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

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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Owners of the 2020 GMC Sierra lineup were hoping for a durable, reliable pickup. After all, the company boasts about being “Like a Pro.” However, the faulty electrical system, defective engine, poorly-made structure and dangerous service brakes have caused many to second-guess their choice of vehicle.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018   2019

Problems with the Electrical System

The electrical system is more important than most people know, from running the in-cabin electronics to handling the operations of the advanced safety equipment.

An Edmunds comment shows how defective this system is. “The electronic issues are revolving around the LKA (lane control/assist), and collision alert systems.  Noticed that vehicle does not alert correctly when lanes are crossed, noticed that vehicles in front are not detected consistently. My vehicle came with the alert system on the seat as well, and it should work with the lane control system but it is very sporadic. The lane correction on steering wheel is spotty. These are supposed to make vehicle safer, but they don’t work. The phone connection with apple car play is also spotty, and at times fails to connect.”

These problems aren’t new or sporadic. In fact, there are class-action lawsuits happening because of the defective in-dash infotainment systems. Aside from that, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V888000 talks about how the battery cable has too much glue on it, causing an insufficient connection to the alternator. This can also create arcing, which can lead to a truck fire. Certainly, a “Pro” wouldn’t miss such a valuable aspect of truck building like these Sierras suffer from.

2020 GMC Sierra Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Fuel/propulsion System
Vehicle Speed Control

Engine Problems

The engine doesn’t appear to be built with any more integrity. It continues to be a flaming disappointment.

Here’s another Edmunds review. “Recently purchased my 2020 GMC SLT Sierra 1500 (October 2020).  Truck was working correctly for the first 2 months, placed 3700 miles and began to notice the following issues.  Hesitation while driving and electronic issues.  The hesitation led to engine noise and of course the check engine light activated (multiple alerts posted on driver screen as well), and resulted in the following needing replacement.  Top end of engine opened, replaced lifters, and oil control valve.  Not what a new car buyer wants to hear within the first three months of ownership.”

In conjunction with the malfunctioning engine is a poorly-built fuel system. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V837000 says that affected vehicles have a fuel pump without a regulator, allowing for over-pressurization of the system. Because this can cause the pump to crack and leak, a truck fire could occur. How many ways can GM attempt to start this truck on fire? It seems to be the automaker’s goal at this point.

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Problems with the Structure

It’s clear that the manufacturers of the Sierra didn’t take time to make it right, but were in a hurry to get it off of the production line.

Just read about these structure issues left in an Edmunds complaint. “I bought a 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup and the bed assembly is crooked. The dealer told me ‘they are all that way’ and ‘no one ever notices’ and ‘if they do they just live with it…’ This is a joke….buyer beware.”

The construction of the Sierra is poor all around, leading to lots of safety issues. One example is found in NHTSA Campaign Number 20V446000 that states affected trucks have a diffuser part of the Roof-Rail Air Bag that wasn’t crimped correctly, so it might not deploy during an accident. It seems that the Sierra is quick to want to hurt the people that have been loyal to the brand, leaving them vulnerable from every angle.

Service Brake Problems

A final look at the braking system reveals even more concerns that should cause alarm among these truck owners.

An NHTSA complaint states, “The ABS system failed while driving down the road causing the brakes to lock up and caused the truck to spin out of control nearly crashing into another vehicle and jumping over the center divide into oncoming traffic.”

Guess what? There’s a recall on the braking system too. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V116000 says that some trucks have bolts to hold the calipers that weren’t heat-treated. Therefore, these caliper bolts can break under pressure and interfere with normal wheel rotation. Drivability hasn’t been GM’s strong suit anyway, with a class-action lawsuit occurring about the “Chevy Shake.” When defects are named after a brand, it should be a big warning that the company doesn’t know how to make vehicles. The only thing this company is a “Pro” at is recalling vehicles and wasting customers’ time.

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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