Pardon me, it’s not a piece of tape but a Headlamp Applique Kit.

Earlier this year GMC issued a recall for over 740,000+ of its GMC Terrains for model year 2010-2017 for a glare issue as a result of a headlight design defect that ultimately leads to the headlight no longer conforming to Federal and Canadian headlight standards.

According to their official recall procedure,

“…a reflection caused by the headlamps’ housing can project a narrow beam of light 80 degrees outboard and 45 degrees upward of each lamp’s forward-center axis.”

That reflection causes a glare which, viewed by oncoming cars travelling in the other direction or possibly viewed through a rear view mirror, can be distracting enough to cause a distraction and, subsequently, a crash resulting in injury or death.

When GMC announced their recall they also said the solution was some sort of applique that would be applied by the dealership.

Now, according to a GMC Terrain Owners & Fans Facebook group member who went through the recall process, they learned that applique is just another fancy word for piece of tape because that’s what the recall ended up being.

Check out what GMC’s solution looks like below.

That hazy bit is the tape.

To be fair, the repair procedure isn’t just the applique, you have to clean the headlight with alcohol and, using a provided template, a tech will apply the piece of tape exactly where it needs to go, thus bringing the headlights into compliance.

GMC says the repair takes .2 hours of labor time or 12 minutes so realistically, if you bring in your Terrain for the recall, you should be in and out in under half an hour, tops.

Another forum member mentioned that, when he renewed his insurance on his Terrain, the local DMV was aware of the headlight recall, noting the open recall on his car’s registration information so presumably your local DMV/BMV is tracking recall repair compliance.

If you decide not to bring in your Terrain for this, what some Terrain members are calling a silly recall, you probably won’t run into any immediate consequences.

If you unfortunately are involved in an accident, it was determined your Terrain’s low-beams were a major contributing factor in the crash, you were informed of the recall and they’ve determined you willingly didn’t get the recall repair done in an acceptable amount of time, it probably won’t work in your favor when damage compensation is doled out.

It’s worth noting I couldn’t find any reports of deaths or crashes as a result of a Terrain’s headlights and these Terrains have been for sale since 2009.

Then again, that’s what recalls are, getting ahead of a potential problem before it becomes an issue, however few.

But ya, this recall is really nothing more but a fancy piece of tape so the longer you wait to get it done, the more it just becomes that pebble in your shoe.

I suggest scheduling the repair ASAP, skipping your morning Folgers on the day of, instead treating yourself to a Starbies while you wait (or afterwards.)

Make a morning out of it.


  1. Leave this out of your articles. “if you bring in your Terrain for the recall, you should be in and out in under half an hour, tops.”

    Your setting us all up for failure. How do you know how long someone is going to be at the dealer? How do you know how long the process takes? By the time tech makes a video, does an MPI, checks/sets tire pressure and the rest of the process could be closer to an hr.


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