really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,397 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 Terrain steering problems

steering problem

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2011 GMC Terrain Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 232015


  • 70,000 miles


Car completely shuts down and loses all power/activity after starting it up, putting gear into drive, and trying to accelerate. Wheel gets stiff and car stops moving. This first happened within a year of buying the vehicle and has happened a second time mid ownership. During these times, the car just would not start for about 30 mins to an hour. Lately and several times a week now since mid-October, the car will start but completely shut down to the point where the car is shutting down at red lights, stop signs and anywhere I have to stop. It may take 3-5 times to repeat the process of starting the car and putting it back into drive before it drives without shutting down and me making to my destination.

- Wadsworth, IL, USA

problem #8

Jul 102015


  • 75,000 miles
I had purhased a 2011 GMC terrian and have gotten three letters saying don't bring in to dealer until the problems happen one side -impact circuit cause-airbag-readiness light illuminate and the service air bag message to display. GMC extened the protection for 10 years or 120,000 miles. The second that was sent the steering same protection and the third letter for oil consumption which it is doing now. This not safe for my wife and me or the any other passengers. What is your addvismentfor me.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 122015


  • 37,800 miles
I purchased the vehicle (car) in Feb. 2011. Attempted to start the car the other day and the yellow "engine" displayed in the speedo area. Waited one day tried again and the car started but I received a message in the red area of the dash indicating the power steering need service. Thinking I could add fluid I checked the owners manual and learned the car had electric power steering. Car started yesterday 11 Oct., drove the car to walmart and returned home. No problems. Attempted to start this am 12 Oct. Same thing happened as before. Called the local GMC deealer in fort walton beach, and was told the this power steering is not coverend by the warranty since I have had it for over the 3 year period even thoungh I only have 37,800 miles. I will attempt to start the car agin in a little while. If it will not start I will call aaa to tow the car to a local garage I have used before and trust. I am pretty sure the electric power steering is the culprit.

- Navarre, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 212011

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 24,185 miles


I was going to a 930 am doctor appt@the cancer clinic, with my husband & father as passengers. I was in the left turn lane northbound attempting to turn into the hospital. It was 910 am. There was a lg. Delivery truck opposite me in the southbound left turn lane. As I pulled in the southbound lane, easing forward to ensure clearance the other car behind the delivery truck pulled out and around the truck and sped up to go through the intersection to make the lightthat was amber at this point. My father said that her head was down and she didn't look up until just before impact. There were no skid marks & the impact was high on the pass. Side of my vehicle rocking us up onto 2 wheels on the drivers side & then back down on all 4. my vehicle was T-boned on the front passenger side. The lady came out from behind the delivery truck at the last second, changed lanes & proceeded into the intersection at the same time I was trying to turn left. At this point the light was yellow. I have, I do believe 8 air bags, with 8 sensors in the Terrain's. also I have a full subscription to onstar which also has crash sensors in my car. * one air bag went off nor did any sensors**. onstar did not call me after the crash to tell me that they would be sending help, ambulance, police etc. My injuries were: Contusion to left side of head above ear. Scalp wound above right ear, with permanent indentation to right side of my head,2 small cuts right side of forehead. Black eyes. Pain in neck & stiffness. Right eye socket @ eye brow swollen. Husband: Seatbelt bruising, neck pain/stiffness. My father, neck pain, stiffness, scraped skin on instep of right foot. This formal complaint is with General Motors, GMC Terrain, & onstar for not 1 airbag having not gone off/deployed, nor did onstar make any effort to contact me. I contacted both GM & onstar & they did nothing to compensate me.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #5

Jun 142013

Terrain 6-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
I purchased this Terrain as the 99 GMC pickup that I purchased from sheehan had 3 total brake failures and a power steering cooler fail all due to corrosion. I was afraid to drive the 99 after the 3rd total brake failure. This is when I purchased this vehicle in November 2011. Since then due to corrosion they replaced all the wheels on the vehicle and the other day I started smelling gasoline. I took the vehicle to sheehan. They found a fuel line under the vehicle leaking as it had rusted through. I asked the service person what they did to correct this problem. I was told they replace the fuel line with the same type that had just rusted through. I asked them why they did not use stainless steel. I was told they do not do that. I now do not feel comfortable of driving this vehicle. The vehicle has not even been paid off yet and only has approximately 7000 miles on it. I have begun shopping for a non-General Motors vehicle as I do not feel save driving this one.

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 032011


  • 2,858 miles
Power steering makes binding noise when turning steering wheel. Dealer has replaced power steering pump, greased strut shafts, replaced power steering hoses, replaced steering gear and bled lines. This has involved three trips to the dealer and leaving the vehicle. Dealer has been very helpful with a loaner car. But GM continues to ignore problem and sandbags, hoping I'll give up. I'm afraid steering could fail at speed and cause serious accident, my wife is hesitant to drive the vehicle. I'm considering enacting the Florida lemon law, however we like the car would make this the last recourse if NHTSA can not help.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 022011

Terrain 6-cyl

  • 4,732 miles


I just bought this vehicle. I have owned it less than three months and it has less than 5,000 miles and needs the rack and pinion replaced. Luckily I heard an unfamiliar noise while turning to the left mostly and mentioned it during service. The technician says that the problem was that "it made a noise." If the only problem is that it made a noise, why does the rack and pinion need to be replaced, and why is it not considered a safety issue?

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #2

Apr 012011


  • 9,000 miles
There is a rubbing/vibration sound/feel when the steering wheel is turned either left or right most of the time. The sound/feel is more pronounced at times than other times and there when moving or parked. My dealer has attempted to fix the problem without success. GM says (verbal only) they know of no fix but their engineers are working to find a fix. This (no fix but working on it) has been going on now for nearly 30 days. Since the issue is related to the steering I am concerned that my ability to control the car may be lost at some point. My last communication with GM was Aug 31, 2011. This has been reported to the BBB iaw GM procedures.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #1

Aug 012011


  • 7,000 miles
A rubbing sound and vibration as you turn the steering wheel.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

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