The Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon are also affected.
Automakers continue to make hard choices as the semiconductor chip shortage crisis continues to rage on. Without these crucial chips, new vehicles cannot be sent to dealerships for consumer sales. And when sales ar down, automakers and dealers lose money. To combat that, carmakers are working hard to find creative solutions, such as shipping out new vehicles that lack some normally chip-required features.
The Cadillac Escalade and its corporate cousins, the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are the latest victims. GM Authority claims these full-size and large SUVs are no longer being manufactured with the Electronic Steering Column Lock feature.
Vehicles without it began rolling off the assembly line from July 5. For those who don't know, this feature essentially prevents the steering, when not in a straight position, from rolling off a hill. Instead, it forces the vehicle into a curve so that it'll hit the pavement.
By excluding the feature, GM is able to maintain production for all of these SUVs which remain in high demand. There could still be some unsold examples on dealership lots with this feature, so it's now first-come, first-served. SUVs lacking the system will have a unique RPO code (R7N). GM is also giving affected examples a $50 MSRP credit.
Unfortunately, GM hasn't indicated how long the SUVs will be built without the electronic power steering lock, but chances are it'll be for the rest of the current model year. We wouldn't be surprised if some 2022 models continue to be affected. This isn't the first time GM has decided to build some of its most popular models without some features during this crisis.
If you recall, the automatic start/stop system was deleted from these same SUVs and trucks in some configurations earlier this year. Other GM vehicles haven't been as lucky. The Camaro, Malibu, and Cadillac CT4 and CT5 have all seen their assembly lines idled for various lengths of time over the past several months.