2020 Buick Encore GX Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, brakes and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2020 Buick Encore GX is the first model year for the lineup, and the automaker hails it by saying it has a “style that stands out.” However, the only things “standing out” with this compact SUV are the defects. This Buick suffers from dangerous service brakes, a faulty engine and a defective fuel system.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2017  2018  2019  2021

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Buick Encore GX

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
14
Electrical System
4
Engine
4
Unknown Or Other
4
Vehicle Speed Control
3
Steering
3
Air Bags
2
Power Train
2
Fuel/propulsion System
2
Engine And Engine Cooling:exhaust System:emission Control:crankcase (pcv)
1

Problems with the Service Brakes

Stopping a vehicle before a collision occurs should be a top priority for every driver and automaker. However, Buick doesn’t seem to be concerned with it in their Buick Encore GX.

One Edmunds review reads, “I had my car for 2 weeks and the brakes and power steering went. Towed to dealer. It is the master cylinder. They are on back order and I have had a rental going on 3 weeks.”

It turns out that these brakes are beyond defective. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V588000 states that some vehicles are experiencing sensor connection contamination with the electronic brake boost system that causes communication interruption. When the electronic brake boost assist system goes down, drivers must apply additional pedal force to stop the vehicle, which increases the likelihood of an accident. There’s no faster way to “stand out” than to rear-end a vehicle in your Buick Encore GX.

Problems with the Engine

As a Buick, one would expect that the Buick Encore GX would be equipped with a reliable and potent engine, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Another Edmunds review says, “Engine and transmission had problems the first day I bought it with 20 miles. Dealership couldn’t tell me what was wrong with the car. Maybe it’ll be a recall soon since it’s a 2020.”

With engine issues, Buick is being surprisingly quiet. Until there is a recall, there’s very little chance that any communications will be issued. It appears that Buick doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything, or the defects might “stand out.”

Problems with the Fuel System

In conjunction with the lemon engine is a malfunctioning fuel system. These two systems work hand-in-hand to irritate customers.

Just read this Edmunds review. “2 fuel pumps in 4k miles, all kinds of noises, stay away. I leased this pile of junk for 3 years, ugh.”

Again, Buick has sealed communications, so there’s nothing talking about fuel system concerns. It’s just a big secret with the automaker and technicians, but without documentation, the company can make every customer feel like it’s only happening to them. Maybe it’s time owners search for a cheaper, more reliable brand instead of shelling out the big bucks to Buick for a piece of garbage.

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Complaint Data

CategoryEngine And Engine Cooling:exhaust System:emission Control:crankcase (pcv)
DateNov 09, 2022
StateLA
Description
The contact's mother-in-law owns a 2014 jeep cherokee. The contact stated while his mother-in-law was driving at an undisclosed speed, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the pcv valve needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that on another occasion while his mother-in-law was driving, the vehicle started sputtering, overheating, and lost motive power. The vehicle remained at the location. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000.
CategoryAir Bags
DateOct 04, 2022
StateIN
Description
Rear end accident. Distracted driver hit the back of my car at least at 40 mph. No airbags deployed.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateJul 07, 2022
StateOH
Description
The contact's fiancé owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact stated while driving approximately 2 mph, the vehicle was unable to stop while the brake pedal was depressed and the parking brake was activated. Additionally, the vehicle made grinding sounds while the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, and the dealer reprogrammed the brake system; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 8,600.
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateApr 21, 2022
StateTX
Description
I have only had the vehicle for a year. On multiple occasions the vehicle feels like it is slipping gears (more often when the autostop feature is turned on). On multiple occasions the vehicle has stalled out and would not do anything when pressing on gas- didn't even rev, did absolutely nothing. These stall outs happened crossing highways, at stop lights, stop signs, etc. There were no warnings prior to the incidences, though the vehicle did through an engine/transmission code afterwards, the code would go away. The first several attempts of taking it to the dealership (last year) as it is still under warranty- it was not checked. I was simply told it was a "glitch" and it was fine. They did not record in their system that I requested it to be checked either apparently. They only recorded that I brought it in for an oil change. They only checked into it this february after my boyfriend told them what it was doing. They kept it and replaced one part in the transmission. The vehicle continued to have the same issues and threw a code withing the first 5 minutes after picking it up. I took it back in- and they said it was doing the issues because of the code it threw. I told them it was doing it again before it threw the code. They said it simply needed a line vacuumed out, and then gave it back to me. It continued to have the same issues and stalled out again causing me to roll backwards onto the highway-into traffic. I took it back again. They kept it, and then told me they'd be replacing the entire transmission, but it is on backorder. Still no time frame when it will be repaired. They then told me I could have my car back and continue to drive it until the transmission comes in?!? I said no- it isn't safe, I just told you what happened and I could have been hurt or killed. I am not driving it, especially when I have my son to drive around as well! I have been without my car for at least a month now. I am paying for a car that I don't even have/can't drive.
CategoryElectrical System, Exterior Lighting, Unknown Or Other
DateApr 08, 2022
StateAZ
Description
While driving this 2020 buick encore gx with around 7,000 miles on the odometer, the entire electrical/electronic system shut down. Windows were inoperative, the ac stopped, the radio failed, the flashers did not work, etc. The only things that worked were the engine and brakes. I have no idea if the brake lights worked. I was able to drive the car to the dealership - van buick gmc in scottsdale, arizona where the car is now sitting and awaiting their inspection. In the 95 degree temperature here in az, I thought that I would die as I could not open the doors. I have since learned that I could have opened the doors by pulling the door handle twice. No one ever educated me on this. There were no advance warnings prior to the failure. This car is a death trap. Please nhtsa help me.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 07, 2022
StatePA
Description
The contact owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact stated that while attempting to stop, the brake pedal was depressed and it traveled to the floorboard causing the brakes to fail to stop the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the vehicle crashed into the rear of another vehicle. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was able to be driven to the contact residence however, the brakes failed again. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was unaware if a diagnostic test was performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 06, 2022
StateCA
Description
Engine light came on. There was a problem between the harness and the transmission. It took 6 weeks to rectify the problem.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateFeb 22, 2022
StateOK
Description
I live in oklahoma so it's hot then cold then hot again then colder the next morning. I had my defroster on while on my way to work and all of a sudden my window just cracks and spreads all across my window. I didn't have a chip at all and there wasn't even a vehicle in front of me. Idk if it was because it was real cold and had the defroster on but this still shouldn't have happened. And they want me to pay almost 00 to change it out because you also have to get the cameras readjusted correctly. Gm should pay for this. It absolutely wasn't my fault.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Service Brakes
DateNov 29, 2021
StateAZ
Description
Dealership, fixed brakes due to previous recall. Brakes continue to squeal and grind with every stop. Was informed by dealership that they can do no further repair because it is considered a noise and not a safety issue. Grinding brakes are a safety issue!!!
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateMay 10, 2021
StateMI
Description
Car has less than 30 (thirty) miles on it; garaged since purchase bc of pandemic; started occasionally; battery dead when I tried to go out last week; charged battery; died again; charged again; check engine light alerted onstar, who sent email stating problems w/engine & transmission system, possible issues w/fuel management system, emissions control, misfire condition... Only 30 miles! New car! Just drove home from dealership and parked it. Tried chatting w/buick customer experience, but they cut me off 3 times over 2 hours, so I gave up that exercise in futility. Dealership is unpleasant; trying a different dealer. Googled recalls. This sounds like the emissions system recall on the 2021 encore gx, but mine is a 2020. Why would a brand new, ,000-car be so frighteningly unreliable? I traded in two cars and saved many years to buy this. I'm afraid to even drive it in for service. My dad was a patented engineer. I miss my dad.
CategoryPower Train
DateMay 06, 2021
StateNJ
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the vehicle failed to accelerate as needed. Additionally, the vehicle inadvertently lunged forward while attempting to reverse into a parking space. The vehicle was towed to bellavia chevrolet buick (199 nj-17, east rutherford, nj 07073) the brakes and transmission valves were replaced however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and the transmission was replaced after receiving approval from the manufacturer. The dealer found 3 pieces of rubber inside the transmission when it was taken apart. The manufacturer was informed of the failure and a case was filed. The failure mileage was 9,529.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Unknown Or Other
DateApr 13, 2021
StateIL
Description
The vehicle has a software anamoly according the the dealer that has my ses light on and my pre-collision alters seem to not be working since this occurred. The ses light came on 4/9/21 and was taken to the dealer. I picked the vehicle up about 6 pm 4/12/21 and the light was on still and noticed immediately that the pre-collision warning did not work when another vehicle cut me off and stopped short in front of me. I do not feel safe driving the vehicle. Buick was supposed to have another dealer contact me to get a second opinion but as of this they have not contacted me. They expect mt to drive the vehicle and ignore the light so if something does happen I will have no way of knowing because the light is just always on. If gm cannot keep up with software updates to keep their customers safe perhaps they should no longer be in the automotive business.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateMar 17, 2021
StateNY
Description
Started having trouble last week with the fuel gauge and a check engine light. Took the car in to have it serviced and they found that rodents had chewed through the harness located by the fuel. Cost 0 to repair which was not covered under warranty. Had the car back two days and went to use the car and it completely stopped functioning once we pulled out into traffic. We live on a highly tractor trailer traveled road and having the car just stop working could have ended in an accident if a car was coming from either direction. My son was in the passenger seat and I am incredibly upset that they could have been hurt. We needed to call the police and a tow truck with my youngest son in the car. Received a call from the dealership after inspection to find of the same harness has been chewed through again. The harness apparently is a soy based product. We are being told once again this is not covered under warranty and my bigger concern is how this is going to stop happening. This does not sound like an outside influence but rather a manufacturing defect. Using a soy based product maybe cheaper to manufacture and better for the environment but it's going to make the car completely unsafe for my family to be in. If the harness is going to be made out of a soy based product and I believe that this should be something now covered under warranty and not expected for us to pay out of pocket for.
CategoryService Brakes, Steering, Vehicle Speed Control
DateFeb 03, 2021
StateRI
Description
2/3/2021 I was driving with my daughter today. She was driving and we were approaching a left hand turn at an intersection. We had a green light and I could see that her foot was on the brake. She started the turn with her foot still on the brake. The vehicle accelerated while her foot was on the brake and the steering wasn't responding. We hit a telephone pole. This vehicle was purchased less than 2 weeks ago and has less than 115 miles on it. This is a major safety issue.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJan 25, 2021
StateTX
Description
The brake assist continues to fail and is a safety hazard. It fails unexpected so often that it is dangerous and we are somewhat afraid to drive this vehicle. This issue began a few weeks after purchased. Request an urgent fix or the opportunity to return this vehicle for a different safer vehicle.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJan 23, 2021
StateMI
Description
I was driving home approx 6:00 pm as I was starting on l75 my buick 2020gx with less than 300 miles started to speed up to a very fast my brakes did not slow me down the car kept speeding up I was very scared when the car kept going faster now I am scared to drive it there was almost a crash trying to slow down
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes, Unknown Or Other
DateJan 18, 2021
StateTX
Description
When I purchased this vehicle I noticed squeaking of brakes and problems eccentrically with wipers and back gate light open close light, reported to texian dealer and nothing was done, car of course in motion and moving. Later after complain of problems texan dealer responded to deaf ears, I told them I did not want this vehicle and they would do nothing and never did. I went to another dealer(demontrond buick) and bk customer service listened to the issues and put new brakes in car, it stills squeaks but not as much as before. Car was worked on but at least they tried to find and fix problems. The wipers intermittent never worked and they got them to work but only wipe after about 35 to 55 seconds after turned on and even in driving, the lift gate still at times does not work, the car is a lemon, very disapponted and someone should do something to this vehichle and warn people esp about the brakes, could cause someone to have a crash and be killed.
CategoryService Brakes, Steering
DateDec 25, 2020
StateNY
Description
While driving up to an intersection I applied my foot to the brake pedal. Upon doing so the pedal did not move as if it was locked in place. I applied more pressure as I was coming up to the intersection and then the steering wheel locked in place as if the car was off. The brake pedal went completely to the floor with no brakes being applied. I quickly began pumping the brakes which started to slow me down but not before driving right through the intersection. I pulled over after I was able to slow the car down to a stop, turned off the vehicle, waited a few minutes, and turned it back on. I was able to return home but immediately called the dealership.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 23, 2020
StateIL
Description
Brakes are noisy more going in reverse. Dealer ordered updated front brakes on 12/8/2020 and as of 12/23/2020 they have not been received and do not have a date when they will be in. Tried to call gm customer service but they do not answer the phone. Also when the car was in the repair shop they completed recalls #'s a202310450, a202295530 & a202301230. Also I never received any notices on any recalls from buick.
CategoryService Brakes, Steering
DateNov 25, 2020
StateOH
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 20v588000 (service brakes) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the brake pedal was depressed while driving down hill however, failed to engage as designed. Additionally, the steering wheel seized. The contact attempted to engage the parking brake. There were several warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to joyce buick-gmc, inc. (38039 chester rd, avon, oh 44011, (440) 934-6600) to be diagnosed. The mechanic determined that the master cylinder, program module, braking system, and engine control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and provided the contact with a case number. Vin tool confirms parts not available. The failure mileage was approximately 752.
CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 23, 2020
StateGA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 buick encore. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph she received an alert that the stabil trak system and the anti lock brake system were malfunctioning. The lights said do not travel over 62 mph. The contact felt the brakes going all the way to floor and not braking properly. The contact was able to pull into a parking lot and shutoff then restart the vehicle. The warning lights did not reappear so the contact continued on the road. When contact got on the road, the indicators went off again and she pulled over off the road into a parking lot. The contact did same process of shutting off and restarting and was able to finally arrive at her home. The contact called the dealer southtowne motors 695 bullsboro dr, newnan, ga 30265 (678) 619-4902. The dealer said they could not set an appointment right away and had no loaners for the contact. There was a current nhtsa recall 20v588000 (service brakes) on the vehicle. The manufacturer had not been contacted yet and the vehicle remained unrepaired. The failure mileage was 1. 487.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes
DateNov 21, 2020
StateVA
Description
I purchased this vehicle 9/25/2020. Recall nhtsa# 20v588 issued 9/24/2020. I was not contacted by dealership who sold vehicle until 9/29/2020. There was an active recall on vehicle. Recall status: incomplete remedy not yet avalable.
CategoryAir Bags
DateNov 17, 2020
StateTX
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact stated while his daughter was at a stand still at a traffic light, when she was rear ended by another vehicle, causing her to shoot forward and hit the vehicle in front of her. The contact stated the air bags did not deploy. The driver sustained a head fracture when she was impacted and hit the steering wheel. The driver did seek medical attention at a near hospital. The contact stated the front vehicle's driver did seek medical attention for unknown injuries. A police report was report. The vehicle was not drivable. The vehicle was towed to her residence. The contact called local dealer carlisle chevrolet buick gmc cadillac (1701 us-287 byp, waxahachie, tx 75165; (972) 938-8000) and was made aware of the failure. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired as of yet. The manufacturer had not been informed of failure. The failure mileage was unknown.
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 28, 2020
StateNE
Description
General motors has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 2020 model year cadillac ct4, ct5 and xt4 vehicles, 2020model year chevrolet corvette vehicles, 2020 ' 2021 model year buick encore gx vehicles, and 2021 model year chevrolet trailblazer vehicles. Material used in a sensor connection in the electronic brake boost system in these vehicles may have been contaminated during the material supplier's production process. Contamination of this material may cause an interruption of communication between the sensor and the brake boost system under certain conditions. Safety risk: if communication with the sensor is interrupted, electronic brake boost assist could be lost. Extra pedal force will be required to slow and stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. Remedy: dealers will replace the electronic brake boost module. Recall status: recall incomplete. Remedy not yet available
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 27, 2020
StateFL
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact stated while driving 40 mph, several unknown warning lights illuminated. The brake pedal was pumped several times to stop the vehicle. The contact pulled over into a parking spot. The vehicle was towed to schumacher buick gmc (3031 okeechobee blvd, west palm beach, fl 33409, (561) 935-4239) and the contact was informed that the vehicle was included in nhtsa campaign number: 20v588000 (service brakes) however, the parts were not yet available for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but offered no assistance. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.*dt *tr
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 07, 2020
StateFL
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 buick encore gx. The contact stated while making a u-turn, the brake pedal was depressed to the floorboard but failed to stop the vehicle. The contact stated that the brake system failure warning light was illuminated. The contact engaged the parking brake to stop the vehicle. The contact pulled over and parked at a nearby parking lot. The contact received a notification text of nhtsa campaign number: 20v588000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact felt unsafe driving the vehicle. The vehicle was left in the parking lot. The vehicle was towed to the local dealer ed morse sawgrass buick gmc located at 14351 w sunrise blvd, sunrise, fl 33323, (888) 377-2660, where it was confirmed that parts were not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact stated that the failure recurred twice. The contact was unable to reach the manufacturer for assistance. Vin tool confirms parts not available. The failure mileage was approximately 1,251.*dt*jb

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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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4 COMMENTS
  • B F

    Bought a 2020 Buick Encore GX February of 2021. Have had ongoing issues of it feeling like it is slipping gears and multiple complete stall outs. These stall outs have happened on a highway crossover- causing me to roll backwards into traffic, stop lights, stop signs, etc. You can put your foot on the gas and it does absolutely nothing. Took it in to the dealership several times last year and was told it was just a “glitch”, it’s fine. Whenever I went in for oil changes- I’d bring it up again that it was still doing the same thing. They didn’t check it, only did the oil change. They apparently didn’t even record that I requested them to look into it. They finally looked into it this February of 2022- AFTER my boyfriend had to ask them to look into it and told them the exact same thing i had previously as they would not listen to me. They replaced a part in the transmission and told me I could pick it up. It was still having the same issue and threw a code within 5 minutes of me picking it up. They told me a line needed vacuumed out. I told them it was still doing the same things and they said it was just because of that and gave it back. Still had same problems after that. Took it back to them again a month ago and they finally said they’d replace the transmission-but it’s backordered. Then said I can take the car back and continue to drive it until the transmission comes in?!? Ummm, no! It is completely unsafe, I had just almost gotten hurt/killed before I brought it to them this time! No time frame on the repair at all. So I am currently paying for a vehicle I don’t even have/can’t drive. Very disappointed all the way around: with the car I’ve only had a year that has less than 15k miles, the service center at the dealership, and GM.

  • J S

    My 2020 Buick Encore GX with 11,000 miles
    and leased for 3 years is suffering from fuel injection issues. The strong smell of raw gas in the cabin was a major concern. Brought it into dealer for repair to find out that parts are on back order and nobody knows when they will be available.
    Dealer was able to provide a loaner. Couldn’t believe car had this issue after 11,000 miles.
    This issue could be a safety issue if not immediately addressed by GM.
    I think it is my “grandfather’s car “
    GM get out there and support your dealers and owners.
    I’m telling everyone I can to stay away from the Encore.

  • S L

    Car blew up while I was driving it.

  • Denise M

    Bought a 2020 Buick Encore. Got recall letter saying turbo defective. Took it into the dealership and now it gets the worse fuel mileage ever. Took it back to dealership and they say nothing is wrong. I know there is because I have to fill it twice a week compared to once a week before taking it in and driving the same amount of miles.

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