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Top 20 "Lemon" Cars

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,055
edited March 2014 in Buick
The following posts have been moved from Buick Lucerne to this new discussion.

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  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    Don't know if these are accurate, but here's a web site purporting to provide the numbers.

    What I find most interesting is that it includes 3 Hondas and only 2 GM cars that I saw, one Buick.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I would assume that GM is recommending more frequent coolant changes, and is using the new modified intake manifold gaskets, so I think that solves an issues with the 3.8 V6. Can't think of anything else major on the old LeSabre, which is the one on list of lemons. First I ever heard of Buicks on any lemon list. While the old 3.8 is a little low on HP, possibly enough torque to get the job done just fine, and OK with the gas bills, the one thing I would not classify it as is anything close to a lemon. Overall, my guess is that the new Lucerne falls below the LaCrosse in the numbers game for problems per 100 due to it being a new car and possibly a few more gadgets. In the end, I bet it ends up around an average for this year and next, then above average in the third year, unless discontinued.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,798
    The site is an advertisement but has anyone read the guy's book they say the opinion from the data is printed in? There are a couple of model years of other cars that would be included for sludge or trans problems. The LeSabre listing is a broad brush that would cover many years. The intake UIM is the only thread I see but that only starts with 1996? or 1997 and goes to 1999. The newer models after 2000 don't have the high rate of failures due to change in gasket and change in EGR pipe design that occurred.

    Maintenance? Change Dexcool every two years like any good owner should on antifreeze and watch the coolant tank. Any unexplained drop without seeing a drip from somewhere should take you in for a check and early repair. The repair is new Lower gasket, new gasket for upper, and nonGM new upper plastic part. The gaskets were both redesigned for replacements for 1997-1999 by GM.

    I'm not sure the problem is lemon level unless you're an attorney. Lemon is transmissions that never last even when the company replaces them and extends the warranty; you know you're eventually going to get an early failure.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,798
    I followed the links for the "group."

    Consumer's union founded the group that pushes Jack Gillis' book?
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well, when you tell the customer they can change the coolant at 150K, and then add in a faulty part, I would say they, as in GM, are responsible.

    Lemon transmissions? Well my Olds. back in 1987 had one and by neighbors '85 or '86 year Olds. had a bad one too. That said, I improving the transmission and adding in a defect in the intake manifold is not much of an improvement in making me feel any better.

    Are the Buicks a lemon? No they are not, unless GM fails to back their products. In that case it is at least a bit sourer. Things happen - sometimes bad. It is how the company handles the problems, like in this case, which I would watch. While the car may not be a lemon, the response from the company that built the car may. Perhaps most all of the car manufactures treat people the same - once you bought the car, you are on your own other than warranty specific items they can not back out of replacing. Faulty parts are just a case yes we know it is bad, now you go prove it, or sue me, then we will drag our heels until people are ready to blow their top.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Just replying to the original posts and follow-ups on a lemon issue, which actually is something to consider if considering a buy of a GM or Lucerne. It is not good to see LeSabre on the list. It is not good that GM caused a problem by telling people to go longer on coolant changes, and had a faulty part. Does this mean the current 3.8 V6 is faulty. NO, not at all. They did modify it. Just trying to be fair about this. Problems happen on a lot of cars. Lucerne may be just fine, though the JD Powers initial quality is not as good as the LaCrosse. What I would be somewhat concerned about is having a problem out of warranty only to have a company say, so sorry, you are just out of luck. Yeah, we know we screwed up, but the car lasted four years, what more can you hope for. Maybe this is just another reason to buy used. The problems are going to be happening outside of the warranty window anyway. Once again, the current 3.8V6 may be just fine. What about other quirks? Are they going to back built in trouble areas due to defects in design? Ask them.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Thanks Loren for your incessant quest to convince folks to not buy GM.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,798
    >incessant quest to convince folks to not buy GM.

    Is it that transparent!??? grin.

    The Lucerne is still selling lots of Buicks in these parts. I see 3 and 4 portholes. Even the portholes are being mimicked on other new cars and used cars around here. Ever see an Impala with portholes?
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Look just replying to the original post. I don't make the cars. I am not responsible for backing the cars if they have issues. I could care less if people decide to buy or not buy any car by make. Just stating the facts. Did I ever once say not to buy any GM product? Asking GM to extend warranty length, or recognize a problems is not bashing any product at all. Actually, I was trying to say that the new cars will likely not have the same problems as the ones in that made it to the lemon page. I did not post the lemon page.
  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    20 cars on the list and you're harping on the Buick. What about the 3 Hondas?
  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    Lemon Law cars have nothing to do with the warranty. It deals with problems that affect safety and value, and have not been able to be repaired in a reasonable time. In fact, it only kicks in, at least in the states I've seen, in the first year or 12,000 miles, and the warranty periods run longer than that.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Let me try this again, real slowly. Someone posted a site. I commented on a possible reason that they, the person collecting the data, which I am not sure I would classify as lemon in anyway, could in some way have zeroed in on the Buick. Since this is a Buick site, I picked this car. It is the issue with the intake manifold which stood out as the most possible gripe people would have. That is all I was saying. It is a known issue. The NEW Buicks have DO NOT have this problem.

    Hondas have nothing to do with this forum.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Yes - exactly. You are right about warranty having nothing to do with Lemon Law. The site, I DID NOT post, but was commenting on, I think is a list of cars where people were complaining about a problem which the company was not backing. Don't know if those on the list are true lemon cars, are not. Could be those which could not be fixed, and like you said, warranty would not help in that case.

    IMHO, if something is a design flaw, or a customer was given wrong information leading to a failure in a car, that manufacturer should replace the faulty part beyond the warranty period. Others may disagree. A long warranty of course would help in that there is no debating if the problem is simple age, or wearing, as compared to a known design flaw. A warranty for the drivetrain of say seven to ten years would help in this case.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,812
    in checking out that lemon list, I'm surprised that with all the supposed transmission problems that more Chrysler products aren't on it!

    Also, you have to take these things with a grain of salt; all they are is a record of complaints...valid or not. For instance, I'm guessing that one reason the Excursion is so high on the list is because it gets crappy fuel economy? This kinda reeks of JD Powers and the Hummer H2 getting poor marks becuase they listed poor fuel economy as a problem, and it would get weighted the same as something with a bad transmission or engine.

    I am surprised to see the Buick LeSabre on that list, though. My understanding was that the Chevy 3.1/3.4 V-6 was more prone to those plastic intake problems than the Buick 3.8, so I'd actually expect to see something like a Century, Impala, Lumina, Grand Prix, Grand Am, Malibu, etc on that list before something like a LeSabre!

    Also, didn't they quit making Passports and Cougars years ago? I'm surprised that they'd still be rated so high.

    And how did this discussion first turn up in a Lucerne board, of all places! :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 36,458
    Where are all the MB on the list? Especially earlier ML/W220 S class/W210 E class/W203 C class. I'm surprised, given the bad rep these cars have acquired.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,055
    And how did this discussion first turn up in a Lucerne board, of all places!

    That bumfuzzled me too! So I dumped..uh..passed it off to pf_flyer. :blush:

    Edmunds Community Manager Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Whew, barely got out of the Buick forum with my life! They get irritated and defensive quickly. Someone had posted a site on so called Lemon cars. So I simply replied. Was just trying to see how a Buick got on the list and suggested that the gasket problems ( yes can occur with those used in Buick LeSabre ) may be the key. I assume there were many complaints as this does cost them money, and the mechanic may be explaining to the customer why the failure occurred. Pointed out that this is not a current issue with the car. In other words that Lemon post did not apply to the current models. Still feel GM should do the repairs. Well this set off rants about me attacking GM. I guess the loyal fan on GM likes all the product, even when it fails, then blames the consumer if they complain about the cars, or having to pay for those repairs. Heaven forbid if someone sees both sides of any story on a Buick site.

    Evidently no talk of repair bills, and no talk about warranties are a good thing with them, so it is best to avoid that forum.

    The original post of the Lemon list, I would think would have appeared on the LeSabre site, if that was the focus of this persons post. They do use the same engine though. I suppose that means something.

    With the modifications, the 3.8 V6 is most likely to be a pretty bullet proof engine. Lucerne should move along the highways and bi-ways just fine. And I am sure there will be plenty of happy customers of that model of car.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 18,838
    I'm not sure I can swallow it. The Odyssey??? I find that so hard to believe.

    Passport? Well, since it was just a rebadged Isuzu, that's easier to accept.

    Its just that, being on the internet alot, you hear a great many lemon stories. Yet, I can't recall a single one about an Odyssey. Maybe I just wasn't looking for it, I dunno. And here I've seen quite a few reports of people getting their 350z lemoned, but no nissan whatsoever on the list?

    And, according to Terry, who is probably one of the most experienced car professionals on Edmunds, Hyundai and Kias are the number one buybacks he sees at auctions.

    Ah, ya know, I just realized my mistake. Its a Lemon Law site, but they aren't saying "these are the top 20 lemon law'ed cars," they are merely saying "these receive complaints," which, of course, is COMPLETELY different.

    '14 CTS Vsport; '98 Volvo S70 base; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 41-car history and counting!

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,241
    That site looks oddly familiar to a list that was posted something like a year and a half ago. As I recall it was dismissed as nothing more than a promotion for the law firm that handles lemon law cases...

    Excursion? Cougar? Pisspoor? Rodeo? C'mon you can't even buy these things new and haven't been able to for years! I'll take this with a grain of salt Thank you. :sick:
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well I think the Odyssey did have some problems. Automatic transmissions have an extended warranty. I agree the list that was posted is likely a list of cars getting complaints. Like the Odyssey, there is likely to be a fix to get the car up and running again.

    I tried to find, on the Internet, a list of lemon cars. Seems like there is not a list of cars or manufacturers for this issue. So the cars are being bought back, and re-sold? And no one really knows which cars are bought back the most. Hummm?
    I understand if you go to arbitration to get an issue with your car resolved it comes out in favor of the car manufacturer something like 75% of the time - is that true.
    Are you better off getting a lawyer then?

    What is wrong with the 350Z, other than the tire eating situation, which I was told may have been fixed by using the proper revised alignment settings. Was it not fixed? What problems are they having?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 18,838
    the tire thing was the majority of complaints and the main reason in the majority of posts I've read claiming Nissan bought the Z back from the owner. i don't mean to pick on the Z or anything, that just happens to be one I've read alot on and recall seeing an abnormal amount of "lemon law" claims by supposed owners.

    I think cars that are bought back can be hidden (?). What I mean is, since many lemon law cases seem to be settled in arbitration, they only ones who know are the manufacturer and that particular owner (and the lawyers), so unless the manufacturer openly states "we bought XX number of cars back this year," there really is no way to know. That's just a theory of mine, anyway. I have no idea if it holds any water.

    '14 CTS Vsport; '98 Volvo S70 base; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 41-car history and counting!

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Would you call a car which you can not fill with gas a lemon?
    Ya know, there are some cases where people are pretty much stuck. No recall, and no fix that has worked for their car. And they wonder why people jumped ship to some foreign make of car. Go figure.

    If the car is inoperable, then what could you do short of lawyers and arbitration ( does it work? ). I guess you turn around and sell for a loss on a trade-in for another car at the dealership or another dealership of the same make. I have not been in that bad a situation. Won't a lawyer cost you more money? And the arbitration board is stacked in favor of the companies -- or was that rumor? Anyone out there know if there is a chance for the consumer if they do take a complaint to arbitration, or do you need a lawyer? Or just bite the bullet and trade-in at another dealership which sells the same junk?
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...what's a 'foreign make' at this point? Hondas made in Ohio, Nissans in Tennessee, Toyotas...can't remember where, but stateside, anyway? Never mind, let's not go there for the millionth time.

    Some of this list is predictable, while others (Number One is Mazda MPV? How many of these things did they even sell anyway, and are all the owners chronic complainers? Honda Odyssey, the holy grail of minivans?) are strange. Interesting that six of twenty are Ford products, not coutning the Range Rover, but not a Jaguar, Volvo, BMW or Mercedes-Benz in the bunch?

    The list, for the most part, doesn't jibe with ANY data from any other source that I've seen, YMMV.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Just avoid the 2000-2003 Odyssey, due to transmission problems. ConsumeGuide is pretty good at tracking problems. Look at the Reliability Tab on each car.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,587
    Would you call a car which you can not fill with gas a lemon?

    Which car is this?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Is an ambulance chasing law firm doing business in NJ and PA. Consider that. And clicking on a link on the site, produsces "best bets for 2003". Consider that as well.

    My 2002 Honda S2000 was probably the best car I've ever owned - short of my 3x the price 911S - and when a roof latch broke under warranty ($30 part), I was contacted personally by the Vice President of Marketing for Honda NA to make sure I was satisfied with my treatment. My dealer replaced every 2000/2001 transmission that had any issue about "gear grinding" from those early models with the 2002 transmission - no questions asked.

    I work with and employ a lot of highly qualified real estate and corporate lawyers in my business, but by and large the ambulance chasers are the law school near dropouts that couldn't make it any other way. Kind of like the MBA dropouts trying to sell you another home equity loan.
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