2021 Cadillac Escalade Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) that has been on the market since 1999. Its movie status has made it something of an icon, but it isn’t short of problems.

Lemberg Law has been aware of Cadillac Escalade problems for many years. We were quoted in a New York Daily News article, Lawyer turns car lemons to lemonade. It illustrates what Lemberg Law can do for you if you find you have bought a lemon.

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

Most Common Problems

There are currently 9 complaints on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that cover a total of 14 stated problems. The luxury 2021 SUV also has 7 recalls.

Engine problems rank at the top of the list of complaints, with 3 problems cited.

There are 2 electrical system complaints, 1 of which also implicates the engine. Complaints also focus on back-over prevention, forward-collision avoidance, lane departure, and service brakes, most of which are interlinked in some way. There is 1 exterior lighting issue as well as 1 problem relating to codes.

The recalls don’t appear to be related to complaints to NHTSA.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Seat Belts
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Back Over Prevention: Warnings

Problems with the Engine

A total of 3 engine problems are recorded in NHTSA complaints, and all of them are different.

One that focuses on engine vibrations describes how the SUV went back to the dealer for repairs several times. In total, the vehicle was with car dealers for a variety of engine problems for 35 days. The complainant contacted the manufacturer, GMC, and was still waiting for a response.

Another complaint highlights abnormal rattling sounds and smoke coming from under the hood. The SUV had only 2,000 miles on the clock. Warning lights didn’t illuminate but other drivers alerted the driver to oil leaking from the rear of the vehicle. The dealer said the axle rod had come away causing engine failure. At the time of the complaint, they were waiting for a replacement engine.

The third complaint describes how the driver was unable to accelerate or maintain speed while traveling at about 65 mph on a 3-lane highway. The engine shut down and the Escalade was towed away. There was no loan vehicle available.

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Forward Collision Avoidance & Brake Problems

There are 2 forward-collision avoidance and 1 service brake problem highlighted in 2 NHTSA complaints.

One complaint says, “There have been at least 5 instances where I attempted to turn off the Supercruise function and the system does not allow me to regain control of the vehicle. For example, I will turn off the Supercruise function by hitting the Supercruise function on the steering wheel and it will begin to flash red on the steering wheel. I will move the steering wheel slightly to let the system know I am taking control of the vehicle but the vehicle does not recognize my input. The car will start to slow down, turn on the flashers, and announce over the speakers to ‘take control of the vehicle.’

“The main issue is that the car will fight me and not allow me to accelerate to keep up with traffic. There are some times when Supercruise turns off without incident. But my issue stems from when Supercruise mistakenly thinks that I am not in control of the vehicle and slows down. Again, I have put my hands back on, I put input into the steering wheel to let it know I’m in control and even tap the brakes.”

The other complaint talks about the car brakes locking up and sending the SUV into a short skid. It happened on a movable steel bridge in Chicago. “I can only guess that all of the steel in the bridge decking somehow was interpreted by my vehicle to be another vehicle, and automatically slammed on the brakes in the mistaken assumption that I was about to hit another vehicle ahead of me. In fact, there was not another vehicle ahead of me for about 100 yards.”

Back Over Prevention & Lane Departure Problems

There are 2 lane departure and 1 back over prevention issues highlighted in NHTSA complaints. But there is a crossover with forward-collision avoidance. One is the first complaint mentioned in the section above.

The other, which is categorized as both a forward-collision avoidance and land departure problem talks about 2 defects. These are the driver’s side blind-spot monitoring and rear parking. The problem occurs when the SUV is moving. If the vehicle travels at less than 35 miles per hour, these monitors turn on and off at random times.

What to do if your 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

You will see from this article what kinds of problems other 2021 Cadillac Escalade owners are having. While they don’t all indicate that a car is necessarily a lemon, in some instances they might be. So, if you think you’ve ended up with a lemon, contact Lemberg Law. We will assess your problems and let you know what your options are.

We have negotiated many cash settlements, replacement vehicles, buybacks, and trade-ins for our clients. The law makes the manufacturer pay if you’ve got a lemon, so you don’t have to worry about legal bills.

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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