The reversing vehicles glitch occurs when a vehicle mistakenly spawns facing the wrong way on the road but still travels with the flow of traffic by reversing. Within seconds of spawning, the car will attempt a J-turn to correct its route and face the right direction. While this is the most directly observable result of the glitch, there is a range of other secondary symptoms that are hardly noticed.
- Traffic appears to jitter when driving. This is more apparent when vehicles are driving quickly, but is subtle nonetheless.
- Cars will disappear and jump a short distance, sometimes right over overpasses and other vehicles, often appearing backward.
- Certain vehicles are more affected than others, for example, police cars and motorcycles have never been observed jumping while Perennials and Taxis are observed jumping frequently.
- Cars that reappear occasionally merge with other vehicles and the front of the jumping vehicle is embedded in the rear of another.
- Traffic jams are more common when this glitch is active but may not be obvious without the analysis of other symptoms.
If it is present, the glitch is most easily observed on the Julius Thruway, on the shoulder of the freeway just southwest of the train bridge crossing the freeway in northeast Las Venturas. Some players report having seen it during the mission Toreno's Last Flight.
The glitch was initially believed to be a vehicle Al error, however, it has since been discovered by OrionSR and pdescobar of GTAForums, to be directly related to the game's Global Timer, with the glitch only appearing on saves with particularly high playtime.
The sample size of saves examined by both OrionSR and pdescobar has not been adequate to pinpoint an accurate amount of playtime required to cause the glitch. Two saves with approximately 150 hours on each were observed with the glitch firmly present, while another with over 200 hours exhibited the glitch severely. Another save with just 18 hours playtime was also thought to have been in the very early stages of the glitch.
It has been noted that the glitch is not instantaneously triggered and worsens over time.
The glitch can be successfully rectified by changing a save game file's Global Timer to a low value and making adjustments to other variables dependent on the timer.
The glitch has not been rectified by Rockstar with the release of the v1.01 and v2.00 game patches and is present in all current versions of non-Steam releases. It is unknown whether the glitch has been rectified with the v3.00 Steam version of the game.
Pdescobar had completed work on a beta version of a patch to rectify the glitch. However, it has since been removed and is no longer available. It is unknown whether OrionSR or pdescobar have produced any additional patches.
It is also notably more common on the PC versions.