CUE Screens Delaminate, Crack, and Become Unresponsive

Key Points

  • The CUE infotainment touchscreen delaminates and cracks, making it difficult or impossible to use.
  • The problem is thought to be due to poor interlayer bonding in the screen during manufacturing.
  • There are a number of open lawsuits about the problem.
Spider cracks and haze make the CUE screen hard to read
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#lawsuit #infotainment #interior

The CUE uses a capacitive touchscreen that has multiple layers sandwiched together including a protective film, sensing electronics, and a glass substrate. These layers are known to delaminate or pull apart from one another, resulting in a screen with a surface full of bubbles, dead spots, and spider cracks.

An Unresponsive Touchscreen

The sensing electronics in the touchscreen lose their effectiveness as the gap between layers widens. This results in a touchscreen that has little, inconsistent, or no response whatsoever.

Considering HVAC, radio, and other controls are accessed through the interface that can quickly become a frustration.

And while there are steering wheel controls and voice interaction options, I think it’s safe to say a touchscreen that doesn’t respond to touch is a problem.

Installation and Manufacturing Problems

The poor interlayer bonding is believed to be the result of manufacturing errors, including:

  • Improper preparation and cleaning of the glass surface
  • Excess or uneven clamping force during installation

As complaints mounted, GM issued its first Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)

As complaints about the touchscreen mounted, GM issued their first Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) to dealerships about CUE delamination in December 2014.

“some customers may report that their radio screen appears bubbled, cracked, or is delaminating. If this concern is encountered, replace the ICS (Integrated Center Stack) by following the SI replacement procedure.”

GM has issued at least four TSBs concerning the CUE problems: PIC6055, PIC6055A, PIC6055B, PIC6055C.

But there has not been a recall or service campaign

GM has not issued a service campaign, reimbursement program, or recall for the funky CUE screens.

Most of the time, customer that were under warranty could have their CUE screens fixed by replacing the vehicle’s Integrated Center Stack. Those stacks, however, had the same defects and it was only a matter of time until the screens showed the same problems.

Unfortunately those problems would often happen past the warranty, leaving owners to pay roughly $1,200 per replacement.

A Series of Lawsuits

Add it all up and it’s no wonder that GM has been hit with multiple class-action lawsuits. Both cases generally make the same points:

  • GM has known about these issues since at least 2014 because that's when the first TSB referencing delamination problems were sent to dealerships.
  • In warranty repairs are kind of pointless because GM is replacing the defective units with newer but equally defective units.
  • Out of warranty repairs are ridiculously expensive as most owners report it can cost upwards of $1,500 to replace their car's entire ICS.
  • GM won't step up and offer reimbursements or issue a proper service campaign.

Gruchacz, et al., v. General Motors, LLC

During a visit to the dealership for an unrelated recall repair in March of 2018, plaintiff Tonya Gruchacz asked her mechanics about her vehicle’s CUE screen. She described the screen as appearing to be shattered and that it was not responding to touch.

According to the lawsuit she was told:

we “_ see this issue all the time … the screen is not cracked, it’s the laminate._”

Despite it being a common problem that GM has known about since at least December 2014, she was told it would cost $1,050 to repair the screen. She believes that GM should help cover that bill.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in New Jersey.

Goldstein, et al., v. General Motors LLC

Similar arguments were made by another class-action lawsuit in California. The plaintiffs in that case say GM included warranty codes in their service bulletins to assist technicians with repair procedures.

If they won’t issue a recall to permanently fix the problem, the lawsuit would like to see a reimbursement program for customers who have or will pay for repairs related to the CUE systems.

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Cadillac generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

  1. 1st Generation ATS

    Years
    2013–2019
    Reliability
    30th out of 35
    PainRank
    4.41
    Complaints
    52
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a ATS
  2. 3rd Generation CTS

    Years
    2014–2019
    Reliability
    23rd out of 35
    PainRank
    2
    Complaints
    30
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a CTS
  3. 1st Generation ELR

    Years
    2014–2017
    Reliability
    5th out of 35
    PainRank
    0.14
    Complaints
    1
    Continue
  4. 3rd Generation Escalade

    Years
    2007–2014
    Reliability
    18th out of 35
    PainRank
    1.5
    Complaints
    31
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Escalade
  5. 4th Generation Escalade

    Years
    2015–2020
    Reliability
    15th out of 35
    PainRank
    1.09
    Complaints
    12
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Escalade
  6. 2nd Generation SRX

    Years
    2010–2017
    Reliability
    35th out of 35
    PainRank
    14.81
    Complaints
    327
    Continue
  7. 1st Generation XTS

    Years
    2013–2019
    Reliability
    27th out of 35
    PainRank
    2.8
    Complaints
    42
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a XTS

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA