really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
144,364 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #14

Jan 062018


  • 103,297 miles
The car was off and parked in our driveway. When the key was put in the ignition and turned on, a large explosion under the hood occurred. The car was immediately turned off and smoke started coming out from under the hood. After opening the hood, saw the engine was on fire so put it out with a fire extinguisher. Really heavy gas smell inside the car today (1 day later)

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 242017


  • 203,000 miles
The vehicle in question is equipped with the 3800 series engine. The vehicle caught on fire while starting the engine. Family member owned a 2003 Chevy Impala with identical engine which caught on fire while he was driving home for work. GM settled with them for a recall that was placed on the engine. I believe there is a major design flaw with this engine.

- San Jose, IL, USA

problem #12

Mar 162017


  • 145,000 miles
I went out to start the car to go to work and I heard a backfire, my husband came out wondering what that bang was. Smoke started coming out from the hood. He popped the hood to see what the problem was and flames came shooting out from under the hood. He closed the hood to smother the fire, we had to call the fire department' to put the fire out. The car is a total loss. Now we are without a car. Now what!!!! this car was well maintained and great working order before this happened.

- Fairview, PA, USA

problem #11

Jan 022017

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owned a 2001 Buick Lesabre. When the contact inserted the key in the ignition to start the vehicle it made a popping sound and smoke appeared underneath the hood. Momentarily the vehicle burst into flames without warning. The fire department extinguished the fire and filed a report. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. There were no injuries. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 03/16/17 updated 08/11/2017

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #10

Jan 042016

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
There was an oil smell while my car was running and the passenger side of the defrost stopped working. I took the vehicle into my mechanic. My mechanic told me that there was a lot of oil leaking onto the engine and it was not safe to drive it until this leak was fixed. I left the car at his shop while the parts were ordered. I learned of the GM recall of the 3800 series engine (oil seeping through valve cover gaskets and causing engine fires) and asked my mechanic if this was the same oil leaking problem and why wasn't the model, the 2001 Buick Lesabre, put on the recall list because it has the 3800 series engine in it. He did not know, so I called GM and ask why this model wasn't listed in the recall. The GM support staff searched my VIN number and said that this model is not covered under the recall. I decided to continue with the repair of the oil leak, and my mechanic ordered new valve cover and gasket parts. My mechanic informed me that the parts were on back order due to the recall and there would be a waiting period. After a few weeks my mechanic called and said that the parts were in and that he would start the work the next day. The following day I received a call from my mechanic that as they started the car to move it from parking lot into the work bay there was a loud pop and smoke came out from under the hood. They lifted the hood, the engine was on fire so they extinguished the fire with fire suppression immediately and notified me. I called the GM support staff back to let them know that my original complaint of an oil leak had progressed to an engine fire while waiting for the parts to arrive and the repair to begin. The car had been parked for several weeks, stationary in the parking lot prior to starting it before the pop-sound and fire.

- Windber, PA, USA

problem #9

Jan 302016


  • 250,000 miles
Our Buick had been running fine, but went to move it one morning. With a cold engine, as soon as we hit the starter, the engine exploded very loudly and started burning. After the fire was put out, it was determined that the entire intake manifold, along with the fuel lines had exploded in many pieces. From internet research, it was found that the fuel pressure regulator had a recall for vehicle years '98-'00, which these models had the same condition. Had I had the hood open at the time, I'd probably been hurt by flying chunks from the intake manifold. This is a very dangerous condition which could have easily caused bodily harm, even from fire to the passengers inside.

- Sharpsburg, GA, USA

problem #8

Apr 102015


  • 137,463 miles
The gas hand said it was full, when I drove off the parking lot.. I didn't get off the road, when the car ran out of gas. Cars blowing horns.

- Bracey, VA, USA

problem #7

Apr 132012


  • 72,000 miles
Engine will shut off upon exelleration at highway speeds between 45 - 55mph. And became more frequent over time at lower speeds. Was able to restart vehicle after sitting a couple of minutes from the start of the problem. But over time, it became more frequent and harder to restart with each incident. I've taken it to 1-dealer and 2-shops for diagnostic but, they could find nothing. I parked the car for a couple of months. Went out to start it one morning and it back fired with lots of black smoke coming from under the hood. Always stayed on maintenance schedule and the car runs like a champ! when its running.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #6

Mar 062015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owned a 2001 Buick Lesabre. While the vehicle was parked and the ignition was turned on, a loud noise was coming from the engine and smoke started to emerge from the engine. The fire department extinguished the fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 072014

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 240,000 miles
Engine of my 2001 Buick le sabre, V6, 3800 engine, caught fire after an oil change and short drive home. Authorized mechanic diagnosed it as engine oil leaked out of gasket and on top of exhaust manifold, triggering a fire that quickly melted the plastic wire harness cover and started burning through the wires. I caught the fire early as it was in my driveway and I had a fire extinguisher but fire was spreading quickly. I am unable to afford the repairs.

- Saranac, MI, USA

problem #4

Aug 102014

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 123,092 miles
Car went into cruise control on its own and would not dis-engage. Found out that the cruise control cable clip broke. Luckily we were able to stop the car and no one was hurt.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #3

May 122008


  • 109,243 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Buick Lesabre. The contact stated while driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. However, the contact was unaware of the parts needed to repair the vehicle. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 109,243. Updated 10/8/14 updated 05/18/2015

- Belzoni, MS, USA

problem #2

Jun 092014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Buick Lesabre. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart after numerous attempts. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Nodaway, MO, USA

problem #1

May 132013

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 214,000 miles
Rear window regulator have malfunctioned for 3rd time in both rear windows. Oil leaking from valve/heads causing smoke under hood. Door controls shorted out, and electrical problems causing doors to lock and unlock without cause and switching from driver1 to driver2 and back while driving.

- Chicago, IL, USA