GMC’s Illuminated Badge Is Causing Headlamps to Fail

Another strike against illuminated badges.
GMC Illuminated Badge
via GM

Many automotive fads come and go—there are huge grilles, fake vents, headlight wipers, and (throwback from the ’90s) the gold package. One of the latest that adds a bit of premium pizzazz is illuminated emblems, and as some GMC owners are quickly learning, they might not be everything they’re cracked up to be.

An article recently published on GM Techlink has revealed that some newer GMC vehicles are having issues with their headlight assemblies. Upon further investigation, the affected vehicles all have one important thing in common: they are equipped with the optional GMC illuminated emblem.

Reports note that affected vehicles will exhibit problems with the driver-side headlamp assembly. Specifically, the headlight or turn signal may flicker, remain illuminated when it isn’t supposed to, or be completely inoperative. The illuminated emblem may also appear to be inoperative.

As it turns out, water intrusion from the illuminated emblem is likely to blame. General Motors determined that water could be interfering with the electrical connector behind the emblem and is responsible for causing the symptoms to appear.

Dealers have been instructed to inspect the electrical connectors for signs of water-induced corrosion and perform any necessary repairs, including cleaning the corrosion from the terminals. The technician is also advised to bypass the emblem completely using by plugging the original headlight connector from the body harness back into the factory headlight assembly. The workaround will disable the illuminated badge, effectively making the vehicle just as identifiable at night as models with non-illuminated badging.

Affected vehicles include 2020-2022 GMC Sierra 1500, 2020-2022 GMC Sierra 2500/3500, and 2021-2022 GMC Yukon equipped with the optional dealer-installed accessory. The emblem sells for between $310 and $475 (depending on the vehicle and badge color) and several versions are still available to order on GMC’s accessory website at the time of this story.

GM says that this is just a temporary fix. The automaker says that it will release information on a more permanent fix at a later date. But, hey, it could be worse—at least the light-up badge isn’t causing a power steering failure this time.

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