Question regarding a terrible lease situation



Back in April 2019 I leased a brand new GMC Terrain. It has been broken since the day I took it off the lot. First the power lift gate failed and had to be brought back 3 times taking about a month to repair. In that time the dealership proceeded to damage the vehicle attempting to fix it. The same time I inquired about a very loud cracking noise I kept hearing. They took it and told us that it was a manufacturing defect that is 1 out of 4 with this known defect and it cant be fixed. At this point in time we contacted an attorney who ended up getting us a settlement on the terms of being dissatisfied with the vehicle and how the dealer handled it (a goodwill compensation). Talking with the lawyer he stated the car still has to be fixed and warranty is still valid, but I couldn’t submit another claim or suite against General Motors which I understand.

Here it is more than a year later and my vehicle is still not fixed. The radio recently completely failed due to water getting behind the circuit board (Dealers explanation) and it failed shortly after the first attempt at a repair along with the dealer forgetting to attach the antenna correctly. The main issue is the B pillar frame is not built correctly from the factory (Was told to me my car is 1 of 4 with this issue) causing the car to sound like constant metal hitting around on the fram/roof area and they have tried numerous fixes to no avail. They stated that this car had a recall for that issue and it would be fixed (I checked and no such recalls on my car) and the issue is now worse. On top of that, due to the head liner being taken down so many times, I have numerous trim pieces falling off and damaged.

The dealer is refusing to do anything about this as is GM. They are telling me to deal with it and there is nothing they can do. Do I have any options in this matter? I am paying quite a lot for this car and have barely driven it, its been in the dealership numerous times for weeks at a time and they admit the car has a defect that cant be fixed… Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am at my wits end with this piece of junk vehicle and the stress that I am being put through.

Did you speak to a lemon law lawyer? If you can still use lemon law that is.

Edit:Didn’t see this

Can you provide more clarity on this part? Settled with the dealer or GM? And as part of the settlement you released GM from all liability?

Have you had any contact with executive support? I’d reach out to I don’t know what kind of response you may receive, but based on what you’ve detailed here you should at least get a response of some kind at the executive level.

Yes. That is what we originally went to the lawyer in regards. But the lawyer stated due to the state I live in it would take longer to pursue the lemon law and by then my lease would be ended.

As far as I know and under the impression of. We settled with GM and couldn’t go after them again regarding any lawsuits or lemon law claims. We were told however the car still had to be fixed and at any point the dealer could and could have swapped out the car. But none of that happened and the dealer states we used the lemon law and received a settlement so they don’t have to do anything. The settlement was a goodwill compensation due to how unsatisfied we were and because it took 3+ times to get the power lift gate fixed on top of the damage caused by the dealership. The whole thing is a mess and the lawyer we used didn’t offer us very much help after the fact.

You need(ed) a better lawyer.

IDK what anyone else on the internet can tell you.


Yes we actually did send her an email explaining the situation. Just to be called by a senior customer service agent offering absolutely no help or resolutions. We tried this and every other step before speaking with an attorney.

I agree. I definitely know better now. And I am just wondering if anyone else had any similar experiences and maybe a better outcome or advice.

Have you reported the issues to the NHTSA? Usually enough of those is part of what it takes to get a recall issued. Perhaps a local news organization or something like that might be willing to press the issue for you, sometimes they will have consumer reporters, etc.


Don’t think GM will do anything after you settled with them, but here are their top contacts (may work better than Barra):

You can actually see if Elliott will advocate for you.
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Unfortunately your lawyer got you the wrong kind of settlement by avoiding the lemon law: you wanted OUT of this defective Terrain (my sister leased a 2013 Denali and had nearly as many issues), either with a buyback or collateral exchange.

Your lawyer got you a settlement, and now both of them are done with you. You have to drive this to disposition, and deal with all those issues under warranty, or sell it / trade out of it. With one of my lemons, I ended up doing just that.

Good luck.


Without knowing the settlement amount it’s hard to conclude the lawyer took the wrong path.

OP has lemon still: wrong path for the outcome they wanted.

It sounds like the outcome I would have gotten with my personal attorney or my business attorney dealing with the situation, not the lemon lawyer that got me out of two leases.

I get that but for example if I had a 200/month terrain lemon and received a 15k settlement wouldn’t I be better off than getting out of the car early?

Only you can decide. Financially maybe.

My Lemon #1 was UNSAFE to drive, and Mazda and I fought about it (brand new model) for a year. The Lemon Law in the states I lived at the time sucked, so I buried $8k in negative to get out and never looked back.

Lemon #2 could not be fixed, and became a full time job taking it to the one dealer in town who had the right equipment to service it.

Lemon #3 was tolerable, and we didn’t start until month 33 (finally diagnosed and fixed a problem I’d brought in multiple times), so it didn’t resolve until after disposition. I was fine driving it three more months.

If her Terrain is anything like my sister’s was, I would have made a federal case starting when we found the uncorrectable defect and not let up until I dropped it off at a GM dealer.

Some problems you can live through/avoid, some just take over your life. I lease so I don’t have to take my car to drs appointments every week, no settlement changes that for me.

I would bet an adult beverage that OP saw nothing close to covering all lease payments (and OP shouldn’t say because the terms should be confidential).

I agree. No amount of money is worth putting you or your family at risk. And I agree if was probably not enough to cover the remaining lease payments but if it was OP should just park it and go get another car.

Sure, but what motivation would the manufacturer have to have agreed to those terms? They’re not going to offer a settlement amount that costs them more than buying the vehicle back.



I wish I could share more about mine, including the “just buy-back this colossal error that had wasted so much of our time and money” letter - my first offer (sans lawyer) was “take the keys/car”, and they laughed.

They should have taken the car back.

You’d be taxed on that 15k settlement, right? That would make it more like 10k while still having an unsafe car.

My best worst advice would be total it.