2019 Cadillac XT5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Seats, vehicle structure and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Cadillac XT5 is a luxury mid-size SUV that is meant to compete with the big boys. The company claims this particular model “makes safety look stylish,” but it’s difficult to find anything safe about the XT5. It features defective service brakes, poor visibility, malfunctioning seats and a shoddy structure, leaving occupants at risk.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2023

Problems with the Brakes

One of the most essential safety features on any vehicle is the braking system. When these parts begin to wear out, it becomes harder and harder to stop. Sadly, even new owners are having trouble with the brakes on the XT5.

Here is a statement from an NHTSA review. “Excessive brake squeal while backing out of driveway during initial drive of the day or after vehicle has been sitting for a while. Squeal will go away after several brake applications. Dealer states normal operation and offered no fix.”

What’s most alarming about this is how Cadillac told technicians to handle it. In fact, there is an appropriate fix, even though drivers are being turned away. Service Bulletin #19NA115 states that a rear brake squeal can be caused by the shim material. To repair it, Cadillac created a new brake pad and offered them to customers that are complaining, but the dealers don’t appear to care much as they are not supplying the new brake pads to customers. Instead, drivers of the XT5 are left making a racket every time they come to a stop.

2019 Cadillac XT5 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Electrical System:ignition
Electronic Stability Control
Exterior Lighting

Problems with the Auto Glass

Seeing out of the front windshield is important, but no one can deny that the visibility out of the sunroof is valuable too. Having this equipment in a luxury vehicle helps to add sunlight and space to the interior. Yet, owners are struggling with this auto glass.

Just look at this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Cadillac XT5. While driving approximately 65 mph, a loud noise suddenly occurred. After stopping to inspect the vehicle, it was discovered that the front section of the glass sun roof had exploded and shattered. There were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to [dealer], but the cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 9,500.”

GM hasn’t issued any statements about exploding sunroofs, but they did talk about windshield concerns. Service Bulletin #PIC6086F says that some windshields have oil substances on the inside that seems to be leaking from the rearview mirror. To repair it, the technicians must remove the moisture sensor and clean the glass before reapplying the mounting bracket. If the gel itself comes away from the sensor entirely, they will also need to replace the entire sensor. Whether it’s glass coming from above or oily seepage infiltrating the view, owners don’t like what they are seeing.

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Problems with the Vehicle Structure

For a vehicle that claims to be concerned about safety, one would think the structure would be built to last, but there seem to be many problems on this front as well.

One Cars.com review states, “This car has multiple issues. Minor Paint issue and minor interior upholstery issue. Major major noise issues. It is currently in its third trip to a dealer to address the noise problems. At present, it has been in the shop for 47 consecutive days, and counting. Getting very little help from Cadillac Customer Care or the dealer. This is my 4th, and probably last, Cadillac.”

No new vehicle should spend this much time in the dealership, if any. It turns out, there are much larger structure concerns. Service Bulletin #19NA167 states that water can leak into the interior and lead to various electrical issues, including creating an inoperative or noisy liftgate actuator. If Cadillac wants people to believe that they can build a safety-focused vehicle, they should start by ensuring the bones are good first.

Problems with the Seats

In relation to the structure, the seats need to be high-quality to provide comfort and protection. Yet, the seats are failing as well.

Here’s an alarming review on Cars.com. “My husband and I were driving back from our 15 year Anniversary and was on the highway when the driver seat moved him all the way to the stirring wheel he couldn’t move it back and had serious difficulties trying to stop and pull the car over due to the tight position it put him in. He never touched the controls and had both hands on the wheel when this happened. He tried numerous times after we pulled over to move the seat in a comfortable and safe driving position however the seat had its a mind of its own. This is seriously dangerous and could have killed someone or us. I was teaching my daughter how to drive in this car however have serious doubts I will keep my 3 month old car.”

What a hazard and surely not safe! While Cadillac hasn’t issued any communication about defects to this extent, the company did release Service Bulletin #17NA384. This statement says that customers are complaining about squeaking, rattling and creaking coming from the second row of seats. From the noisy brakes, exploding glass and squeaky backseat, this mid-size SUV could become a band all by itself. Hopefully, owners don’t mind the excessive amount of noise.

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 Cadillac 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • L H

    XT5 Basic with no Steering Assist but it keeps communicating that it’s an issue. When it’s not active it should not come up as an issue. Then the system stops the Air Conditioner from Cooling the Vehicle.
    80K to 120K miles over Five years and they are still guessing it’s the AC hose replacement which costs $3500.00 according to Sewell in Grapevine Texas as a recommendation to replace after charging 250.00 to run a diagnostic test. They will never confirm what they are doing to fix it. Yes give them $3k but they can not confirm. the problem.

  • tom m

    The parking brake comes on at odd times by its self car…can’t move. If I wait about 15 minutes with the engine off it resets

  • Phillip W

    My wife was driving our 2019 XT5 cadillac uphill and as she accelerated the accelerator went to the floor and kept gaining speed and would not stop. She applied the brakes and had to steer off the road and shut the engine off before the pedal would release. This has happened 3 times within the last 2 weeks and is a real safety concern. It seems to happen when you need to accelerate on to the freeway or going uphill and need to speed up. This happened with cruise control on or off.

  • Allison

    Breaks squeaking on my Cadillac xt5 since leases 3 years ago. Been in for service 5+ times and issue not resolved. Again, brought it to the dealership yesterday to be told that ‘2019 was a bad year year for break pads and nothing more they can do’. The salesman then called me and stated I can get out of my lease early and buy a new car from square one. I don’t want to spend money on a new car but that’s the only option given unless I want to live with the horrific squeaking.

  • Donald C

    It is a big relief to have someone that may be able to help me with what I know to be a lemon vehicle – the 2019 XT5. I am despirately hoping to get some assistance with these XT5 problems.

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