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

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: 2018    2019    2020    2021

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2022 GMC Terrain

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

What are the Most Common Problems with the 2022 GMC Terrain

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.

Electrical System Problems

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.”

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 21, 2023
The dealership first told me to take it in and I did and then they told me there is nothing they can do to fix it and it's dangerous to be having my car with the recall and they know what to.
CategoryFuel System, Gasoline
DateFeb 21, 2023
The contact owns a 2022 gmc terrain. The contact stated that while driving at an undisclosed speed, the vehicle stalled. The check engine warning light was illuminated. Additionally, the contact stated that she was able to restart the vehicle; however, the vehicle failed to remain started. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the fuel pump module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the cause of the failure could not be determined. The contact stated that she was informed of the nhtsa campaign number: 23v013000 (fuel system, gasoline). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 6,000.
CategoryPower Train
DateJan 27, 2023
Leased a 2002 gmc terrain/denali on 12/30/2022. 34 miles on car. Loved driving it. I have put on additional 210 miles. On 01/20/2023 after dropping a 'ct' disc at my oncologist I got back in car and was driving home. Still love my car. In doctor's parking lot the 'parking' light would not go out when put in reverse. Same issue two times until I went into drive and car moved a bit. Then reverse, all ok. At stop light just beyond md office I turned left. Initially I crossed intersection (yellow engine light went on) and gave gas pedal a push to go 45 mph (legal speed on a 2 lane west bound). Two lanes on opposite side head east. All of the sudden foot still on gas speed drops to 25 mph but tachometer now reads 4000! Scared looking rear view mirror and 3-4 cars behind close to my bumper now and before slowing down hit their bakes. I being panicked took foot of gas and tried to go slowly forward again to get out of way. Same issue with 25 mph only and now tachometer reading between 3500-4000. Really panicked as those 45 mph (or more) cars slammed on their brakes. Were not so nice, but of course! Now went to side of road and stopped. Waited a couple of minutes started again but went no more than 25 mph with a burning smell. Got to a parking lot and hit 'sos'. 2 sets of 2 hours each no tow arrived. Talked to 'sos' a number of times. Finally called wife she behind me with flashers and me with flashers drove home. No more than 20-25 mph. Tow arrived and driver could not get car in reverse so pushed into street in our complex. Finally pushed enough to use winch to get car aboard. Took to dealer in ft lauderdale (sheehan) been there one week today and thy called at 5:00pm car finished. Admits transmission problem. Me what could I do? Dealer says to pick car up. One week for repair of this brand new car? My wife is petrified as to what happened. Doesn't want to take a chance to ride in it. Scary ride that day for certain. This all seems so one sided to me. That hurts.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateJan 25, 2023
The contact owns a 2022 gmc terrain. The contact stated while driving at an undisclosed speed, the brake pedal was depressed, and an abnormal burning odor was detected. Additionally, the vehicle was dragging while the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. Riverside buick gmc (125 s dixie ave, cartersville, ga 30120) and carl black chevrolet buick gmc (1110 roberts blvd, kennesaw, ga 30144) were made aware of the failure; however, the dealers had not diagnosed nor repaired the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateJan 16, 2023
The vehicle has been having misfires and power liftgate since owning the vehicle. The vehicle has been to multiple dealerships and I have to this very day put 15k miles on the vehicle. Needless to say gm has not been any help in getting the problem taken care of. I have sent gm video of the vehicle misfire. I finally have conformation that the vehicle has had 53 misfires.
CategoryLane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
DateAug 25, 2022
The contact owns a 2022 gmc terrain. The contact stated that the lane departure blind spot detection system on the driver's side failed to accurately signal the clearance to steer the vehicle to the left. The contact had not taken the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 500.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMay 26, 2022
My wife was driving to work when 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.
CategoryElectrical System, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Lane Departure: Warning
DateApr 02, 2022
Mientras conducía el panel de instrumento digital donde están los relojes se apagó en su totalidad. El auto siguió funcionando pero no podía ver nada en el panel porque estaba literalmente muerto. Me moví hacia un costado de la carretera y apagué el carro. Lo volví a prender pero el panel siguió muerto. El carro si trabajaba. Llegue con mucho temor a casa y lo envié al concesionario donde lo compré. Me dijeron que era el panel de instrumentos y que lo tenían que cambiar.
DateMar 15, 2022
The contact owns a 2022 gmc terrain. The contact stated upon purchasing the vehicle and driving 60 mph to her residence for an hour, she smelled a strong glue, plastic and chemical-like odor. The contact stated that she parked the vehicle out in the sun and rolled the windows down; however, she could still smell a strong chemical odor inside the vehicle. The contact stated that the odor was significantly strong and caused her to have a sore throat while driving the vehicle. The contact stated that the odor smell was everywhere inside the vehicle; however, she had only been riding in the front driver's seat. The dealer was notified of the failure and advised the contact to take the vehicle to their location and they would spray ozone inside the cabin of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 6. Still after driving with windows down for 5 months toxic fumes are still there.

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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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