Powertrain, engine, and electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
General Motors, LLC (GM) maintains that the Yukon, launched as a 1992 model year, has “transformed the experience of highway cruising and off-road exploring.” But owners of the 2023 GMC Yukon whose engines stall and stop, and whose airbags and safety restraint systems fail, don’t agree.
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Most Common Problems with the 2023 Yukon
There are complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 GMC Yukon SUV and the XL SUV. These differ in content, with powertrain problems being most common with the SUV, and airbag and safety restraint system faults evident for the longer XL models.
Overall, the components and systems highlighted by complaints include the powertrain, engine, steering, vehicle speed control, and visibility for the 2WD and 4WD SUV. And electrical system, airbags, forward collision-avoidance, and back over prevention for the 2WD and 4WD XL SUV.
Powertrain issues top the list in terms of numbers. These relate to engines stalling, vehicles stopping, and a general loss of motive power.
Additionally, both 2023 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL vehicles are implicated in a recall that affects 740,108 GM vehicles. The problem is that the exterior running lights may not deactivate as intended. This can result in a glare, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of a crash. The remedy is a body control module software update that is also available over-the-air (OTA).
While there are no complaints about this fault, the owner of a GMC Yukon complained about reflection of the instrument panel lights from the driver’s side window. This, the complaint states, was significantly impairing his vision of the roadway while driving. In this case, the dealer stated that “the vehicle was operating as designed.”
2023 GMC Yukon Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Back Over Prevention: Warnings|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Vehicle Speed Control|
Problems with the Powertrain and Engine
The owner of a 2023 Yukon with 1,700 miles, links his powertrain problem with an engine issue. He tells how, after driving on an interstate highway for about two hours, he stopped before turning off onto a busy road. He “applied moderate gas pedal pressure.” The SUV accelerated momentarily, moved forward, and “then the engine stalled as the transmission was attempting to shift automatically from 1st to 2nd gear. The vehicle was partially stuck out into the busy road without any power. This created a traffic conflict and near-miss with cars traveling along the 2-lane road that I was attempting to turn onto.
“I restarted the vehicle and drove it slowly onto the shoulder. The vehicle’s engine repeatedly stalled any time enough gas pedal pressure was applied to cause the transmission to attempt to shift from 1st to 2nd gear. This issue only occurs after the engine and transmission have been running at operating temperature for several minutes. The dealership could not duplicate this issue, but they only drove the vehicle a total of 7 miles over two different occasions.”
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Problems with the Powertrain
Another powertrain complaint comes from an owner with 3,000 miles. This vehicle also “stalled and lost motive power” without any warning. He managed to shift the vehicle into Park and restart the SUV. Once restarted, it operated normally again. The dealer performed a software update, but the failure recurred.
A powertrain complaint listed as also being a vehicle speed control and steering problem also involves a driver leaving a highway. The owner, from Texas, states that as he took the exit lane and stopped at a stop sign, the vehicle stopped completely. The engine stopped idling, and the transmission switched to neutral.
“This created a safety issue for me and my family because I was unable to restart (the) vehicle and I created traffic congestion at the intersection. I am worried that this can happen again and I might be exposed to other vehicles crashing against my vehicle. Or, even worse, if this was to happen on the highway I would not be able to control the proper handling of my vehicle.”
Electrical System Problems
Linking an electrical system problem with back over prevention and forward collision-avoidance, an owner from California noticed the parking sensors of his 2023 Yukon XL weren’t working. Then he began to get error messages on the dash warning that parking assist, rear braking and auto park assist were unavailable. GM said there weren’t any recalls so he must take it to a dealer’s service department for review.
About two weeks later, a dealer determined that during manufacture of the vehicle, “someone failed to connect the module that controls my parking sensors. They had to remove the front fascia of my vehicle to connect the module for everything to work correctly.”
The owner had been using the Yukon to transport his family of five, including his newborn child. So, it wasn’t surprising that he questioned the quality control of GM vehicles in his complaint. He is also hugely concerned that “a car manufacturer would deliver a vehicle with such gross negligence where a consumer would not know (that) the safety features they rely on to keep themselves and their family safe do not work.”
Airbag and Safety Restraint System Problems
A 2023 GMC Yukon XL owner from West Virginia regards his complaint as an electrical system, airbag, and forward collision-avoidance system problem.
He was driving along his gravel driveway when “the window curtain airbags and the middle console airbags deployed” for no apparent reason. The complaint states that the airbags came all the way out from the back of the vehicle, injuring the driver. It states that if a child had been in the SUV, “this could have been very damaging. Police and fire officers inspected the SUV and the scene and said that “there is nothing that should have caused the airbags to deploy.”
There are several other issues that the complaint highlights. For example, when backing up or going forward, the “automatic brakes will stop you abruptly, so fast that your seat belt will lock up on you and thrust you forward and backwards.” This has also happened in the gravel driveway.
Also, “the running boards go in and out, even when on the interstate constantly.” And at times, the rear entertainment system screen will stay black “and you have to keep turning it on and off to get a screen to show.”
Although filed as an airbag problem, another Yukon XL owner received an error message “service SRS” after 1,100 miles. The dealer diagnosed a failure with the passenger safety restraint system (SRS). However, the remedy for the repair was not yet available. This was in mid-February 2023.
SRS Message Solution
In April, two manufacturer communications drew attention to several error messages including the service safety restraints system message. Eventually, on May 5, 2023, GM issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) – 23-NA-085 – that provides the procedure required to correct the condition of the SRS message and an airbag warning. It states that it replaces a previous TSB, but doesn’t say when that was issued.
What to do if your 2023 GMC Yukon is a lemon?
If your 2023 GMC Yukon has recurring problems that affect its use or value, you might have bought a lemon. If you have experienced a problem that your dealership is unable to resolve, there’s a good chance the problem may recur. But it’s not going to be labeled a lemon until this happens.
Nevertheless, if you believe you have a lemon, Lemberg Law is available to assess your problems free of charge. We are an experienced lemon law firm and we have helped many clients negotiate settlement deals with automakers. The law says GMC must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases, so you’re not going to be charged.
All you have to do is fill out our contact form or call our Helpline.