GM pauses 3.0-liter turbodiesel production due to a supplier shortage

General Motors confirmed it has temporarily stopped taking orders for trucks and SUVs equipped with the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel six-cylinder engine. It blamed the last-minute pause on a supplier-related shortage.

Website TFL Truck first reported the news, and a representative from General Motors quickly confirmed it. The spokesperson explained the issue is due to a “temporary part shortage” and added that production will resume “as soon as possible,” meaning the Duramax engine (which is called LM2 internally) is not going away permanently. Additional details are not available, so we don’t know if the issue is related to the ongoing chip shortage.

Rather than delay deliveries and create a backlog, General Motors is reportedly asking its dealers to encourage buyers who want a turbodiesel engine to instead select either the 5.3-liter V8 or the 6.2-liter V8, depending on the model selected. Both are gasoline-powered units. There’s no word yet on when Duramax production will resume.

The shortage affects several models, including Chevrolet’s Tahoe, Suburban, and Silverado 1500 and GMC’s variants of these trucks. Cadillac’s Escalade is temporarily diesel-less as well. Heavy Duty variants of the Silverado and the Sierra are not affected because they’re powered by a different Duramax engine with eight cylinders.

Motorists seeking a full-size SUV powered by an efficient turbodiesel engine are temporarily out of options because the Tahoe/Yukon and the Suburban/Yukon XL had the segment to themselves. The Duramax was surprisingly popular, too: in May 2021, GM Authority reported that the turbodiesel straight-six represented 8% of Suburban sales and 6% of Tahoe sales. Installed in a rear-wheel-drive Tahoe, the engine returns 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg in a combined cycle, figures that make the body-on-frame behemoth more efficient than the unibody, front-wheel-drive Chevrolet Blazer that’s 20 inches shorter and approximately 1,700 pounds lighter.

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