2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine and visibility issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

When drivers want to experience plenty of style mixed with capability, they naturally look at the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 heavy-duty trucks. After all, the automaker claims these offer a “powerful performance,” but that is a hard task to do if there’s a defective engine and poor visibility included with the purchase.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2022

Problems with the Engine

To haul, tow and get the daily jobs done, a heavy-duty pickup needs to be completely equipped. Yet, the engine is one of the biggest complaints with this model.

One Cars.com review states, “Bought this 2021 ext cab. short box 2500 Duramax HD new. I have had continuous maintenance issues since I purchased it. Every sensor or node has been replaced. At 100K a new Turbocharger. At 139K new engine, 2nd turbocharger, injectors, injector pump, starter, radiator, ECM. I have paid out over 44K for repairs. I would note buy this product again. Note: I have purchased two used and two new GMC. 2nd Note: I have meticulous about my preventive maintenance needs. No reason for this many issues. Done!! Next truck will be Dodge Cummins.”

While it’s clear this driver puts a lot of miles on the truck, keeping up with the maintenance and the strong diesel engine of the 2021 GMC Sierra should be able to maintain its integrity, especially for the price. However, GMC has become known as a company that uses defective parts with builds. For example, there are two open class-action lawsuits on comparable models. One states that the company included malfunction in-dash infotainment systems with trucks, while the other claims the automaker did nothing to resolve what is known as “Chevy Shake.” It does no good to have the most “powerful performance” if it is going to shake, rattle and roll all the way down the road.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train
Seat Belts

Visibility Problems

Whether the truck is being used at the job site or on the highway, it’s important for the driver to have a clear line of sight to keep everyone safe. Yet, this is another complaint with the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500.

Another Cars.com review states, “Driver’s seat is too low. I cannot see over the dash without sitting on pillows. I have never owned a vehicle this bad. So dangerous. We were told that power seats were not available for this model.”

Aside from the visibility issues, the seating arrangements might not be safe either. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V792000 states that more than 600,000 vehicles might be equipped with unsecured seat belt brackets in the front row. If these brackets aren’t secured, it could become impossible for the occupants to be restrained during a collision. Even worse, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V811000 states that some models also have the wrong bolts used to attach the seat belts. At this point, one would have to conclude the GMC Sierra and GMC are trying to injure occupants. Why else would the company fail to create effective seat belts on multiple levels? The only reason to label this truck the most “powerful” is if it is being discussed as the biggest failure.

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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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