Recall Alert: 2014 Buick LaCrosse

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 14,765 model-year 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedans

The Problem: General Motors is reporting that a wiring splice in the driver's door could corrode and break. This could send incorrect signals to the windows and sunroof, allowing them to function even after the vehicle is turned off. Also, a chime will not sound if the driver's door is opened when the key is in the ignition.The automaker said it is unaware of any thefts, crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect the driver's door and replace the splice if necessary; the repair will be done for free.

What Owners Should Do: The automaker has not yet provided an owner notification schedule; affected owners will receive a recall letter. GM says courtesy transportation will be provided if needed. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark, 2013 Buick Encore

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 61 model-year 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark cars and 2013 Buick Encore crossovers manufactured in Changwon, Korea, from Dec. 30, 2012 through May 8, 2013

The Problem: GM is reporting that the front passenger airbag end cap could separate from the airbag inflator, which could prevent the airbag from deploying in a crash. The automaker is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: General Motors has not yet provided an owner notification schedule but did say courtesy transportation would be provided as needed. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 or Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2012 Buick Verano and Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 31,520 model-year 2012 Buick Verano and Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic cars. This is an expansion of a previous recall.

The Problem: A defect inside the driver's side front airbag terminal could cause the airbag not to deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of injury. The air bag warning light will illuminate in affected vehicles.

GM said it's aware of one crash and subsequent injury related to this problem as well as other non-airbag deployment crashes, but the automaker cannot confirm if the latter crashes are related to this recall. 

The Fix: Dealers will replace the steering-wheel airbag coil for free.

What Owners Should Do: General Motors has not yet provided an owner notification schedule but did say courtesy transportation would be provided as needed. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 or Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2009-2014 GM Full-Size Crossovers

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1,339,355 model-year 2009-14 versions of the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia full-size crossovers; model-year 2009-2010 versions of the Saturn Outlook are also affected.

The Problem: The steel cable that connects the safety belt to the front seats could become fatigued over time and possibly separate. If this happens in a crash, the occupants won't be properly restrained, increasing the risk of injury. GM said there have been no fatalities associated with this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: GM has not yet released an owner notification schedule but has told dealers they cannot sell new or used versions of these crossovers until the repairs have been made. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, GMC at 800-462-8782 or Saturn at 800-553-6000 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

Amid Recalls, Don't Expect GM to Turn on the Deals

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Embroiled in an ignition-switch recall that affects 2.6 million cars worldwide and 2.2 million in the U.S., GM has been making headlines for nearly three months. Does the controversy mean lost sales and better deals for car shoppers as the automaker tries to make up lost ground?

More on GM Ignition Recall

Not so much. On May 1, GM announced that April sales were up 6.9 percent, outpacing most analysts' expectations. Even Chevrolet, the brand whose Cobalt compact and HHR hatchback topped the recalls, gained 5.3 percent.

Still, by day's end it was clear the General would lose some market share; after all, industry sales gained 8.1 percent overall. And when May incentives rolled out the next day, GM had raised cash offers on a number of cars. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, Camaro and Traverse saw upticks in cash-back and cash-with-financing deals versus month-ago and year-ago levels (on 2013 models at the time). GMC, Buick and Cadillac saw fewer incentive increases, but the 2014 Buick LaCrosse and Encore did see more cash on the hood versus year-ago 2013 levels. In fact, year-over-year purchase incentives across GM's lineup appreciably decreased on just two models.

By Kelsey Mays | May 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse

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Vehicles Affected: About 8,208 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans manufactured between Jan. 29 and March 31, 2014, the majority of which GM says remain in dealer stock. It estimates that about 1,694 are owned by customers.

The Problem: According to a letter sent Wednesday by GM to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear brake rotors may have been assembled into the front brake assembly. GM said the mix-up could significantly shorten front brake pad life and reduce brake system performance, increasing the risk of a crash. Brake performance is unaffected when the vehicle is new, but over time, higher heat generated by the thinner rotors will cause premature wearing, and the outer brake pad could disengage from the caliper bracket, causing the system to lose hydraulic integrity. This would cause the brake warning light to illuminate and additional brake application could result in a loss of braking power. GM said it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Owners will be notified via letter, and dealers will inspect the vehicles and, if necessary, replace the front rotors and front brake pads for free. Customers who have taken delivery of a potentially affected vehicle may request a courtesy vehicle until the inspection and repair are completed.

What Owners Should Do: Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020 and Buick owners can call 800-521-7300 for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 8, 2014 | Comments (7)

2014 Buick Encore Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays describes the Buick Encore's exterior styling as traditional Buick in front, forgettable beyond that. What will stick in people's minds, however, are a commanding seating position and premium interior touches — even the fake wood looks convincing. Watch the video for more.

More Buick Encore News on Cars.com

By Matt Schmitz | May 6, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2014 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia

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Vehicles Affected: About 51,640 model-year 2014 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia crossovers manufactured between March 26, 2013, and Aug. 15, 2013.

The Problem: The engine control module software may cause the fuel gauge to read inaccurately, which could result in the vehicle unexpectedly running out of fuel and stalling, increasing the risk of a crash. In March, GM recalled 1.3 million of these same three vehicles, in addition to the Saturn Outlook, all from the 2008-2013 model years, due to a problem with the side- and front-center airbags and seat belt pretensioners that could cause those devices not to a deploy.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the engine control module to correct the fuel gauge reading for free. The automaker has not provided a notification schedule.

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

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By Matt Schmitz | May 5, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Buick Encore: Car Seat Check

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Space is at a premium in the 2014 Buick Encore, a compact crossover, but surprisingly, its smaller dimensions didn't negatively affect child-safety-seat installation. While we did have to move the front passenger seat forward to fit our rear-facing car seats behind it, our tester still had enough legroom to sit comfortably. That's in part due to the Encore's dash design, which is upright rather than jutting out into the cabin.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Which Luxury Cars Don't Recommend or Require Premium Gas?

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Want a luxury car without having to pay for premium gas? We can't blame you. As of March 21, a gallon of premium averaged $3.87 nationwide, according to AAA. That's 35 cents more than a gallon of the cheap stuff. Drive 15,000 miles a year at 25 mpg, and the premium, er, premium adds up to $210.

Premium Gas: Do I Have to Use It?

Luxury brands often charge extra — sometimes absurd amounts — for premium extravagances, and gas is no exception. Most luxury-car owners are accustomed to paying extra for premium fuel, which higher-compression engines often prefer. Still, most engines today can adapt ignition timing to account for less-than-premium gasoline at a slight cost to performance. That's why makers of many luxury cars that take premium gas merely recommend it for full power. Unless yours requires it — something that relatively few stipulate, even in the luxury crowd — you won't damage the engine by filling up with 87-octane.

But what if you want a luxury car that makes all its advertised power without any premium preference? We talked to company representatives, combed through specs and downloaded more owners manuals than we can count. And yes, we found a handful of luxury cars that actually recommend the cheap stuff.

Here they are:

By Kelsey Mays | March 31, 2014 | Comments (3)

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