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

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:  2018

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Cadillac XT5

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Electrical System
Electrical System:ignition
Forward Collision Avoidance: Dynamic Brake Support/brake Assist
Electronic Stability Control

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.

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.

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes
DateJan 14, 2023
Service stability track light came on. Brought to mechanic hooked up to computer. No code shown. Mechanic says car is fine. Keep it off for 15 minutes and the computer will reset. Driving on the highway emergency brake came on by itself and stopped the vehicle all caution lights lit up on on the dashboard. Service engine light came on brought it back to the mechanic again no codes shown drove it for three days has been running fine and on the fourth day vehicle will not start.
DateJan 10, 2023
Tech pulled seat cover and found the seat heater had gotten too hot and cooked the heater element, cushion, and seat cover.
CategoryElectrical System:ignition
DateJul 27, 2022
2019 cadillac xt 5. Consumer writes in regard to stop/start feature on vehicle. The consumer stated the vehicle did not have an off option for the stop/start feature. The consumer requested the vehicle have the software updated to include such a feature.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Dynamic Brake Support/brake Assist
DateFeb 15, 2022
The contact owns a 2019 cadillac xt5. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph, the forward collision-avoidance system malfunctioned, which resulted in the contact having to manually brake to avoid an accident. The vehicle was not taken to a local dealer. The manufacturer was informed of the failure and referred the contact to the local dealer for assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 35,000.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateDec 11, 2021
I was driving 70 mph near chattanooga, tn when I heard an explosion. The front panel(of 2) of my sunroof completely shattered. There were no cars within 1000 feet. There was no overpass I was driving under. Though I can't say for sure I am 99. 9% sure that there was no object that created this, rather the glass in the sunroof is defective. I have not had vehicle inspected. The manufacturer is not taking responsibility. There were no warning signs. Glass shattered all over me and my car. There were no injuries other than a cut finger. Thankfully no other passengers were in the car.
CategoryAir Bags
DateMar 12, 2021
My vehicle was struck at approx 35 mph on the driver's side. The striking vehicle did not apply the brakes so the full force of the vehicle hit. The side airbags did not deploy, leaving me with a concussion as my head struck the driver's door window. The vehicle was in motion making a left turn on a green light on a city street. The striking vehicle ran the opposing light, causing the accident.
CategoryElectronic Stability Control, Engine, Vehicle Speed Control
DateSep 18, 2020
My vehicle has shown the service stabilitrak, tcs off, and transmission unable to shift soon while driving. This happens several times; and after certain times the car will not shift and I am not able to go past 50-60 mph.
CategoryStructure:body, Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateNov 27, 2019
Tl* 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 ritchey cadillac(932 n. Nova rd, daytona beach, fl), but the cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 9,500.*pm* consumer stated dealer was notified of the loss.*jb
CategoryService Brakes
DateAug 03, 2019
takata recall when drifting forward lighting touching brakes they make a loud squeaking sound. When car is in reverse lighting touching the brakes they make a loud squeaking sound. Very embarrassing!!! Never purchased a car with brake issues like this and being told this just happens will go away and not being able to have them repaired. I was even told that cadillacs are known for brake issues... So fix the problem! They never hear the squeaking noise because they don't drive the vehi cle everyday. It's their loud and clear. Just brought ready to trade in fir something else.
CategoryAir Bags
DateJun 22, 2019
Checking for potential airbag recall takata
CategoryExterior Lighting, Unknown Or Other, Visibility/wiper
DateJun 19, 2019
We bought xt5 on 12/04/18, on 02/19/19, brought in for transmission and check engine light. 06/10/19, brought in for routine maintenance and service. 06/16/19, on the way back from knoxville on freeway I-40, while it was raining hard, all lights inside and out and windshield wipers didn't work. Wipers were standing up right in front of driver and stop, never move back down. We were surrounded with high speed cars and trucks, and semis, in the rain and couldn't see the front with no wipers, and inside the car was pit black. We must drive for around a mile before getting to a next exit. Got off exit, call onstar for help, they said wait 90 minutes for tow truck and we must find our own transportation to get home, since it was sunday, no one was open at that time. We didn't know where we were so we waited out the rain, and drove slowly back in town, with wipers sticking up in front of driver, to meet up with sales rep. Tim marcum for help, he loan us a car to get home and came the next day, monday, to see jayson taylor, cadillac manager. We asked them to buy back the car since we are so scare now what would happen next time with the car. They suggested us calling gm directly. We did, and jayda, senior case manager said she would only pay for fixing but not buying back, unless something major happened, like transmission, engine, brakes,.. We told her that this was serious, we we were in danger of loosing our lives there, but obviously it was not serious to her, we said what if the same thing happened, on freeway, fast speeding cars and trucks, raining hard, but instead of no lights and now wipers, this time no brakes or sudden stop and engine not starting. What would happened? In 6 months period, 2 incidents already, the later is more serious than the first, we rather prevent problems than having to deal with it, what if the problems getting bigger or someone get hurt
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other, Wheels
DateMay 09, 2019
As I was driving I smelled a burning smell. A few seconds later saw a fire/smoke coming from the front right side of my car. I pulled over and took a look. Confirmed my car was on fire. I called 911 who connected me to the fire department. I then ran to the gas station and got a fire extinguisher. I then used the fire extinguisher and extinguished the fire. I made a claim with my insurance company who ordered a tow truck to transport the vehicle to an auto repair shop.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 03, 2019
Excessive brake squeal while backing out of driveway during initial drive of the day or after vehicle has been sitting for awhile. Squeal will go away after several brake applications. Dealer states normal operation and offered no fix.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 26, 2019
With the sunroof open when I get to 40 to 45 mph you think your ears are going to explode. It is actually painful. I am very concerned as I also have a service dog that is with me at all times and their ears are even more sensitive than ours. I am also the only care taker for my 95 year old mother in law who is always asking me to open the sunroof so she can get the sunshine. This is obviously a design flaw! The dealership tested all the new ones on the lot and they all do the same thing. This was all done on a city street I can't imagine if I tried it on a freeway.
DateJan 03, 2019
When driving when raining, the passengers wiper cleans three quarters of the windshield and deposits the water directly in front of the drivers line of sight and remains there until the drivers wiper comes back to remove it causing an extreme loss of visibility especially at night.

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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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  • 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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