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

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.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Seat Belts
Unknown Or Other
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018

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.

Problems with the Visibility

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.

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 02, 2022
The contact owns a 2021 gmc sierra 2500. The contact stated while approaching a stop sign and depressing the brake pedal, the brakes were squeaking. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was informed that the brake pads needed to be replaced. The brakes on the vehicle were replaced but the failure reoccurred. The vehicle was taken to another dealer and the caliper on the front driver's side was replaced and the failure reoccurred. The vehicle was taken to another dealer who was aware of the issue however, there was no recall for the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 800.
CategoryAir Bags, Seat Belts
DateAug 09, 2022
The “service safety restraint” alarm goes off continually on my 2021 gmc sierra 2500hd at4. The warranty is no longer valid as at the time of occurrence I was at 34,500 miles and when I took it in the warranty had expired due to exceeding 36,000 miles. Extended warranties were not purchased and this began approximately 8-9 months after purchase. The code given is “b0014 driver seat side air bag deployment loop” with a description of high resistance in wiring or wiring harness. After much research I have found that many gmc 2021 vehicles and previous models have had this exact same issue. No dealership as of yet has offered to help or understand that this defect was of their own flawed design. The issue that I am having is exactly the same as other models such as the 2021 yukon, sierra 1500, suburban and others. This is a safety issue and only want gmc to account for their flaw. I do not believe I should have to pay for a design flaw or equipment malfunction that is well known amongst gmc vehicles. I am asking the nhtsa to help me in this matter and the many others who are having the same issue and for the manufacturer to be accountable for their own flaw.
CategoryAir Bags, Structure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateAug 08, 2022
Hit in the driver side tire, air bags didn't release. Truck then went up in flames.
DateAug 04, 2022
When driving down the rode the center hood scoop blew off 0
DateMay 16, 2022
Diesel exhaust fluid tank, high pressure
DateApr 27, 2022
Lt245/75r17 I bought these tires on walmart. Com june 2021 and had walmart install with road hazard and lifetime balance, I returned to walmart in april 2022 and was told I had a defective tire, that it was coming apart, I can see the fibers around the issue area and soft spongy for approximately 14 inches sounds like glue not sticking when I push around the bead area, walmart told me it was a manufacturer defective tire and they included that on the work order and also told me to take tire and contact manufacturer which I did, I have spoken and also emailed with a michael dorr with unicorn tire. Without any positive results only denied a claim. This tire needs to be inspected and I want a new one, this for sure is defective.
CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 24, 2021
Brake pads have excessive squealing. Squealing implies incorrect pressure to rotor to stop the vehicle, which highly concerns me as an operator. According to the dealer where I reported the issue, there is a technical bulletin that approves replacement of the brake pads for free if reported in first 7500 miles. My truck exceeded that mileage when I noticed the squealing. If this was a recall for the defective brakes, the dealer would cover the costs to repair, but not for a technical bulletin according to the service department, and confirmed by gmc. I now have to pay 00 to replace brakes on a new truck with 15000 miles on it, or risk my safety. I believe this should be a recall and appreciate any assistance in this matter.
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Warnings, Engine, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateFeb 28, 2021
The truck is parked at dealership

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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