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Almost 30 days in service for electrical issue with no resolution - what's my recourse?

White Bread

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2023
Messages
19
Location
Tampa
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'24 CT4-V BW - Cyber Yellow - 6 spd.
*Updated as of 1146ET on 4/24*

Figured I'd take to the forums to share my current experience and also (hopefully) learn from others. I'll continue to update this thread as things progress.

TL;DR:
My 2024 CPO 4BW (purchased with 400 miles in mid-December) has been in service with Cadillac for 28 days as of today (took it in on March 27th) due to an electrical issue, and despite throwing numerous parts/fixes at it, and involving GM field engineers, they still cannot resolve the issue.

Detailed explanation
The symptoms/issue:

I purchased the car in mid-December as a CPO with ~400 miles on the clock. About 45 days into ownership it started exhibiting some odd electrical behavior. At random, the gauge cluster would light up like the proverbial Christmas tree with all kinds of errors (service rear axle, TSC not available, take control of steering, etc.) At the same time the errors present, the cluster immediately loses all input signals. I could be driving around town at 45 mph and the cluster would show 0 mph, 0 rpm, 0 fuel, 0 oil pressure... you get the idea. While all of this is occurring, the HVAC cranks to full blast max heat, regardless if it was off or on with the A/C set to 68 degrees. The turn signals nor brake lights will work, it puts the car into tour mode and closes the exhaust valves and limits the top speed to 62 mph. Video:

The first time this happened was late in the evening driving home from dinner. Because it closed the exhaust valves and showed 0 inputs on the gauge cluster, I thought the car actually shut off (when it hadn't). As such, I coasted to a stop and hit the start/stop button and it did nothing. I couldn't even jump the car. It was like it was in some sort of limbo mode where it wasn't getting signals that I was actually trying to start it. After about 20 minutes it "reset" itself and I was able to start it up and drive it home.

Again, this behavior happens at complete random intervals. After the first instance, it didn't do it again for another week. Then it went 2-3 weeks. Other times it would do it multiple times over the course of a 15-20 minute drive. Battery voltage always seemed normal - I never noticed any significant fluctuations via the readings in the gauge cluster. What's more, it seemed to do it while the car was off as well. There were several occurrences where I'd go out to start the car in the morning, after having no symptoms the previous day, and it just wouldn't turn on. Again, it acted like the signal to start it wasn't even being initiated. During these times where I couldn't get it to even start (wouldn't even crank, gauge cluster wouldn't turn on, etc.), the brake lights wouldn't work, turn signals, etc. After a few minutes, it would randomly come back to life.

When these episodes would occur, it would throw a CEL with the following codes: P25A2, P0A43, P04C0, U0073, U1611, C0701. After a few starts/restarts, the codes would clear.

The challenge with this whole thing is the randomness with which it would occur. Because of this, I was not able to get it into the dealer until March 27th (I'll spare you the details of my work schedule). What I didn't want was to take it all the way down there (40 minutes) to have them tell me they couldn't recreate the issue and then send me on my way. Thankfully, that hasn't been the case since they've had it.

The time in service:
The morning of March 27th it took about 10 minutes to finally get it started and on the way to drop the kids at school, the errors came and went, gauge cluster lost input signals and then they came back, etc. Since I had a light day, I called to ensure the dealer could get me in a loaner/rental and then took it in for them to look at. Naturally, it stopped exhibiting the loss of signal behavior when I arrived, but the CEL/codes were still present and they were able to scan and document them.

Fix 1:
They were actually able to recreate the behavior of the gauge cluster losing inputs later in the day and started their investigative work. On Friday morning (3/29), 2 days after I dropped it off, the service advisor (SA) called and said they updated the BCM module and fixed a faulty ground wire/strap on the rear diff. and that it was ready to be picked up. When I got there and went to start the car, it started doing the same thing (wouldn't start, etc.). Went back in and the SA called the technician and I can hear him on the other end of the phone saying "what in the literal f*ck?!" Left the car with them to continue investigating.

Fix 2:
On 4/2, my SA advised that they had to open a case with GM and GM wanted them to test the vehicles wiring, thinking it was either an issue with the main bus line or an internal fault with the rear diff module. Wiring tests came back normal so GM advised to replace the rear diff module. Part finally came in and on 4/8 they advised the replacement did not fix the issue. At this point they decided to put me in a brand new XT4 loaner instead of the 50k mile Malibu through Enterprise. They also indicated that they were going to schedule a GM field engineer (FE) to come onsite and look at the car.

Fix 3:
No updates for over a week and then on 4/16 my SA explains that the FE thinks there's an issue with a harness associated to the rear diff module and that there were a few tests they needed to run to confirm, and they should know more tomorrow (4/17). Tomorrow comes and goes and I finally reach out on Friday afternoon (4/19) for an update. Apparently the harness checked out fine and they now had a serial data gateway module on order, and that they are "hoping" this will fix the issue.

I called and spoke to the service manager yesterday (4/23) who indicated the new module arrived on Monday, the tech was in the process of installing it and that after testing a few times they'd let me know the results. I tracked them driving it twice yesterday via the Cadillac app, and low and behold, after the second drive the app is showing the car has several service-related warnings/issues again. As of the writing of this post (morning of 4/24) I have not spoken to them about what the replacement of the serial data module yielded, and what our next steps are (though I can guess).

*Update 4/24* I finally spoke to the Service Manager later this morning (4/24) and I was right, the new module did nothing to fix the car. They're now waiting on GM to schedule another visit for a FE but cannot give me any ETA.

*Update 4/30* After reading through the responses to this thread (thank you everyone) I opened a case with Cadillac support and the BBB Auto Line. I spoke with a buyback rep from Cadillac/GM yesterday and I should know if the buyback/replacement is approved on Thursday or Friday of this week.

My questions for the greater group revolve around what my recourse is here. Because the car was purchased as a used car, the Florida Lemon Law does not apply, though I'm told I can still seek recourse through the Magnuson-Moss act. I've spoken with an attorney who has indicated that once the car has been in service for 30 consecutive days, we can start to seek action from GM; but to what degree I'm not yet familiar.

At what point does GM throw in the towel and offer to buy the car back? Will that only come if I press the legal button, or would they proactively offer that? I'm really to the point where I don't want the car back. Lord knows what they've had to take off, remove, reassemble then disassemble again to get to these different modules, harnesses or wire runs. I've also lost all confidence in their ability to identify the root cause. What, if after all of this the car suddenly stops doing it for 2 weeks (like it usually does) they hand it back, and then it does it again?
 
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Looks like it had an inherent electrical problem and why it was a 400 mile CPO. Was there any service history from before you bought it? That might help for a lemon situation. Sporadic electrical problems are the worst to try to hunt down.
 
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Call Cadillac customer support as soon as you can to start the process.
 
Looks like it had an inherent electrical problem and why it was a 400 mile CPO. Was there any service history from before you bought it? That might help for a lemon situation. Sporadic electrical problems are the worst to try to hunt down.
None that I'm aware of. My SA pulled up the vehicle service history in front of me, and I didn't see anything that would be indicative of this being a prior problem; though I only glanced at the screen.
 
I'd check the main ground strap that comes off the battery and directly attaches to the chassis.
 
GM needs to buy it back from you. Good luck, Don
 
I'd reach out to the dealer/GM and request trade-in assistance on a new Blackwing. The manufacturer (GM) *should* be more willing to jump on this. The car doesn't get branded as a lemon law (which greatly reduces the value of the car, a positive for the dealer/GM) and they can pay the difference to get you into a new one with no cost on your end.

From what I've read, a lemon law buyback process can be done, but is a bit lengthy and costly (hiring a lawyer, etc). The trade-in assistance is more of a win-win for everyone.
 
I'd check the main ground strap that comes off the battery and directly attaches to the chassis.
I've suggested replacing the batter and starting with the most basic things first; to which they said no - we have to follow protocol based on the codes that were thrown, etc. I agree with you that it is very likely something related to voltage spikes/dips, but I can't change GM's mind.
 
I'd reach out to the dealer/GM and request trade-in assistance on a new Blackwing. The manufacturer (GM) *should* be more willing to jump on this. The car doesn't get branded as a lemon law (which greatly reduces the value of the car, a positive for the dealer/GM) and they can pay the difference to get you into a new one with no cost on your end.

From what I've read, a lemon law buyback process can be done, but is a bit lengthy and costly (hiring a lawyer, etc). The trade-in assistance is more of a win-win for everyone.
How does one start that process? Go outside of service and speak with the GM of the dealership to explain the scenario?
 
Wow. My condolences. I concur that as a used car, your choices are more limited than if you bought it new, but hopefully your state laws allow for some flexibility.

I concur that calling the corporate customer service line is a good start. Simply explain that the car has been in for service for over (or nearly, I can't do the math) 30 consecutive days, and you are concerned. That may help to escalate it.

GM will blame the dealer and the dealer will blame GM. You have to (IMHO) look at it from both sides, even if they buy it back from you, what can they do with it then? They can't sell it as-is, they can't crush an $80K car.

I suppose that you could buy a new battery at your own expense and see if that fixes it. In the BMW world that's our standard answer - it's always the battery. But that's usually on older cars. To me on this car, it sounds like there is a bad module somewhere that's causing everything else to go nutty. They just need to keep replacing stuff until they find it, I guess.

The good news is that they do have the FE involved, they did give you a decent loaner to use, and they are continuing to try. I really wouldn't worry too much about them replacing modules and not putting the car back together properly, odds are that it will be just fine. Most mechanics (most people, I would hope) are conscientious enough to do their job properly and completely.

I've been through similar issues with BMWs (yes, plural) and I can relate to your frustration and feelings of helplessness. Best wishes. Keep us posted.
 
Wow. My condolences. I concur that as a used car, your choices are more limited than if you bought it new, but hopefully your state laws allow for some flexibility.

I concur that calling the corporate customer service line is a good start. Simply explain that the car has been in for service for over (or nearly, I can't do the math) 30 consecutive days, and you are concerned. That may help to escalate it.

GM will blame the dealer and the dealer will blame GM. You have to (IMHO) look at it from both sides, even if they buy it back from you, what can they do with it then? They can't sell it as-is, they can't crush an $80K car.

I suppose that you could buy a new battery at your own expense and see if that fixes it. In the BMW world that's our standard answer - it's always the battery. But that's usually on older cars. To me on this car, it sounds like there is a bad module somewhere that's causing everything else to go nutty. They just need to keep replacing stuff until they find it, I guess.

The good news is that they do have the FE involved, they did give you a decent loaner to use, and they are continuing to try. I really wouldn't worry too much about them replacing modules and not putting the car back together properly, odds are that it will be just fine. Most mechanics (most people, I would hope) are conscientious enough to do their job properly and completely.

I've been through similar issues with BMWs (yes, plural) and I can relate to your frustration and feelings of helplessness. Best wishes. Keep us posted.
I appreciate the feedback, and while agree that they've been doing all they can, at what point is it excessive? 30 more days without resolution? 60? Curious to know if GM would ever throw in the towel and say that they don't know what's wrong with it...

There's also the randomness with which the issue occurs. Thankfully it seems that whatever is causing the issue is doing it constantly now, so we aren't running into the scenario where they replace a random part and it gives the appearance that it fixed the issue. That's probably my biggest worry. We wait a couple more weeks, they replace another module, it randomly goes back to normal and three weeks later the problem comes back. Do we start back at zero then?
 
@White Bread check on the Lemon Law for your state. In many states when car seats at a dealer for 30 days or after 3 attempts to fix the issue the law goes into effect. Even if they manage to fix the car, as you mentioned, I would always worry the issue may come back.
 
I appreciate the feedback, and while agree that they've been doing all they can, at what point is it excessive? 30 more days without resolution? 60? Curious to know if GM would ever throw in the towel and say that they don't know what's wrong with it...
I always throw in the caveat that every state has different laws, so you should never follow the advice of a random unknown person on the Internet when it comes to legal or insurance issues.

That said, here in NC the threshold is 21 days I believe, for lemon law. Personally, I think 30 days is plenty. The issue is, what then?

We all need to remember, the OP bought the car used. LL doesn't apply.

And of course, all of this is costing GM money, the rental/loaner, the hours for the tech and all of those parts that they try. Surely at some point they'll say "let's cut our losses" but when?

So for me, when I go through these things, I start with the service manager. What can I do to help you fix my car? Sometimes they'll ask for more time, usually (for me, with BMW) it's been "call the customer service line" which helps to get a different part of corporate to get involved. I know corporate (FE) is already there, but it couldn't hurt, right?
 
@White Bread check on the Lemon Law for your state. In many states when car seats at a dealer for 30 days or after 3 attempts to fix the issue the law goes into effect. Even if they manage to fix the car, as you mentioned, I would always worry the issue may come back.
Lemon law for new vehicles is pretty straight forward, and at this point I'd be well within the precedent to pursue. Unfortunately, in Florida it doesn't apply to used or CPO cars. We'd have to pursue the Magnuson-Moss act. Attorney has told me that we have a case once it's been in service for 30 consecutive days. That threshold is reached tomorrow.
 
I always throw in the caveat that every state has different laws, so you should never follow the advice of a random unknown person on the Internet when it comes to legal or insurance issues.

That said, here in NC the threshold is 21 days I believe, for lemon law. Personally, I think 30 days is plenty. The issue is, what then?

We all need to remember, the OP bought the car used. LL doesn't apply.

And of course, all of this is costing GM money, the rental/loaner, the hours for the tech and all of those parts that they try. Surely at some point they'll say "let's cut our losses" but when?

So for me, when I go through these things, I start with the service manager. What can I do to help you fix my car? Sometimes they'll ask for more time, usually (for me, with BMW) it's been "call the customer service line" which helps to get a different part of corporate to get involved. I know corporate (FE) is already there, but it couldn't hurt, right?
Yeah, totally agree. I've been very patient and fair with them throughout this process. Not pestering them daily. Not getting angry, etc. I have a personal connection to the Service Manager (friend of a friend) and I know he's doing all he can; but he's at the mercy of GM.

I really don't want to get litigious. If they'd make me whole and put me into another BW, I'd happily do that.
 
To start the process of what exactly?
The buyback of your lemon.

You said it yourself, you’re fed up and you want them to buy the car back. You can wait this out till they uncover what the problem is, and play games but you got a gremlin on the loose and unless this FE comes to the rescue you are going to have to let this car go (either through the grace of GM, litigation or a massive loss on trade).

This isn't just a GM issue, all manufacturers have lemons, thousands of them a year. Every brand has recalls too. Search any brand in the news for recalls and you'll see it's just how it is with how complicated vehicles are these days.

I've spoken with an attorney who has indicated that once the car has been in service for 30 consecutive days, we can start to seek action from GM; but to what degree I'm not yet familiar.

At what point does GM throw in the towel and offer to buy the car back? Will that only come if I press the legal button, or would they proactively offer that? I'm really to the point where I don't want the car back.
I agree with what others said so here are some options and my thoughts:

Buyback through your current Dealer
1. I would not expect the dealer to proactively request a buy back for you from GM. From their POV they don’t want to call GM to admit they can’t do their job and fix it. Go ahead and try to ask the SM and GM if they'll do it.

2. Get in touch with their GM rep and ask them for a solution, escalate an FE or initiate a buy back through GM on your behalf.

Get GM to buyback your lemon Directly
3. If I were you, I’d start with calling Cadillac customer support for an escalation and have them open up a case. Position it as you’re asking for their help to escalate a solution for the dealer. Be persistent, calm and collected, but don’t take no for an answer. You’ll want to get a single point of contact with a first name and extension, someone who is assigned to you and your case. Explain every detail, date and time since you bought the car and the problems you've had. Your goal on this call is to establish a rapport with a single POC so when the dealer fails to fix your car you are in a better position to request the buy back on your next call.

Give the GM assigned contact an opportunity to make it right, as long as you can stand to wait. When you’re fed up with their failed solutions, in so many words you tell them calmly and collectively how you feel and what you want, and ask when you can get it. If you aren’t getting anywhere, then you may have to lawyer up. I’d ask the lawyer at what point is it too late to seek their help. Take that into consideration as your timeline for GM to make amends.

Litigation to get GM to buyback your lemon
4. You can lawyer up but once you press that legal button, the lawyers are in control and you are at their (and GMs litigation team) mercy to recoup funds or to get a buyback, no guarantees for either. The lawyer will make it sound easy and painless, it’s not. It’s a big waiting game of 4 to 6 months. When you sign with them, you can’t call GM or take an offer from them directly.


5. They fix your car and your still not confident it's fixed. Your only alternative is to trade it in at a loss and start over to find your next Blackwing.
 
The buyback of your lemon.

You said it yourself, you’re fed up and you want them to buy the car back. You can wait this out till they uncover what the problem is, and play games but you got a gremlin on the loose and unless this FE comes to the rescue you are going to have to let this car go (either through the grace of GM, litigation or a massive loss on trade).

This isn't just a GM issue, all manufacturers have lemons, thousands of them a year. Every brand has recalls too. Search any brand in the news for recalls and you'll see it's just how it is with how complicated vehicles are these days.


I agree with what others said so here are some options and my thoughts:

Buyback through your current Dealer
1. I would not expect the dealer to proactively request a buy back for you from GM. From their POV they don’t want to call GM to admit they can’t do their job and fix it. Go ahead and try to ask the SM and GM if they'll do it.

2. Get in touch with their GM rep and ask them for a solution, escalate an FE or initiate a buy back through GM on your behalf.

Get GM to buyback your lemon Directly
3. If I were you, I’d start with calling Cadillac customer support for an escalation and have them open up a case. Position it as you’re asking for their help to escalate a solution for the dealer. Be persistent, calm and collected, but don’t take no for an answer. You’ll want to get a single point of contact with a first name and extension, someone who is assigned to you and your case. Explain every detail, date and time since you bought the car and the problems you've had. Your goal on this call is to establish a rapport with a single POC so when the dealer fails to fix your car you are in a better position to request the buy back on your next call.

Give the GM assigned contact an opportunity to make it right, as long as you can stand to wait. When you’re fed up with their failed solutions, in so many words you tell them calmly and collectively how you feel and what you want, and ask when you can get it. If you aren’t getting anywhere, then you may have to lawyer up. I’d ask the lawyer at what point is it too late to seek their help. Take that into consideration as your timeline for GM to make amends.

Litigation to get GM to buyback your lemon
4. You can lawyer up but once you press that legal button, the lawyers are in control and you are at their (and GMs litigation team) mercy to recoup funds or to get a buyback, no guarantees for either. The lawyer will make it sound easy and painless, it’s not. It’s a big waiting game of 4 to 6 months. When you sign with them, you can’t call GM or take an offer from them directly.


5. They fix your car and your still not confident it's fixed. Your only alternative is to trade it in at a loss and start over to find your next Blackwing.
Greatly appreciate your thoughts. I just spoke with, and opened up a customer support case directly with Cadillac. The rep was very nice and easy to work with. She did say that a buyback is an option we could pursue, and it sounds like I have a case for that; but she needed to do some more research, talk with the dealer, etc.

I'll keep everyone updated.
 
Updated the original post but as of today, I'm waiting on GM to approve a replacement or buyback. Should know more on Thursday or Friday of this week. I did not seek litigation through the attorney. Instead, I opened a case with Cadillac support and through the BBB's Auto Line dispute resolution program.
 
I immediately saw the problem in your video. The car is painted "yellow". I couldn't help myself ! I do genuinely feel sorry for your situation and hope it is resolved with something minor.
 

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