Cadillac ATS Transmission Problems Troubling Drivers

October 01, 2014
By: Robert Silverman

Cadillac is certainly known for combining luxury with quality, however we’ve been receiving numerous calls on the 1 800 LEMON LAW hotline from folks complaining of Cadillac ATS transmission problems, particularly with cars that feature a manual transmission.

Drivers have been dealing with shuddering and loss of speed, with NHTSA complaint boards filling up with various stories of Cadillac ATS transmission problems. Some people have found themselves stalled on the highway. And to make matters worse, service advisers are not always able to locate a code or duplicate the problem.

To Cadillac’s credit, the company has initiated a recall for applicable vehicles featuring a software fix, however not all drivers are satisfied with the fix. Additionally, a large number of newer, 2013 and 2014 models are suffering from this issue, leading to the disappointment of countless Cadillac customers and new car drivers.

While General Motors has said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries associated with these transmission troubles, more than 68,000 2013 and 2014 Cadillac ATS sedans have been recalled since June 2014.

If you have been back in the shop repeated times – or even an extended period of days – to repair your Cadillac ATS transmission problems, you should look into your rights under State Lemon Laws or Federal Warranty laws. You may be entitled to legal remedy, such as a repurchase of your current Cadillac ATS, substantial monetary compensation, or an entirely new replacement vehicle.

Our firm has already successfully represented numerous Cadillac ATS drivers with transmission problems. Click here to find a lemon law lawyer in your state who may be able to help with your issue.

Have you been struggling with Cadillac ATS transmission issues? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to share your story with us in the comments below.

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20 Responses to “Cadillac ATS Transmission Problems Troubling Drivers”

  1. #1 Rothen Chann says:


    I have had my 2013 Cadillac ATS since December 31, 2014 and I have went to the Cadillac dealership twice and they said they do not see any issues with the transmission. They tell me that the transmission cable is tight and correct. However, I still have issues with the car stalling. I would switch gears from reverse to drive and the car stalls like it is in neutral. I would have to run through the gears back and forth until it starts working properly in Drive. This is a serious issue that I want fixed. My fiance had the car stall on her many times before and I do not want her safety at risk. I love the car but not the transmission issue. The car is currently under 40,000 miles, I know it is still under warranty.If worse comes to worse, I know I cannot afford any repairs for this car. What can I do?

    Thank you,
    Rothen Chann

    • #2 Tired Customer says:

      I have a 2014 ats 3.6l awd. Since ive gotten the car its been numerous problems. The valve body in the transmission was replaced after a few times of it nkt shifting out of first gear. Its always made weird kinds of noises one is like a helicopter noise from the engine bay to a deep vibration and also shaking when idling. The trans had been acting funky for awhile a little bit of slipping and delay. After the valve body was serviced it has been shifting out of first but at times its a rough shift and the other day it jerked and sputtered. Ive had to take the car to the dealership more times than i can count. Im currently in contact with general motors. Waiting to see what the solution will be

      • #3 Bill Sevy says:

        I have a 2014 ATS that sticks in third gear when accelerating under heavy load, merging into high speed traffic. It has almost caused me to wreck on a couple of occasions as letting off on the accelerator will not result in a shift out of the gear.
        Both my local dealership and GM have been contacted and promised to review a buy back. Over two months of phone messages and an e-mails I have had zip response. Just called again today and got the same “will review and get back to you”.
        NEVER…another GM product.

        • #4 LemonLaw says:

          @Bill: This is almost always the issue with car companies start to make promises–It is impossible to have them enforced. Please visit to find a lemon law firm in your state to help.

          • #5 Valerie says:

            I purchased a 2014 Cadillac ATS Luxury 2 weeks ago. I noticed the problem and discussed with the sales person at the dealership. He tried to convince me that I wasn’t pulling the gear down in the correct manner. He took his time to demonstrate the proper way of handling the gear shift and gave instructions of what to watch for such as “D” is for driving and M1 was the manual mode. I have driven since the age of 16 and if I don’t know what the “D” is for I should not be driving at all. I feel much smarter now! He stated if I had any problems please call him. I took the car to a Cadillac dealership after work because the gears changed from automatic to manual while I was turning and it slowed the car down significantly at a very busy intersection. I spoke with a member of the service department that acted in the very same manner as the first person I spoke with. They seemed to be programed on what message to deliver. I don’t feel safe in this car. I have an appointment with the dealership on 10/11/2016 @ 7:00 to drop it off and have it checked out. I will get detailed information from them and will update the response from my visit with the dealership

            • #6 danyell Jefferson says:

              I’ve only had my ATS for a year and I’ve been to the dealership at least 4 times already. Check engine light is on again so I’m taking it right back up there Tuesday morning since they are closed on new years!

              • State: TX
            • #7 Alex Hilton says:

              I own a 2013 ATS, transmission went out on me last night with 75,000 miles. Of course warranty ended at 70,000. This car has been a non stop headache from the time of purchase. Stay tuned to see how Cadillac handles, I’m not forking over the full transmission price, especially since they don’t even build transmissions in their service department.

              • State: IL
            • #8 Britni Dent says:

              This exact same thing happened to me at the exact same mileage. I picked it up from a standard oil change from the dealership and now my transmission at 75k miles is gone… what was your result? Mine just happened this week

              • State: Tx
            • #9 Sheila Hornberger says:

              The first week I owned my Cadillac ATS the info entertainment system completely blacked out. Brought it to the dealership but rather than replace the system the performed a bandaid. When I have my iPhone plugged into the six it skips the music like a scratched cd. Then after the first 30 days it started to shake while in idle and while accelerating. I can’t afford to continue to take time off work and try to fix what ever the issue is. First it was the “computer but now it shakes and at times feels like it’s studdering almost like it wants to stall out.

              • State: Florida
            • #10 John washington says:

              I bought a 2014 Ats4 2.0t about 6 months ago. It only had 5000 miles on it and i got a realy good deal. But 2 months later i was driving on the on ramp of an interstate accelerating to get the speed up to merge and out of no where the car switches from drive to m1 redlines my engine and almost caused me to be rearended by a semi. I moved the shifter over to manuel and the car would not shift up or down and it also would not go back in to drive mode until i pulled over and put it in park for 10 to 20 seconds. The shifter was still in drive when it switched so it wasnt something i did. I then continued to drive the car 8000 miles before it happened again. The car now has 13000 miles on it and it is starting to happen on a daily basis. I dont know if manuel mode worked the whole time i owned the car because i never use it, but i do know it hasnt worked since the incident on the interstate.

              • State: WV
            • #11 Steve Harrison says:

              Today leaving the house to get an oil change,pulled from a stop light and the engine revved up. Looked down shifter in drive, dash indicating M1, wouldn’t shift. Pulled over shut off car restarted. Next traffic light, it did same thing. 68,970 miles.

              • State: MI
            • #12 Matt says:

              I have a 2013 ATS with 37,000 miles on it. Car had similar issue to what Steve Harrison stated over the last year. I was driving on the highway and the car started downshifting until it was in first gear. Even though the car was in “D” the dash showed M1 and did not allow me to shift out of first gear. Very dangerous situation to be driving over 60 mph and completely lose the ability to maintain speed. Took the car to a dealer a year ago and they replaced a transmission control module. Issue happened again about 3 weeks ago and now they are telling me a water leak was the issue. My question for Steve Harrison is was it raining or snowing when you started noticing this issue? This issue has happened to me on 3 separate occasions and I wan to see if any other have this issue. As of now Cadillac is refusing to pay for any repairs even with my extended warranty that I bought through the GM dealership where I purchased the car.

              • State: NJ
            • #13 Caleb Pack says:

              I have a 2013 ATS. It’s just reached 61,000 miles. My grandfather bought the car new. Always kept it in amazing condition. He recently just gave it to me. Car has been great up til the past month when it hit 60k miles. The car shakes when it starts up until it gets under 1,000 rpms then it flutters randomly. When I drive it, it flutters constantly no matter what speed I’m at. When I brake, the car rocks me forwards as it down shifts. I’ve had it looked at, they say it’s just the brakes, they it’s probably the engine mounts. Now the knock sensor. It’s clearly the transmission. Not happy. The dealership wants to do anything possible to make money.

              • State: Ohio
            • #14 Cliff Musante says:

              I have a 2017 ATS-V that has a transmission shudder. I’ve had the car into the dealership 3 times for corrections, and although they’ve performed a corrective procedure twice, the problem continues to plague the car. I’m now in arbitration with GM, suggesting that they do not have an adequate and comprehensive diagnosis of the problem, don’t know how to correct it, and although they knew about the problem as early as 2015, failed to inform potential buyers of the problem. I’m seeking that GM buy back the car.
              The car shudders from takeoff, which is slightly different from many reports, which identify the shudder as occurring at speeds above 25 mph.

              • State: SC
            • #15 Reggie says:

              I have a 2017 ATS awd with 23,000 miles last night while driving my car automatically shifted into 1st gear while in automatic mode tried to put in manual mode and it wouldn’t change and check engine light was on stopped car car and restarted in automatic mode and it stayed in drive but only in first gear with check engine light on it was after six so I took it to autozone to read code it said it was a spark plug issue which I knew it wasn’t had them clear code and drove back home because I was afraid to drive it any further taking to dealership in morning but I know in my heart that it is a transmission problem that is an unpublished recall by GM Cadillac

              • State: Indianapolis
            • #16 Brian Harper says:

              2013 ATS 2.0t Luxury with automatic transmission. We bought the car with 20k miles and now have 97k miles. This car has been nothing but problems since day one. The transmission cable detached…. the sunroof wouldn’t close….the CUE stereo has gone bad twice…the internal engine fuel pump went bad and stalled on the highway during morning traffic(32 degrees outside on a bridge) just went out of warranty so the cost to us was $4k… COP’s went out at 54k miles(charged $900 by the dealer to replace spark plus and new coils)… The Y-hose (made out of plastic) split and spilled coolant during driving causing the car to overheat ….The AC blender door went out(self repaired quoted $1500 from dealership)…. and now the transmission has a bad shudder at 25-40 mph and it’s heading back to the dealer. Oil changed every 3k miles…. only 91-93 octane fuel. I would love to get rid of the car but we just can’t afford to do it.

              • State: Texas
            • #17 LEO LUNDY III says:

              Countless times into dealership most recently transmission shifter cable detached or broke. They tell me there was recall on that part in 2014 , but my Vin number does not call for recall now. Since it was inspected in first recall I can’t get it replaced for free. I just dishes over 450 dollars for past recall part. They still say it can detach in future and cause accident. I have two kids I can’t afford to be driving in a death trap.

              • State: Florida
            • #18 Dee says:

              For the ones that had the transmission cable detached was it expensive to fix. My husband drove to work yesterday and upon leaving he was not able to switch gears when trying to leave. Ugh! so we had to get it towed home. Now wondering what out bill will be like…

              • State: FL
            • #19 Sergio Valdes-Flores says:

              My wife has a 2017 ATS and it has been in twice for the transmission shuddering and it still does the same thing. I had my eyes on an ATS-V and the tranmission issue is what kept me from buying it. Imagine that buying a car from a manufacturer that hides and lies to clients so they dont have to lemon every car. I WILL NEVER EVER BUY GM AGAIN GO FLY A KITY ASSHOLES!

              • State: Florida
            • #20 Anthony Rodriguez says:

              2014 ATS AWD turbo, and I’ve owned the car 3 months. Bought it used, and it has 65k now. Picked it up, on the way home the engine light comes on and it’s lacking power. Passenger seat controls stop working too. Dealer replaced seat and vvt solenoid. Started having issues with my trunk opening, and a few engine lights. Diagnosed and replaced a few small parts. The transmission always shifts weird and inconsistent. Just started hearing a rotating metal sound, and made an appointment with auto outlet of canandaguia, where I bought it. I’ve literally had this thing 3 months and I wanna ditch it.

              • State: Ny

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