Buick Doesn't Tell Dealerships About Fire Hazard

There are efficient ways to initiate a recall and issue safety notices, and then there’s the Buick way. After determining a potential fire hazard in the certain Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regals, Buick sent out safety notices in advance of a probable recall to its customers. It alerted them of the hazard, and recommend they have a mechanic investigate any suspicious burning smells. What they neglected, however, was to inform their dealerships of the hazard. Reader Tculkin, who had already complained of burning smells to another mechanic, followed the advice in his safety notice and immediately called his local dealership. The dealership had no idea what he was talking about. Literally, they didn’t get the memo. Details, inside…

I received a “safety notice” from Buick on/about 3/21/08. It advised that my 1999 Buick Regal GS might CATCH ON FIRE under selected, though infrequent, circumstances. They cautioned not to park the car in a garage or carport, and to call my Buick dealer if I smelled a burning odor. (I had already asked a local repair shop, before receiving the safety notice, to check for the source of the burning odor.)

So I called two local Buick dealers on 3/25: Neither one had any idea what I was talking about. One said, “You know more about this than we do.” Both advised waiting a week or two for the dealers to “catch up” with the news.

So then I called Buick Customer Service. The representative told me to wait a week or two for Buick to advise all their dealers about the problem.

What the heck? I’m supposed to wait while my Buick may start burning? It seems to me that Buick should alert their dealers FIRST (or at least contemporaneously).


If Buick can send the customer a letter, maybe they should at least cc: that letter to their dealerships. Just a thought. If you have a 1997-2003 model year Pontiac Grand Prix GTP and Buick Regal GS, or work at a Buick dealership, you might want to check out GrandPrixForums.net. Those gear heads have a few details on what the problem is and how to fix it.

(Photo: Getty)

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