2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Air bags, service brakes, structure and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 is a heavy-duty truck that owners use to get jobs done. The automaker claims it was “made for adventure.” The only adventure customers find with this model is how much time it needs to spend in the service department because of the air bags, structure, service brakes and steering issues. 

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018

Air Bags Problems

Air bags are installed in every modern vehicle and are expected to work for protection during a collision. Yet, this heavy-duty GMC truck is really struggling to keep people safe.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 GMC Sierra 2500. The contact stated that upon driving over a hill at 45 mph, a vehicle was stopped in the middle of the road. In an effort to avoid hitting the vehicle, the contact drove the vehicle off the road and into a concrete culvert at the end of the ravine. The air bags did not deploy upon impact. The authorities were called to the scene and the contact was rushed to a local hospital via ambulance. The contact was diagnosed with fractured vertebrae that may require possible surgery. A police report was filed at the scene. Due to the accident, the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the vehicle was repaired.”

It seems that there are many air bag issues owners should be aware of. First, NHTSA Campaign Number #20446000 states that the roof rail air bag has an improperly crimped diffuser, so it might not deploy during an accident. Additionally, there is an open investigation (PE21010) that states the front air bags are not deploying in these trucks. Maybe GMC meant that owners could be real-life crash-test dummies as an “adventure’ for the ages.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags
Electronic Stability Control

Problems with the Service Brakes

Stopping the GMC Sierra is an essential way to avoid needing the air bags in the first place. However, these brakes are failing just the same.

Another NHTSA review states, “Brakes since new squealed. Took to dealer and dealer said it was normal. Have had the truck about 11 months now. Dealer stated GM now uses a different pad material and I would have to pay for it at a cost of close to $1,000 to replace the pads.”

It wouldn’t seem right that a well-known manufacturer such as GM would be putting defective parts on its trucks, but that’s exactly what is being alleged. There are even class-action lawsuits against the company because customers claim that several trucks were built with defective in-dash infotainment systems. It seems that GM was more interested in pumping trucks off the assembly line than ensuring they were well-built. Maybe the manufacturer thought the defects would somehow add to the adventure.

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Structural Problems

To show just how badly built these heavy-duty trucks are, one must only look at what the customers are saying about it.

An owner wrote on Edmunds, “I have a 2020 GMC HD Sierra truck for work could have possibly the worst seats I have ever had have owned GM products for 40 years but after owning this truck could be the last. Overall good truck but interior is garbage on these plain Jane trucks. Very dissatisfied.”

The list of defects goes on with NHTSA Campaign Number 20V324000 talking about how affected trucks have hood-latch striker wires that weren’t properly heat-treated. This lack of manufacturing can cause them to fracture and the hood could open while driving. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V792000 states that front-row seat belt brackets weren’t properly secured, leaving people unrestrained during an accident. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V814000 states that GM equipped the trucks with a defective carpet covering on the floor that can cause a fire when the seat belt pretensioners deploy.  Those are more defects than any one manufacturer should deal with in a lifetime of making cars, let alone all happening in one model. When GM sets out to do something, it goes all the way apparently.

Problems with the Steering

One final look at the steering system shows the same level of defects that have been seen in other areas of the pickup.

This NHTSA complaint states, “The vehicle pulls to the right or left into oncoming traffic within 800 feet or sooner, depending on speed. This occurs on city streets or interstate. GM and GM approved dealerships say this is done to GM specifications. The first 700 miles, it didn’t pull. After GM shop aligned, and 3 months later, it is unsafe to operate.”

The drivability issues continue. There are class-action lawsuits against GM for what is called the “Chevy Shake.” This defect occurs on some trucks, leading to a shaking or vibration when traveling at higher speeds. Shake, rattle and roll – that’s the name of the adventure GM wants customers to enjoy.

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.

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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