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Some 2021 Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs are buggy -- literally

Mayflies are causing a problem for GM and its dealers eagerly awaiting the redesigned SUVs.

2021 Chevy Tahoe
Bugs love the new Tahoe, apparently.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Typically when we say a particular vehicle is buggy, we mean it has some quirks to iron out. In the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon's case, they're legitimately buggy. As in, full of bugs. Specifically, mayflies.

According to an Automotive News report Monday, the insects are causing frustrating delivery delays for dealerships doing their best to practice patience for the revamped SUVs. Amid supply constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic, many dealers are itching for more trucks and SUVs to sell. The Tahoe and Yukon are two of General Motors' cash cows. 

AN cited a technical service bulletin alerting Chevy and GMC dealers of a process to remove a residue from the hoods, chrome trim and windshields of delivered Tahoe and Yukon vehicles. The residue was so bad on a particular Tahoe that the hood needed repainting, according to the report.

According to the report, the SUVs were stored near a lake -- where mayflies typically live -- which GM believes caused the residue problem on a couple thousand SUVs. An entomologist told the publication the residue is somewhat bizarre, however, since the bugs wouldn't be eating anything to create, well, the poo that would stain the vehicles so badly. It's not as if these vehicles are slamming into mayflies during transport to create splatters; the residue reportedly occurred while the SUVs simply sat near the lake.

A General Motors spokesperson provided more details and told Roadshow the mayfly problem is unique to the Arlington, Texas area where the automaker builds the vehicles and stored these particular SUVs. The mayflies land on the SUVs and then stick to wherever they decided to park themselves, which causes the greasy residue problem. Higher temperatures this year led to an increased mayfly population, according to the spokesperson.

They added about 2,600 of the SUVs were subject to the problem and all are undergoing intense cleaning and buffing before shipping to dealers. Fewer than 100 Tahoes and Yukons combined arrived at dealers with the problem. The aggressive cleaning process should finish by mid-September.

According to the service bulletin AN viewed, GM said the SUVs should receive an application of bug remover and a brushless wash before a polish and a paint inspection.

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First published Aug. 31, 9:14 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:40 p.m.: Adds information from General Motors.