GMC Transmission Problems: Yukon, Sierra & Canyon

GM Vehicle manufacturer

When you purchase a car, SUV, or truck, you expect that it will be reliable, safe, and get you where you need to go. No one anticipates that a brand-new vehicle will have issues. Unfortunately, countless consumers have experienced transmission problems in various GM vehicle models: the Yukon, Sierra, and Canyon, model years 2015 to the present. Although there have been a number of technical service bulletins issued by GM related to these issues, no remedy has been identified.

If you bought a GMC Yukon, Sierra, or Canyon with a problem that cannot be repaired, you may have a lemon. However, you don’t have to be stuck with a car that constantly needs to go back to the dealership for costly repairs. It’s crucial to be aware that you may have legal recourse; under California’s Lemon Law, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle.

What Are the Transmission Problems in the Yukon, Sierra & Canyon?

A car should run smoothly when you shift gears and operate without any issues. One of the most common signs of a GMC transmission problem is a change in the vehicle’s shifting behavior. Specifically, the transmission issues have been found across a wide range of GM vehicle makes and models with GM 8L90 and 8L45 eight-speed transmissions.

In the Yukon, Sierra, and Canyon, drivers have complained about a number of issues related to the transmission, including the following:

  • Jolting
  • Jerking
  • Bucking
  • Shaking
  • Strange noises
  • Grinding sounds
  • Fluid leaking
  • Hard shifts
  • Burning smell

Significantly, these issues may occur whether the vehicle is accelerating or decelerating. A recent class action lawsuit alleges that the transmission problem might be connected with an issue with the torque converter, causing metal shavings to move throughout the transmission resulting in improper function of the gears.

Additionally, another transmission issue was recently identified in certain GMC Sierra 1500 units. In the affected vehicles, the eight-speed automatic transmission was found to have a broken carrier ring. GM has announced it is replacing the defective part at no cost to GM vehicle owners.

Do Transmission Issues Make Your Vehicle a Lemon?

While many GMC vehicles have transmission issues, not all of them qualify as lemons. There are specific criteria that must be met under California’s Lemon Law to obtain a refund or replacement from the manufacturer. Importantly, the vehicle must have been purchased within the state and have a defect that substantially impairs its value or safety. In addition, the vehicle must still be under the original manufacturer’s warranty at the time the defect was discovered.

A reasonable number of repair attempts must be made to fix the transmission problem before invoking the lemon law. Usually, four trips to the repair shop are enough to assert your rights under the lemon law, but if the defect could cause injury or fatality to the driver and others on the road, two repair attempts suffice to file a lemon law claim. You can also establish that your vehicle is a lemon if it was in the repair shop for 30 days or more.

If the transmission issues occurred before the vehicle had 18,000 miles on the odometer or within 18 months of delivery, California law presumes that the vehicle is a lemon.

What Can You Do if Your GMC Vehicle Has Transmission Issues?

If your GMC Yukon, Sierra, or Canyon is having transmission problems, it’s vital to bring it to the authorized dealership immediately. It is not safe to continue driving a vehicle that has a defective transmission. If the mechanics are unable to repair the problem and you think you may have a lemon claim, it’s best to contact a lemon law attorney immediately to learn what your rights are. You should also check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to find out whether your vehicle has been subject to a recall; in these cases, the manufacturer will remedy the defect at no cost, regardless of whether your vehicle is still under warranty.

By filing a lemon law claim for your GM vehicle transmission issues, you may be entitled to recover various damages. Not only might you be eligible for a refund or a substantially similar replacement, but if you prevail in a lemon law lawsuit, you may also be awarded incidental damages. These can include the out-of-pocket costs you may have incurred due to repairs, towing, or renting a vehicle.

In California, a plaintiff may also recover a “civil penalty” up to two times the amount of damages suffered if they can demonstrate that the manufacturer willfully violated their lemon law obligations. Often, the compensation in connection with a civil penalty can be substantial, depending on the cost of the vehicle.

Contact an Experienced Southern California Lemon Law Attorney

If you bought a GMC Yukon, Sierra, or Canyon with transmission problems, an experienced lemon law attorney can help secure the compensation you deserve for the inconvenience and financial burden you may have suffered. The California Lemon Law attorneys at the Ledbetter Law Firm offer knowledgeable counsel, reliable representation, and skillful advocacy while working toward achieving positive results in your case.

The Ledbetter Law Firm assists clients throughout Southern California who have purchased lemon vehicles in obtaining the refund or replacement they deserve from the manufacturer. With offices conveniently located in Torrance and San Diego, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (310) 878-0067 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law attorney today.