Bad Vibrations: Owners Reporting Strange Harmonics In GM Fullsize SUVs
Solution Eludes Dealers, Different Causes Hypothesized
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently received several complaints from owners of GM’s long-wheelbase fullsize SUV models, including the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade ESV. The complaints have mostly centered on a buffeting sensation between 40 and 50 mph that has led some owners to report headaches, dizziness, and ear pain. The sound has been described as similar to the effect when one window in the vehicle is opened at high speed. However, these issues have been manifesting themselves with the windows up.
Multiple theories have popped up online about what might be causing the problem, including roof sheetmetal not properly bonded to a roof cross-support, an out-of-balance driveshaft, incorrectly balanced wheels and tires, and the transition between V-4 and V-8 mode on the engines. Customers have reportedly been told by dealers these symptoms are “normal” and not to worry about them. At the moment, there are no active investigations by the agency. Depending on how severe or widespread the issue is, this may or may not result in a recall. Recalls can be mandated by NHTSA or voluntarily initiated by the manufacturer. General Motors representatives have been contacted for comment on the issue, and we will update this post with an official response when we receive one.