really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,412 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.

2011 GMC Acadia drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Sep 152019


  • 154,000 miles


I was traveling to daytona fl from Ohio for vacation. The transmission started slipping and as I got off the exit for daytona the transmission went out I barely made it to my rental. I had no extra money and can not rent a car because I have no major credut card. So I had to take out a loan for $3200 for A1 transmission shop to rebuild the transmission.

- Wilmington, OH, USA

problem #22

Jul 052019


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Acadia. While on an incline with the brake pedal depressed, the vehicle slid forward. The contact attempted to brake and the vehicle continued to slide. The contact stated that the vehicle moved forward when the brake pedal was released. The contact stated that it felt as if the vehicle were in neutral. The vehicle was driven to gregg young auto center (2020 w 20th St S, newton, ia 50208, (641) 275-9706) to be diagnosed, but the remedy could not be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that it was normal. The failure mileage was 90,000. The VIN was invalid.

- Knoxville, IA, USA

problem #21

Sep 152018


  • 274,000 miles
The car shutters intermediately when driven at higher posted speed limits. From about 40/45 miles per hour up to about 60 miles an hour. The vibration shakes the entire vehicle. Letting off the gas or acceleration will stop it, but go back to a steady speed, and it returns. Have kept up with service and the vehicle is in tremendous condition, but this condition is present in all weather and temperatures and seems to not have a cure. Have replaced all possible causes, including torque converter and possible sensors. Has not gone away. Noted that other owners have posted similar/same complaints on the same year and make. Same complaint with sister car 2011 Saturn outlook. There is a problem with the drive train and needs to be fixed. Understand some people have found a damaged "D plate" in the transmission-but replacing the part has resulted in the part failing again and the problem returns.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #20

Aug 222018


  • 132,870 miles


The contact owns a 2011 GMC Acadia. While the vehicle was at a stop light, the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The engine warning indicator illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was taken to rsc auto sales (located at 4427 w jefferson blvd, dallas, tx 75211, (214) 467-0270), but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 132,870.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #19

Jul 142018


  • 130,000 miles
When I drive the vehicle for 2 hours or more the "transmission hot idle engine" come on the dash and I have to slow down or park the vehicle for it to cool off. I can not drive at 75 mph or 80 mph when on the highway without it coming on.

- Memphis, TN, USA

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problem #18

Aug 052018


  • 48,197 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Acadia. While attempting to turn the vehicle off, the gear shifter would not shift into the park position. As a result, the ignition key could not be removed from the ignition, causing the engine to keep running. The failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The local dealer (bill crispin Chevrolet, 7112 E Michigan ave, saline, mi) was notified, but no assistance was offered. The failure mileage was 48,197.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #17

Apr 202018


  • 83,000 miles


Transmission flares out (goes into neutral) between gears when merging into highway traffic at speeds of around 45-60 mph. Most often occurs when initially accelerating to merge into faster traffic and then having to take my foot off the gas for a second or two to allow faster cars to go by, and then trying to accelerate again. The transmission is in neutral and it seems it is caught between gears (4th & 5th gears I believe) when I try to accelerate again. Engine revs to 5000 to 6000 RPM range because it is not in gear. Have to take foot off of the gas and wait a couple seconds for transmission to get into gear so I can continue driving. In the meantime faster cars are approaching as I'm in the middle of merging into highway traffic. Not being able to accelerate when merging into highway traffic creates a very unsafe situation. This issue has occurred 2-3 times a month for the last several years. Have had it looked at a number of times by GM service center but they are unable to reproduce the event when they test drive my vehicle and there aren't any special codes popping up in the computer log for them to justify doing anything to fix the problem. So they are not able to do anything about this condition.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #16

Sep 022017


  • 100,000 miles
I was driving my 2011 GMC Acadia and all of a sudden the car started to decelerate. I pulled over and turn the car off and then the car would not start again. I had it towed to the dealership. The dealership is saying there is an issue with the timing chain. The dealership said that the timing chain failed. Upon doing research, I see that this is a common issue with GMC models, especially the Acadia model. The dealership is saying that the repair is going to cost me $7500. Given that this is well-known issue with the Acadia model, I feel that this issue should be recalled for the safety of consumers.

- Kershaw, SC, USA

problem #15

Nov 122013


  • 70,000 miles
I was complaining about the performance of this vehicle to the dealer for the past three years. Now that the warranty is expired, I had to change the driveshaft, fell out while transporting passengers; transfer case, the transition from drive, the automatic shift would jerk; a passenger I had in the car told me one day I would not make it up a hill. One week later it happened. Transmission, the vehicle wouldn't move even when gas was applied; 6 coils and plugs, the bad smell of something burning was scary. I had to pull off the road because the reduce power light come on. Yesterday, 12/26/16, I went through this again!!! there is a rubbing sound in one of my wheels, don't know what that is yet. I also changed the axels and about to change the tie rods for a clunking noise while making turns on uneven surfaces. I made numerous complaints to GMC hq and the dealer here in the vi from 2013. The dealer changed parts that were irrelevant and told me it was fixed.

- St. Thomas, VI, USA

problem #14

Sep 152016


  • 136,000 miles
My vehicle has 136,000 miles and the timing chain is out, I have had to have the front passenger axle repaired, there is an oil leak. I had the vehicle checked while under warranty because the check engine light would come on, the service department said it was because the gas cap wasn't tightened. Now I have no warranty and the timing chain needs replaced. The first day I drove my vehicle the brake system failed, it was brand new. It had had several recalls.

- Wellington, AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 152015


  • miles


"tamara recall". I received several notices. Initially auto dealership denied recall existed. Now claims it doesn't apply to my car. Original owner and live in South Florida. What engine the heck is going on" do we have to have a fatal injury to get their attention? engine mounts keep breaking, 16,000 mile intervals. First time dealership replaced. Now at 33,000 miles my phone problem? guess we need catastrophic failure before manufacturer engineers better engine mounts"! low mileage vehicle, careful driver on good roads. Please send feedback.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #12

Apr 222016


  • 69,000 miles
Passenger side air vent not blowing all the other vents work. Dealer said it was the air door actuator. This is the 2nd time we have had our Acadia in for cooling issues each time we have had to pay big bucks we do not have!!!!

- Mason City, IA, USA

problem #11

Apr 022016


  • 71,796 miles
Vehicle came out of park sitting in driveway while being cleaned out. The key was not in the ignition; however the gear shift was shifted into park as someone reached over across the seat. Passenger side doors were open and as the vehicle rolled, the doors hit my pouch causing damage to the front and rear passenger doors. My children had to jump out of the way to avoid being ran over. There is a serious defect on 2011 Acadia and the results could have been deadly. I need for GMC to fix this problem. The gear shifter is not suppose to move without the key in the ignition and turned to the on position plus the brake must be push to active. So GMC what happen? I could be burying one of my children. The damage is over $2300 and I have a $500 deductible not including the cost to fix why the gear shifter was able to move. I need to be made whole ($500 deductible reimbursement and my gear shifter problem fixed). Mileage at time of incident was 71,796.

- Altavista, VA, USA

problem #10

Jan 202016


  • 67,000 miles
While driving this morning this message appeared : "traction control off", then "service stabilitrak". very soon after message "reduced engine power" appeared. The car was still running, but would not go above approximately 2K RPM's or 15mph. This is the second time that this has happened and have had to take to shop and have throtle body inspected and recalibrated. This is my wifes car and I have a small child that was in car when this happened. This happened in an area that is heavily traveled to include school buses.

- Graniteville, SC, USA

problem #9

Apr 152014


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while at a stop, the vehicle rolled backwards. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #8

Dec 302014


  • 51,100 miles
Ses light came on, trac control light came on/ vehicle lost power. Traveling southbound on state route 83 near wooster, Ohio two lane highway with nearly no pull offs. Lost power going up hill. Went from 55mph to barely 20 mph within seconds.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 272014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
June 11th 2014, it was a Wednesday. I drove over a set of railroad tracks and all of a sudden my car starts beeping and flashing all of these lights at me. The park assist off, the traction control off, the service stabilitrak" and the ?check engine? lights all come on. We are in town and not going very fast so I don?T notice the car driving any differently at first. I stop and still everything seems fine, except for all these lights flashing at me. When I try to go again is when I realized that there is a problem. My car will not accelerate. I have the gas pushed all the way to the ground and my car is moving at like snail speed, I?M trying to make a left hand turn, up a hill, to get to the parking lot but my car literally will not move! vehicles are swerving to avoid crashing into us, I call a tow truck and my finance. When we do hear back from the GMC dealership they basically tell us that we?re idiots. They test drove the car and looked it over and hooked it up to their fancy machines and there?S nothing wrong with it. August 16th. My fiancÉ is driving, on a highway at 65 all of those same lights come on and my fiancÉ announces, ?omg samantha, I think it?S happening again. ? sure enough he is unable to accelerate and the vehicle stalls out in the middle of the road. Luckily for us this time we are on flat terrain and we are able to coast into my mother"S driveway. Because it is so late we decided to just go to bed and deal with it in the morning. In the morning, though, we get into the car and it drives perfectly fine. We drive 6 hours back to rapid city, with no issues, although we are sick to our stomachs. Saturday, September 27, 2014 the exact same thing happens. Dash reeds as this traction control off park assist off service traction control service stabilitrak

- Rapid City, SD, USA

problem #6

Mar 032014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 71,733 miles
I saw an error message on the dashboard that read "service traction control", then it read "traction control off" and then the last thing that read was "engine power is reduced". that's when my car dropped from going 55 mph to 20 mph and I could not accelerate. I pulled off the road a few minutes then back onto road but had no power. I pulled over and called a tow truck and had it towed to shop.they replaced accelerator pedal assembly. Cost me $259.84.

- Washington, MO, USA

problem #5

Jun 292014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 78,780 miles
My son in law was driving, I was in passenger seat, all of a sudden engine raced, tack needle went very high and vehicle began slowing down all at the same time. Son in law remove foot from gas peddle and vehicle acted normal. This has happen to me approximately 20 times prior to this. Two or three times I took it to dealer who stated the computer didn't 'register' anything. It has happened on interstate when I attempt to pass 18 wheeler in heavy traffic, very scary.

- Washington, MO, USA

problem #4

Apr 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
Over the past month and a half I have been noticing that when I attempt to push the gas to make my car go faster that it doesn't accelerate. It is usually when my vehicle is already in motion and I attempt to go faster. I can hear it making a noise like it's trying to go faster but there is definitely a delay before the vehicle actually starts to go faster. Usually I am on a normal streets going anywhere from 35-55 mph (depending on the street and post speed limit), so it's not always a huge deal when it happens. I do a lot of highway driving and this is where my concern comes into play. A few weeks ago I was merging onto 696. There was more then enough room in the first lane for me to safely merge into traffic, however, when attempting to accelerate my vehicle it would not go above 35mph for a good 30 seconds and a car that was in the right lane probably going at least 70mph almost rear ended me. There was another instance when I was merging onto the vandyke expressway where the posted speed is 70mph and the exact same thing happened. Trying to merge into traffic with a post speed of 70mph and my vehicle not going above 35mph is not safe. My vehicle was recently in the shop because my air compressor literally melted and started smoking as I was driving my car. When it was in the shop this problem was mentioned to them and we were told "the problem would be like finding a needle in a haystack" the air compressor was fixed along with the current air bag recall, however, this acceleration issue was not addressed whatsoever. To me this is the most pressing issue and should have taken priority. I should be able to know that when I am merging onto a highway with fast moving traffic that my car is going to accelerate and not potentially cause a major accident.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

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