I’ve been searching around for a while the last 24 hours trying to find more potential issues with the 2015/2016 GM 5.3L V8 driveshafts after mine failed catastrophically on my way to work... In the wet... Here’s what I’ve found so far.
First and foremost, it appears that this specific driveshaft appears in all 2015/2016 GMC Sierras, GMC Yukons, Chevy Silverados, and Chevy Tahoes. If I had to guess I’d say it also appears in Cadillac Escalades and Suburbans also have the same driveshafts, or similar. I haven’t gotten a chance to look into this however.
Second, I’m not the first one to suffer a failure of this driveshaft. The one in the video above is a bit more ridiculous looking, but in all reality would’ve occurred from a similar incident. Really the main contributor to this thing going full pretzel vs mine shearing off is the position of the failure. This one occurred a few inches further down the shaft, and thus slightly further from the cardboard insert, which would provide slightly more support.
Then there’s the truck I used in the lead image, obviously an older generation so it uses a different driveshaft, however it’s still worth mentioning due to the hilariously low mileage of the failure.
Getting into potential reasons for why mine failed so early on in the vehicles life, I’d have to assume there was some sort of imperfection in the shaft or that somehow it was damaged in some way. Other than that though, maybe it comes down to GM producing a driveshaft that likely is just too fine on its specifications to put up with the cyclic loading you get from a truck? That’s painful for me to accept though because my truck is about as light as you can get one, being a 2wd regular cab worktruck...
This isn’t the first time GM has gotten heat for driveshafts though, even Top Gear had issues with them in their rescue Hammond special.
Update: Filed a formal complaint with the NHTSA and sent an inquiry to GMC requesting some form of correspondence in regards to the failure. Both were very recent so no response from either yet, though the report is already live on the NHTSA website.