2018 Cadillac XT5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle structure, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Every automaker has jumped on the bandwagon of creating SUVs for today’s consumer. One such model that stands out is the 2018 Cadillac XT5. The company is known for making luxury models and the newest lineup is said to be “undeniable.” Research shows that customers wish this SUV could be returned because of a defective powertrain, poorly built structure and malfunctioning engine.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2017  2019

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Cadillac XT5

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
7
Engine
5
Electrical System
5
Power Train
5
Service Brakes
4
Structure:body
2
Tires
2
Steering
2
Vehicle Speed Control
2
Visibility/wiper
2

Problems with the Transmission

The main part of the powertrain is the transmission. To use this vital system correctly, the vehicle must have a properly-functioning gear shift, but that’s not what’s found with the 2018 Cadillac XT5.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “Having the Cadillac name I was expecting a quality vehicle. What I found was disappointing. During my first drive I found that the hidden shift buttons on the back of the steering wheel will shift the transmission with it set to “Drive” or “Manual”. I accidentally touched the down shift side on the freeway suddenly finding myself in a much lower gear than I needed with traffic behind me making emergency moves to miss the suddenly slowing Cadillac. That was just he first of many issues. Next was the cruise control. If you gently touch the cruise + side you accelerate 1 mile an hour per touch, like every other cruise control I’ve used. But with this one hit a bump as you press the button or push a little too hard it adds 5 miles an hour. With traffic around me traveling at 77+ mph and me at 76 I pushed the button to match the flow of traffic. I pushed it too hard and found myself doing 81 mph. A felony in Virginia. The next safety issue is with the windows that are another pressure sensitive issue. With a light touch the windows go up or down as you hold the button down. Press down with more pressure and the windows open completely. Not an issue my Lincoln does the same, but if you press or pull the switch up too far it also goes completely up by itself. This is a hazard for children whose fingers could be severed by the window. God forbid their head got caught in it.”

Sadly, the company doesn’t seem thrilled to discuss powertrain concerns. Of the many service bulletins, there is very little said about the transmission or the gear shifter. It appears that if the company makes no statement at all, then nothing can be denied, making this “undeniable.”

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Cadillac vehicles are supposed to be built of the utmost quality. Otherwise, it’s nothing better than a Chevy. Again, this is one area that the automaker failed miserably with.

Another Edmunds reviewer states, “There is limited protection of the undercarriage components. A cheap little plastic vent tube to the fuel tank is exposed under the vehicle and subject to damage. THE DRIVE SHAFT OF THE VEHICLE NEEDS TO BE REMOVED to replace the little plastic tube exposed to the bottom of the vehicle. There was no known event that caused this damage – it appears rolling over anything like a twig can cause the brittle plastic tube to snap. It has never been off road. I am on my first $750 repair to replace this tube. I could see that this could easily happen on a recurring basis.”

While this exact problem wasn’t discussed in the manufacturer communications, it seems odd that another instance came to light, which shows the unprofessionalism of the assembly process. Service Bulletin #TSB ID: 17NA271 states that technicians might need to clean off the back of the rotors and rims because there is a risk of wheel clicking from the way it was manufactured. Is the XT5 attempting to click its heels and go home like Dorothy? Who knows?

Problems with the Engine

Finally, it makes sense to look at the engine in the 2018 Cadillac XT5. After all, this vital component is what gives the SUV power.

One peek at another Edmunds review shows that this system isn’t much better. “The Cadillac XT5 has a start stop feature that cannot be turned off.   My car is 3 months old and has turned itself off and back on once and totally died while I was exiting a freeway.   I’m really unhappy with my new car.”

Furthermore, Service Bulletin #PIE0457 talks about how some vehicles are suffering from a no-start condition, trouble with repeated stalling or smoke coming from near the battery area. Does this sound like a model that’s hailed as “undeniable?” At this point, it makes much more sense that owners would want to deny this model entirely and hope for a return through the lemon laws.

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Complaint Data

CategoryEngine
DateSep 30, 2022
StateNC
Description
The contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. The contact stated that after coming to a complete stop, the vehicle lost motive power. After restarting the vehicle, the vehicle would operate as needed. The failure occurred on multiple occasions. The cause of the failure was not yet determined. The local dealer and manufacturer were not yet notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Structure:body
DateMay 26, 2022
StateMI
Description
Driving down the road and my 2018 cadillac xt5 started on fire for no reason and no engine lights came on. I loss all driving control power steering in the matter of seconds and was trapped in the car waiting for cars to clear so I can run out. The car is with my insurance company the car is now a total loss and I don't think they will investigate. I called gm to make a complaint. The fireman said he had just put a fire out on the same car a week ago. I found out that we have 2 more cars in the macomb county mi area that caught on fire in the last 3 months same type of car.
CategoryService Brakes, Air:antilock:abs Warning Light
DateApr 20, 2022
StateNC
Description
The contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. The contact stated that while driving at an undisclosed speed, the driver's and passenger's rear wheels locked up, causing the driver's and passenger's rear tires to roll backwards. The contact stated that the abs failed to operate as intended. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired by an independent mechanic or dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 10, 2022
StateTX
Description
The rear camera guidelines on my 2018 xt5 lux don't appear on the backup camera display when shifting into reverse. Happens around half the time. As soon as I shift into drive, the guidelines then appear. I can then shift back into reverse and the guidelines are there.
CategoryTires
DateDec 16, 2021
StateWA
Description
The contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5 equipped with michelin tires, tire line: touring h/t, tire size: 235/55/r20, dot number: b9aj00tx2017. The contact stated that while his wife was driving 35 mph, the rear driver's side tire had a sidewall blowout. The contact's wife was able to drive to a tire dealer. The dealer replaced all four tires. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the tires were not covered under warranty. The failure mileage was unavailable.
CategorySteering, Suspension, Unknown Or Other
DateNov 27, 2021
StateTX
Description
When I get on the freeway and go around 68 mph my vehicle starts shaking and I constantly get a stabilitrak message that flashes on and off. I have to hold the steering will tight because it swerves a little and had to start driving away from cars. I took it to get the wheels balanced and it still does the same thing. The mechanic from the dealer ship I purchased the vehicle from said he could not find anything wrong with it.
CategoryPower Train
DateNov 23, 2021
StateTX
Description
Transmission while at a red light/complete stop car will jerk out of nowhere for no reason. It also did it while driving down hill at a steady speed of 70 mph. Could have been a bad accident if a big rig or other vehicles would have been behind me.
CategoryElectrical System:12v/24v/48v Battery, Steering
DateNov 22, 2021
StateTX
Description
The contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. The contact stated while the vehicle was stationary at a traffic light, the stabilitrak warning light was illuminated for a short time and turned off when depressing on the accelerator pedal. The contact stated that on 11/19/2012, while his wife was driving 45 mph, the reduced steering capacity, pull over immediately and other multiple unknown warning lights were illuminated. The driver stated that the steering wheel became difficult to turn however, the driver was able to continue driving to her residence. The contact towed the vehicle to the local dealer, where it was diagnosed with needing the battery to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 32,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateJun 24, 2021
StateTX
Description
The contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled. The contact stated all of the warning lights were illuminated on the control panel. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer on three different occasions where it was diagnosed with nothing needing to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 80,264. Consumer stated vehicle completely shuts off and on without no codes or error messages.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 22, 2021
StateMI
Description
While driving my vehicle, the rear portion of the sunroof suddenly just exploded, with the glass completely shattering. It sounded like an explosion. There were no exterior causes for this... Just a release of pressure that was inherent in the window from manufacturing. There was no other damage to the vehicle. I was on a wooded part of the road, so nobody was around to throw an object, and there was no vehicle in front of me to kick up some sort of road debris.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJun 18, 2021
StateNY
Description
The accelerator on the car started to excel and shift in traffic where I had to pull over. Over the last few months the car has had some electrical issues with the braking and collision alerts going off and the car stopping which the dealer said they couldn't find the problem. Also the brakes since purchasing the vehicle has had to be switched out several times and now the parking brake light is on after being repaired 2 times. This car is definitely unsafe and the dealer insist it is.
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateDec 27, 2020
StateFL
Description
Car has twice attempted to accelerate when not going very fast as if it was attempting to get back to what the cruise control was set for. Cruise control was not on and I have never used it since I purchased the car. It does not want to stop accelerating when I tap the brake and have had to brake several times to get the accelerating to stop. Both times I was in traffic but not going very fast as I was accelerating from being stopped at light. There was no accident as I was able to get the vehicle under control and eventually to have the accelerating stop. I tried to call the cadillac customer service number but was unable to get through due to the holidays. I intend to take it to service place tomorrow to check if the throttle might be dirty or defective but am wondering if there might be something wrong with the software controlling the features of the car.
CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 17, 2020
StateKS
Description
Two issues involving the brakes. Front brake pads squeak when moving slowly, especially in the morning or when moving in a drive through line. The second is the brake pedal loses pressure over night or extended periods of non-use. It does not occur every night. Brake pedal is difficult to push to start the car.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 19, 2020
StateNY
Description
Tires on gm vehicles, including mine, have been sold with derelict tires manufactured by michelin. I was recently told that my tires would not pass inspection ar 26,000 miles. Today I was told by a relative that they were told the same and their tires have only 16,000 miles on them. We have both bought new tires through the dealership under a discounted plan by gm because of this issue. I find it absurd at any cost that I would be responsible for this monetary responsibility due to the manufacturer of the tires and gm knowing of the poor quality of these tires. Why weren't we advised of this tire issue at point of purchase ? This seems like a 'scam' to rip off the consumer.
CategoryPower Train
DateJul 02, 2020
StateFL
Description
I was stopped by a road crew. There were 3 cars in front of me and as I waited for them to let us through about 10 cars were stopped behind me. I was listening to the radio when I had the weird sensation that I was going backwards instead of being stopped. I looked around, realized I was going backwards and went to hit the break but my car had already hit the car behind me. The man in the car behind me told the police officer that responded that he did not see back up lights or any indicator that the car was in reverse. I didn't touch the gear shift. There is no reason for the car to go in reverse. The photo below shows the damage done to the car my vehicle hit.
CategoryElectrical System, Unknown Or Other
DateJun 13, 2020
StateOH
Description
2nd time this issue occurred. 1st time was in 2019 and it took two weeks for the dealership to figure out it was the battery. While driving the car, the electronics go crazy, the engine stops for a split second, brakes are lost for a split second, cruise control turns off, every possible alarm displays on the dash. The dash beeps, all of the lights flash, the speed/pressure/temperature needles go to 0, the air condition turns off, etc. All of this occurred while I was driving 60mph on a highway. I quickly pulled off to the side of the road. Since this has occurred before, I took out my phone and turned on the video. I started driving again and the same issues above started occurring again. The video is too large to upload - 90mb. I can send a onedrive link if needed. *tr
CategoryPower Train
DateApr 19, 2020
StateCA
Description
Several months ago, after waiting in line for two minutes with the transmission in d and the vehicle idling, I started to drive forward. Suddenly the vehicle came to a shuttering stop. Apparently the transmission shifted itself into p. Recently this happened again but it occurred when I was backing out of my garage. I am concerned that this self shifting into p may occur when I am travelling at some speed and result in an accident. I have been to my local cadillac dealer both times and they say the vehicle is safe as is. But I am concerned.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateApr 15, 2020
StateTX
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. The contact stated that while driving at night, the low beam headlights failed to illuminate beyond 50 feet of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to patterson cadillac located in wichita falls, tx, where it was stated that the lights performed as designed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The contact was informed that the dealer found no defect with the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 300.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateFeb 11, 2020
StateFL
Description
The guidelines often fail to display when switching the car in to reverse. The dealer has inspected and provided the following response: 'the cause of the condition may be the rvc image being provided via an alternate robust rvc feed from the video bypass module. To ensure that the rvc image is always present when in reverse this alternate robust rvc feed is provided if the primary camera feed is not available for any reason. A calibration change has been made that reduces, but does not eliminate, every cause of missing rearview camera guidelines.' however, it seems to occur more than half of the time that the guidelines fail to display.
CategoryEngine
DateJan 19, 2020
StateKY
Description
Each time the car is driven the oil % drops by at least 1-2 % points. Since sept 2019 the oil reading dropped to 29%. The dealer changed the oil filter and said the car was perfect. I have since learned that this vehicle has an open recall. There is an open recall on 2018 xt5, n192266190 - engine control software issue that does not appear on the cadillac site. I was not notified.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 21, 2019
StateOH
Description
Parked in public parking lot. After starting car and attempting to backup, car would not move. Parking brakes were locked. Tried numerous times to release brakes. Parking brake would not release. Car would not move forward or backwards. Had same issue with 2013/xts and 2014/xts but turning car on/off would release brakes on those cars. This time, had to call tow truck. Weather sunny, temperature 33f. Car just recently received mileage maintenance. Warranty service for brakes twice since purchasing the car.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 21, 2019
StatePA
Description
Takata recall
CategoryService Brakes
DateJul 23, 2019
StateCA
Description
I took my cadillac xt5 2018 in for service today 07/23/2019 for an oil change and brake check as the brakes are squealing. I was told they weren't going to have time to work on the brakes but that "the sound is normal due to the materials that gm uses. That they would've only lubricated the disks but the noise would've came back in a week or 2". I took it in before for the same problem and when I received a call letting me know the services had been completed, the service agent informed me that it was a problem that was happening a lot with the 2018 xt5 models. At that time, he then told me the noise should be gone for good. The noise was only gone for a couple months and it came back. I have not owned the vehicle for even 1 year. I am beginning to fear for my safety as I don't really know what to believe anymore as I have gotten 2 different stories and I drive my daughter with me all the time.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateMay 14, 2019
StateFL
Description
Poor headlamp performance. At this price point, high intensity discharge should be standard. Night time driving & driving in inclement weather is a safety hazard with these poorly designed halogen projector headlamps
CategoryPower Train
DateFeb 22, 2019
StateCA
Description
I was idling in line for about 5 minutes waiting for food at mcdonalds. Transmission was in drive. Once served, I started to drive away but car shuttered and stopped abruptly. Apparently transmission will automatically shift to park after idling for several minutes even if it has started to move forward 1 or 2 mph. What would have happened if I was traveling faster when it shifted to park? Is this feature a governmental requirement? Why?
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateDec 12, 2018
StateOH
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. The contact stated that the fuel safety indicator illuminated. The vehicle was serviced five times, but the fuel safety indicator illuminated every time the vehicle was repaired. The vehicle was taken to taylor cadillac (6100 central ave, toledo, oh 43615, (419) 842-8800) where a new evap purge valve was installed. Shortly afterwards, the fuel injectors were replaced and new engine banks were installed. A few months ago, the fuel safety warning indicator illuminated again. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures and a technician from the manufacturer was assigned to inspect the vehicle. The failure mileage was 10,650.
CategoryElectrical System
DateOct 02, 2018
StateMI
Description
When backing car up, often times the yellow "guide lines" appear, often times don't. Note makes no difference if daylight or night, weather car is clean or dirty (not affected by backup camera), clear out or raining. Brand new in april 2018, picked up from dealership, has happened since 1st week of operation. Took to dealership recently, could not find issue, said no known problems with like cars.
CategoryStructure:body
DateSep 21, 2018
StateCA
Description
If either tracks of the front seats are not perfectly aligned with the base, some very sharp metal is exposed. It has cut two toes so far when exiting the car. If it cuts my father major problem, he is a hemophiliac. Cadillac says functioning as designed. Funny.
CategoryTires
DateAug 15, 2018
StatePA
Description
2018 cadillac xts. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle having the wrong size spare tire for vehicle. *ld the consumer stated the manufacturer claimed the vehicle was operating as designed. *js
CategoryPower Train
DateJul 05, 2018
StateKY
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 cadillac xt5. While driving approximately 35 mph, "transmission" illuminated on the instrument panel. While approaching a stop sign, the vehicle independently shifted into park while still in motion. The contact then shifted back into drive and continued driving. The vehicle was towed to the dealer (quantrell cadillac, 1490 e new circle road, lexington, ky 40509) where it was awaiting diagnostic testing and repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,900.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMay 22, 2018
StateSC
Description
The back up guidance lines and warning indicators do not always appear or activate when the car is in reverse associated with the back up camera. They are missing intermittently when backing up. I was backing up and trying to judge distance and clearance in my new car. This assist device being non-functional allowed me to back into bushes, doing no damage, but causing alarm. I returned it to the dealership for repair twice and was informed that it was a common problem that nothing could be done about. This began on purchase 3/31/2018 and continues. I will continue to address it with the dealership, but don't expect any long term fix by them. I will maintain my due diligence to ensure I do not run into another vehicle or person, but improperly functioning safety assistance devices are infective and the manufacturer should be made to ensure their proper operation, since I understand this is a common problem on cadillac and other gm systems.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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1 COMMENT
  • Blanca c

    My ac keeps going out 3 times within a year

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