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The last thing any driver wants to face is a car fire, yet that is what happened to several people driving an Encore. If it had been a rogue instance, it could have been an isolated malfunction, but that’s simply not the case.
One of the reports on the NHTSA states, “My 2017 Encore burst into flames. I arrived to work after lunch. I parked and turned off the ignition and I see smoke coming from under the hood of my car. I paused just a moment to see if it was going to stop but it got worse very fast. I grabbed my purse and jumped out of the car as the front end closest to the windshield was becoming engulfed in flames. I immediately called 911 but by the time the fire department arrived, it was too late to save the car.”
Sadly, GM hasn’t acknowledged any issues that would cause the engine to start on fire. The closest the company has come is to issue an inquiry into oil leak or oil burning smell issues. This particular request asks technicians to inspect the camshaft cover or camshaft cover seal and send in pictures related to any leaks. When automakers don’t want to fix something under warranty, or admit there’s a problem, they generally just ignore it. That’s exactly what we see happening in these car fire cases.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Buick Encore Engine Problems
THE 2017 BUICK ENCORE WOULD BLOW OUT A LARGE AMOUNT OF WHITE SMOKE AND DIE IN COLDER WEATHER ANYTIME YOU STEP OFF THE GAS PEDAL. IT DID RE-START, HOWEVER WOULD DIE SEVERAL TIME IMMEDIATELY UNTIL IT STOP SMOKING. ONCE IT HESITATED AT HIGHWAY SPEED WHEN I LET OFF THE GAS DUE TO TRAFFIC AND ALMOST DIED. THE DEALERSHIP STATED THAT THE CAR COMPUTER SHOWED NO PROBLEMS AND NOTHING COULD BE DONE. THEY ADMITTED IT SHOULD HAVE RECORDED THE PROBLEM I HAD, BUT DID NOT. BUT THE COMPUTER WAS STILL TRUSTWORTHY TO ADVISE IF THE CAR HAD A PROBLEM
THIS VEHICLE HAD LESS THAN 8,000 MILES ON IT AND HAD ONLY BEEN SERVICED ONE TIME BY THE DEALER (OIL CHANGE IN MAY 2018) THE ENGINE CAUGHT ON FIRE AND CONSUMED THE ENTIRE FRONT END OF THE VEHICLE. THE DRIVER WAS IN THE DRIVE THROUGH LANE OF A KFC RESTAURANT WHEN THE CAR CAUGHT ON FIRE. 03 MY 89 YEAR OLD MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS DRAGGED FROM THE CAR TO SAFETY BY 2 BYSTANDERS BUT COULD HAVE VERY EASILY BEEN KILLED. HAVE THERE BEEN ENGINE FIRE ISSUES WITH THIS VEHICLE? A CAR WITH LOW MILES THAT WAS SERVICED BY THE DEALER SHOULD NOT SPONTANEOUSLY ERUPT INTO A FIREBALL.
When the SUV isn’t catching on fire, it might be attempting to roll away. Numerous drivers have issued complaints regarding the brakes and how ineffective they tend to be.
One person stated on the NHTSA website, “I have an automatic transmission. When I am stopped at a traffic light on an incline, the car will sometimes roll backwards with my foot on the brake or when changing my foot to the gas pedal to move forward once the light changes. The more the incline; the worse the problem.”
While this isn’t the first person to state their troubles with the braking system, the automaker is also staying quiet on this one. The only major brake defect they discuss is through Service Bulletin #16-NA-323. In this company communication, GM talks about noise heard when applying the brake while backing up. The fix involves replacing the rear disc brake pads and refinishing the rotors. It’s good to know that they plan to install new brakes on the vehicles, but that won’t help drivers who can’t prevent it from rolling down hills backward.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Buick Encore Brake Problems
TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2017 BUICK ENCORE. WHILE DRIVING APPROXIMATELY 20 MPH, THE VEHICLE BRAKED ON ITS OWN AND THE STABILITY TRACK WARNING INDICATOR ILLUMINATED. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO THE DEALER (GAINESVILLE BUICK GMC, 2101 NORTH MAIN STREET, GAINESVILLE, FL, 352-372-2583) WHERE A ROAD TEST WAS PERFORMED. THE TECHNICIAN WAS UNABLE TO DUPLICATE THE FAILURE. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE AND ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THERE WAS AN ISSUE THAT NEEDED TO BE INVESTIGATED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 1,200.
REAR BRAKES GROAN FOR FIRST FEW APPLICATIONS IN WET AND DAMP WEATHER. DEALER APPLIED A GM TSB BUT PROBLEM STILL REMAINS. GM SAYS NOTHING MORE CAN BE DONE.
As you drive around town in your SUV, you want to be sure that you have every safety feature available. After all, it only takes a split second for your world to change if you aren’t adequately protected. That’s why seat belts are an essential piece of equipment that automakers must ensure is working properly. When you have defective seat belts combined with brakes that don’t work, you have even more of a disaster waiting to happen.
That’s exactly what one reviewer wrote on the NHTSA website. Here’s what happened to them. “I had just leased this car, drove less than 2 miles from home when my brakes failed. I applied brakes to stop, but the car would not stop, it slowed to 14 mph – kept moving until I slammed into truck approx. 3-400’ ahead of me, had plenty of room to stop. Pretensioner failed – driver seatbelt collapsed around me while locked in place the second I slammed on brake. Driver seatbelt was on passenger side – vice versa – GM rep saw the seatbelts at my home – I showed them to him. He told me which belt belongs on which side and I told him they were on the opposite sides. He picked each up and showed me the ‘R’L’ on the end of the belt and the ‘R’ was the collapsed belt. The GM rep said the ‘intact’ belt would have bruised the person, it did, my passenger. This can be verified by my passenger. Airbag sensor dispensed gas during same accident – airbag did not deploy. The car had over $10k damage, fixed – GM rep checked car because I continually saying the brakes and seatbelt failed to anyone at West Point that would listen. After checking car he stated nothing was wrong.”
GM wasted no time issuing a recall on numerous models because of this. They claimed that certain driving conditions caused the airbag sensor and diagnostic module software to activate a test. During the test, the front airbag deployment and seat belt pretensioners don’t work. At first, there were 3,640,162 vehicles recalled, but then another 40,683 were added to the recall.
Of all the things that could go wrong with a vehicle, having an engine start on fire and airbags that don’t work top the list. It’s a shame that this vehicle had to deal with both.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Buick Encore Seat Belt Problems
I HAD JUST LEASED THIS CAR, DROVE LESS THAN 2 MILES FROM HOME WHEN MY BRAKES FAILED. I APPLIED BRAKES TO STOP, BUT THE CAR WOULD NOT STOP, IT SLOWED TO 14 MPH – KEPT MOVING UNTIL I SLAMMED INTO TRUCK APPROX 3-400′ AHEAD OF ME, HAD PLENTY OF ROOM TO STOP. PRETENSIONER FAILED – DRIVER SEATBELT COLLAPSED AROUND ME WHILE LOCKED IN PLACE THE SECOND I SLAMMED ON BRAKE. DRIVER SEATBELT WAS ON PASSENGER SIDE – VISA-VERSA – GM REP SAW THE SEATBELTS AT MY HOME
REAR SEATBELT WOULD NOT RETRACT. ALL INSTRUMENTS STOPPED WORKING MOMENTARILY WHILE DRIVING.
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