2018 GMC Yukon Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electronic stability control, suspension and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2018 GMC Yukon was meant to carry a large number of people in style. Even the automaker claims that the newest lineup is a “luxury” full-size SUV, but there is a lot about this SUV that isn’t so opulent. Consumers complain about the electronic stability control, engine and steering.

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Problems with the Electronic Stability Control

ESC was designed to keep drivers safe on the road. It’s used in conjunction with driver-assist technology to improve the drive as well. Except, these systems on the 2018 GMC Yukon are giving customers some trouble.

Look at this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2018 GMC Yukon. The contact received notification of NHTSA Campaign Number 19V761000 (Electronic Stability Control, Service Brakes, Hydraulic). The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue and stated that the part was not available. The manufacturer provided case number… The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.”

The recall being referenced states that a software error in the driveline-protection system might lead to unintended braking on one side of the vehicle, thereby causing the Yukon to pull dangerously to one side. This recall affects over 650,000 vehicles and it seems that dealers aren’t repairing the SUVs as they should. In the meantime, numerous owners are driving around with defective equipment that could lead to an accident.

Furthermore, another dangerous recall was issued. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V645000 affects almost 3.5 million vehicles. This recall states that the vacuum pump causes levels to drop, leading to a reduction in brake assist performance. This requires that drivers apply more braking power, which might prevent them from stopping in time. Between the GMC Yukon pulling to one side or not stopping at all, it’s hard to see this vehicle as a luxury model, especially with the sub-par treatment being offered by dealers.

Problems with the Suspension

The suspension is made up of many moving parts that are meant to cushion the ride. When these components begin to fail, the drive is rougher and often noisy as well.

That’s exactly what is shown through this NHTSA comment. “My front end makes noises when I turn wheel or stop. I took it to the [dealer] and they couldn’t find anything wrong. But it’s still making the noise.”

It turns out that GM is aware of suspension issues, despite what this service department said. Service bulletin #PIT5049E talks about squeaking, rattling, bumping, thumping and clunking sounds that might be due to trouble with the side shock or strut. Anyone driving this model is likely to think that it’s a budget-friendly, thrifty SUV versus the luxury model it is praised as. Owners often wish they had saved the money and gone with a cheaper brand that didn’t make the annoying sound effects.

Problems with the Engine

Arguably, the most important component of any vehicle is the engine. Without a potent motor, the drive is cumbersome and often unenjoyable. That’s precisely the case with the 2018 GMC Yukon.

Take a look at this Edmunds review as an example of what customers think. “I was so looking forward to purchasing my first real large SUV. Reviews on GM Tahoes and Yukons are positive but my experience was terrifying. My wife and kids hate to ride in it as it shake at idle in Drive position. GM and dealers are saying no codes, we stopped troubleshooting here. $65K truck that shakes like 1988 Yugo… What a treat, but what is worst is the lack of support. If you think manufacturer’s warranty is there to support you bumper to bumper, think again, if truck is dead or there error codes they will fix it, if no codes you are so out of luck. I took it to the independent, they found the issue with injectors but since there are no codes, GM would not authorize a repair. GM support will send you on such long wild goose chase, you would never come back. I am pro-business but in this case I wish there was more consumer protection in place.”

The automaker isn’t attempting to hide any engine-related issues. GMC even issued Service Bulletin #19NA212, which states that technicians need to check if the camshaft alignment pin has been sheared away. This problem shouldn’t occur with high-end vehicles that use premium materials and attention to detail, yet that’s where owners find themselves. If owners want to deal with these problems, they can find a much cheaper and probably reliable vehicle than this expensive Yukon model. It’s time to redefine what luxury means.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes GMC pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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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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  • Peter

    We own a 2018 Yukon XL Denali with 72k miles. We just replaced the front struts, at the recommendation of the dealership we bought it from. The ride has not gotten any better, in fact, it seems worse. Riding in this vehicle is becoming a terrible experience. The ride quality is so bad that we thinking if get rid of it, however we would like to keep it. It seems that the struts are known issue. They use air struts, not coils, which are designed to provide a better ride, but that is not our experience, at least at this mileage.

    I would like to seek some redemption, as we feel we have a truck that will continue to disappoint.

    Is there anything we can do?

  • Luther W

    What about the tail lights? I have a 2018 Yukon and like many other that I see on the highway, the left break light does not work. Why is there not a recall on it? I’m not paying $800 for a new one.

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