really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,665 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 Sierra 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Owner Comments

problem #11

Feb 232015

Sierra 1500

  • 32,000 miles


I was driving my 2011 GMC on a highway in Massachusetts when the transmission decided to fail. My rear wheels locked up and was caused to turn sideways on a highway. My truck was hit by four other vechicles. Well the truck got fixed. The transmission was replaced 3 times! with all the same failures. GM needs to check into there transmittions before it could kill someone. 3 times its been replaced and all 3 times my rear wheels have locked up. Why? you guys need to fix this issue...

- North Adams, MA, USA

problem #10

Jan 022013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
Transmission vibration in the 1500 to 2000 RPM range.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #9

Mar 052014

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 38,958 miles
Started truck up and let idle for two minutes. Upon take off, the traction control light came on and was immediately followed by the check engine light with a message stating engine reduced power. The truck then begins to run very rough and when the brakes where applied it violently and uncontrollably lunged forward. I pulled off the road, turned off the engine, and waited a minute or two. Upon restarting the engine, the check engine light came on but the reduced power message and traction light where gone. After sitting at a light for a few seconds, the symptoms where back, nearly causing me to rearend the vehicle in front of me. I pulled over again, turned off the engine for a minute, restarted and the same results as before occured. Now this happens every time the truck is running and sits in the same spot for more than two or three minutes.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #8

Feb 052014

Sierra 1500

  • 39,500 miles


My starter or fly wheel is causing my truck to not want to start, also there is a rattling noise while driving at about 1500 RPM, and something is knocking in the rear of my truck. Its a 2011 with less than 40,000 miles and has been taken well care of, no reason this should happen. Luckily still under warranty.

- Cameron, NC, USA

problem #7

Nov 162013

Sierra 1500

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated that the vehicle was powered on and in park when it lunged forward abnormally. The contact had to jump in the vehicle and depress the brakes to stop it from traveling any farther. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis however, the dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Shelby Township, MI, USA

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problem #6

Nov 202012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 19,634 miles
I have been hearing noises from rear of truck, and kept looking for the problem, finally grabbed the bed and shook it from side to side and sounds like the tire is fixing to fall off, took it to hall GMC in tyler tx. On 9-03-2013 they greased the leaf springs ? and said they had fixed the problem, but when its parked on a hill there is to much weight on axle for it to move and they knew that, so when I got home in the garage it still has an inch or so travel from side to side making an awful noise, took it back on after 5 or 6 phone calls was told to come and get the truck on 9-23-2013, that they all do that, if anyone has a 2011 Chevy or GMC rear drive vehicle shake it from side to side give it a really good shake and next time you go around a corner fixing to pass someone it will scare you knowing that the axle is that lose.

- Troup, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 222011

Sierra 1500

  • 400 miles


The contact owns a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated that while driving 43 mph, the vehicle lunged forward and exhibited an abnormal noise. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who was unable to determine the cause of the failure and stated that the abnormal noise was expected with the type of power train in the vehicle. The failure was not reported to the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 400. The current mileage was 11,728.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 022013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Driving on the freeway, when truck started running rough. I managed to make it to the side of the freeway before the truck stopped working. Towed to GMC dealer. Broken throttle body sensor and broken steering position sensor connector.

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 262012

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 11,300 miles
There is play in the rear axles that emit a clunking noise when I am slowly backing over a grade with the steering wheels turned. I demonstrated play in the rear axles to the GMC factory rep and he said the axle play is within tolerances. My contention is that the noise is not normal and that the grooves in the differential end or the axles that accept the horseshoe shaped keeper clips are machined incorrectly and putting excessive stress on the clips. Eventually the clips will fail resulting in the wheel coming off. I further argue that if the axle play is indeed within tolerances then the tolerances are wrong. I tried to make the incorrect tolerance argument to the factory rep by making an analogy to the corvair and he missed my point. The rear suspension on the corvair was also within tolerances and many people died.

- Sinking Spring, PA, USA

problem #2

Mar 092011

Sierra 1500

  • 25 miles
When I first drove my new truck I noticed a subtle knocking noise coming from the rear when driving slowly over a bump. The dealer's mechanic agreed there was something wrong and called GM tech assistance ([xxx]) and found the rear axle had too much play. The grove on the axle that retains the C retaining clip was machined too close to the end of the shaft. They replaced the axle. Only a person with mechanical experience could have detected the subtle noise. Had it gone undetected eventually the C clip would likely fail and the axle and wheel would have slid out of the differential housing. I doubt this machining fault on the axle is unique to my truck. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sinking Spring, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 182010

Sierra 1500

  • 1,500 miles
On November 18, 2010, returning from vacation, driving a new 2011 GMC Sierra sle pick up with less than 2,000 miles use, pulling a 24' travel trailer. The truck was in "tow" mode descending a 15% grade hill at approximately 45 mph. I was not accelerating when the truck down shifted itself automatically from 5th to 3rd gear and the engine accelerated to 4000 RPM. I applied brakes and truck shifted back to 5th gear. Fortunately conditions were dry and no accident occurred. Cruise control was not engaged at the time as terrain was very hilly and twisting. Truck shifted and accelerated without warning. Continued trip without further problems.

- Houston, TX, USA

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