really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,181 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.

2012 GMC Acadia drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 GMC Acadia Owner Comments

problem #12

Jul 212016


  • 32,000 miles


Vehicle shudders and jerks at all speeds. It is particularly worse at lower speeds. The automatic transmission is acting like someone is popping the clutch on an manual transmission. It is scary and dangerous to drive when this is happening, however it only happens intermittently. Have found many similar complaints via google, however cannot get dealer to address the issue as no error codes are present and they cannot recreate the issue.

- Chestertown, MD, USA

problem #11

Apr 142012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 10 miles
When operating at various speeds, inclines, and various temperatures, it lurches, fluctuations on tachometer. Dealer has known about the issue since I bought it brand new and informed me that General Motors is aware of the problem with transmissions with this year and model, but has no plans on replacing transmissions or addressing this. It is a defect with my $43,000 dollar investment, which could directly affect the value of my investment. The mileage is 17,500. Please inform me as to what can be done about this. Sincerely, [xxx] thank you information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #10

Jan 072016


  • 89,000 miles
Around April/May 2015 I began noticing issues with my vehicle when shifting, upshifting and downshifting while driving. I took it into the dealership several times with complaints of the transmission skipping, hesitating, sputtering, and a variety of other words that I used to describe the issue. The problem continued to become worse. Time and time again the dealership told me they test drove the vehicle, couldn't duplicate the issue, and couldn't do anything further B/C no code was coming up on the car. Again, in December 2015, I took my car back in because the problem was worsening. Again, the same story from the dealership. Only this time they suggested I service my transmission. I did. Then I was told that there was clutch material in my transmission fluid which meant the clutches were failing and I would be looking at a transmission rebuild sooner rather than later. I asked what if anything could be done, I was told nothing because there were no codes on the car. So I have a car that I purchased 3 years and 3 months ago brand new looking at a transmission rebuild. I then contacted corporate and began the process of a formal complaint. After speaking with corporate and then subsequently the dealership again, the dealership took my car back in. This time. They pulled out the transmission, and behold, the 35R wave plate was cracked (which I asked if that was it back in may after doing some internet research and seeing that several others have had this exact same issue with a cracked wave plate) and the torque converter was replaced along with a couple of other items and the system flushed. It seems as though there is a design flaw with the transmissions that need to be corrected. If this is such a common problem, why is GMC attempting to play dumb when there are obvious issues and push the cost off onto its consumers?I feel 100% that the dealership knew all along.

- Hobart, IN, USA

problem #9

Mar 012014


  • miles


The first thing that I want to say is that some of the recalls are not for the 2012 model but mine has had the issues with the fuel moduler not reading correctly as in one recall and also the shifter clip causing the vehicle to not be in the correct gear. What do I do? also the second thing is the A/C broke within the 3rd year of having it. The third thing to go wrong is the power steering. It comes and goes but as long as I push on the gas I have power steering. I'm very concerned about the fuel moduler because my daughter drives this vehicle also traveling the interstate to work and also a very populated secondary road.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #8

Sep 272015


  • 99,000 miles
Transmission shudders and makes for a very uneasy, uncomfortable drive. It acts like it is going to die in the middle of driving down the highway.

- Jbsa Lackland, TX, USA

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problem #7

Sep 272015


  • 99,000 miles
We got this car in hopes it would last 3 years. When we drive it, the transmission shudders and acts like it is going to die driving down the road. It is very dangerous and annoying and I'm afraid to drive it. It is really such a shame, the car seems so nice but drives worse than a sherman tank. It seems to do it worse at low speeds, on the military base 15mph 20mph average speed it does it constantly. It also does it on the highway at any speed.

- Jbsa Lackland, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 072015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 69,662 miles


On 03/07/15 at approximately 1715 at tyler state park our vehicle was backed into the parking space on a slight incline at cabin one. Our 3 year old daughter was in our 2012 GMC Acadia in the driver seat and our friend's 9 year old son was in the passenger seat; with the vehicle in park the ignition turned off and the keys in my husband pocket. Our 3 year old daughter was able to get the vehicle out of park and into drive, causing the vehicle to roll forward down the incline, across the street and hitting two trees. This caused damage to the bumper and right quarter panel causing the passenger door to catch on the metal frame when opening the door and the front end of vehicle shakes when driven between 65mph-70 mph. Both children were ok with just bumps on their heads. I called the GM dealer in tyler, tx and was advised by [xxx] to contact a GM dealer when I returned home since the vehicle was drivable and we were on vacation. On Monday March 16, 2015 at approximately 0715 I called texan GMC and spoke with [xxx] and advised him of what has happened with the vehicle while on vacation. [xxx] advised me I could bring the vehicle in to have the recalls fixed but I would need to call GMC customer service @ 800-222-1020 and get and incident report started with them and see when they would like to have a technician take a look at the vehicle. I called GMC spoke with [xxx] and she gave me a claim #[xxx] I then took the vehicle to have diagnostic testing done on Monday 03/16015 and was called on Monday 03//23/2015 advising me that there were no finding of a malfunction with the vehicle and that GM will not be fixing any damage to my vehicle that was a result to this incident. No matter their findings there is a malfunction somewhere and I feel that GM does not want to admit to there being a malfunction. I just want the issue fixed so this does not happen again. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- New Caney, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 292014


  • 30,000 miles
While driving 30 mph on a city street the drive shaft of my 2012 GMC Acadia fell off. I was able to quickly move my vehicle into a parking lot to avoid further damage. Upon inspection with the tow truck driver we noted that the AWD drive shaft fell from the under carriage of my vehicle. It seems that all six bolts had fallen off this drive shaft. Initially the GMC dealership refused to repair my vehicle which is under a 5 year 100,000 warranty as they said the vehicle must have been sabotaged but they could not provide any proof. I pointed out to the service manager that there was no evidence of any sabotage and let him know that I would be pursuing a warranty claim with GMC corporate as well as MA dept of Consumer Affairs. The service manager called me back about 30 minutes later to let me know that the general manager agreed to repair my vehicle this one time was while responsive to my request did not appear to address a potentially larger safety issue. I inquired about reporting this incident to the NHTSA and they did nothing which is why I am contacting this organization directly. Updated 1/29/16

- South Easton, MA, USA

problem #4

Mar 122013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that when attempting to accelerate when in drive, the vehicle jerked. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Leominster, MA, USA

problem #3

Jan 222013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
Either I got a lemon, which is definitely a possibility, or there are significant issues w/ GMC as a manufacturer which is evident. The american car industry just won't do business differently but then again, they don't have to- they get bailed out by the government repeatedly. I leased this vehicle in October, 2012. The issues cited above, were related to 3 bad fuel ignition valves, they were replaced finally after I took the car back to 2 different dealers and nearly 6 months of complaining. The issue was when accelerating, the rpms would stick at around 5-6 when I was traveling around speeds of 45 mph to 60 mph. The transmission wouldn't shift into the next gear. This was highway driving, but will happen on 4 lane roads as well. During the same time frame, the stability of the car in ice/snow only worked if the tow package feature was turned on. Otherwise, I spun out leaving our neighborhood going down a slope at speeds of less than 30 mph. Dealer said it didn't make sense and did nothing. I just keep the tow feature on during snow/ice/rain. Electrical issues, heating/cooling system wasn't working correctly, it wasn't heating unless the temp was put at 80 degrees. Only thing dealer would concede was there was a kink in the hose. It's happening again- we have to set the A/C at 60 in order for it to cool the car down. Very disappointed in this car. Once again, the issue with the rpms and heating/cooling system is happening again. I'm paying off this lease early and hopefully will not get a penalty. This is a poorly made car.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #2

Jun 122013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
Axle rod pulled out of gear box causing the entire wheel/tire assembly to fall down. According to dealer the assembly had not been "machined" at all at the factory and could have failed at any time. The rivets were not pulled out is how this determination was made. It happened with no warning after turning left onto the highway from my driveway at a low speed. Car was unable to be steered or stopped coming to rest about 30 yards after failure. Dealer has informed us that GMC manufacture requested the parts be returned to them and this may become a recall issue due to the fact that the rivets should have been flattened on the assembly line when hit by the machine, they obviously were not and they need to determine how many vehicles may be involved. This is a big, bad deal and could have killed us if we were traveling at any higher rate of speed. Other lives are most likely in danger. The consumer stated the left front lower ball joint separated from the control arm. The rivets holding the lower ball joint were never installed correctly.

- Crawfordville, FL, USA

problem #1

Nov 152011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 65 mph, the contact disengaged the accelerator pedal briefly while switching lanes. Upon engaging the accelerator pedal again there was an increase in the RPM reading but the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic. The technician stated the vehicles computer needs to recognize the throttle gear which caused the hesitation. The technician stated there was no repair necessary. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000. The consumer also stated the same issue occurred when slowly approaching a light, that then turned to green before coming to a full stop. When he applied the gas, the engine RPM's would rise, but the transmission did not engage for a period of 3-5 seconds. Updated 04/25/12

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

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