2019 GMC Yukon Transmission Problems (Delay & Hard Shifts)

The GMC Yukon is a large, luxury SUV with a price tag to match. Unfortunately, too many owners of the 2019 models have experienced transmission problems that include delayed engagement in the transmission and hard shifts. If this sounds like your vehicle, your state’s lemon laws – or federal warranty protections – may apply. Discuss your concerns with an experienced lemon law attorney today. 

How Can the Delay Issues Be Explained?

When you fire up your Yukon and shift into either driver or reverse, the idea is that it will smoothly engage and begin moving in the direction you intend. If, instead, you experience a pause or delay, it’s called delayed engagement, and it’s a common and costly transmission issue. Delayed engagement is caused by slippage when the clutches that facilitate the Yukon’s movement are sluggish and, as a result, don’t operate correctly.

In the Yukon, the delayed engagement issue is generally related to putting the SUV into drive or reverse after the engine has been turned off for a few hours or overnight. The problem itself can range from the slippage discussed above to a no-movement condition within the transmission. For example, the transmission fluid may drain from the torque converter back into the sump, and once the engine is restarted, it takes some time for the transmission pump to refill the torque converter, which is at the heart of the delay.  

Common Acceleration Issues Accelerating the 2019 Yukon?

Although your Yukon is an automatic vehicle, it continues to shift gears as you accelerate and decelerate, and a problem like delayed engagement is a transmission concern that can be very apparent when you’re picking up speed or slowing down. The most common symptom related to acceleration is a surge in RPMs when you hit the gas pedal that doesn’t correlate with the force that’s actually exerted by the engine. Often, issues with the internal transmission components are at the heart of this problem.  

The Experience

Many Yukon owners liken the experience of the SUV’s transmission problems to a sudden and terrifying jolting, shaking, or hard shift sensation behind the wheel that makes the Yukon lunge, lurch, or hesitate during acceleration or deceleration. Some owners find the hard shift so dramatic that they equate it with being rear-ended by another vehicle. In other words, the issue is significant. 

Gear Shift Flare

Gear shift flare refers to that spike in the Yukon engine’s RPMs after the engine shifts upward and before it settles back down to a normal range. Again, this generally indicates a failure in the clutch or band. 

Speed Sensor Faults

Transmission problems can also be caused by issues with the speed sensor, which determines how fast your Yukon is traveling by calculating the speed of a toothed wheel’s rotation on a shaft inside the transmission. Resulting problems can include all the following:

  • Issues with the transmission
  • Erratic speedometer readings
  • A torque converter that’s unable to apply the clutch correctly and, in the process, form a mechanical link between the transmission and engine, which can also affect the cruise control 

What’s Involved with Repairing the Yukon’s Transmission?

Kelley Blue Book shares that repairing the 2019 Yukon’s transmission is a costly and time-consuming process that involves disconnecting all the following:

  • The fluid lines
  • The electrical wiring
  • The exhaust system components
  • The engine mounts
  • The axles or driveshafts

And it doesn’t end there. If you need a new transmission, the replacement cost can easily exceed $6,600. Because your SUV’s transmission harnesses the energy created in the engine and transports it throughout your vehicle, it’s integral to performance and safety and is one of the highest-priced repairs you can experience. 

How Do State Lemon Laws Apply

Lemon laws vary from state to state, but the basics are fairly consistent. If the dealer can’t correct the nonconformity in your vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts – after you’ve owned the SUV for less than a specific amount of time or after you’ve put fewer than a specific number of miles on it – the state’s lemon law can help. 

New York

In New York, the number of attempts to repair the transmission problem that is considered reasonable is three or more. The time and mile limitations that apply to new cars are 24 months from the date of purchase and 18,000 miles, respectively – whichever comes first. Spending at least 30 days total in the shop for any repairs during that first 18 months also triggers the lemon law in New York.


In Pennsylvania, the minimum number of attempts considered reasonable to repair your new vehicle is also generally three. The amount of time and mile limitations that apply, however, are 12 months from the date of purchase and 12,000 miles, respectively – whichever comes first. Like New York, the lemon law also applies in Pennsylvania if your new vehicle needs to spend a total of at least 30 days in the shop for repairs during those first 12 months. 

New Jersey

Like New York, New Jersey sets the bar for a reasonable number of repair attempts for new cars at a minimum of three. It also sets the time limit at 24 months from the date of purchase, but the mileage threshold is set higher – at 24,000 – whichever comes first. Finally, the lemon law also applies if your vehicle has to spend a specific number of days in the shop for repair during the prescribed time frame, but the cap is set at an abbreviated 20 days. 

While the laws for used vehicles like your Yukon also vary from state to state, there are state and federal laws that address unfair trade practices and warranty acts that can offer additional protections.

You May Have Options under Federal Law

Although Your 2019 Yukon likely past the 24-month window to take action, you may still have legal options. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may apply, and it’s a federal law that works something like state lemon laws. It also ensures free legal representation by employing what is known as a fee-shifting provision, which means the manufacturer is responsible for covering the legal fees for claims that prevail. And if your claim isn’t successful, you won’t owe anything. 

The Act awards monetary compensation that’s based on the loss you experience in relation to your 2019 Yukon’s value and the repairs you covered – as long as you have a manufacturer’s warranty, an original warranty, or an extended warranty in place.       

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Lemon Law Attorney 

You purchased a costly SUV that you expected to serve your transportation needs for many years to come, but the transmission problem you’re experiencing may have dashed your hopes. Enter the skilled legal guidance of the trusted lemon law attorneys at Robison Lemon Law Group, which proudly serves New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. We dedicate our imposing practice to helping clients like you recover compensation for their vehicle-related losses, and we’ll leave no stone unturned in our efforts to also help you. There’s no cost to you, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 844-386-0831 to schedule your no-obligation consultation today.

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