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Cadillac CTS/CTS-V Brake Problems



  • Hi Moriah,

    I do have a case number but would prefer not to release any information on the internet. I have set up a temporary email accoun ( If you mail me there, I will respond to a direct line/email to you.

    Yes, we have a case number. The issue has recurred after four separate fixes at 2 different dealerships. The code is always somewhat nonspecific. In my own research on this issue it is clear that other CTS's are having the same problem. I am paying for the computer replacement out of pocket (GM told us it couldn't do anything because we are not the original owner and it is past the warranty period. This did not sit well with the original owner (we are related) given that they weren't even clearly told about the first 3 repairs), but it seems obvious to me that GM needs to look at this issue more closely before someone has a serious accident due to brake failure. That seems like no-brainer to me and I've been surprised about the lukewarm response.

    Please email me.
  • Hi Mariah,

    I'm not sure if you got my previous message. I am still interested in speaking with you.

    To answer your question, YES, the issue recurred each time the hub was repaired, for a total of 4 replacements where the dealer said the code was clear and within a short time the problem with the brakes recurred.

    We just paid nearly $2K to replace the EBCM and I am hoping this fixes it (and honestly, feeling a little concerned that that was the problem all along. Interestingly, this time too the dealer's advice was to replace the hub until we pressed harder about why it would keep failing and they decided we should replace the computer instead).

    We won't be keeping this car, but I do want to make sure someone at GM is following the brake issue as it seems from my research that other CTS's from this time period have also had the brake failure issue, and we're all just lucky noone has been seriously injured at this point. My car didn't stop in a school parking lot. I am very lucky no students were around.

    If you are still able to speak to me, please let me know how to contact you.

    Thank you.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    edited April 2010
    I apologize I didn't get back to you sooner. I just saw your email. This is usually the best way to contact me is through my email. So did the fix take care of the issue? Or, is the concern still present after the computer fix? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Thank you Mariah. Unfortunately, I am not comfortable posting my email in a public forum and I do not know how to contact you directly. I know the main GM line if you have an extension, otherwise I am at a loss.

    This car has been showing a "Service Brake Assist" message along with ABS light, and having intermittent brake difficulties, since the first year of the car. The left front hub has been placed four times now, which was supposed to fix the problem but obviously hasn't. On the advice of GM, earlier this month we replaced the EBCM (almost $2000) and the dealer was certain this would fix the problem. They drove the car and could not replicate the problem. The brakes have intermittently still felt funny, and again today the car is showing the same "Service Brake Assist" message that has been a source of concern since the first 20,000 miles.

    Our family is done with GM (despite a 50 year history). So there is nothing you can really do for us. What I would like to have, however, is some assurance that GM will be responsible enough to take a look at the CTS's from this time period, as we have found other owners who have had the same issue and met with the same inability and/or reluctance to repair it. You need to take this seriously. I was in a school parking lot when the brakes failed and we are all very lucky that no child was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know if it were my company, I would not want that on my back.

    Thank you.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I understand that you want to keep your information private. My email is
    Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • timd106timd106 Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 Cadillac CTS as well and it did the exact same thing to me. I was going 2 mph and i did a sharp turn, heard a rough noise and the ABS light came on. Thats exactly what it is. The anti-lock brake system connection came loose on one of the tires and they fixed it free of charge because it was still under warrenty. after that was repaired it never did it again.
  • edszedsz Posts: 5
    I will never own another GM vehicle. The way they have treated me throughout this process is inexcusable. After I sent certified letter to Ed Whitacre and their legal dept., they put me in touch with 'product allegations' (PA). PA told me didn't understand why I didn't contact them in the first place. Told them they do a nice job hiding the fact that they exist.

    They had their "independent" engineer come look at the vehicle and determine no evidence of "defect". Offered to do nothing, then sent me a nasty form letter stating that they have no liability or responsibility for my claim of damages. I have no claim of damages?!

    I want a safe car that stops and is still under warranty. I want them to fix it or issue a statement that there is no problem. See their commercial claiming they are no longer 'Government Motors", nice try at rebuilding your image. I live in the rust belt, I have always bought American and have purchased 4 new GM vehicls since 01, all financed with GMAC, never missed a payment. I was getting 2 more this year. I will never buy another new GM vehicle, and will probably switch to foreign automaker. Good luck rebuilding that image GM.

    By the way, Mariah's job in customer assistance is to get nothing done, whether she knows it or not. They are very good at their job at customer assistance.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Edsz,
    I apologize your outcome wasn't a better one. However, I did publicly post to you on April 1st, and requested more information from you and I never got a response. Again, I apologize for you inconvenience and frustration. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • j1ncej1nce Posts: 1
    Ive had this same issue since i purchased the car from the dealership. I bought it @ 17000 miles from a dealership in South Carolina. After about a week, I was pulling into a parking space and my car would not stop. The brakes kept bouncing and i almost slammed into the car in front of me.Then the service brake assist indicator came on. I called the dealership as soon as it happened. They found nothing wrong on the tester that they had. It happened again multiple times after and I called the dealership and they told me that they would contact me as soon as they had a Courtesy Car available. I called a many times and got the same response.I ended up moving to New Jersey and still to this day I have not gotten a single phone call from the dealership. Is there anything that I can do about this issue besides try and fix it myself?
  • Hi all. I have spoken with my dealership, GM several times, the NHTSA, my representative, and now a lawyer. We are beginning the discovery process as to why these cars have this issue and whether the response has been appropriate. I encourage you to contact your own representative and/or counsel to do the same. Maybe together something will come of it. This is a serious accident waiting to happen and I just hope we can get it acknowledged before that occurs.
  • Bought a 2007 CST from Autoflex last month. Nice car, a little small but that's ok. Has the same problem we just noticed. Seems to dive to the right and not slow down when makin the ritght turn into a parking space. Seems the ABS does acuate. Sounds like GM is hiding behind Obama.
  • bobbobbiebobbobbie Posts: 1
    My wifes 06 CTS has the same brake problem off and on, Currently the car has only 38k miles. Took it in for the brake recall but the problem still exists. The dealership is doing a ABS system inspection currently. They claim they will be able to tell us exactly what the problem is. The car had 2 trouble codes on it when we took it in, dealership says to replace the parts that were causing the trouble code will cost close to 3k to fix. Ill keep everyone posted we should have an answer from the dealership about what it the problem and how much it will cost.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Bobbobbie,
    Please keep me posted on how the fix goes. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • cvadamcvadam Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 CTS with a little over 100,000 miles. It was just a few weeks ago that I first experience the same episode as is described by the prior posts, i.e. while turning into a parking space, the brakes kick back as they would in ABS mode, and car doesn't stop until it hits something. Fortunately, so far, it has only hit the curb. My wife just experienced the problem last friday. I took the car to my regular (out or warranty) repair shop. They could not determine the problem, and suggested I take it to the dealer. I dread this, because I feel certain they will do a lot high priced work, and I will still have the problem, especially after reading the problems others are having with dealerships. I am open to any suggestions. Any chance GM will issue a recall? The problem does seem to be pervasive now that so many are reporting it.
  • I've reported this problem twice to my local dealership (Massey in Chantilly, VA) and they cant find a problem. Quite annoying and does not give me confidence that they are on the ball. I will call them again and print out this forum for "diagnostic purposes." My most recent trip was to perform the brake hose recall and I told them exactly what was happening (e.g., brakes rumbled and failed when cornering sharply - at low speeds - but I haven't tried cornering at HIGH SPEED because well, that's a good way to die). Yesterday, I almost coasted into traffic when pulling out of a parking lot and twice I have slid into a parking barrier. I've compensated by driving VERY slow into parking spaces and trying to come in with as little of a turn angle as possible. I'm amazed that GM is not taking this more seriously given how long this has been going on and the recent Toyota fiasco. All it will take is one reporter getting a hold of this and big time problem for GM.
  • pmeluginpmelugin Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I have a 2004 CTS with about 80k miles and the extended warranty has run out. The car has the same braking issue, but I’ve also notice the braking issue while backing up while turning. It is sporadic, but I’m not interested in smashing into someone, even if it is at relatively low speeds. I’m going to contact the dealership, but from reading the posts, I don’t think I’ll be very successful.
  • jjswetnamjjswetnam Posts: 5
    edited October 2010
    This is absoulutely ridiculous! I have an '04 and have the exact same problem. A couple weeks ago I was about to turn at an intersection and saw a pedestrian -- my car would not stop and I actually bumped into them! They screamed and smacked my car but were luckily able to get out of the way. What if it were a child?! Or a mom with a stroller?! Or some disabled person!?

    This is BS. I have contacted some friends here in LA that are lawyers, publicists and broadcasters and they really want to make a stink about this considering what Toyota is doing with their recalls today.

    We may do a story in the local news and really put a fire under their asses. Fix your cars GM or the whole world will know. I'm not gonna do nothing and wait for some kid to get killed at a crosswalk.

    You guys really need to get on the ball.
  • coastsidefogcoastsidefog Posts: 12
    edited October 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm sorry to hear that more people are having these same problems.

    Eventually, we were able to find an intelligent mechanic who at this point seems to have repaired the problem (you might recall the dealership previously replaced the ECBM several times to no effect; this gentleman repaired the wiring which was either never installed correctly or made with materials that are degrading very fast, and we have not had the same issue). We attempted to bring this information to GM, as we are not the only people with this issue, but GM was uninterested in making sure that this potentially fatal flaw was reported or a repair/recall process be initiated.

    My family was absolutely disheartened by GM's lack of response or attention to what is obviously (as all of you know) a serious matter, and while the company seemed content in its nonresponse we felt it needed to be addressed, as the potential for serious consequences with a non-stopping car is obvious.

    So... we reported them to the NHTSB, as well as to our congressman and senator. We have been in contact with our senator and she is actively ensuring this matter is being seen by the NHTSB. So there is an open inquiry at this time. Please, if you are having this issue, report the same and note that there are other complaints currently being investigated. THE NHTSB needs a critical number of complaints, and we have found our elected officials to be very engaged. Additionally, we have been in contact with an attorney who has begun the discovery process about this issue.

    You can report your experience directly to the NHTSB here:
    NHTSB Reporting Website

    You can find contact information for your elected officials (who often have web forms to contact them) here:
    List of Congressional Representatives
    Senate Contacts

    Good luck, all. Maybe if enough of us let enough people know what is happening, this issue will be addressed before a car that won't stop takes someone's life.
  • Thanks for that link. I just filed my formal complaint. I hope the word gets out and more people go the site and file. I need my piece of mind back. Every time I drive the car I'm nervous. Every stop sign and intersection. I just want a car that stops when I press the brakes. Is that too much to ask?

    -- I called GM customer service and filed a case. I am taking to the dealer tomorrow to fork over the $120 diagnostics fee. They claim to have never heard of this issue.
  • So I just got a call from the dealer and he's saying the same thing as other posters. That the right wheel HUB speed sensor is bad. It's like $800 to fix, but he said it was just "something that happens". First, I'm afraid to spend the money and then it not be fixed like a bunch of other people have said. Also, I think that this is a defective (bad material) issue and GM should be taking care of this, right? This many people are having the same dangerous problem. I'm not sure what to do now. Any thoughts?
  • coastsidefogcoastsidefog Posts: 12
    edited October 2010
    In my experience, the only code that has ever shown up for us is a hub speed sensor code. This is replaced (3x under warranty, 1x out of warranty). The problem seemed to resolve each time (in our case, because it was intermittent to began with) but then it quickly reappeared - ie, the car will lose brakes when attempting to stop, especially at slow (parking lot/stop sign) speeds.

    When they actually fixed it, they told us that what had happened was the wiring harness was short-circuiting, which leads to an incorrect signal and therefore problems with the brake system (because the speed sensor/hub/ECBM is responding to a false code). Once the wiring harness was repaired, we have not had any trouble.

    Of course, multiple attempts to urge GM to send out a message to CTS owners letting them know there is an issue with the wires/wiring harness that could cause a short-circuit which leads to incorrect information which results in the brake control module responding inappropriately and the brakes not working - that has not happened despite our best efforts.

    That terrifies me, because one can only imagine the accident that lies ahead when (inevitably) someone's CTS has this problem in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Good luck. I would ask the dealer to check the wiring if you proceed.

    (PS, I am not sure where you are located, but the CA senators have opened an inquiry on this front. You might want to contact them to add your information)
  • Thanks for the GREAT information. I am actually in CA as well. Do you happen to know which Senator it was? Feinstein or Boxer? I want to send them a letter as well. This needs to get fixed asap.

    I really don't want to spend the $1000 to get the speed sensor fixed (I'm out of warranty) and then have it go bad again.
  • My pleasure :) ...

    How fortuitous that you are in CA too.

    I am working with Barbara Boxer, specifically with Eric Jose Vizcaino (Dir of Constituent Services) and his assistant, Maria Henderson. The San Francisco office is 415-403-0100, or 1700 Montgomery St, Suite 240, 94111.

    If you wouldn't mind, you can reference the letter that Eric wrote on our behalf to David Strickland at the NHTSB (dated Oct 19 of this year). This might help them put the concerns together.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    I'm curious about the inquiry - what does it cover? Is it specific to the brake issue? Or to the Cadillac CTS or Cadillac line, or GM as a whole? It'd be nice if you could explain exactly what concern it is they're seeking to address!


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  • Cadillac CTS only as far as I know. Looking into what appears to be a faulty wiring harness that is shorting out, resulting in inappropriate signal/code (the car thinks it needs a new hub speed sensor, but according to the mechanics we have consulted, that repair doesn't work bc it is actually a short occurring in the wiring). When the car gets the wrong reading the brakes will intermittently not work at slow speeds.

    We are asking (now that there are multiple reports of the same event) that Cadillac send this information to CTS owners so that they can replace the fault (pretty simple repair) before a brake failure results in serious injury. We would like to prevent this accident from occurring.
  • So I spoke with someone at GM again. A district representative. She offered to pay 10% of the repair cost. She guaranteed me that it was the speed sensor. I also spoke with the dealer service tech and specifically asked him about wire harness and shorting out, etc. He also guaranteed me that it was a bad speed sensor. I also called the Senator's office and left word with Eric about my concerns.

    So should I just pay the $800 and get the speed sensor replaced or wait? Again, I don't want to spend the money and then have the problem come back. I don't want to let GM off the hook by paying for what is obviously a dangerous defect. And I also don't want to drive a car that doesn't stop!

    Any advice?
  • I'm not sure what to tell you. We had the same experience ("guaranteed" it was the speed sensor) and yet the speed sensor was replaced 4 separate times. The 5th time, we refused to authorize the repair. They looked at it again and got new codes, related again to the speed sensor. We spoke with the dealership about our concerns of replacing the same part for a fifth time. Eventually we spoke with the head mechanic and he looked more closely and recommended we fix the wiring.

    It could be in your case that the speed sensor is failing, or it could be the wiring, or both. The speed sensor replacements did seem to repair the problem temporarily, but since the braking issue was always intermittent it is hard to know for sure.

    I know if they do replace your speed sensor and the problem reoccurs they may need to try to repair again and it would be covered under the warranty for the first repair.

    I can't tell you what to do, but I would definitely keep good records :)
  • So I took my '06 CTS in for the third time in the last year for this problem and I printed out a few of the posts from this forum to help diagnose the problem. My warranty expired about 30 days ago, but the folks at Moore Cadillac are solid citizens and covered it anyway since I had reported the problem previously. They diagnosed it as a defective Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) and replaced it. Unfortunately, I just pulled into my driveway and was greeted by the dreaded brake rumble and service brake assist warning. Ughh. Back to the drawing board. :sick:
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Good morning, I would like to look into this for you. Would please e-mail me with your contact information, VIN, current mileage, and when this problem started. I look forward to your response.
  • Hello Christina,

    I sent you an email.

    Best Regards,

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