Brake, electrical system, and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is a truck designed for getting jobs done. The automaker maintains that it’s known for its “trailering capabilities.” But an increasing number of owners are experiencing major problems with their trailer brakes that General Motors can’t fix. They are also complaining about other braking system issues as well as glitchy electrical systems and defective engines.
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Most Common Problems
Between February 16, 2022, and February 1, 2023, 28 consumers complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2022 GMC Sierra. The most common problems relate to the brakes, engine, and electrical system. Nevertheless, 6 other components and systems are included in the complaints. These are the powertrain, steering, structure, forward collision avoidance, lane departure, and vehicle speed control.
Powertrain issues include the transmission of a 2022 Sierra needing replacement after only 170 miles. This was after the check engine warning light was illuminated.
There is also a complaint filed as a powertrain problem that reports how a Sierra rolled backward while in Park. The owner, from Georgia, was struck by the truck twice while trying to stop and control it. “I sustained moderate injuries, but thankfully was not catastrophically disabled. This should be investigated thoroughly so that no other person(s) is injured or dies as a result of this defect.”
There is also a complaint that reports electronic stability control (ESC) and power steering failures. The complaint from an owner in North Dakota states that the truck is difficult to steer and navigate without power steering. Additionally, the truck slides when taking corners because the ESC doesn’t engage.
2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
Problems with the Brakes
There are 14 complaints that include brake problems ranging from trailer brakes that disengage and are disabled to issues with the antilock braking system. There are also complaints that new 2022 Sierras needed antilock brake system (ABS) modules and/or brake master cylinder assemblies to be replaced. In one case, the owner from New Mexico was told in March 2022 that there were no master cylinder assemblies available. This was after the truck displayed “a whole slew of warnings and warning lights.” These included “Service ESC, Service Trailer Brake System, Service Brake Assist, Steering Assist is reduced Drive with care and finally Brake System Failure 43 MPH top speed.”
An owner from Texas did have both the brake master cylinder and ABS module replaced. This was after the Sierra brakes failed to respond or decelerate. First, the “service vehicle warning light” displayed. Then the ESC, trailer brake, and, brake warning lights were illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the local dealer who replaced the brake master cylinder and ABS module.
Trailer Brake Problems
Most of the problems relate to the trailer brakes. Drivers are warned to check their trailer brakes. This warning is followed by a “Trailer Brakes Disabled” alert. This issue is explained in detail in our post about the GMC Sierra 1500’s faulty trailer bike controller. It mentions the technical service bulletins (TSBs) issued by GM and warns that while the manufacturer knows about the issue, they are still working on a fix.
The most recent complaint is from an owner in Connecticut dated January 21, 2023. While towing a 7,000 lb car trailer, “I get a message that the trailer brakes need service, then I get another message that the trailer brakes are disabled. At this point the brakes are shut off and no longer work. This is extremely dangerous.”
Response from General Motors
There are a couple of service bulletins on file with the NHTSA that discuss diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). As mentioned in the complaints above, 2022 Sierra owners with brake problems often get warning messages. Typically, they follow a general check engine malfunction alert. But there is nothing in this TSB that relates specifically to the brakes.
There is, though, one TSB that affects the electrical system, service brakes (air), and trailer hitches of the 2022 Sierra GMC as well as the 2022 GMC Yukon XL, 2022 Cadillac Escalade ESV, and several 2022 Chevrolet models. Preliminary information (PI) supplied to dealers in September 2022 states that some customers may report that when they “connect a trailer to the truck that there is a Service Trailer Brake message displayed in the DIC,” (driver information center). It states that while the cause is unknown, “GM Engineering is aware of the issue and working on a fix.” They undertake to update the PI when more information is available. By February 8, 2023, there was still no update.
While there is one recall that mentions the brakes of some 2022 GMC Sierra vehicles, it applies to an inoperative high-mounted brake light that potentially reduces visibility to other drivers. This, of course, increases the risk of a crash. But General Motors appears to be unmoved by the possible risk of a crash if the Sierra’s brakes fail.
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Engine and Electrical Issues
The engine in a truck is essential for providing reliable power, but when it malfunctions, drivers and their passengers are in trouble. One of the 6 NHTSA complaints filed in the Engine category is from an owner in Oklahoma. It states that after driving the truck for less than 3 months, the engine started making a loud knocking noise that sounded like “a piston trying to shoot out of (the) engine. Very loud. I was afraid to drive it.” In response, the dealership said they “have had a few (2022 GMC Sierra 1500s) come back for lifter problems.”
An owner from California states that the engine shut off completely at a traffic light. “It has auto start to save gas and normally starts and stops at lights.” But this time it didn’t and the owner narrowly avoided being rear-ended.
There are also a few complaints that are filed under both Engine and the Electrical System.
Problems with the Engine
The engine in a truck is essential for providing reliable power, but this motor is a disgrace to the pickup lineup.
Another NHTSA complaint says, “Purchased 2022 GMC Sierra on 1/18/2022 with 0 miles on it…On 04/08/2022 the engine started a loud knocking noise…sounded like a piston trying to shoot out of engine. Very loud. I was afraid to drive it. We took it to the dealership and they said they have had a few come back for lifter problems. Not very happy for my purchase of a brand new truck with 0 miles on it after driving for less than 3 months.”
If this wasn’t enough, take a look at Service Bulletin #PIP5844. It states that DTC P06DD gets set because there’s no oil pressure following an oil and filter change. It’s something that happens because the filter was drained and empty. However, the filter is always drained and empty for a second after an oil change. This shouldn’t lead to trouble codes setting unless it’s a defective system, which is what the Sierra 1500 is.
Complaints that Combine Electrical and Engine Problems
One from an owner in New York says that the check engine light came on at 458 miles. It took an hour for the dealership to determine it was the engine control module (ECM.) “They said it was bad. Now they’re on the hunt for one.” Because he’s owned the vehicle for such a short time, he says, “I’m going to need a loaner for longer than I’ve had it and still make payments.”
An Engine/Electrical complaint, which is also listed under Powertrain, is described as a ”catastrophic failure.” As with brake issues, several check engine and sensor lights came on. Then the Sierra, which had only 319 miles on the clock, lost speed from 60 mph, coming to a standstill in an intersection. After being stuck in the intersection for more than 2 hours, the owner, from Florida, managed to reverse at about 2 mph. He turned the engine off and then on again, but couldn’t get it out of Park. “We were in an extremely dangerous situation. This truck nearly caused our entire family to get in a very bad collision.”
Even the police tried unsuccessfully to get the truck out of Park. Eventually it was scanned on-site for error codes. These included the check engine, collision assist, and service traction control lights, as well as the message Service ESC. “This vehicle needs to be investigated if it is failing this early on. There also needs to be a manual release for the parking gear. The truck has no way to be placed in neutral upon failure of the transmission relay.”
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
If you own a 2022 GMC Sierra and think that you might have a lemon, it’s a good idea to let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. After all, the law makes GMC pay legal fees.
Every year, auto manufacturers like GMC buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. If you’d like Lemberg Law to assess your problem and advise you free of charge, call our Helpline or fill out a contact form now.