2021 Buick Encore Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Buick Encore was Buick’s first sports utility vehicle (SUV). Launched in the U.S., Mexico, and China in 2012 for 2013, it is known as the Opel Mokka in Europe and is part of the Vauxhall brand in the UK. Its parent company is General Motors.

Even though it is heralded as Buick’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. it has been plagued with problems since day 1.

In 2013, consumer complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website topped 50. There were 6 recalls of the first model and an investigation into airbag issues is still open.

Additionally, there have been an incredible 1,248 manufacturer communications from Buick to dealers warning of problems and faults. Since 2012, manufacturers have been required by law to share all these communications with NHTSA. They are regarded as early warning requirements.

So far, the 2021 model has a record of 8 complaints that cover 10 problems. There have been 2 recalls and 157 early warning documents. This may not sound like a lot, but complaints are lodged for years after a model is launched. For example, only 2 of the 50 complaints about the 2013 model are dated 2013.

NHTSA also undertakes tests to measure the safety of vehicles. The 2013 model got 5-star ratings in frontal and side crash tests, but only 4 stars for the rollover test. This measures the risk of rollover if the driver loses control of a vehicle. The rollover risk is 19.80%. The 2021 model also has a 4-star rating for rollover, although the rollover risk is slightly lower at 18.50%. Its frontal crash rating on the front passenger side is also only 4 out of 5 stars.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019  2020

Most Common Problems

The most common problems with the 2021 Encore relate to its brakes, followed by dangerous issues with the emergency jack. A further 3 problems are reported in the complaint categories, Engine, Forward Collision Avoidance, and Steering.

2021 Buick Encore Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Air Bags
Electrical System
Engine And Engine Cooling
Engine And Engine Cooling:engine:other Fuel Types:turbo/supercharger:intercooler

Brake Problems

Four complaints deal with brake problems. All might be related to a problem with the electronic brake boost that is the cause of a recall.

The first failure happened when the owner of an Encore with only 672 miles on the clock pulled into a parking space and the brake system failed. Numerous lights came on, including the brake lights. A message on the screen said: “Brake System Failure, 62 mph Top Speed.” Other messages also came up, including one mentioning power steering.

“I found that there are recalls on certain 2021 Buick Encore GX’s for an issue related to brake system failure. I was told, based on my VIN number, that my vehicle is not included in that specific recall. However, when my brake system failed, it did exactly what was described as the potential consequences of the brake failure issue in the vehicles recalled.”

The dealer said the vehicle needs a new master cylinder.

The second failure was in a leased 2021 Encore. “I noticed the brakes are very hard to press down and I can’t stop the vehicle over short distances. This seems dangerous and my dealership says nothing is wrong with the car. But I can tell something is wrong with the brakes and this isn’t how new brakes are supposed to feel. After Googling the symptoms, it seems to be a problem with the brake booster.”

Another complaint says. “First my power steering warning comes on my dash. Then my brake light comes on in red.” The driver slowed down enough to put the SUV into park mode.

The most recent complaint describes a delay in braking before the vehicle stopped. It mentions a sensor that would normally enable instant braking. But the dealer wasn’t able to determine the fault and the SUV wasn’t repaired.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Buick pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

Problems with the Equipment

Two complaints categorized as Equipment problems relate to the emergency jack. There is a recall that affects as many as 135,400, some of which are 2021 Buick Encore GX models. The problem is that the jack can fracture while in use, which can cause the vehicle to collapse. This, in turn, may cause an injury.

The two Encore owners who complained did so after receiving the manufacturer’s recall notification. While neither had experienced a failure, they were both eligible for a new emergency jack free of charge. However, neither of the dealers complied.

One “removed the emergency jack and cleared the recall but failed to provide a replacement jack since parts were not yet available.” The other simply said the parts weren’t available.

A third complaint is filed as an engine problem for a vehicle with only 9,000 miles on the clock. It started with the vehicle stalling and the check engine warning light illuminating. He couldn’t restart the SUV. This happened multiple times. Even after repair, the failure persisted. After a second repair and another failure, the dealer diagnosed a need for software to be reprogrammed. Yet another diagnosis is that the engine might not be getting enough gasoline and should be repaired. The dealer also says the emergency jack must be repaired under recall.

There is no evidence in the complaint that any successful repairs had been achieved.

Seat Belt Problems

The seat belt complaint is the result of a crash and also involves airbags that didn’t deploy. The SUV was idling at a stoplight when another vehicle crashed into it from behind. The driver and a passenger in the front seat were injured. The passenger developed a chest rash from the seat belt retracting. The driver was bruised and sustained thigh injuries.

A 9-year-old passenger in the back seat was jolted forward when the seat belt didn’t retract. The vehicle was a rental and the occupants filed a police report.

What to do if your 2021 Buick Encore is a lemon?

Persistent problems typically indicate a lemon. Maybe you have had similar problems to those described here. Perhaps your problems are completely different. But if you suspect you’ve bought a lemon call the Lemberg Law Helpline and we’ll assess how we can help.

Lemberg Law has multiple lemon law clients with many different issues. We have negotiated varied deals for clients from refunds and buy-backs to trade-ins and replacement vehicles.

The law says General Motors must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases. So, it’s not going to cost you anything out of pocket.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Lisa S

    Buick Encore 2021. Okay until 30k miles light saying “Engine Power Reduced,” and it loses significant power while DRIVING! So say I’m going 70 on interstate, light comes on, lose power of anywhere between 30-40mph Drops to say 40 and I cant pick up speed. In the shop 3 times with this issue. Last time it was in for 6weeks! No loner, no I’m sorry, no hint of empathy for having a 27k POS. Denied buy back. HELP!

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation from Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).