ mph. That was extremely scary. More than once, I have been forced to turn into an oncoming lane B/C the steering is too stiff to turn properly. The issue was intermittent, but is now constant. Have flushed/replaced power steering fluid, replaced power steering pump & reservoir. The vehicle is at my local dealer now (as of 8/22/14) & they are telling me the new pump is bad & that the steering gear is leaking...although there is no evidence of it leaking externally on the ground & the dip stick consistently shows the reservoir as full. Approximate repair cost is $1500 as of now... this is a highly dangerous & apparently common situation that GMC should be rectifying with a recall of the Acadia.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #64

Apr 102014


  • 82,200 miles
Our 2009 GMC Acadia's power steering locks up at low speeds. This happens randomly and typically always when the wheel is turned. Once the wheel locks it remains 'stuck' for a little over 1 second. While the wheel is 'stuck' it cannot be turned. This is a very common complaint on this vehicle and creates an very dangerous driving condition. A mechanic has diagnosed this issue as a faulty rack and pinion. The mechanic also claimed that this is very common on these vehicles. I was shocked the first time the wheel became stuck while I was driving; it instantly sent me in to a panic. There needs to be a recall on this vehicle.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #63

Aug 162014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
My wife drives this car. She and my son who had borrowed it claimed that "the steering isn't working properly". on 16 August I was driving the vehicle and attempted to make a right turn into a side street. As I was doing so the power steering failed and I was unable to negotiate the corner without crossing into the on coming lane. I was traveling at about 3-5mph. At that moment a car approached in the adjacent oncoming lane and to avoid hitting that vehicle I hit the breaks suddenly and stopped the vehicle. I was able to complete the turn after the other vehicle moved on from the stop line and (conjecture) I was accelerating. Since that incident I have driven the vehicle and have had numerous similar incidents - today's date is 8/17/2014..

- Galveston, TX, USA

problem #62

Jun 172014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The steering column randomly locks at speed while turning. Locking column caused impact to curb while driving vehicle.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #61

Jun 012011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Sudden loss of power steering assist, close call as I veering to avoid oncoming traffic thru an intersection. Dealer acknowledged the failure and repaired at the time. Car had 2 additional steering component failures requiring major repair. Most recently, August 4th, 2014 my 18 year old daughter was driving and lost power assist. She was able to coast to a stop without incident luckily. Dealer confirmed another pump failure. This isn't the radio, or tire noise or a normal wear and tear item. Power steering pump and system needs to last the lifetime of the car as it's a critical item central to safety and controllability of the vehicle. I am available for any additional information I can provide as needed. Thank you

- Old Bethpage , NY, USA

problem #60

Apr 072014


  • miles
We drove 5 hours to get our Acadia. Only to realize the very next day less than 24 hours the steering wasn't working right. If parked or at low speeds it is as if it has no power steering. This makes it pretty much impossible to get out of any right spots, parking spots & it literally impossible to parallel park. This issue has only gotten worse. I have researched online and have seen tons of complaints of this same issue and is stating the ones who did have the issue fixed it was the rack and pinion which cost $1400-$1700 to fix! therefore a recall needs to be made of this issue due to faulty assembly before someone gets injured!

- Raceland , KY, USA

problem #59

Jan 062014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
My Acadia began having power steering issues. I checked the power steering fluid, but the level was fine. The problem got increasingly worse until it was to the point that I could hardly turn the car at times. This is a dangerous situation as I would have easily hit other cars going around corners, etc. This is a serious issue as all the people I know that own Acadias, have the same power steering issues. This is clearly a widespread and possible accident-causing problem. I believe this should be considered for a recall because of the danger involved in not being able to control this car when the power steering is out.

- West Bend, WI, USA

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