2022 GMC Terrain Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system and powertrain issues are among the top complaints reported to the NHTSA

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2022 GMC Terrain is meant to be a luxury-minded SUV, allowing for family travel in style. The automaker points out the “head-turning details” in an effort to get customers more excited. In the meantime, there are problems with the electrical system, malfunctioning powertrain, and shoddy structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019    2020    2021

What are the Most Common Problems

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relate to 5 component and system categories: the Electrical System, Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Departure, Structure, and Unknown or Other issues.

Additionally, there are numerous complaints on other platforms including the popular Terrain Forum.

Overall, powertrain, electrical system, and general structural problems are stand-out issues.

2022 GMC Terrain Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Fuel System, Gasoline
Fuel/propulsion System
Electrical System
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Lane Departure: Warning

Problems with the Electrical System

There haven’t been a ton of electrical system complaints yet because the company had to ship out massive amounts of vehicles without the latest technology, for example, the chips required to heat the seats.

Issues Due to Chip Shortages

Here’s what a customer wrote on the Terrain Forum. “What I am NOT happy about is that after Nov. 15, 2021 build date, it won’t have heated front seats. On the Chevy Canada website it shows they deduct $50 for lack of heated seats.

The ”dealer says they can get aftermarket heat installed for $650. But I just found articles that GM is now saying they can retrofit the chips to the cars missing the function as early as mid-2022.”

Another customer commenting on the same forum in October 2022, had issues with the heat/air system not working when using remote start. “My remote start works and will default on the defrosters, but will not turn on the heat or air.” Despite the fact that the chip for heated seats had not been installed, the dealer technicians said “it was something in the settings that needed to be reset. After that didn’t work and after almost two hours at the dealership and being on the phone with GM technicians, all they could tell me was it’s a default setting when it’s too cold outside the heat will not work when using remote start.”

In response to this comment, another forum member says, “I’m still waiting on the chip for the heated seats part. I just got my vehicle in May, so it was one that the features are equipped on the car, but the chip will be retrofitted at a later date. When I looked in my vehicle start options, that option wasn’t available in my settings. That’s why I’m wondering if not having the chip is causing my a/c/heat to not work when I use the remote start. The dealership and the GM tech couldn’t seem to figure out an answer.”

Instrument Panel Fault

An owner from Florida issued this complaint to the NHTSA in April 2022. “While driving the digital instrument panel where the clocks are turned off completely. The car kept running, but I couldn’t see anything on the dash because it was literally dead. I moved to the side of the road and turned off the car. I turned it back on but the panel was still dead. The car did work.”

This made him very afraid and so he sent the SUV to the dealer where I bought it. “They told me it was the instrument panel and they had to change it.”

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Problems with the Powertrain

There have also been a lot of complaints about the 9-speed transmission. While customers were happy to hear that the continuously variable transmission (CVT) wasn’t being added, there’s still a call for something more reliable.

A 2-star review in Edmunds is scathing. “Everything worked well for a few weeks until the transmission failed. After two weeks of being in the dealer’s shop, they still can’t tell me if they can even get a new transmission. Poor quality and service for such a nice looking SUV.”

One comment on the Terrain Forum says, “I do not like the 9 speed in my Traverse. Too much shifting. The 6 speeds in the rest of my fleet are just fine. IMO excessive shifting is excessive wear no matter how intensive your maintenance is. I do not (like) seeing it going 200k miles like 6 speed trans.”

A more recent comment on the same forum talks about receiving a text from OnStar “to get the engine transmission checked in the next 7 days. Look at the dash and sure enough, the check engine light is on.” The 2022 Terrain was only 4 months old. Puzzled, the post continues, “There was nothing that stood out that would make me look for an error code (no shuttering or stalling that seemed out of place).” It turned out to be an internal failure in the fuel pump.

Also, owners are complaining about the push button gear selector that was introduced with the 2018 model year. A consumer review on Edmunds states: “The one complaint I have is the push button shift. It is awkward to use and you need to look at it to shift back to the stick.” Another says that “the push button gear shift was just too difficult to adjust to.”

Vehicle Structure Issues

There is plenty of criticism about the structure of the 2022 GMC Terrain. For example, a Car And Driver post says that despite its “rugged appearance,” one inside the vehicle, the “plasticky cabin bits” are obvious! They also mention the “irksome toggle switches.” Consumer Reports says they “found it to be loud and stiff-riding, with severely hampered visibility.”

A 3-star consumer review on Edmunds gives the interior only 2 stars. “The interior felt cheap, despite the upgrades.”

Complaints lodged with the NHTSA about the structure range from the presence of chemical-like odors to exploding sunroofs.

When an owner from Florida took delivery of a new 2022 GMC Terrain she “smelled a strong glue, plastic and chemical-like odor” while driving home. She “parked the vehicle out in the sun and rolled the windows down,” but “could still smell a strong chemical odor inside the vehicle.” It was so bad it gave her a sore throat. The dealership told her they would spray ozone inside the cabin. After 5 months, she reports that she is still driving with the windows down in an attempt to get rid of the “toxic fumes.”

An owner from Ohio describes what happened when his wife was driving to work and “the sunroof just exploded. She said there were no vehicles in the oncoming lane nor was she following anyone. She heard a loud sound and glass came in landing on her from the sunroof. Right now it is currently at the GM dealership to be investigated by their service department.”

A member of the Terrain Forum also talks about the Terrain sunroofs saying, “Most have had bad experiences with them previously and wouldn’t recommend them.”

Recalls Due to Structural Issues

This GMC SUV barely made it to the dealerships mid-2022 before it suffered a massive recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V612000 says that affected models have a type of Hankook tires that were manufactured incorrectly, leading to tread separation. If the tread were to separate, a crash could become imminent. A total of 9,597 GMC 2021-2022 Terrains and 2021-2022 Chevrolet Equinox vehicles may be affected.

GMC issued a second recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 22V724000, in September 2022. This is due to a loose bolt in the driver’s seat frame. If a vehicle with this problem is in a crash, the seat may not restrain the driver properly, which will increase the risk of injury. Potentially, 6,895 Terrain and Equinox vehicles may be affected.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

If you think your 2022 GMC Terrain might be a lemon, contact Lemberg Law and we will assess your problems free of charge.

The law makes GMC pay legal fees, so there’s a good chance that you may be able to get your lemon out of your life. After all, 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
  • Karen b

    Wow, I been fighting with GMC since I bought my 2022 At4 terrain. Only had it for 2 months and the issues are still ongoing issues are not being done properly. First it was the o2 sensor. Been hearing a slight ticking noise from my engine but the dealership says it is nothing. Leather seats bubble up, No sensors for my heated seats and had to wait 1 year to get the sensor in my heated steering wheel would not work so they had to replace the whole steering wheel. Thumping noise under my dash and at the end of December my fuel pump died which resulted in losing all of my power. I was 2 mins away from my house. I finally got my car to start and to get it home then I had to pay for a tow truck to pick up my SUV to take it to the dealership. GMC is willing to give me 2000 for a rebate to trade it in but the dealership I’m dealing with is not willing to help me with a better financing. When I got my SUV the financing was at 2.95% I have asked them to lower it to meet me halfway. they say they can’t. All I want is to have a safe car. This is not my issue that I text a lemon

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