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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Mar 042014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 74,800 miles


The rack and pinion steering gear and power steering pump appear to be defective in my 2009 GMC Acadia. For the past several weeks my power steering will lock up or freeze mid-turn, which is very scary. The power steering is gone completely and I have to turn really hard before it seems to re-engage. I am unable to take tight turns in this situation and I am often on the wrong side of the road as I try to pull out of the turn waiting for the power steering to re-engage. I have been lucky so far that I have not run into any oncoming cars when the system locks up. My car is currently in the shop and we are looking at least $1500 worth of repairs.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #37

Sep 202011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I took my 2009 Acadia into the GMC dealer with around 65,000 miles on it after buying it used (1 previous owner) with around 42,000 miles. They told me I had a power steering leak in the rack and pinion and it would cost around $2000 to replace a seal because they have to pull the whole rack off. He told me it would be okay for a while, but eventually it would cause the power steering to go out. After researching, I've seen multiple other Acadia owners who have had the exact same problem. I have refused to pay for the repairs because I think this is a safety issue that has effected enough of this model vehicle to warrant a general safety recall. I know of 3 other people in my hometown who have experienced power steering problems with their Acadia's, and the GMC dealership acknowledged to me that it is a significant problem with GMC Acadia model years 2008-2012. If that's not enough, then I'm not sure what is, but if my power steering goes out while I'm driving, well, let this serve as notice to GMC.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #36

Feb 272014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
When making a turn at a low speed, the power steering failed. After a minute or two and pulling hard on the steering wheel, I hear a click and the power steering re-activates. Another incident just like the first one happened the next day. I did not drive the car again until I took it to the local GMC dealership. It has been the for 3 days and they say that they can not determine what the problem is. The car is not safe to drive until there problem is solved. Although I did not have an accident when this happened, it was very scary when I felt that I could not control the turning of the car. I see there are many incidents described just like this posted online.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #35

Feb 012014


  • miles


Steering failure. Appears to be a prevalent complaint among owners of this vehicle. Safety hazard. GM should issue a recall.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #34

Dec 312013


  • 28,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated when the steering wheel was turned it made a knocking noise. The dealer performed a diagnostic test which located the failure in the steering gear box and the rack pinion ball rack assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 28,600.

- Crossett, AR, USA

problem #33

Nov 092013


  • 62,000 miles
The steering locks up at low speeds when trying to make a turn. It is extremely dangerous because it is almost impossible to get the vehicle to steer, I barely got mine off the road when it occurred. It is kind of a hit and miss situation, it does not happen on every turn you make; it might happen once and then the next turn it won't and then the next it locks up again. At this point I have my vehicle parked until it's repaired because it's too dangerous to operate because you never know when it will lock up and if you would be able to maintain control of your vehicle. This problem needs to be recalled, especially after so many complaints have been made of the same issue with the vehicle, before someone ends up injured due to the faulty steering. After reading all of the complaints I'm surprised GM has not addressed this issue.

- Hurley, VA, USA

problem #32

Jan 032013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles


On slow speeds the power steering goes out completely on turns this seems to be a ongoing issue due to other reports power steering just fails but not all the time someone is going to get injured badly as GM knows and you know of this problem.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #31

Nov 222011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 49,205 miles
The power steering was noisy from around the date of purchase. This problem evolved into intermittent failure of the power steering at both low speeds and at highway speeds. The complaint has not been addressed adequately by General Motors even though I am finding many complaints for this same issue. In fact, there is a class action lawsuit pending currently (see below). The vehicle now has approximately 78,000 miles and the intermittent problem persists along with electrical issues on rh side of vehicle. The class action was brought on behalf all persons in the United States who purchased or leased any 2009 through 2012 GMC Acadia, 2009 through 2012 Buick enclave, or 2009 through 2012 Chevrolet traverse vehicles (collectively, ¿¿class vehicles¿) designed, manufactured marketed, distributed, sold, warranted and serviced by General Motors, llc and General Motors company this action arises out of a uniform and widespread defect in the integral steering system of an entire class of automobiles that poses an extremely unreasonable safety risk not only to the driver and passengers of the vehicle, but to other drivers on the road and pedestrians on the streets. The lawsuit alleges that the steering system in these vehicles are defective because steering may intermittently and drastically fail while the car is in motion (the ¿'steering defect¿), thus creating a serious safety risk. A copy of the complaint is attached here. Complaint: GM 4-1-13 the court denied GM's motion to dismiss and ordered it to answer the complaint. GM motion to dismiss.

- Amherst, NH, USA

problem #30

Sep 132013


  • 26,000 miles
At low speeds power steering failed. Need to be accellerating in order for power sterring to work. Seems like a default that should have a recall given that this isn't an uncommon experience. My mileage is really low and I am frankly surprised to have the issue. GMC should probably do a recall before someone gets hurt or killed. Hopefully this isn't a recurring issue after I get it fixed.

- Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

problem #29

Jul 032013


  • miles
During the last few months I have noticed a problem with my 2009 GMC Acadia. The problem occurs with the power steering failing when I am trying to steer or turn. It is as if the power steering stops working completely and I am forced to use manual steering which can be extremely difficult and is a serious safety issue.

- Winchester, CA, USA

problem #28

Aug 242013


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated while traveling approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #27

Aug 192013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
* transmission was slipping and revving up between gears. Delayed response and clunking sound when it is in reverse. "check engine light" also came on. Barely drove the car to the dealership for repairs. Dealership service advisor scheduled a transmission rebuild. After doing internet search, I saw countless complaints in blogs, sns, etc. There are so many people having this transmission problem. Not acceptable. GMC has powertrain warranty 5 year /100K miles. My warranty expires in four months and GM should provide extended powertrain warranty beyond 5 years based unreliable transmission design/quality. * power steering problem. Power steering is making moaning under low speed driving (in the parking lot, driving around subdivision, etc.). noise is coming from the inside steering column area. Also steering is very tight and hard. Complained to dealership multiple times. Dealership replaced the seal twice, but the problem is still there. Dealership told me that GM does not have a fix for this problem.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #26

Jul 152013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
2009 GMC Acadia slt1 - 67,000 miles currently. Power steering failing at lower speeds. When purchasing the vehicle used with only 25,000M+- approx. 2 years ago, I questioned the dealership about the whining noise coming from the steering components and was told that this is normal for all acaidias and not a concern. Now the steering is failing at low speed turns. GMC service dept recommending: Steering gear housing $42.14 - 2 bolts $11 - 2 - bolts $7.59 - 6 - P/S fluid $23.10 and flush and bleed system, labor to replace steering gear housing $640.50 power steering pump $155.69 realign after steering gear repair $69.95 labor for pump $315 injectors and coils failing. In Dec 2011, I had to replace coils #2 & #3. I just replaced #6 injector on July 17, 2013 (= $685) and on July 24, 2013 (one week later) check engine light reappeared. GMC service dept recommending: 4 - ignition coils $373.30, 6 - spark plugs $42.25, labor for coils, and plugs $241.50............................................................ total parts $655.07 total labor $1197 tax $54.04 align $69.95 total: $1976.06 offering 40% customer portion pay $790.42 why is there no recall on defective steering components & coils/injectors? in the later 2012 models GM did change the power steering & fluid, so GM is aware that there is a problem with the design. The fuel delivery system is also defective and faulty coils/injectors could and have caused fires. GMC Acadia, Buick enclave & Chevrolet traverse vehicles up to early 2012 models share these above mentioned components are plagued by these two problems along with transmission (wave plate) problems. GM needs to take full responsibility for defective components and not offer discounted repairs.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #25

Jul 262013


  • miles
My 2009 GMC Acadia started to lock up while steering/turning. I took to dealership and was told I needed to replace my rack. They quoted me $1500! I could not afford this, so they told me it's drivable but will eventually get worse. I cannot park easy in parking lots, I can't make easy turns and it's terrifying when I take my kids in the car. I took it other places - some said it's the rack and others it's the pump. So far I had to replace coils every month, my engine had to be remodeled after a rod snapped off into it and now this! please recall this!!!!!!!!! it's a safety issue and way too costly!

- Peckville, PA, USA

problem #24

Jul 252013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
My Acadia has some problems with the power steering being "stiff" - or hard to turn in tight spots. (I.e., parking or close turns). I took it to my repairman today and asked him to check it out. He says that he has seen issues with other vehicles, including the Acadia and the enclave - this same issue. He started taking it apart and called me and said the entire power steering system, pump, rack N pinion steering, etc. Have to be replaced. He said he has had to do this in several other vehicles like this. He said that there were already metal shavings showing up. He told me that parts and labor would be around $1,100 to get this taken care of. He said it will just gradually get worse - it shouldn't go out all together all at once, but it would get worse. I have seen 25+ other complaints on this same problem with the same vehicles. When is GM going to do something about this. I have done regular maintenance on this vehicle all along. It has approx. 80,000 miles on it right now. Has been doing this for about a year - not bad - but he is right - getting a little worse all the time.

- Henderson, WV, USA

problem #23

Jul 232013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Vehicle is hard to turn at low speeds, particularly when parking. Seems as though power steering is not working. Took to dealer and was told that power steering pump went out and that steering gear/rack should also be replaced for $1800+. this is ridiculous on a vehicle that was purchased new and serviced every 3000, primarily at the dealership from which it was purchased. Given the other 23 complaints that have been filed for the same issue, it appears to be a common defect and I am extremely concerned about the safety of the vehicle that my wife drives every day with our 2 young children.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #22

Mar 012013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated while driving approximately 5 mph the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the power steering pump assembly and the water pump shaft seal had to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #21

Mar 042013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The vehicle's steering stops working at low speeds while trying to park or back out of a parking place. The power steering fails and you must turn the vehicle manually. The issue continues to get worse the longer you wait to get it fixed.

- Mustang, OK, USA

problem #20

Jul 022013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
Steering is difficult at low speeds. While driving at low speeds the steering wheel seems to almost lock up and needs considerable force to be turned. The problem is consistently happening every time the Acadia is driven. This problem makes it extremely difficult to maneuver in parking lots and at any intersection. This problem has been going on for a little while and seems only to be getting worse.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #19

May 302013


  • 94,000 miles
Was driving our 2009 GMC Acadia and as I was slowing and turning the car became very hard to steer, if I was applying the brake I could barely turn the steering wheel. I then asked my father to test it out and even he could barely turn it when applying the brakes and was tight to steer in general. I am 500 mikes from home, but not sure it is safe to drive back home. Will call dealer but from all the other complaints it sounds like the power steering pump is or has gone out. This is very unsafe and although I was cautious while driving, it is definitely a safety hazard!!!!

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

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