Buick is one of the first automotive brands to take flight in America, after which it established General Motors in 1908. Now, Buick is a division of General Motors known for its premium fleet and its popularity in China, where 80% of its fleet is sold.
The Buick models are also known for their durability and reliability, which has earned them millions of customers and excellent reviews from critics. It certainly is one of the top automobile brands in the U.S. and even around the globe.
There are currently about 16 different models in the Buick lineup and several other ones that have been discontinued in years past.
In its history, Buick as a brand has recalled its models a total of 641 times, making it the 18th most recalled automotive brand on record.
What we have below is a compilation of Buick models with the most recalls according to the NHTSA.
Table of Contents
1. Buick Regal
The Buick Regal was first introduced in 1972 for the 1973 model year. Originally classified as a luxury car with coupe and sedan variants, the Regal became sedan-only in 1997 due to the market decline of luxury coupes.
After six generations and millions of sales worldwide, the Buick Regal was discontinued, and the last produced Regal was the 2020 model.
We have a good list of the best and worst years for Buick Regal.
Number of Recalls
Despite its discontinuation, the Buick Regal still holds the #1 spot on the list of Buick models with the most recalls. There are 158 recalls on record for the Regal, which is about 24.6% of all Buick recalls since 1969, according to ARFC.org.
That number is understandable given how long it’s been around. However, some model years are responsible for a bulk of this figure.
The 1988 Buick Regal alone has 10 recalls, making it the most-recalled model year on record. That’s probably a Regal model to avoid because of the number of issues it has faced.
Other Regal models with troubling recall figures include the 2000 model with 9 and the 1985, 1990, 1995, and 1997, with 8 recalls each. We should also mention that many other models, mostly pre-2000 models, have between 5 to 7 recalls.
The 1977, 1983, 2016, and 2020 model years have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled Buick Regal models on record.
In the same vein, the 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019, alongside some other 20th century models, have 2 recalls each. These are Buick Regal models you should check out if you are looking to cop one.
Below are common issues with the Buick Regal, as mentioned in recall statements:
- Engine cooling problems (possible dripping of engine oil onto exhaust manifold, potential leakage of valve cover gasket)
- Exterior lighting problems (possible burnout of the signal lamp with no indication to driver, improper calibration of vertical headlamp adjusting device)
- Seat belt issues (manufacturing flaws and improper routing of rear seatbelts, improper heat treating of seat assemblies’ buckle base)
- Service brake problems (possible separation of bolt heads on rear spindle rod, improper contact of front brake line with transaxle mounting)
2. Buick Century
The Buick Century was introduced as a full-size car between 1936-1942 and 1954-1958. It was then classified as a mid-size car from the 1973 model year until the sixth generation in 2005, which was its last model year.
It was marketed across almost seven decades and had relative critical and commercial success.
We have a full overview here of the best and worst years for Buick Century.
Number of Recalls
In all its years, the Buick Century was only recalled 64 times, making it the second most-recalled Buick model on record. The Century alone accounts for 10% of all Buick recalls since they began in 1969.
The 1978 and 1994 models of the Buick Century have 6 recalls, each making these two the most-recalled Century models on record.
The 1978, 1979,1980, and 2000 Buick Century models also have 5 recalls each.
With just 1 recall on record, the 1977, 1983, 1989, 1995, and 1996 models are the least-recalled Buick Century models on record. The 1982, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, and 1998 Buick Century models also have 2 recalls each.
Below are common Buick Century problems as seen in recall statements:
- Seatbelt faults (Inadequate heat treating of seat belt assemblies’ buckle base, massage area less than 30cm, weak safety belt anchorages)
- Service brake problems (possible separation of bolt heads on the rear spindle rod, improperly attached rear brake hoses)
- Exterior lighting issues (failure to meet overhead sign illumination requirements, improper calibration of vertical headlamp)
- Suspension issues (possible fracture of bolts used to attach the rear control arm to the frame)
3. Buick Lacrosse
The Buick Lacrosse is perhaps the most popular Buick model on the market. Buick kick-started production of the Lacrosse in 2004 for the 2005 model year, and it is currently in its third generation.
In 2019, the Lacrosse was discontinued for the North American market, but it’s still being produced and marketed in China. It sold millions of units across North America during its time in the region and achieved critical success as well.
Number of Recalls
The Buick Lacrosse has been recalled no less than 50 times because of a range of technical issues it battled across different model years. It is the third most-recalled Buick model on record, taking up 7.8% of all Buick recalls, according to ARFC.org.
Check our guide to the best and worst Buick LaCross years.
Of the 50 Lacrosse recalls, the 2014 model alone has 9, which earns it the not-so-enviable title of most-recalled Buick Lacrosse model. Right behind it are the 2015 Buick Lacrosse with 7 and the 2016 Buick Lacrosse with 6. These are models you should watch out for if you are looking to cop one.
Not only is it the last Lacrosse model produced in North America, the 2019 Buick Lacrosse is also the least-recalled model in the lineup. That perhaps makes it the best model year, in terms of recall-worthy problems.
The 2008, 2009, 2011, 2017 and 2018 models of the Buick Lacrosse also have just 2 recalls each, according to NHTSA record.
Below is a list of common recall worthy issues that have plagued the Buick Lacrosse:
- Airbag defects (unwanted activation of diagnostic test and resultant non-deployment during a crash, possible inflator rupture upon deployment, potential malfunction of passenger sensing system)
- Electrical system issues (Generator control module malfunction and gradual loss of battery charge, ignition switch may move out of run position while turning off the engine)
- Seatbelt issues (possible non-deployment of pre-tensioners during crash due to random activation of diagnostic test)
- Exterior lighting problems (overheating and possible failure of headlamp driver module, lack of illumination from headlamps and daytime running lights)
4. Buick Skylark
The Buick Skylark was a passenger car first introduced in the 1953 model year and re-introduced in the 1961 model year. After these production strings, the first generation officially began in 1964 and went on until a final sixth generation, which ended in 1997.
Number of Recalls
Back in its day, the Buick Skylark accrued no less than 47 recalls. This figure makes it the 4th most-recalled Buick model in history, accounting for 7.3% of all Buick recalls on record.
The 1989 Buick Skylark is the most-recalled Skylark model with 9 recalls, no thanks to the plethora of technical issues. If, by some miracle, there are still Skylark models out there on sale, avoid the 1980 model.
On the other hand, the 1977, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1998 Skylark models have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled model years.
Most other Buick Skylark models have between 3-4 recalls, which are relatively fair figures.
Below are common issues with the Buick Skylark as drawn from recall statements:
- Fuel system issues (improperly torqued fuel feed connection, possible crack of front fuel feed hose assembly)
- Electrical system issues (possible melting of internal switch parts due to high current flow)
- Service brake problems (premature rear wheel skid and lockup while braking on slick pavements)
5. Buick Lesabre
The Buick Lesabre was classified as a full-size car and marketed from 1959 through 2005. It entered its eighth and last generation in 2000. The Buick Lesabre was the top-selling full-size car in the U.S. until its discontinuation at the end of the 2005 model year.
Number of Recalls
In its several decades spent in the auto market, the Buick Lesabre has only been recalled 44 times. While that sounds like a lot, it helps when you consider how long the Lesabre was around.
The Lesabre’s 44 recalls make it the fifth most-recalled Buick Lesabre model with 6.9% of all Buick recalls.
Of the 44 recalls, the 2000 Lesabre has the most recalls with 5 on record, and the 1987 models follow with 4.
On the other hand, the 1971, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2003 models of the Buick Lesabre have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled models.
We have more here on the best and worst years for Buick LeSabre.
Every other Lesabre model barring the ones mentioned above has between 2-4 recalls, which indicates the model’s reliability.
Below are common issues that have provoked Buick Lesabre recalls over the years:
- Fuel system issues (regular fuel leaks and possible nonstarting engine, backfire during engine start)
- Service brake problems (loosening of attachment between brake booster and pedal assembly, internal fluid leaks in brake hydraulic control unit)
- Vehicle speed control issues (slippage of nylon bushing in the cruise control servo bail and resultant increase in engine speed or dieseling)
6. Buick Envision
We have dived deep into the different years and generations for the Buick Envision in a separate article.
Here’s our list of the best and worst years for the Buick Envision.