Many Americans love to drive Cadillac Escalades. In fact, Escalades are among the most sought-after luxury brands worldwide. Customers paying top dollar for an Escalade expect their SUV to be awesome, but this particular model doesn’t seem to fulfill that ideal. The Cadillac Escalade has suffered some serious defects over the years, and they are hard to ignore when they appear in cars costing upwards of $75,000. The most common complaints about Escalades in the past five years include engine problems, transmission defects, harsh ride quality, and suspension failure.

Should you be experiencing any of these issues or any other problem with your Cadillac Escalade, Michael J. Goodman is here to assist and represent you as your attorney.

Problematic Model Years for the Cadillac Escalade

A report released by indicates that 2014 year has been the most problematic year for Cadillac Escalades. Cadillac Escalade’s 2014 model allegedly provided the drivers with an extremely uncomfortable ride. Though only a few people reported the problem, the limited number of reports said the problem created significant inconvenience.

A less than satisfactory ride is obviously a major problem, since luxury cars are made to be the most comfortable vehicles in every respect. ”Luxury” means not only that the car should provide a fancy seat, among other amenities, but it should also provide a smooth ride. Even though only a few of the 2014 Cadillac Escalade owners reported a disappointing driving experience, the problem should not be ignored.

For example, shows a report where the owner says that after spending $80,000 on a 2014 Escalade, the SUV was definitely not as comfortable as it should have been. The owner claimed the car ran smoothly on the highway, but as soon as they hit the surface streets, they felt as if they were being thrown around in a closed cage. That is certainly not the way the ride in a luxury SUV should be described.

The Door Handles Breaking Is a Real Problem

Several Escalades from 1999 to 2015 have problems with both the inside and outside door handles, according to a report from The average mileage at which the issue usually occurs is around 96,000 miles.

Many drivers reported that the problem was not limited to the driver’s door, but also appeared in the passenger door. Based on the data gathered from Escalade owners, poor handle quality is most likely the evident cause of this issue.

One 2007 Escalade owner reported on that three of the outside door handles snapped, as did one of the inside handles. They fumed that Cadillac should select high-quality materials rather than plastic for a luxury car. This issue with flimsy door handles seems to be prevalent among Escalade owners, suggesting that Cadillac should consider recalling these vehicles without delay.

Another driver of a 2010 Cadillac Escalade reported that two years ago, one of the handles from the backdoor broke off. It cost them $250 for the repair. When the door handle on the passenger side snapped, the repair cost this same owner no less than $280 dollars at the Cadillac dealership. Broken handles are not just inconvenient, they are expensive.

Heating & Air Conditioning Problem alone has collected over 160 complaints about the Cadillac Escalade. Among the reported defects, problems with the air conditioning system rank high on the list. The most common complaint in model years 1990 to 2010 is an issue involving one or more temperature mode actuators.

The HVAC control modules store computer codes that are used in diagnosing problems. In the Escalades, the control module often detects and stores faulty codes. Though not a life-threatening issue by any means, this problem with temperature controls diminishes the comfort that the vehicle’s maker promised. Most owners encountered the problem in their air conditioning system after exceeding 120,000 miles. Diagnosing the issue costs between $88 and $100.

Some 2004 Cadillac Escalade drivers complained about the A/C problem on One owner said that after turning on the A/C for some time, it suddenly started blowing hot air out of the front passenger side vent. Others reported the same thing happening at the driver side vent as well. It seems, however, the rear vent worked perfectly fine and always blew cold air. Some drivers were able to solve the problem by simply restarting the vehicle. This is not a permanent fix, however, as the problem keeps reoccurs after some time. Proper passenger compartment climate control is definitely a must-have feature in a luxury vehicle, and failure in this system is both annoying and frustrating.

Malfunctioning Instrument Panel

According to the database, 160 Escalade owners have reported problems with the gauges in the instrument panel. Many owners of the luxury models from 2000 through 2016 reported that their instrument panels were faulty, requiring trips to the dealership service department. For many of these owners, the cost of the repair was nominal because the problem manifested itself while the 70,000 mile/7 year warranty was still in effect.

One 2004 Escalade owner reported on that the vehicle’s entire instrument panel became unusable, including the speedometer. The dealership asserted that a recent recall notice did not apply to this problem. The auto manufacturing company, however, was aware of the defect and announced that they would replace the panel of any car within the warranty of 70,000 miles without the owner incurring any costs. The driver wasn’t sure if his car fell under this recall category because the vehicle had 88,100 miles on it. Therefore, the owner did not take it for repair.

Another owner of a 2004 Escalade complained that the speedometer started to malfunction after 70,000 miles. The gauge would sometimes register 0 mph while at other times it would display 140 mph. Shortly after the malfunction started, the speedometer ceased to work altogether. The driver took the vehicle to the dealer to have the speedometer checked. The dealership, however, refused to examine the problem because the vehicle had reached 70,000 miles. The owner decided not to fix the gauge and simply left it in the instrument panel. Instead, the driver started relying on the tachometer. This makeshift solution was certainly not a safe alternative to a functioning speedometer. A failed instrument panel is not just inconvenient, it is downright dangerous.

Transmission Failure

A transmission problem was one of the worst issues Cadillac Escalade owners experienced in the model years 2006 through 2016. It is not uncommon for transmission defects to exist in vehicles, but failing transmissions are a real threat. When the transmission system suffers a failure, the only way to fix the problem is usually to replace the whole transmission.

There is no question that replacing the entire transmission system is an expensive proposition. Therefore, many Escalade owners have complained on various online platforms, including, that they are unhappy about this. For instance, the most serious fault in the 2006 Escalade vehicle was a transmission defect. stated that these problems typically arise at about 77,000 miles. This type of mileage classifies a vehicle as moderately used rather than heavily used. Statistics from suggest that the average cost for the repair is approximately $2,800. That is a lot of money to put into a “moderately used” SUV.

Many 2006 Escalades are re-sold as used cars. With the prevalence of transmission problems in these cars, buyers may be highly disappointed with their purchase. If new owners encounter a transmission defect with their used vehicle, they may have a difficult time deciding whether to pay the repair bill or purchase another car.

Moreover, the brand’s 2016 models experienced even worse difficulties in the transmission system. The latest data on about Escalade transmission failures is from the 2016 model year, and information about later model years is limited. It should be noted, however, that states that the transmission failure in later models occurs at just 2,000 miles. That is quite a low mileage mark for a brand new vehicle to be experiencing this issue. Transmission failures are very expensive and very dangerous.

What Cadillac Escalade Owners Mostly Complain About

A better picture can be painted by viewing the overall complaint data rather than reading individual consumer reviews on different websites. The following information includes three main points: Worst Faults, Things That Break, and Model Years to Avoid.

Worst Faults

Following are the defects that appeared in the respective Escalade model years.

  • Undetected electrical shorts – 2002 model (40%)
  • Tires losing air/poor rim quality – 2010 model (40%)
  • Fault in transmission system – 2016 model (40%)
  • Moisture in lights, no headlight at all – 2008 model (60%)
  • Door handles snap easily – 2007 models (100%)

Things that Break

A number of drivers have reported the following things breaking over the years.

  • Interior components (70%)
  • Transmissions (70%)
  • Exterior components (80%)
  • Engine (90%)
  • Electrical (100%)

Model Years to Avoid

  • 2003 (31%)
  • 2000 (38%)
  • 2016 (54%)
  • 2008 (77%)
  • 2007 (100%)

What to Do If You Just Bought a Faulty Cadillac Escalade

Has your Cadillac Escalade made frequent visits to the dealership’s service department lately? You might think that your Escalade is a lemon. If you bought or leased an Escalade and have been returning it to the dealer or General Motors frequently, you may have a legitimate lemon. But, don’t worry. Michael J. Goodman Lemon Law, PLLC in Arizona will protect you and seek the compensation you deserve for your faulty vehicle. If your Escalade is defective during the express warranty period, GM is definitely obligated to reimburse you or otherwise compensate you. According to the Arizona Lemon Law, the manufacturer must pay your legal fees and other expenses in any settlement.

Attorney Michael J. Goodman is an expert in Lemon Law and has assisted many Escalade consumers who bought a new or used model. Contact a nearby office of Michael J. Goodman for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation about your Cadillac Escalade claim.