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No one is thrilled with a vehicle recall. Yet all manufacturers seem to have at least one or two. This is because all the factory tests in the world can’t predict each problem that a vehicle will develop once out on the road, and then the automaker is responsible for fixing it. However, in this case, the fix for the GMC Terrain isn’t what owners expected.

Why is GMC recalling the 2010 to 2017 Terrain?

2017 GMC Terrain parked indoors in front of the GMC logo, which recently went through a GMC Terrain headlight recall.
2017 GMC Terrain | Saul Loeb via Getty Images

According to Autoblog, GMC recalled the Terrain because of an issue with the headlights. It began when it came to light that the 2010 to 2017 GMC Terrain was out of compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) due to too bright headlights.

Many drivers complained to GMC that the headlights on the Terrain were too bright and other drivers meeting them on the roadway at night were being blinded. This is obviously an issue that could lead to accidents if given the right situation. 

It has been reported that over 750,000 Terrains are to be recalled due to their headlights. While many were initially overjoyed to learn that GMC would act, the solution has left many feeling rather frustrated and disgusted.

Let’s just slap a sticker on it

When you go to an auto parts store, you’ll likely find tons of stickers for sale to put on a car. However, it’s typically for customizing your vehicle, not fixing it.

Yet this is what GMC has decided to do. Rather than replacing the glass or finding another method, GMC has chosen to stick a parallelogram-shaped sticker over the front, which doesn’t even cover a fourth of the headlight.

GMC has named these stickers a ‘headlamp applique kit,’ but no one is buying the fancy terminology. GMC even tried to avoid the recall but was instructed by the NHTSA that something needed to be done.

Autoblog reports, “A pinpoint of low-beam light was being reflected off the high-beam reflector. This bounced a tiny sliver of bright light up into the trees and the sky beside the road, not into oncoming traffic. GMC did the right thing, reporting the noncompliance to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Because the sliver of light was coming from the low beams and was four times brighter than the maximum allowable low beam brightness, the NHTSA told GMC to recall 740,581 units of the SUV. GMC asked for an exemption, admitting the bright spot could cause glare while noting the errant beam didn’t affect other road users. The NHTSA denied the request.”

The 2023 GMC Terrain has some decent specs


Only 1 Major Update Comes as an Option With the 2023 GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain received some major updates in 2022, such as the grill, lights, and bumper. For 2023, there have been a few changes, but most of these are minor.

The 2023 GMC Terrain comes equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 175 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. There isn’t another engine option available on the 2023 Terrain.

The max towing capacity is 1,500 lbs, and the max payload capacity is 1,146 lbs. Front-wheel drive comes standard, although AWD is available as an upgrade. 

The 2023 GMC Terrain has an MSRP of $28,400. For this price, it’s a decent buy for someone who wants a small SUV but doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on one.

As for the 2010-2017 model years, if you’re in the market for a used Terrain, it’s a good idea to check and ensure that the owner has gotten the new applique for the headlights.