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It doesn’t seem to matter which model customers buy, many complaints regarding the powertrain still surface. Shifting and acceleration issues are prominent among this model year.
Just read what this one user wrote on Edmunds. “We just bought a 2017 La Crosse Premium which is loaded. We drove it 30 miles and the transmission was slipping, did not shut off when stopped, a “Check Transmission” light came on, and the service symbol came on and stayed on. I would push the gas pedal after the stop light changed, and the car hesitated. Obvious transmission issues. I pulled over and called the dealership. They told me to go home and bring it back in the morning. I told them I was afraid of being stranded.”
No one should have to deal with these issues out of a new car, but many people do. How disappointing it is to spend so much for a luxury automobile that ends up sitting in a shop. GM was aware of transmission issues and even released Service Bulletin #PIC6236C. This information addressed an SES light, “Service Transmission Now” or “Unable to Shift Soon” message. It’s also possible customers experienced times when they couldn’t shift the car out of park.
Many of the problems stemmed from a mismatch in sensors either on the Park Button Switch or the shifter. The company’s fix was to update the software to account for the discrepancy. Aside from offering customers a new shift knob, the automaker also spent time educating them about how to press the Park switch and told them to avoid resting their hand on the shifter. The moral of the story is, if you want your car to operate properly, you have to watch where you put your hands.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Buick LaCrosse Transmission Problems
TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2017 BUICK LACROSSE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE GEAR SHIFT LEVER WOULD MISSHIFT AND SWITCH INTO OTHER GEARS THAT WERE NOT SELECTED. SECONDLY, THE TRANSMISSION WOULD NOT GO INTO PARK OR REVERSE PROPERLY. TO REVERSE, THE CONTACT HAD TO MOVE THE LEVER BACK AND FORTH. TO PARK, THE CONTACT HAD TO SELECT PARK, SHIFT INTO ANOTHER GEAR, AND THEN SHIFT BACK INTO PARK. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO WEBSTER CITY AUTO WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT A NEW SHIFT ASSEMBLY NEEDED TO BE INSTALLED. THE VEHICLE WAS REPAIRED, BUT THE FAILURE RECURRED SOON AFTER. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE AND DID NOT ASSIST. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 20,200
LOUD CLUNK NOISE DURING ANY GEAR CHANGE. CAR DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MOVING. I EXPERIMENTED THIS PROBLEM WHILE SHIFTING FROM PARK TO DRIVE, DRIVE TO REVERSE, REVERSE TO PARK. THIS PROBLEM ALSO EXISTS SHIFTING UP AND DOWN GEARS. TOOK IT TO THE DEALER TO GET SERVICED. THEY FLUSHED THE TRANSMISSION, REPROGRAMMED THE TRANSMISSION CONTROL TO NO AVAIL. THE PROBLEM OCCURS WHEN THE ENGINE IS COLD AND HOT.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER THIS CONCERNS THE TAKATA INFLATORS OR NOT. WHILE ACCELERATING FROM A NORMAL TRAFFIC SPEED (APPROXIMATELY 20 TO 40MPH) , IT SEEMS LIKE THE TRANSMISSION SHIFTS UP AND DOWN RAPIDLY SEVERAL TIMES BETWEEN LOWER GEARS. IF THE ACCELERATION IS TERMINATED BY BY LIFTING YOUR FOOT FROM THE ACCELERATOR, THE SHIFTING GOES AWAY. AFTER THAT, A SOFT PRESSURE ON THE ACCELERATOR WILL ALLOW THE VEHICLE TO ACCELERATE WITHOUT FURTHER UNWANTED SHIFTING. THIS IS A REOCCURRING PROBLEM.
When the car is running right, drivers naturally want to turn their attention to the comfort features. It’s expected that any luxury car will provide optimal climate control and audio settings. If not, why would anyone spend the extra money over a budget-friendly option?
Unfortunately, many customers complain that the cabin isn’t laid out well. Along with that, there are electrical issues with how the equipment seems to work. One reviewer on Edmunds stated, “The touchscreen must be used for climate control and it’s arcane and opaque in terms of getting the air set just right. The audio system controls on the touchscreen were such that I just turned the volume to zero to avoid having to deal with it (why not just turn it off? you ask… well, when I tried that, it turned off the whole touch screen along with the climate control). Overall, the user interface with this car is what I would expect from sophomore level design students who did not have enough time to complete their semester project.”
Sadly, GM has a long list of Service Bulletins related to electrical issues. Some of them are for simple equipment complaints, while others are more serious and related to safety features. Service Bulletin #17-NA-186 is one that addresses a minor concern. It is targeted at an HVAC pop-up that is blank or when the personalization selections are missing. This issue is caused by a defective radio tuner module that requires replacement. They also have Bulletin #PIC6261 which discusses the overwhelming brightness of the backup camera, but it doesn’t offer any resolution.
Again, it goes back to paying for a luxury car. When a customer drops extra cash on a high-end vehicle, they expect all the systems to work well. This just isn’t what the Buick clientele was hoping for. If it was, they would have purchased the Chevy Impala instead and kept some spending money on hand.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Buick LaCrosse Electrical Problems
AT A FULL STOP, THE ENGINE AUTO STOP SHUTS THE ENTIRE VEHICLE DOWN. VEHICLE MUST BE RE-STARTED AND ALL FEATURES LIKE RADIO, CLOCK ETC. RETURN TO THE FACTORY SETTINGS AS IF THE BATTERY HAD BEEN DISCONNECTED. ONCE THIS HAPPENS, I’VE NOTICE THE ENGINE AUTO STOP DOES NOT WORK FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. THE VEHICLE IS A 2017 MODEL WITH ONLY 17,000 MILES. AT 9,000 MILES THE WATER PUMP HAD TO BE REPLACED.
ALL 4 WINDOWS IN THE VEHICLE GO DOWN WHEN THE DRIVER AND KEY FOB ARE NO WHERE NEAR THE CAR. ONLY 1 TIME HAS THIS HAPPENED WHILE THE DRIVER AND KEY FOB HAVE BEEN IN THE CAR AND THE DRIVER WAS NOT TOUCHING THE FOB. IN THIS CASE THE DRIVER PUT UP THE WINDOWS, OPENED THE DOOR, DURING WHICH THE WINDOWS WENT BACK DOWN. ALL OTHER INSTANCES THE WINDOWS WENT DOWN IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS WITH NO COMMONALITY (MY PARENT’S HOUSE WHILE WE WENT SHOPPING, THE GYM, WALMART.) THIS HAS OCCURRED I BELIEVE 6 TIMES OVER 3 MONTHS. THE VEHICLE WAS PURCHASED APRIL 2017 AND HAS UNDER 11,000 MILES. TWICE THIS HAS OCCURRED AND DURING OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A RAINSTORM. ONCE CAUSING EXTREMELY SOAKED SEATS AND I DON’T KNOW HOW THE INSIDE ELECTRONICS, SUCH AS RADIO AND GPS WERE NOT RUINED. THE FIRST TIME MY CAR WAS LOADED WITH OVER $500 IN TOYS AND THANKFULLY NONE STOLEN.
The last major complaint comes from the engine start-stop feature. It’s designed to save fuel for consumers, but many people feel it causes them to need a neck brace instead. This system creates massive amounts of jerkiness and isn’t smooth at all.
Just take a look at what this driver said on Edmunds. “This car has an engine auto stop program in it that shuts off the engine at every stop to save gas. The transmission jerks when it shuts off and starts up. It feels like someone just ran into the rear of the car when it starts up. This program will not let you come to a smooth stop before the engine stops. Then after the engine stops and it needs to start up again to operate the air conditioning, the car jumps ahead when the engine starts up again. Impossible to creep forward slowly. It is very annoying, aggravating and uncomfortable feeling. There is no way one can shut off this auto stop program. If I knew that this was going to happen, I would not have bought this car.”
Again, there is no shortage of Service Bulletins related to engine problems. #PIP5216F discusses possible bearing damage and deciding if it is best to replace the engine or repair it. Even though the company acknowledged a problem with the engine, they instructed technicians to deny warranty service if there was any sign of “abuse to the engine.”
Maybe Buick is right; you can “reward your senses” in their vehicle. This car provides plenty of noise, lots of shaking, trouble seeing your electrical equipment and allows you to walk home when you get stranded. It’s the complete package to elevate your sight, touch and hearing to new levels.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Buick LaCrosse Engine Problems
ON NOVEMBER 19, 2016, I PURCHASED THE 2017 BUICK LACROSSE PREMIUM AWD. ON THAT SAME DAY, WHILE I WAS DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY THE OVERHEATED ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON, BEEPING SOUND, OIL LIGHT CAME ON, SHORTLY VEHICLE INDICATED IMMEDIATELY TO STOP, WHICH I DID, STRANDED ON THE HIGHWAY IN EN ROUTE TO DEALERSHIP. I HAD JUST LEFT THE DEALERSHIP APPROXIMATELY FIVE MINUTES AGO AFTER I PURCHASED THE VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO DEALERSHIP. SIMULTANEOUSLY AT 4:48 P.M. EST, ONSTAR SENT NOTIFICATION VIA EMAIL STATING, “A CRITICAL ISSUE WITH THE ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION SYSTEM IN YOUR 2017 BUICK LACROSSE AWD HAS BEEN DETECTED…PLEASE SERVICE YOUR VEHICLE IMMEDIATELY.” ON NOVEMBER 20, 2016, I RESCINDED MY CONTRACT WITH DEALERSHIP CONNECTED TO THE ABOVE ISSUES. ON NOVEMBER 21, 2016, DEALERSHIP FULLY REFUNDED $47,848.19 AND CONTINUED ITS POSSESSION OF SAID VEHICLE SINCE NOVEMBER 19, 2016. ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2016, I ORDERED THE VEHICLE WITH THE DEALERSHIP WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS ON A NEW VEHICLE. THE DEALERSHIP DID NOT DISCLOSE TO ME ABOUT THE ABOVE PROBLEMS AND SAFETY ISSUES PRIOR TO MY PURCHASE. I FELT UNSAFE IN THE VEHICLE BECAUSE IT WAS MAKING LOUD NOISES UNDERNEATH THE CAR AS I DROVE IT, FOR EXAMPLE, I FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO BLOW UP IN THE VEHICLE. I ALSO FELT UNSAFE DRIVING AT LOW SPEED WITH THE EMERGENCY LIGHTS ON THE HIGHWAY. I FELT UNSAFE STRANDED ON THE HIGHWAY IN THE VEHICLE, WAITING FOR THE TOW TRUCK. *TR
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