2018 Buick Regal Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle structure, brakes, electrical and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The 2018 Buick Regal has been available in numerous formats and continues to make waves with enthusiasts. Buick claims that the new models are “ready for the unpredictable,” but research shows this model itself is unpredictable. It contains a faulty engine, defective structure, malfunctioning electrical system and flawed service brakes.

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Problems with the Engine

The engine is what produces power for a vehicle. When the engine doesn’t run correctly, the ride can’t be enjoyable.

One Edmunds review discusses engine troubles by saying, “At 795 miles, service engine soon light came on. Dealership could not find the vacuum leak and reset the computer. At 1135 miles the light came on again. Dealership supposed found a leak and replaced part. At 1350 miles the light came on again.  Taking it back today, and will be complaining to the management. This car is totally unreliable, and the dealership apparently doesn’t know what they’re doing.”

GM isn’t scared to talk about engine troubles. Even Service Bulletin #18NA246 talks about what technicians should do when fuel is found in the oil. This might cause DTCs to set and require a replacement PCV valve in the camshaft cover. It’s also possible that it needs an ECM update. It appears that GM doesn’t really know how to fix the engine troubles. Instead, it’s become an “unpredictable” element for this vehicle.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Considering that Buick is a luxury brand, it’s expected that the car would be put together with quality materials, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “Top of the line with every option, the car arrived and not 10 miles from the dealer a plate fell off from under nether the car, the backup camera fell out of its frame and the car was noisy.  Call the sales person and said we have a problem. When I got home i inspected the car very closely and saw that the door panels were lose, the tail gate sensor was hanging down the back seat would not lock in. Took it back to the dealer and they had the car for a week to correct the issues. I asked point blank if this car had been dropped off the truck or something, i was assured that it was not and if it had any damage if it was under $2500.00 it did not need to be disclosed. When I picked it up the car it was still very noisy inside the cab.  Took it back and said for them to check the noise canceling technology as my decidable meter on my phone was near 85-90. The Dealer and Buick customer service said that was a normal range. The dealer said if I wanted a quite car I should of bought a Cadillac or I could have the tires upgraded.  I do not even drive the car anymore it has 3300 miles on it and sits in the garage as it is not worth the hassle and is just not fun to drive.”

While all of those complaints were structure related, there was a lot to learn about. It turns out GM issued a seat belt recall that further proves the materials aren’t what they should be. In NHTSA Campaign Number 18V230000, it’s confirmed that the rear outboard seat belts might not restrain occupants, which can lead to an injury. During manufacturing, the seat belts were routed incorrectly around the bolster bracket, which leads to trouble with the restraint. Basically, this car isn’t at all ready for the unpredictable, as GM wants customers to believe.

Problems with the Electrical System

A car’s electrical system can make or break the experience. If owners have to deal with multiple nuisances, it will begin to wear on them.

That’s the case with this Edmunds review. “Noticed that the driver side mirror was the wrong color, and the backup grid was not staying on, and a piece of the trim on the rear quarter panel was loose (if we had gone to a car was it may have ripped it off). It took the dealership a month to get the new mirror in the right color. They were to check what was causing the backup grid problems,and fix the trim on the rear quarter pane. The mirror was fixed with the right color that matched the rest of the car,the trim was fixed but they did not what was causing the problem with the backup grid, GM tech told them to resit the radio to factory sittings and see if that would help, well it hasn’t. After a short while we started have a very ear piercing squealing noise coming from under the hood, went back to the dealership again they had no idea what the noise was coming from, set up an appointment. Before we got to the appointment the vehicle started throwing several different codes and the car would not come out of park, all this the car was running. had to have the car towed to the dealership. It was a loose positive electrical cable going to the fuse block that had come loose, fixed. Still no fix for the backup grid they told us that GM tech was wright a patch to fix the problem, no time table but should have it done before Christmas. Back to the dealership again for a grinding noise coming from the front end under breaking, we were told that both of the lower control arms on these vehicles were bad and that they would need to be replaced. Waited another month for parts, oh by the way the patch for the problem with the backup grid never came. The dealership has told us that GM tech said it should have the patch for the backup grid by January no fix yet, now it is to be in February, we will see.”

Again, GM doesn’t mind airing all of its dirty laundry in public. Service Bulletin #PIP4670G discusses other electrical system concerns regarding the Engine Control Module and a no-start situation after replacing the part. Obviously, the Regal wasn’t prepared for this “unpredictable” occurrence either.

Problems with the Brakes

Finally, the brakes need to be working properly if the occupants want to be kept safe. Yet, we see the Regal struggling on this front as well.

Here is a complaint left with the NHTSA. “The contact owns a 2018 Buick Regal. The contact purchased the vehicle in February of 2018, but did not obtain it until June 15, 2018. While in a drive-thru line, the contact removed his foot from the brake pedal and the vehicle lurched forward and crashed into a pole. The front driver side fender, bumper, and headlight were damaged. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The dealer was contacted and referred the contact to an authorized Buick body shop for the damages. The failure was not diagnosed by the dealer. The manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure mileage was 169.”

No vehicle should experience brake failure with less than 200 miles on the odometer, yet that’s what happens with this Buick. In fact, there’s a massive brake-related recall affecting more than 210,000 vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V576000 states that the factory applied an insufficient coating on the rear brake caliper pistons, which can affect braking performance and increase the chance of an accident. Clearly, the Regal isn’t at all ready for the unpredictable and should be classified as a lemon.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes GM pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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