5 Cadillac Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying)

Cadillac is another division of the famous General Motors Company, and it is officially known as the Cadillac Motor Car Division. The company specializes in luxury vehicles and distributes majorly to the American, Chinese and Canadian markets, alongside its distribution channels in some other countries.

Cadillac was founded in 1902 and acquired much later by the General Motors Company in 1909. It is known for being at the forefront of sophisticated automotive technology, and its development of the V8 engine revolutionized the auto industry.

Cadillac also managed to scoop the Motor Trend “Car of the Year” award five times, most recently in 2014 for its CTS model. Without a doubt, the Cadillac brand is as exquisite as it gets.

With 536 recalls issued for its models according to the NHTSA, Cadillac takes the 24th spot in the number of recalls issued by auto manufacturers. According to ARFC.org, this is about 1.5% of all NHTSA recalls since 1966.

You should also be reading our article which talks about 4 Jeep Models With Most Recalls

Let’s have a look at the Cadillac models with the most recalls, shall we?

1. Cadillac CTS

The Cadillac CTS was classified as an executive car and marketed across three generations between 2003 and 2019.

During its time, it won the coveted Motor Trend “Car of the Year” twice, first in 2008 and again in 2014. It also made several year-end lists and nominations and was constantly regarded as one of the top cars in its class.

Number of Recalls

The Cadillac CTS enjoyed rave reviews from critics year after year. In all its years, however, Cadillac issued no less than 58 recalls for the Cadillac CTS. This makes it the most-recalled Cadillac model in history, while holding 10.8% of total Cadillac recalls in NHTSA records.

Of the 58 CTS recalls, the 2014 model alone has 7 recalls on record, making it the most-recalled CTS model. The 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 Cadillac CTS models are right behind it, with 6 recalls each, which earns them the 2nd spot.

These figures indicate a plethora of issues with these models, so ask for detailed service and maintenance records if you plan to buy any of these model years.

With 1 recall apiece, the 2017 and 2018 CTS model years are the least-recalled models in the Cadillac CTS lineup. The 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016 models also have 2 recalls each. These figures aren’t at all worrying, so if you are looking to cop a used CTS, these models are your best shot.

Below are common issues with the Cadillac CTS according to the recall statements:

  • Electrical system issues (unusual movement of ignition switch out of “run” position and resultant engine stoppage, distortion/melting of plastic around HWFS chamber)
  • Service brake problems (improperly torqued pushrod retention nut and possible loosening and separation of pushrod from brake pedal, possible corrosion of front brake hose fitting due to salt and water)
  • Airbag defects (inability to detect front passenger and possible disablement of airbag due to malfunctioning passenger sensing system, unwanted airbag deployment due to ignition issues)
  • Fuel system issues (stoppage of fuel supply to engine without warning, overheating of electrical terminals of fuel pump module, and possible melting of the flange material)

Related: 5 BMW Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

2. Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is the company’s entry offer into the increasingly popular SUV market. It was first launched in 1998 for the 1999 model year and classified as a full-size luxury SUV.

The Escalade entered its fifth generation in 2021 with hundreds of thousands in units sold and impressive reviews from critics.

Number of Recalls

The Cadillac Escalade, in over two decades of existence, has accrued no less than 53 recalls, according to the NHTSA. This takes up 9.9% of all Cadillac recalls, according to ARFC.org, making it the second most-recalled Cadillac model.

Of the 53 recalls, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade alone is responsible for 11 of them, making it the most-recalled Escalade model. The 2016 Cadillac Escalade is right behind, with 8 recalls so far. These two have relatively concerning figures, and we advise avoiding them.

The 2000, 2002, 2012, 2014, and 2020 models are the least-recalled Escalade model years, with just 1 each.

2 recalls each earns the 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Escalade models the #2 spot among least-recalled models.

If you are looking to cop a Cadillac Escalade, particularly used ones, consider the models mentioned immediately above.

Below are the most common issues with Cadillac Escalade that have triggered recalls:

  • Airbag defects (unwanted activation of diagnostic test and resultant non-deployment during crash, inadequately heated infrared weld used to secure the airbag module to a chute and partial deployment, manufacturing flaws)
  • Electrical system issues (possible internal deterioration of chassis electronic module and resultant short circuit, possible binding of ignition lock actuator, and difficulty turning the key)
  • Seatbelt problems (non-deployment of pre-tensioners due to abrupt activation of diagnostic test, manufacturing flaws with rear seatbelts)
  • Service brake faults (depletion of vacuum created by vacuum pump, deficient brake hydro-boost housing relief valve bore)

Related: 5 GMC Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

3. Cadillac Deville

The Cadillac Deville is an iconic series of full-size luxury cars produced across eight generations from 1958 to 2005. It had a great run as one of the most popular cars in its class, while its classic design gave drivers a lot to feel good about.

Number of Recalls

The first recall for a Cadillac Deville model was issued in 1977, and another 44 were issued until its discontinuation. With 45 total recalls, the Cadillac Deville is the third most-recalled Cadillac model on record, holding 8.4% of all recalls.

A look at the recall statements across Deville model years shows the recalls are almost evenly spread out. This goes to show that the recall figures for the Cadillac Deville are not remotely troubling.

Having pointed out that nuance, the 2000 and the 2002 models have the most recalls among Cadillac Deville models, with 5 each. The 1978, 2001, and 2003 models are close behind with 4 each, landing them on the #2 spot.

Several Cadillac models, including the 1979, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2004, and 2005 models, have 1 recall each. These are the least-recalled Cadillac Deville models on record.

Below is a list of common issues that have provoked Cadillac Deville recalls:

  • Airbag defects (possible inflator fracture during deployment, unusual non-deployment of driver’s side airbag, possible water intrusion)
  • Electrical system faults (possible swerve of ignition switch out of run position and resultant engine stop)
  • Fuel system issues (potential malfunction of fuel tank pressure sensors and application of excessive vacuum)
  • Seatbelt faults (malfunctioning shoulder belt retractors during crash, manufacturing flaw, and failure to meet up to safety standards)

4. Cadillac Brougham

The Cadillac Brougham was a line of full-size luxury cars produced and marketed by the Cadillac Motor Division between 1986 and 1992. It succeeded the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, which was in production between 1977 and 1986.

Six full years saw the Cadillac Brougham accrue sales of over 200,000 units, which demonstrates its relative popularity amongst US customers.

Number of Recalls

During its stint, the Cadillac Brougham was recalled 44 times, according to the NHTSA. The NHTSA records include recalls for its predecessor, the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.

With 9 recalls each, the 1988 and 1990 Cadillac Brougham have the highest recalls amongst Brougham model years. The 1989 Cadillac Brougham is right behind, with 7 recalls, seizing the #2 spot amongst the most-recalled Cadillac Brougham models.

The 1984 Cadillac Brougham is the only Brougham model to have been recalled just once, making it the least-recalled model. Multiple Brougham models, including the 1977, 1978, 1985, and 1986 models, have 2 recalls each.

If, for whatever reason, you are looking for a vintage Brougham vehicle; we advise prioritizing the models mentioned immediately above.

Below are common Cadillac Brougham problems that have called for recalls:

  • Service brake problems (failure to meet stopping distance requirements, small rear wheel brake cylinders that hamper proper braking, manufacturing flaws)
  • Equipment issues (incorrect gross vehicle weight rating on labels and tire placards, absence of certification labels on some models)
  • Vehicle speed control issues (improperly installed accelerator pedal and possible increase in engine idle RPM, slippage of nylon bushing in the cruise control servo bail, and abrupt increase in engine speed)

Related: 5 Chevrolet Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

5. Cadillac Escalade ESV

The Cadillac Escalade ESV is a luxury variant of the earlier-mentioned Cadillac Escalade. It was first produced in 2002, four years after the launch of the first Escalade, and entered its fifth generation in 2021.

Number of Recalls

Although it’s a variant of the Cadillac Escalade, the Escalade ESV on its own has racked up 39 recalls so far. This lands it the #5 spot on the list of most-recalled Cadillac models since 1969. In addition, the figure represents 7.3% of all Cadillac recalls on record, according to ARFC.org.

Of the 39 recalls, the 2015 Cadillac ESV is responsible for 8 of them, making it the most-recalled Cadillac ESV model year. The 2016 model year takes the #2 spot on the list, with 7 recalls so far. These figures indicate a plethora of issues plaguing these models, and we advise watching out for them.

The 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020 model years are the least-recalled Escalade ESVs, with just 1 each. The 2007 and 2008 model years share the 2nd spot, with just 2 recalls each.

Below are recall-worthy issues of Cadillac Escalade ESV models:

  • Airbag faults (unintended activation of diagnostic test and possible non-deployment during a crash, improperly heated infrared weld.)
  • Electrical system issues (internal contamination of chassis electronic module and resultant short circuit, possible binding of ignition lock actuator, short circuit of circuit board for washer fluid heater; possible distortion/melting of plastic around the HWFS chamber)
  • Seatbelt problems (possible non-deployment of pre-tensioners as a result of unintended diagnostic test)
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