5 GMC Cars With MOST Recalls (Check Before Buying)

GMC, previously known as General Motors Trucks, is a division of General Motors, an automobile corporation in the United States. The division primarily focuses on trucks and other such hefty vehicles.

Currently in its lineup are SUVs, trucks, light-duty trucks, and vans, all of which are targeted towards a specific market. While Chevrolet and GMC are often regarded as twins, GMC is touted as the more premium option.

According to data from AFRC.org, GMC has recalled its vehicles 1,646 times since 1969. With this figure, it racks up 4.6% of all NHTSA recalls, which places it at #7 on the list of most recalls by automakers.

Let’s check out the GMC models that make up the chunk of the total recall figure.


1. GMC Savana

The GMC Savana is a full-size van manufactured and marketed by General Motors since the 1996 model year. It is very much identical with the Chevrolet Express except for the name, of course, and the fact that the latter sells significantly more.

Number of Recalls

With 112 recalls according to the NHTSA, the GMC Savana is the most-recalled GMC model in history. It also has taken up 6.8% of all GMC recalls since 1969.

The 2013 GMC Savana has had the most recalls of any Savana model, with 12 so far. This certainly places it among the most problematic Savana models.

Other models with a considerable number of recalls include the 2003 Savana (10), 2006 Savana (10), 2009 (7), and the 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012, and 2014 models, with 6 each.

The 1997, 1998, and 1999 models of the GMC Savana have been recalled just once, making them the least-recalled and perhaps the most desirable Savana models.

Other models with a few recalls include the 1996 and 2000 model years, with 2 each, and the 2012 model year, with 3. The 2010 and 2011 model years are also among the least-recalled, with 4 apiece on record.

Below are common issues that have triggered GMC Savana recalls over the years:

  • Equipment flaws (problem with monitors and possible revert to default settings and resultant camera image reversal, possible clogging of extinguishers which may handicap their operations.)
  • Fuel system issues (possible gas leakage from CNG high-pressure regulator, potential corrosion of fuel shut-off solenoid connector, and trapping of contaminants in protective conduits of fuel filler pipe)
  • Visibility problems (rear-quarter window made of tempered glass instead of laminated glass as required, possible leakage of liquid into the power window switch, and high electrical resistance)
  • Seat belt issues (a fault with the seatbelt-unfastened warning light, lacy and unlatch difficulty with front and rear seatbelt buckles)
  • Airbag defects (possible failure of front passenger airbags in frontal impact situations)

Related: How Long Do GMC Savanas Last? (9 Important Facts)

2. GMC Sierra

The GMC Sierra is a range of trucks twinned with the more popular Chevrolet Silverado. They include the Sierra 1500, Sierra 2500, and Sierra 3500, all of which are still in production and have won multiple awards over the years.

Number of Recalls

Despite selling over 4 million units and receiving stellar ratings from critics, the GMC Sierra holds the reputation of being the second most-recalled GMC model. 103 recalls have been issued for the GMC Sierra, which is no less than 6.9% of all GMC Sierra recalls.

Of the 103 recalls, the 2014 GMC Sierra alone has accrued 15 recalls because of the multiplicity of issues over the years. Customers who are interested in a GMC Sierra may want to steer clear of this model year.

Other Sierra models with worrisome recall figures include the 2005 Sierra with 9, the 2000 Sierra with 8, and the 2004 Sierra with 7.

The 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 models of the GMC Sierra have been recalled once, making them the least-recalled Sierra model years. Other model years with notably fewer recall figures include the 1993, 1996, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2016 models, with 2 recalls each.

We should also mention that the last GMC Sierra model year to receive a recall is the 2016 model year, according to ARFC.org. In other words, no recalls have been issued for 2017 or newer model years of the GMC Sierra.

Below are recall-worthy issues that have plagued GMC Sierra models over the years:

  • Service brake faults (possible crack of the hydraulic brake booster pressure accumulator and resultant separation from the hydro-boost assembly.)
  • Electrical system issues (intermittent silence from the radio when key has been left in ignition or seatbelt is not worn, possible binding of ignition lock actuator, and possible contamination of electronic module)
  • Powertrain problems (possible electrical short and unintentional shift of transfer case to neutral, possible fracture of rear axle shaft, improperly installed transmission oil cooler line)
  • Steering problems (incorrectly attached tie rod, EPS module fault and abrupt loss of power steering assist, and possible fluid leak due to power assist hose fracture)
  • • Engine issues (possible fracture of engine fuel rail pulse damper retainer clip and causing inadequate retention)

3. GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is one of the large SUV offerings of General Motors and an elite one at that. Yukon models share the same platform with their Chevy Tahoe counterparts and are known for their potent V8 engines, off-road capabilities, and luxurious interior.

Number of Recalls

While it has millions of sales and multiple accolades to its credit, the GMC Yukon is also the third-most recalled GMC model, with 102 recalls. While this is not the worst possible figure given its age, certain model years are responsible for the bulk of that figure, as we are about to see.

Data sourced from ARFC.org reveals that the 2015 GMC Sierra is the most-recalled model with 16 recalls on record. It is followed by its immediate successor, the 2016 Sierra, with 11 recalls, making them two of the worst model years in terms of functional issues and recalls.

Other models with a concerning number of recalls include the 2000 and 2017 GMC Sierra model years, with 7, and the 1995 and 2001 model years, with 6 apiece.

The 1992, 1999, and 2012 Sierra models are the least-recalled model years, with 1 each. The 1994, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2014 model years have 2 recalls each. If you are looking to buy an old/used GMC Sierra, these models should be atop your list.

Below are common issues that have provoked GMC Sierra recalls:

  • Service brake problems (possible failure of wheel-speed sensor and consequent activation of the drive-line protection system, a considerable decrease in vacuum created by vacuum pump, unintentional ABS activation)
  • Airbag defects (unwanted activation of diagnostic test and possible non-deployment)
  • Seatbelt problems (unwanted diagnostic test and resultant non-deployment of pre-tensioners and improper seatbelt arrangement for kids)
  • Structural issues (possible overheating of courtesy lights in running boards due to excessive road salt exposure)
  • Electrical system issues(internal contamination of electronic module, distortion/melting of the heater washer fluid system(HWFS) chamber, and possible short circuit on the circuit board)

Related: How Long Do GMC Yukons Last? (9 Important Facts)

4. GMC Sierra 1500

The GMC Sierra 1500 belongs to the GMC Sierra family mentioned earlier alongside the GMC Sierra 2500 and GMC Sierra 3500. It is a light-duty pickup truck known for its tremendous cargo bed volume and excellent, praise-worthy overall performance.

Number of Recalls

82 recalls have been issued for the GMC Sierra 1500, starting in 1997. This puts it at #4 on the list of most-recalled GMC models while accounting for about 5.0% of all GMC recalls on record.

The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 sits pretty atop the list of most recalled Sierra 1500 models, with 13 recalls in total. Sitting right below is the 2015 Sierra 1500 with 12 recalls, and the 2016 and 2017 models with 11 each.

These models alone account for well over half of all GMC Sierra 1500 recalls, making them the worst model years in that regard.

With just 1 recall each, the 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 models of the GMC Sierra 1500 are the least-recalled models. These models are perhaps the most desirable of all Sierra 1500 models based on these figures.

Below are common issues with the GMC Sierra 1500 models as seen in recall statements:

  • Service brake problems (front and rear brake caliper bolts improperly heat treated and possible breakage, software issues for electronic brake module, decrease in amount of vacuum created by vacuum pump, wheel speed sensor failure)
  • Airbag defects (possible damage of passenger-side frontal airbag module, unwanted activation of diagnostic test, and resultant non-deployment)
  • Seatbelt issues (venting of hot gas from the pre-tensioner bracket, non-deployment of airbags due to unwanted activation of diagnostic test)
  • Equipment faults (possible clogging of extinguishers and detachment of nozzle, unaligned sprocket teeth)

Related: How Long Do GMC Sierras Last? (9 Important Facts)

5. GMC Sierra 3500

The GMC Sierra 3500 is a part of the foremost GMC Sierra family. It is a heavy-duty pickup truck with enormous hauling and towing capacity and perhaps the largest and strongest in the Sierra lineup. The 3500 also boasts stellar reviews from critics across the board.

Number of Recalls

The Sierra 3500 enters the list of most-recalled GMC models at 5th place, thanks to its 59 recalls. This is approximately 3.6% of all GMC recalls on record, according to ARFC.org.

With 9 recalls apiece, the 2015 and 2016 model years are the most-recalled Sierra 3500 models on record. The 2017 Sierra 3500 follows right behind with 8 total recalls. These figures are perhaps reasons enough to stay away from these models.

The 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2019 GMC Sierra 3500 models have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled models. The 1998, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2020 models have 2 recalls each and are also among the least-recalled Sierra 3500 models.

Below are the most prevalent issues that have necessitated GMC 3500 recalls over the years:

  • Airbag defects (unintentional activation of diagnostic test and possible non-deployment during a crash)
  • Fuel system issues (faulty fuel-level sensor in the front tank causing a disproportionate overfilling)
  • Engine problems (possible short circuit of engine block heater)
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