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Buick La Crosse Steering



  • judy63judy63 Posts: 1
    I got an estimate today for $450 to replace the defective intermediate shaft in my Buick. I am upset because there is no recall for this part and it's defective in, not only Buicks, but the following GM models:
    2001-2004 Buick Regal, 2005-2008 Buick LaCrosse, 2000-2008 Chevrolet Impala, 2000-2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue, and 2004-Pontiac Grand Prix.

    It seems to me that GM had a known defect in the intermediate shaft for a number of years, 1998 through 2008 did nothing about it. Ten years is just too long to ignore a problem. Now I have to pay, as well as many others, for their known defect. I've always enjoyed my Buicks but next time I buy a car it will not be a GM product. I'm tired of their flagrant disregard for their customers. If other car companies can engineer their products correctly why can't GM? Why do I have to pay for a part that's been defective all this time, and why isn't there a recall on the part?
  • You are absolutely correct...they made me pay for mine also and because of that I will NEVER buy a GM car again no matter how much BS they send me in the mail begging me to buy a car.Screw them cheaters !
  • If we can establish a Service Request for you through Customer Assistance, please send us an email with more information, including your name/Edmunds username, contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.
    GM Customer Service
  • To judy63: you are getting screwed by GM as many others are because this part was covered under warranty a few years ago. Mine was replaced twice and it never cost me a cent. Either your dealer does not want to fight for you or has been told by GM not to cover this under warranty any longer. The reason GM has not done anything - not everyone complains about such things so it costs them less, than to upgrade the new vehicles with the improvement.
    I asked the local dealer if the problem still exits in 2011 (before buying a new car) and was told it still is a problem. I bought a Ford Taurus and it is much better than my Buick LaCrosse. What a shame - they pay their executives way too much and cheat those that purchase their cars.
  • My dealer told me the sound would go away after a while....when it didn't go away I called him back but the dealership closed. I called another dealership and they told me it wasn't covered......That dealership is closed now also ! Great way to give customers the run around !
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    It seems you are right about one thing, the bean counters that tell corporate it is cheaper not to fix. And then you have the decision makers whose megamillion bonuses are determined by profits within their contract. Some even design their contract so they can run it in the ground and do a quick turnaround to benefit themselves. And then there are the unions with their own beauracy that benefit by protecting warm bodies. Some of them I'm not real sure about being warm and likely voted in Chicago, several times.

    In a nutshell, they need to make better contracts and sweep away some of the old. Maybe even visit Chicago for some help with some contracts.

    Joking aside, it is no fun to be taken advantage of with bad intentions. The day for them will come. Just be prepared for bailout kings to ill spend more of your tax money.

    There is absolutely no reason to allow shoddy parts design destroy a company. Some heads need to be rolling at GM from my last two experiences. Unfortunately, when it comes to defective parts, it is considered "no harm, no foul." Both of those last two, GM, certain problems could have gotten me maimed or killed. It was just a matter of timing. Seconds earlier or later, I could have been met with something much bigger in the middle of that intersection. So I guess I was a bit lucky that I could apply the lemon law to prevent further incident. But on one of them, not so lucky for that buyer. She tracked me down when she finally got the title. She was having issues and they neglected to inform her it was a lemon.
    Vote with your dollars.
    I certainly agree with what seems to be a long history with steering column. You can start by putting together your own well documented version and sending to NHTSA. I'm not to sure of some of their employees from what I've read in case files.
    Since you have a long list of vehicles, I'd certainly listen if you were able to draw correlation. Part number lists are available and from that you should be able to track to manufacturer of the part for the end vehicle. All brands can not make all parts in house.
    And you might be able to add 2011 Lacrosse CXS to list. They change the column on mine because the lock broke. Later GM came with a simple fix. But in the changing, either from bad mechanic or bad part, it developed dangerous play in the steering. Enough that contour changes of the road surface were enough to put you across the line. I come close to side swiping a couple of vehicles.
    Better luck.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    That is one way to look at it.
    But here is another, and I know it to be true.
    Dealerships have rating cards from GM. They get GM angry, they get that kind of rating. GM tells them what repairs are authorized or not. If they want to stay in GM's graces, they abide. (Actually probably have to kiss ___) I asked one dealer owner about their connection with GM. Does GM listen? His answer was astoundingly honest. Yes they listen, but they are much bigger than us. And you know which way crap flows.
    The closing of those dealers may not have been their own wish. Another case of the bean counters?
    A parting thought. A warranty is only good if it is honored.
  • Totally agree. I own an '05 LaCrosse which I suspect has the same problem. The GM customer service rep on this forum advised me to take the vehicle in for an inspection and if the dealership can hear/see the problem, then MAYBE, just MAYBE , GM would cover PART of the cost to replace the bad equipment. Gee, wouldn't that be swell? If/when it becomes absolutely necessary to have my problem addressed, I will fix it on my own dime. However, I will NEVER buy another GM product and I will bad-mouth GM to anyone and everyone who will listen.
  • mcoleman22mcoleman22 Posts: 3
    After 5 attempts to fix the steering issues over 6 months, the Buick dealership has not been able to repair the defective steering issues. They have even brought in a GM Engineer with no success. They just keep asking for me to bring the back the car for another try - like a race pit stop.

    Since Buick has not admitted the problem cannot be fixed. I have sought help from the BBB Auto Line ( . Based on the customer service that I have received from the Buick Warranty Department, I imagine that I will end up in court. I will be parking the car, so I do not go over the 50,000 warranty and buying a foreign car.

    After this experience, I will never buy another GM product and will spread the lack of quality to every person that I can.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Sorry, did you post earlier about your problem? I am curious of details. It would seem steering issues would be fixable.
    Do read your lemon law carefully. If you have proper documentation of attempts to repair, you should not have issue.
    This state has a limitation and that is the first attempt to fix a problem had to have occurred within two years of your purchasing. Unless something has changed in the last couple of years, mileage only effects the percentage of cost for buyback.
    In this state I believe arbritation is used and the law is so clear cut that if you have documentation showing three attempts at the same problem you should have no problem. Also you'd have to start the paperwork before the third attempt, so that when they get the car they have also gotten notification that this is there last try, or else.
    They might get slick by writing such things on the work order as "could not duplicate complaint." Sometimes that is real, depending upon the problem. I would seek advice from BBB if that is occurring.
    State your model and type of PS when you reply. Take the money when the deal is done if you pursue.
    I went through the headaches of two lemons in a row. First their is the stress of dealing with dealer visits, then the fact they say can not duplicate. Add in that some repairs came back worse, possibly a bad GM part. Or that you know they are working in the wrong part of the system. Postal anyone? Then you learn they are following GM troubleshooting procedure, OMG. And when the problem clearly exists the GM rep says it does not. Unfortunately the lemon law does not cover psychiatric treatment. After two in a row I was very terrorized about possibly a third. It took me six months before seriously shopping. I had ruled out everything in the GM line. So far, the MKS has been a good purchase. Not perfect, as I would like to have seen a little better gas mileage. Those sort of things. Back issues weighed heavily into decision. I have no idea just how reliable it will be in long run, but if looking for a ride and seat that does not beat you up, you might want to look. It is likely the only vehicle that defies the expert reviews about cooled seats.
    Please reply about the PS issue.
  • mcoleman22mcoleman22 Posts: 3
    I have a 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXL. I did notify the dealership after the four attempt that the fifth attempt would be the last. The dealership has always acknowledge that the steering did have an issue. They have almost replaced everything related to the steering. The dealership has been great to us.

    The GM Warranty Department refused to contact me. The GM Executive Office did not seem willing to resolve the problem. We are taking the first steps on arbitration before filing a lawsuit.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    This item dates the "W" body GM offerings, Impala, Grand Prix, Intrigues, and probably the Buick..LaCrosse..and the current Malibu lineup..

    Had 3 Olds Intrigues and all were subject to steering issues traced to the ISS part..GM did buy-back the 98 Intrigue after 26k miles..My 1999 and 2002 Intrigues did suffer this condition, but only required a simple replacement. My current 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GT had 3 ISS replacements by 30k miles, and steering is no problem at 70k..

    Ran across a used 2008 LaCrosse CXS w/12k miles and wondered what Buick owners were complaining about and I find steering issues are still an issue..Passed up a 2011 Malibu LTZ V-6 last week, 10k miles, after reading that steering issues are common..Been there too many times..Passed up on the Malibu at $14,500.. and the Buick is still sitting on the lot..Both cars are loaded, leather and sunroof..The Buick draw back is the 200hp engine..still under warranty..

    Really can't see GM buying back on any of these steering issues..My 98 Intrigue had steering rack issues also coupled with braking problems..

    I prefer to buy very low-mileage cars instead of new in the current business climate, keep 3 in the garage, one rests and 2 are driven..
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Buy back might fall under lemon and here it seems to be any defect. If it is safety related might be arguable. An electric power steering that about once per thousand miles tries to steer the vehicle to the right with all the power the system has is clearly dangerous. Loose linkage that allows the vehicle to wonder is dangerous, especially at normal speeds and unpredictably. It is certainly bad that GM lets some known issues run for years and even re-create them in later models is bad for the buyer.
    Even Ford seems to have issues that way. Looseness/play in steering. The first Taurus were OK, but second generation they change a component in the steering shaft. To take of any play in the slide shaft, they use a feathered edge nylon/plastic device. The feathered edges become weak and break off at relatively low mileages. Typically way before 100K miles. With changes in other steering components, the steering has less self-holding capability and a small input from the road results in play. Can almost be like a shudder and combined with other factors such as gusty wind or passing vehicles. As the problem progresses, you will go through white knuckle driving, not good.
    Can be very dangerous. Alas, I feel a slight play in Lincoln MKS, suspecting Ford is using that device in the steering of this vehicle. Watching very carefully currently. I've had a couple of incidents and wonder about a fix. I'll ask dealer what they know of it.
    What sort of braking issue?
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Braking issues on the 98 Intrigue,started around 3k on the rear brakes, replaced rotors and pads..Rotors had a tendency to warp easily, mainly due to over torquing the lugs..However at 3k mi they were out of the assembly plant..This car never stopped due to mechanical problems or left me stranded..The GM buyback was very calm, no legal eagles involved or any yelling. I did have some conversation with some outfit in Virginia handling the Lemon law.. I did run across an article on Edmunds where they had long-term tested a 1998 Intrigue with the same issues and that was forwarded..

    All things considered the Intrigues were good cars and the 1999 along with the 2002 had the V-6, 4 valve alum blocked engine used only in Intrigues and some Auroras..The 2002 went 120k w/o any mechanical issues..Having owned 53 cars to date and probably driven 2 million miles, I can only say that some rides were better than others with my all-time favorite being a 71 SS350 Camaro that did 90k mi in 18 months, and the 74, 76, and 77 Grand Prix LJs w/big-block V-8s..Another favorite was my 1950 Ford Crestliner, V-8, tranny w/overdrive, dual carbs, and exhausts..

    The only foreign entries were 2 Porsches, 1958 and 59, 356 Super coupes, purchased in Germany and driven some 60k miles, the 59 was brought back to the states and sold..In the old days the autobahn was a blast, now it's a socially run farce of regulations..
    Buicks are not my passion car, had a 73 LeSabre w/455 V-8, suffered rod knock from 1st day, Buick took the motor apart several times and warranted the car forever. Bought wife a new 87 Electra T-Type, sold after 30k miles, Had a 92 Regal GS for 95k miles, and a 94 LeSabre for 110k..

    New Buicks are overpriced, too heavy, and gutless creatures and my Florida dealer is on my "short list."
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,657
    New Buicks are overpriced, too heavy, and gutless creatures and my Florida dealer is on my "short list."

    Little harsh there? I find my 2012 LaCrosse to be just fine. 0 to 60 in under 7 seconds is hardly "gutless"

    I'll agree it is a bit heavy, but otherwise a nice effort and one of the best GM cars in well over a decade.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    ARGHHHHH! Beg to differ. The 3800 V-6 that GM used for more than a decade in many cars was a Buick proprietary engine prior to the generic approach designed by the beancounters to cut cost. Great engine until the same beancounters endorsed the plastic plenum on the aluminum intake on the cast iron block - can you say expansion coeeficient problems?
    GM has had good if not great engineering, good bodies (Fisher Body), and very good engine designs prior to the pre-bankruptcy management fiasco.
    Any car company can have misfires, bad designs or poorly assembled parts platforms that result in "bad" models. GM surely had its share over the years (Vega, Corvair, Cadillac 4.1L aluminum engine, iceburgh alternator, plastic plenum on various engines, and diesel engine conversions from gas) as did the other makers. We now have many good choices in the market, mainly due to competition - both domestic and foreign brands.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Sorry about the slam on Buicks, you must have the 3.6 power??? Big $$$$s.

    My biggest money Buick was a 81 Riveria V-8 which I kept for about 20k mi and dumped.. Still had the original factory oil in the crankcase when I sold it.

    The 94 LeSabre I picked up at a Chevy dealer with 3k miles, GM employee trade in, bargain priced, and at 50k miles had the Buick dealer installed 4 Monore heavy-duty struts which cured some of the inherent sloppy handling of a Buick. Traded the car away around 110k..

    Good Luck on your 2012 Lacrosse!!!!!!!
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Had a 84 Caddy Eldo Biarritz for 2 months, a company car leased for the CEO, and it was handed to me after his termination..The 4.1 was a weeny engine and after 3 months of use I terminated the lease and sold it to a retired GM employee. The new owner was happy and I was very pleased to see it go away..Worst handling, gutless wonder of a car ever driven, think it had about 15k mi on it..

    Having had several 3.8 V-6 powered GM cars, I realize the history of the powerplant, and one of my current rides is the last of the Supercharged models..Bought it 5 yrs ago this month from the local Caddy dealer showing 4300 miles, trade in, and paid $14,500 for a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, loaded, stickered over $30k..

    The 260hp V-6 is a fun-motor which loves to be hammered on the interstate, it is noisy and crude, however the when the supercharger engages it is a different animal..At 70k miles the engine is really not broken in yet, gets a diet of "Royal Purple" changed every 5k by my local mechanic..
    I keep the car for it is fun, cheap transportation, cold a/c, and sunroof is a must in Florida..It is on it's 5th battery, main engine and tranny mounts were replaced, tires and proper alignment have been solved..May keep it another year......
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Moto: You really did not have the factory oil in acar for 20M miles - say it ain't true! Our 1998 Bonneville got new oil and filter every 3M miles and gave us a good 114,000 miles and 14 years of service. newer cars allow for longer intervals with synthetic but 20M w/o an oil change. ARGHHHHHH!
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    It's true..The Riveria was a company car, and I was terminated 60 days after the car was delivered..I keep the car for 4 more months after the termination, commuted between Crystal Lake, Ill and Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. Had a cruiser in a marina near Detroit and it was summer time, took a long vacation..It was a great time and the whole affair was settled in court..

    I did add oil to the Rivy as it requested..I am a real fuddy when it comes to oil changes, but during this time I had other priorities..Every one of my cars always had oil changes every 3-4k miles and I only run the synthetics 5-6k..

    The Rivy was a better car than the Caddy Eldo Bairritz, but neither one was a road car, no power and crappy suspension..Kinda like a "rocking chair." back and forth...up and down..

    After owning 53 cars to date and traveling a few million miles, maintenance was really centered around oil changes, brake jobs, nice round well balanced rubber for smooth high-speed cruising,,,no shake in the steering wheel, seats or mirrors..
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited June 2012
    You know the primary reason for warped rotors. I can say I never had that issue not track to improper torqueing.
    It seems the Intrigue must have been one of GM's better builds. I see many of them on the street here and they still look pretty decent.
    Maybe heavy, but they give the feel of strength as you ride across any bumps versus a cacoon that flexes all over the place. The Aurora had that feel of strength.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Been through alot of brake jobs over the years and the Intrigue ownership taught me about over-torqueing, appears plausible. I am not a mechanic and any repairing of mechanical problems is my opinion only..Air filter changing, light bulb replacement, and car cleaning is the extent of my talents..

    Recently, a car under my care had an a/c stoppage and I knew the dealer would tell me that the compressor was shot, however I did a web search and pin-pointed the problem, went to the car dealer parts dept, no stock, went to my 2 man-shop and they had the relay on hand, and we had cold air again for $75.00..Had to be lucky once in awhile!!!!

    The Intrigues were OK cars, all 3 were loaded GLS models, leather, sunroof, and chrome wheels..The 99er and the 02 were powered by the "Short Star V-6" all alum engine w/4 valves/cyl, and 6.5 qt oil capacity. I had SLP catback exhaust system installed on both Intrigues..Great suspension system, and fun cars to drive, not hotrods, but able to cover long distances comfortably for a smaller car..The 98 Intrigue was a GM buyback at 26k mi, which worked out well for me. The 98 and 99 were bought in Michigan, and the 2002 was purchased in Florida and never left the state..

    The 99er was the victim of a 17 hr straight drive from Ocala, Fl to Grosse Pte Wds, Mi covering 1120 miles, one driver, fun trip, no meals in the car..No tickets either, I-75 all the way..It's return trip to Fl was on a car carrier and was the victim of a low-hanging tree limb. Cost the carrier $350 for clean-up services..Had the a/c problem car mentioned earlier shipped from Indianapolis to Venice, Fl in 2007, totally enclosed trailer, $1,000..
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    moto: That explains the oil story. We also went thru the schizophrenic employer behavior of the 80's. One of my appointed bosses would get his lithium mixed up and fire everyone that disagreed with him. His expertise was getting the headcount down not running the business, but he drove a Fiat so we understood his behavior.
    We love preventitve maintenance also and 3-5000 mile oil changes are a cheap route. Our leased company cars were really beaten down and mistreated but executive units assigned as perks - not for business purposes - were taken care of by underlings. The $30,000 to $60,000 cars of today need less care but we still keep ours in tip top condition and treat them as family members.
    The new Buick Lacrosse is more "German" IMO and a real pleasure to drive. Excellent mileage with 28-29.5 at max hiway speed with our small V-6 . Ours has outstanding handling on the road with most all of the creature comforts for a low $30's MSRP. much better iron than cars of old. No rocking chair suspension either.
    The real test will be long termm durability and new GM's approach to recalls, TSB's and customer complaints. If they willingly and proactively fix problems - and there will be some- thenwe will all buy their iron. If not....well then......
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Good posting!!!!! If you are happy with your Buick then you made the right decision for the money..only time will tell..

    The only reason I happened to be on the Lacrosse forum was I happen to see a 2008 Lacrosse on the website of the local Toyota dealer with super low mileage, leather, and sunroof..The 200 hp 3.8 power is no thriller but the rest of package was okay..

    However after reading the common ownership complaints which mirrors most GM car maladies of the Chevy and Buick camp, I have dropped the idea. They share too many components which have a proven record of failure..

    Owned too many good cars to get stuck with more junk...The Mustang GT is still option #1 if they only had a sunroof available..At 78 yrs of age, the convertible is out, and besides it's too hot in Fla..My search continues..
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I am the original owner of a 2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL with 45,000 miles. I am getting a whining noise as I accelerate after making a left turn. The dealer has diagnosed the problem as a leaking steering rack. He will charge me $777.17 to replace the rack this morning. He is not sure if the leak has damaged the power steering pump by allowing it to run low on fluid. He will need to fill the power steering fluid after the rack is replaced, and then road test the car. If I need a power steering pump, that is another $480.
    Has anyone else experienced this problem? I have never heard of a steering rack failing at such low miles.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    It happens. Maybe it shouldn't. Not familiar with that vehicle but had an Aurora that the price for rack change was over $1000. Sub-frame had to be dropped for R&R, but I did not experience that issue with vehicle.
    Trying to ease your pain.
    And when by Lincoln-Mazda dealer last week I almost passed out. Someone with Mazda that did not look old, but out of warranty, was being quoted price for front and rear shocks/struts. Over $3000.

    Determining need for pump should not require replacing rack first.
    Pressure regulation in pump might have failed blowing seal on the rack. Unless the pump is leaking, a pressure test generally indicates pass or fail.
    Maybe searching will tell you the frequency of such failures.
  • Good morning mrrogers,
    Please keep us posted on how everything goes once the steering rack is replaced. If you want for us to check into anything further for you, please send us an email at with more information (including your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and the name of your involved dealership).

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Good morning Sarah from GM Customer Service,
    My steering rack was replaced at 44,451 miles on Wednesday, October 17 at a cost to me of $678.47. I tried to contact you at socialmedia@gm,com, but I have not heard from you.
    Perhaps I need to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to speak with the Office of Defects Investigation? Perhaps they will want to recall the whole Buick LaCrosse fleet? Since the design is common to Regal, Grand Prix, and Impala, maybe they should recall all of them?
    Best regards,
    Mr. Rogers
  • Good morning Mr. Rogers,

    I apologize that we have not gotten back with you! The emails are forwarded to my coworker Christina and I will check with her on whether or not she has seen yours come through. In the mean time, if you would like to resend your message in case it did not come through our queue here we'll keep an eye out for it specifically.

    Thank you,
    GM Customer Service
  • Neither GM nor the Buick dealership were able to resolve the steering issues. The Lincoln dealer that I purchased the car from agreed to work out a settlement. We sold the car to CarMax with full disclosure of the steering issue. The dealer made up most of the original purchase price. It looks they will have my business from now on. I will never own any GM product after the behavior observed from this experience.
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