Is My Cadillac a Lemon?


When you purchase a luxury car such as a Cadillac, you expect a superior vehicle that lives up to its reputation for quality. Owned by General Motors, Cadillacs are one of the most sought-after vehicles in the United States and the global market.

Unfortunately, despite the well-known name and the manufacturer’s longstanding history, Cadillacs are not always free from flaws and defects. If you have been to the repair shop several times with your Cadillac for an issue that cannot be resolved, you might have a lemon.

What Makes a Cadillac a Lemon?

In California, there are strong consumer protection laws that protect vehicle owners from the inconvenience and financial burden of purchasing a new or used car — including a Cadillac — that fails to conform to its warranty. Under California's Lemon Law, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle if you have brought the car to the authorized dealer several times for repairs and the problem still cannot be fixed.

To assert your rights under the lemon law for a defective Cadillac, four repair attempts must be made. However, only two trips to the shop are necessary if the defect impairs the vehicle's safety and could cause injury or fatality. You may also be able to commence a lemon law claim if your car was in the repair shop for 30 days or more.

While a Cadillac (or any other vehicle) must be under the original manufacturer's warranty to raise a claim under the lemon law, a vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if the defect arose within the first 18,000 miles on the odometer or within the first 18 months of its delivery.

What Problems Do Cadillacs Have?

One of the most common problems Cadillac owners have complained about is the issue that is known as the "Chevy Shake." Model years 2015-2019 of the Cadillac Escalade have been named in a class action lawsuit in connection with the problem, which is said to originate from a defective transmission — specifically the GM 8L90 or the GM 8L45. Specifically, when shifting gears, the vehicles shake or vibrate, making driving difficult and leading to loss of control of the vehicle.

Consumers who have purchased Cadillacs have also complained about the following:

  • Transmission issues
  • Engine stalling
  • Unintended acceleration
  • Steering problems
  • Vibrating and shaking
  • Defective headlights
  • Suspension problems
  • Faulty indicator lights
  • Oil leaks

If you have experienced any issues with your Cadillac, it's crucial to get it into the repair shop immediately. Driving a defective vehicle can lead to the potential for serious accidents — and severe injuries. In the event that the defect cannot be repaired and your Cadillac rises to the level of a lemon, you may be eligible to invoke your consumer rights under the lemon law.

What Recent Cadillac Recalls Have Been Issued?

GM has issued several recalls concerning various Cadillac models over the last few years. But it's essential to understand that a recall doesn't always mean your vehicle is a lemon; in many cases, the issue that gave rise to the recall can be repaired by the manufacturer on the first attempt. However, if the problem is not repairable, you may be able to seek a remedy under the lemon law.

Among the recent recalls include the 2018 Cadillac CT6 for a seatbelt issue. Additionally, more than 53,000 2014-2016 TS sedans were recalled by Cadillac due to faulty seat heaters that cause a risk of fire. The Cadillac XT4 and XT6, model years 2018-2020, were also both included in a massive recall in connection with missing bolts, which could lead to a transmission oil leak.

In addition, GM recalled certain 2021 Cadillac Escalade models and Escalade ESV for a software issue that could cause loss of power steering assist as well as the Cadillac SRX model years 2010-2016, for an issue with the rear suspension. Critically, this is the second time these vehicles have been recalled to repair improperly torqued parts.

Most recently, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models, in addition to other GM vehicles, have been recalled by the manufacturer due to faulty airbag warning lights. In the affected vehicles, the airbag malfunction indicator may fail to alert the driver that there is an issue with the airbag, increasing the potential for injury in the event of a crash. Various models of Cadillacs have also been recalled in connection with the massive Takata airbag recall — GM is replacing the defective airbag inflators at no charge to consumers.

Contact an Experienced Southern California Lemon Law Attorney

If you purchased a Cadillac in California that turned out to be a lemon, you might have a legal claim. A knowledgeable lemon law attorney can discuss your rights and advise you concerning your legal remedies. Offering high-quality representation and skilled advocacy to those who have been inconvenienced and financially burdened by a lemon car, the Ledbetter Law Firm is committed to achieving a favorable outcome in your case.

The Ledbetter Law Firm helps clients throughout Southern California who have purchased lemons obtain the refund or replacement vehicle 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.