General Motors sits atop the automotive industry, looking down from their perch as America's largest car and truck manufacturer. With a portfolio of brands that include Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac, GM should be able to deliver a model to fit the needs of any potential buyer looking for a new vehicle.
Chevy and GMC, especially, maintain a strong lineup of pickup trucks. GMC stands by the mantra "We Are Professional Grade" to attract buyers who want a truck that can handle work requirements without breaking a sweat. But just saying a truck is tough won't cut the mustard in today's competitive auto industry—and GM isn't doing themselves any favors by blindly ignoring many problems with their pickup trucks over the years.
Keep scrolling for 15 issues with their pickups that GM needs to pay attention to immediately.
15 Airbag Delays
Airbags provide the last line of defense and can save lives—but only if they work properly. GM has struggled not only with the widespread Takata recall but also has a recall of their own that has made headlines. A software glitch on many GM models puts the airbags into test mode, meaning they won't inflate in a crash.
14 Bad Paint
To stay competitive in the enormous automotive industry, GM must cut costs wherever they can. But one way that many GM customers, like the owner of this Chevy Silverado pickup, discover that the company has saved nickels and dimes is by releasing cars with shoddy paint jobs. Some GM cars less than ten years old can suffer from fading and chipping paint.
13 GMC vs Chevy
General Motors operates Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac all at the same time. The benefits of maintaining many subsidiary brands come in many forms, from parts manufacturing to sharing showroom floors. But many customers of both GMC and Chevrolet wish there was a little more to differentiate their trucks from each other.
12 Transmission Shaking
The transmission is a critical part of any car or truck and one that needs to perform flawlessly for thousands and thousands of miles. From the early days of stick shifts to modern dual-clutch gearboxes that shift in milliseconds, transmissions have come a long way. But GM has recently struggled with their eight-speed automatic, which ClassAction.org reports is likely to "shake, shudder, or jerk."
11 AC Issues
With summer in full swing, ever car owner thanks their lucky stars for their air conditioning. Every car owner, that is, who doesn't have a GM product. GM is dealing with a class action suit surrounding failing A/C systems on their Silverado, Suburban, Escalade, Tahoe, Sierra, and Yukon models from the years 2015 to 2017.
10 Ignition Switches
Perhaps the most famous issue that GM very publicly was reluctant to fix was the ignition switch debacle. Despite knowing about defective ignition switches that had been shipped in their cars for a decade, GM did nothing. Eventually linked to 124 fatalities, the ignition switch resulted in a $35 million fine from the NHTSA.
9 Unreliable Oil Gauge
Not every car on the market comes with an oil pressure gauge in the instrument cluster. Typically, sports cars and pickup trucks are more likely to include this information for their drivers. Some GM products, usually Chevy pickups, have a faulty oil pressure switch that makes the gauge not read accurately. The problem stems from oil and sludge gunking up the switch and a replacement switch won't even be a guaranteed fix.
8 Low Fuel Level Sensors
Knowing the amount of fuel left in a car's tank becomes crucial during long drives across barren stretches of road. Given that GM sells their GMC cars billed as "Professional Grade" models, they should be able to be relied upon for any possible work scenario. But GM has for years struggled with faulty fuel level sensor contacts, resulting in inaccurate readings.
7 The Syclone Is Gone
The GMC Syclone still reigns as one of the best street-sport pickup trucks ever made. And in an era when more and more customers are choosing pickups and SUVs over sedans and hatchbacks, GM would probably do well to heed customers who want a Syclone to return to the market.
6 6.2L Diesel Problems
GM's subsidiary, GMC, purposefully builds trucks that are supposed to be another level up in toughness from Chevy. Whether or not that's actually true is the subject of great debate, though. GM needs to focus on their build quality, because issues like the notorious rear main seal on their 6.2-liter diesel engine don't give customers much confidence.
5 5.7L Diesel Problems
GM hasn't always made the best decisions when it comes to building rugged and reliable vehicles, even if being "Professional Grade" should fit into their ethos somewhere. Building a 5.7-liter diesel out of an Oldsmobile gasoline engine was a terrible idea. People love diesels because they're able to run forever, which stems from being beefy enough to handle higher compression than gas engines.
4 2015 Rust Recall
For most manufacturers, rust issues stopped being a problem in the 1990s. However, a select few have struggled since then—notably Toyota in the early-2000s and GM as little as a few years ago. It sounds ludicrous that anyone wouldn't be able to buy a 2015 GM product on the used market without inspecting for rust, but a 2015 recall says otherwise.
3 The Avalanche
The Chevrolet Avalanche came out during a strange period in automobile design. SUVs were on the rise, cutting into the passenger sedan market, but pickup trucks were still ragingly popular. GM tried to split the difference by creating the Avalanche, which was bad at being either an SUV or a truck. The model lasted for more than a decade before GM finally shelved the project—but would they admit today it was a mistake from the beginning?
2 The Cadillac EXT
If the Chevy Avalanche was a mistake from the get-go, its upscale sibling, the Cadillac EXT, was even more baffling. The luxury trim bolted onto an Avalanche resulted in a pickup truck that no one wanted to get dirty and an SUV that struggled with an identity crisis because no one wanted to lay down the rear seats and open up the interior to the elements.
1 The SSR
Every business needs to learn from its past mistakes, a fact that is especially true for massive automotive corporations like GM. However, it remains to be seen whether GM and Chevrolet have truly learned from some of their ongoing troubles—do they even realize the failures in decision-making that went into vehicles like the SSR convertible pickup truck?
Sources: ClassAction.org, CBS News, and Lief Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein.