Notes: The GMC Canyon is mechanically identical to the Chevy Colorado.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,907 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.

2008 GMC Canyon electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 GMC Canyon Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 262016


  • 130,000 miles


Passlock system this has been going on over the last three years and now getting worse and is intermittent, when I insert and turn the key something happens making the theft system activate and keeps the vehicle from starting for exactly 10 minutes. Recently I turned the truck off to save gas while I was in construction traffic at a stand still with a concrete barrier on both sides and the truck would not start and the police were going to have me towed, luckily at started at 10 minutes before the tow truck came. In my opinion this can be unsafe in emergency situations if the vehicle is needed for any type of emergency. Below I am pasting something from the web, but it is basically the problem that I and people all over the country are having. "thousands of people are being led in circles by any vehicle with a passlock II system and it is an unsafe problem with these cars that needs to be fixed. It prevents vehicles from restarting in potentially dangerous areas while the vehicle resets and can permanently disable the car if not addressed. The problem lies in a design oversight and cutting a material cost by putting in a cheap component that any basic chemist could tell you would go bad within a year or two. Change your ignition switch contact from nickel to gold plated connectors and oxidation will not cause faulty readings to trick your vehicles into thinking that they are being stolen and shutting off the fuel pumps. Remuneration for individuals impacted by this financial burden for the purchase of your vehicles is also a request as this problem is a gold mine for car mechanics, both GM certified and freelance, to troubleshoot numerous systems before identifying the problem proper."

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #6

Jan 012013


  • 60,000 miles
About 3-4 days per week the truck will not start. We have to take the key out of the ignition and let the truck sit for around 10 min. And then the truck will start, or if it does start the components on the dash and the radio does not work and we have to wiggle the switch to get it to work.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 272008

Canyon 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The initial problem is that the vehicle ignition engages on its own while parked without the key being in the ignition. I would notice the radio playing on occasion. When I opened the door the bells sound like the key is in the ignition but it is not. On other occasions the battery would just be drained dead. I took it in to several different GMC dealer several times and each time I was told since they could not duplicate the problem there was nothing they could do. Soon after, and this has occurred on several occasions, the cruise control would disengage while driving down the highway. On several other occasions the security light lights in the dashboard. Note: This vehicle does not have a security system. The light would clear when I stopped the truck and restarted it. For several years since I have been going through taillight bulbs at a rate of about one per month. Finally a GMC dealer discovered that the plug for the light bulb had melted / burned. All these incidents seem related to the ignition / electrical system and seem too similar to all the other issues recalled to not have been included in previous recalls.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #4

Jul 082014

Canyon 4-cyl

  • miles


At the time of original discovery of a problem the vehicles cruise control would work intermittently. Months after the original discovery, a friend stated I had no brake lights. I checked the fuses and bulbs both were satisfactory. I conducted a check of the brake light switch with a volt meter and the switch is bad. There is no indication to the operator that the brake lights are not functioning. Further research indicates there is a known problem in this make of vehicle. I have conducted a VIN search of my vehicle and it is not covered in current or past recalls of this known issue. I believe the scope of the recall is not inclusive of all affected vehicles. I would also like to know if this issue translates to vehicles that come factory equipped with towing packages, in that if an operator is towing and using the factory installed towing connectors would the lighting of the towed vehicle be affected as well.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 022014

Canyon 5-cyl

  • 65,248 miles
I purchased my Canyon in Nov 2007. After a year of having it, it would not start. I took it to the dealership and they said it was the starter and replaced it. It started doing the same thing a few months after that. I replaced the battery. I've purchased three batteries since owning the truck. The problem is when trying to start it wont start until after sitting in the truck for exactly 10 minutes. After that it will start. I never noticed the time delay previously and bought unnecessary batteries and had a starter changed. If you look on google all Canyons and Colorado owners report the same problem won't start for 10 minutes. I recently took it to dealer and they said its a faulty passlock that's not covered under warranty $380. If all the trucks are having the same problem it should be recalled. The alarm system prevents the starting of the truck for exactly 10 minutes.this can be a matter of life and death in an emergency. More info can be found online in the search. Please help.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #2

Nov 072013

Canyon 5-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Truck was parked & locked. Upon unlocking truck & trying to start it, discovered that vehicle theft deterrent system light was flashing & vehicle would not start. Waited ten minutes & restarted truck. Each time vehicle stopped & parked that day, same thing happened again. After checking internet discovered that this is very common problem for Canyons & colorados!!! two suggestions offered on internet - 1) take to dealer & spend big bucks for new computer chip. 2) once truck running, cut wire to theft deterrent system (be advised vehicle will no longer have a theft deterrent system). Went with option 2. can't believe this is common vehicle problem & no federal action taken?

- Livingston, TN, USA

problem #1

May 272013

Canyon 4-cyl

  • 12,100 miles
Following the first incident noted above, there were several other such incidents, where turning the ignition switch resulted in no starter engagement, dead battery indication. Following the first incident, the original battery had been replaced with a new battery. After the second incident following a jump start, the engine started. The vehicle was driven about 3 miles to an automotive parts store where the new battery (about 1 month old) was tested and found to be fully charged and in good condition. Following a third incident about a month aftter the second incident, the vehicle was taken to the GM deaaler for diagnosing. The dealer said the ignition switch was defective based upon the computer code. Despite the vehicle's 2008 year, the vehicle only had 14,769 miles. My out-of-pocket cost was $386. This defective switch should not have failed at such a low mileage. An internet search revealed other GM products reporting the same switch failure problem.

- Dade City, FL, USA

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