2019 GMC Sierra Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, powertrain, service brakes, engine, and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

For drivers that need a reliable truck, it seems an obvious choice to choose the 2019 GMC Sierra lineup. After all, GMC claims, “we are professional grade,” leading people to believe that the trucks are made to get the job done. Yet, customers quickly find out this lineup is full of lemons. People are now dealing with troubles coming from the electrical system, engine, powertrain, service brakes and steering system.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018   2020

Problems with the Electrical System

When work is over, people want to relax and unwind in the cabin of their truck, but the faulty electrical system of the Sierra is making that nearly impossible.

Here’s one Edmunds review worth reading, “Stereo has already stopped connecting to Bluetooth. Dealer says it needs [to] get replaced. For some reason GMC only allows you to view text messages with android auto or apple car play and wait it gets better you have to plug your phone into a USB cord to do this? Which defeats the charger in the counsel that you just set your phone on? Either way I’ve been a Chevy/GMC guy for 30 years I put a lot of road miles on and buy a new truck every two to three years and for the first time I can’t wait to trade this turd in for something else. If you want tech this isn’t the truck for you.”

It turns out that there are more problems than most people know. In fact, there is a class-action lawsuit related to the defective seven-inch infotainment systems that aren’t built right. Additionally, there’s a massive recall that is quite dangerous. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V888000 states that the battery positive cables might have too much glue on them, causing a poor connection with the alternator that could cause the vehicle to stall or create arching, which could turn into a truck fire. While GMC Sierra drivers tend to be rough and tough, surviving a truck fire might be asking too much. Maybe it’s time for this lineup to go up in smoke once and for all.

2019 GMC Sierra Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Electronic Stability Control
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Problems with the Powertrain

To haul and tow heavy loads, a truck must be equipped with a reliable powertrain, but that’s not the case with the Sierra pickups.

Here’s another Edmunds review to read. “I bought a new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 in Oct 2019. It was a very costly mistake. The dealers are aware this truck has tranny problems that cannot be fixed.  After 6 trips to the dealer the tranny problems are still there. There is a class action law suit against GM. This truck has 2700 miles on it and I traded it to get out if this nightmare.”

Should it surprise anyone that there is a recall for the powertrain too? NHTSA Campaign Number 20V650000 states that some models have driveshaft joints that weren’t welded correctly. The driveshaft could separate, leading to a loss of propulsion and possible crash. If only it could throw itself off a cliff, never to be seen from again, there are some customers that would probably rejoice.

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Problems with the Service Brakes

Among all of the other problems, it’s vital that this truck comes with reliable brakes for maximum stopping power. Yet, that seems to be an issue too.

Here’s an complaint left on the Edmunds site. “I leased a 2019 GMC AT4 Crew Cab. Factory 2 inch lift with 18″ rims and the Goodyear Wranglers. After driving the truck for approx. 100 miles there was a horrible whirling or whipping sound from front driver side. Also, a disturbing rumbling sound under the passenger seat. As usual, the dealer said it was tire noise! It was more of an axle, front end noise. They allowed me to return the truck.. So I got the 2019 Sierra Denali. I hit 5000 miles and lost my brakes!!! Similar to other forums. I had no braking power unless I pushed the pedal to the floor. UNACCEPTABLE GM!”

Surprise! There’s another recall; this time for the brakes. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V889000 deals with more than 460,000 vehicles with an Electronic Brake Control Module software error that disables the ABS and ESC unexpectedly. Of course, these concerns can also lead to an accident, which is about the only thing the Sierra lineup appears to be good at.

Problems with the Engine

If anyone was expecting a lot from the engine in the Sierra trucks, they are probably still waiting for something magnificent.

Here’s an example of the defective engine from an Edmunds review. “I’ve waited well over 2yrs to purchase a new [truck]. After a few years of researching, saving, planning, I take the plunge. I purchased the 2019 GMC SIERRA 1500 SLE on Monday July 1, 2019 and under 100 miles the dreadful ‘Check engine light’ comes on! First thing in the morning, July 2, I go to the local dealer and they don’t see anything wrong.  They state, ‘It could be because it hasn’t been driven in awhile.’ They reset the light and off I go.

By the end of the day 35miles later, the check engine light is back on. The service dept sends me an hour away to Birmingham. After several hours of waiting, the mechanic states, “The water pump is bad.” It is currently at the shop. It is unexpected as to when I will get the truck back but I already have a fear of the dreadful check engine light reappearing because it’s obvious something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this vehicle.”

If the defective engine were to create an accident, it’s important to know that the air bags might not work correctly. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V868000 talks about the passenger front air bag that was likely damaged during assembly, causing it to not inflate during a crash. Until GMC fixes the problem, owners might want to be careful who they put in the passenger side seat. Too bad they can’t take the IRS auditor for a ride.

Problems with the Steering

Controlling the GMC Sierra on the road tends to be a big problem too.

Here’s one more Edmunds review worth reading, “The truck rattles like a 1955 Studebaker, the dealer cannot resolve the problems.”

To show how defective this truck truly is, one only needs to look at the tires, which also suffer from a recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V4230000 states that the over cured tires put on the Sierra can suffer from a break in the sidewall causing separation and complete air loss. The only thing GMC has proven to be “professional grade” at is as a lemon.

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

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