Recall Alert: 355 GM Sedans, Crossovers

2014BuickVerano

Vehicles Affected: About 355 Buick Regal, LaCrosse and Verano sedans and Enclave crossovers; Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze sedans and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Acadia crossovers — all 2014 models equipped with automatic transmissions.

The Problem: The transmission shift cable adjuster may disengage from the transmission shift lever, which could prevent the driver from shifting gear positions, and the indicated shift position may not represent the actual gear position. If disengagement occurs while the vehicle is in motion, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, the driver may be able to shift the lever to the "Park" position, but the vehicle transmission may not be in the correct gear position; if this occurs, the vehicle could roll away, increasing the risk of injury to occupants and bystanders.

The Fix: GM will notify owners starting late this month, and dealers will inspect and replace any affected transmission shift cable adjusters for free.

What Owners Should Do: Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020, Buick owners 800-521-7300 and GMC owners 800-462-8782, or owners can call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

Latest NHTSA Crash Tests Yield Mixed Results

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Of a dozen 2013 and 2014 models vying for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club in the latest round of testing, less than half made the cut. NHTSA's crash tests examine vehicles' safety performance in frontal and side collisions, as well as roof strength in rollover accidents.

Both the 2014 Buick Regal with eAssist and Verano front-wheel-drive sedans made the grade. The Regal received fours in both frontal and rollover ratings and a five in side-collision tests for an overall score of five. The Verano, also finishing with an overall score of five, received fives in both frontal and side collisions, and a four in rollover tests.

By Matt Schmitz | September 17, 2013 | Comments (6)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Buick Verano Turbo

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The addition of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine gives Buick's compact sedan some unexpected muscle. Overall, the new-for-2013 Verano turbo model adds some excitement to the lineup without compromising the car's refinement, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says. Watch out for the manual transmission, however. Mays says to skip the Verano's stubborn and clunky six-speed.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 11, 2013 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

2013-chevrolet-malibu
GM is recalling 8,519 model-year 2013 versions of the Chevrolet Malibu sedan due to suspension bolt problems, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles may have one or more suspension bolts that weren't adequately tightened. This could lead to a sudden change in handling, increasing the risk of a crash. According to a GM letter to NHTSA, "Initially, noise and a minor handling effect may be noticed. As the condition progresses, sudden changes in the vehicle handling could occur and the driver may not be able to control the vehicle."

GM has already started the owner notification process, and dealers will inspect the bolts and retighten as necessary for free. Owners can call GM at 800-630-2438 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.

In other GM recall news, NHTSA is expanding a previous 2012 Buick Verano, 2012 Chevrolet Cruze and 2012 Chevrolet Sonic airbag recall to include the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro. Click here for the original recall or call GM for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | January 31, 2013 | Comments (2)

NHTSA Adds Six Models to Five-Star Award List

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a crop of new crash-test scores for several all-new or recently redesigned vehicles.

Audi's A4 sedan earned five stars across the board, including in front, side and rollover crash tests. Other vehicles earning the safety agency's top overall score are the 2013 Dodge Dart sedan, the 2013 Ford Focus sedan and hatchback, the 2013 Buick Verano sedan, Acura's new 2013 ILX and ILX Hybrid sedan, and Hyundai's redesigned 2013 Santa Fe Sport SUV.

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By Matt Schmitz | November 21, 2012 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2012 Buick Verano and Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic

12BuickVerano018

GM is recalling 2,949 model-year 2012 Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic vehicles because the airbags could fail, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall involves the driver-side front airbag, which contains a shorting bar that could intermittently contact the airbag terminals, NHTSA reported. If the bar and terminals are contacting each other at the time of a crash, the airbag may not deploy. This increases the risk of injury.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the steering-wheel airbag coil for free. The automaker has not yet announced an owner notification schedule, but affected owners can contact GM at 800-521-7300 or NHTSA's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2012 | Comments (1)

GM Halts Sale of Some 2013 Vehicles to Fix OnStar Glitch

Onstar
A glitch in the OnStar system has caused GM to halt the sale of several 2013 vehicles, Automotive News reports.

A software problem is preventing OnStar's crash notification system from working in accidents that do not trigger airbag deployment. As a result, the OnStar call center isn't being alerted in certain types of accidents, like rear-end collisions.

The airbag system and the OnStar emergency button aren’t affected by the glitch. 

About 60,000 vehicles require a manual software update to fix the bug; most of them are on dealer lots. The nameplates affected include the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, Equinox and Volt; the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS; the 2013 Buick Verano; and the 2013 GMC Terrain. Some 2012 Cadillac SRXs also are affected. 

GM notified dealers of the glitch last week and asked them to stop delivery until the issue was fixed, according to Automotive News. A GM spokesman told the trade paper that the fix should be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.

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By Jennifer Geiger | September 10, 2012 | Comments (8)

Why Isn't the Buick Regal Selling Well?

Buick Regal

Over the past few years, we've seen a global convergence and streamlining of major vehicle lineups, which means more of the Eurocentric vehicles that automotive enthusiasts covet are coming here. But many of them aren't selling well.

For proof, just look at the relatively poor-selling BMW 1 Series, Smart ForTwo, Suzuki Kizashi or Scion iQ. (The latter two were designed with Europe in mind.) At the top of the list is the Buick Regal, which historically was one of Buick's best-selling models. In 2004 it was redesigned and renamed LaCrosse — now Buick's flagship sedan in the U.S. After a six-year hiatus in the U.S., the Regal returned to our shores, but as a different beast.

By Colin Bird | August 17, 2012 | Comments (60)

Buick's Different Sort of Collision Warning System

Buick_collision_alert

Buick added a host of safety features for 2013: a standard backup camera and optional cross-traffic and blindspot alerts to the Verano, a standard front-center airbag for the Enclave and optional forward collision and lane departure warnings for the new Encore. An interesting tidbit: Rather than repurposing the radar from adaptive cruise control mounted near or in the car's grille — often the way collision warning systems work — the Encore sees oncoming obstacles with a windshield-mounted camera that takes 10 to 12 images per second.

"It looks at the change in size of [the] object as you approach it," GM safety engineer Ray Kiefer told us last week. "It works much like the human eye."

The system doesn't engage automatic braking, which some do. But it could help avoid fender benders and lower repair costs for the ones that happen.

By Kelsey Mays | August 9, 2012 | Comments (1)

2013 Buick Verano Turbo Priced at $29,990

2013_verano_turbo

Buick’s hopped-up 2013 Verano Turbo sedan with a 250-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder will start at $29,990 when it goes on sale this fall; pricing includes an $885 destination fee. Buick’s smallest sedan with big power comes with a standard six-speed automatic transmission while the six-speed manual transmission is a no-cost option. 
 
Fuel-economy estimates of the automatic transmission have yet to be released — expect numbers closer to the production date — though we know the manual Verano Turbo is rated at an EPA-estimated 20/31 mpg city/highway. That’s only a 1 mpg sacrifice in city, highway and combined ratings compared to the non-turbo Verano for an additional 70 hp and claimed performance of zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

By Joe Bruzek | August 8, 2012 | Comments (11)

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