Headlight Glare Issue Prompts GMC Terrain Recall, Over 740,000 Units Affected

GMC Terrain 9 photos
Photo: GMC
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After numerous complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal watchdog started investigating the headlight glare issue affecting hundreds of thousands of GMC Terrain vehicles. Even though General Motors filed a petition to dismiss the problem in 2019, the biggest of the Big Three in Detroit couldn’t weasel out of it.
The NHTSA denied the petition at the beginning of March. Back then, GM estimated 726,000 vehicles with the aforementioned issue. But as you can tell from the attached report, we’re actually dealing with 740,581 Terrains.

Due to subpar design, the lower beam headlamps in the 2010 to 2017 model year Terrain fail to conform to S10.15.6 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108. As it happens, a reflection caused by the housing can project a narrow beam of light 80 degrees outboard and 45 degrees upward of each lamp’s forward-center axis. The light emitted from these points is exceedingly bright, hence the costly recall announced by General Motors.

A grand total of eight part numbers are listed by the Detroit-based automaker, all of them produced by a subsidiary of the Stanley Electric group of companies. Dealers have been informed of the recall on March 8th, but owners will have to wait until April 23rd for the first envelopes to be sent.

General Motors further states that a remedy is under development, confirming that the original headlight design doesn’t cut the mustard.

One of the most hated nameplates in the history of the automobile, the first-generation Terrain is twinned with the Chevrolet Equinox, Cadillac SRX, and the Saab 9-4X. Based on the GM Theta platform that was replaced by the D2XX and C1XX, these SUVs are notorious for one too many issues.

For example, the 2010 to 2013 model year GMC Terrain with the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine likes to drink oil. One quart every 1,000 miles large gulp, to be more precise. The class-action lawsuit filed against General Motors eventually concluded with a settlement in the customers’ favor.

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 Download: GMC Terrain headlights recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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