Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Buick Rainier is a replacement for the Oldsmobile Bravada, hopefully minus the transmission issues and AWD complaints.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,193 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Buick Rainier electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Buick Rainier Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Sep 032008


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. The speed odometer displayed inaccurate readings. When the driver is unable to identify the correct speed of the vehicle, excessive speed may be exhibited. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a technician concluded that the cause of the failure was due to an electrical shortage. The warranty expired and the contact was billed $500 for the repair. The failure and current mileages were 30,000.

- Industry, PA, USA

problem #9

Sep 112008


  • 58,000 miles
Malfunctioning speedometer- the speedometer stops working at random times while driving. It is dangerous to all travelers whether in car or those traveling alongside us. There is no way to tell when it goes out. The speedometer will just stick at a certain speed-it will then continue from that speed and at times shows that you are traveling at speeds well above the limit. I have also experienced where it drops 5 miles everytime its turned off but it also has reset itself at times. I do believe that with all the complaints I've seen supporting the same facts that this should be a mandatory recall and fix. I took the car to 2 different shops for help - shop 1 couldn't easily see how to fix & suggested it would be expensive, shop 2 (*Buick dealer) stated no idea on problem but would need complete panel replacement minimum price $700. In view of our economy and dealers wanting support I believe this should be addressed as a major problem due to all the complaints being very similar. Hard to pin down to a specific date and once started now occurs monthly. I have also experienced the problems with the lights dimming and the hard to read mileage display.

- Winona, MN, USA

problem #8

Aug 032009


  • miles
I have a 2004 Buick Rainier and the speedometer sticks on a regular basis. It ranges anywhere from 20-70 miles an hour while parked and 120 and over while driving. I can generally tell about how fast I am going and must keep an eye on my rpms. Well this is frustrating and very distracting while driving. This is definitely a safety concern for my family as well as everyone else on the road (because of the distraction). Also my cruise control does not work and the air conditioner will not blow out of the front vents. I have read other complaints of this nature and wonder when someone is going to do something about it. I cannot afford to pay for the extremely costly repair and believe that GM should recall and repair the numerous vehicles that this is affecting.

- Adairville, KY, USA

problem #7

Nov 012008


  • 40,000 miles


Instrument cluster failed to work. Dealer checked and found this is not a safety issue, since I should be able to feel hoe fast I am going. This same failure was covered in Pontiac and Chevrolet trucks.

- Tyrone, PA, USA

problem #6

Jul 142008


  • 33,000 miles
My husband and I purchased a used 2004 Buick Rainier with 33,000 miles last May 2008. One evening during the summer we were making a 20 minute trip and the speedometer just stopped working while en route. Since then the speedometer gets stuck while making 20+ minute trips and will only go down 5 mph each time you shut off the SUV and restart. So you have to shut off and restart several times before it reaches back down to zero and it will then operate okay for a little while until you make that 20+ minute trip again. Sometimes while just driving around town running errands it will get stuck. So I would say at least once a week it gets stuck. It's very frustrating when you have to watch your speed especially around the school zones. I often take my eyes off the roads to watch my RPM's and try to calculate how fast I'm going. I'm currently saving to have the problem fixed as I've heard of it being a very pricing item (instrument cluster) to have replaced. I've been doing some research on a possible recall for this item and I've found there have been many complaints and even a class action suit against GM for other SUV's similar to the Rainier but the Buick Rainier was not listed in this class action suit and no recalls have been made for this item on Buick Rainiers. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- Pardeeville, WI, USA

problem #5

Nov 012008


  • 59,142 miles
Speedometer stops working when car warms up. As I am driving with my two small children my speedometer will stop working and go below zero. Which becomes a hazard because I am unaware of how fast or slow I am going. My family as well as myself are in serious danger of getting into an accident because of this problem. It will not start working again until the next day. It has been happening quicker and quicker as the problem persists. I am also noticing a hot smell when the speedometer stops working. Buick refuses to help with this problem even though I have reported this before my extended warranty expired.

- Deposit, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 262008


  • 64,000 miles


While driving on the freeway I noticed that the speedometer reading was too high as I was changing lanes to exit during evening rush hour. After exiting and stopping for a traffic light, my speedometer was showing 55mph. As I continued on the service drive I observed 75 and 85mph in a 35mph zone! very distracting when driving next to a 70mph freeway. I not going that fast I'm crawling. When I turned on to my street I was still observing the speed at 65mph and nearly ran over my neighbor who was putting his trash out at the curb. Almost passed my driveway and drove over a bit of the other neighbors grass. I could not believe a 4-yr old vehicle with 64000 miles had a bad speedometer. So I changed the instrument cluster fuse and the speedometer started to work again and seemed to be accurate. On my way home from work it again shot up to 120+mph and that is where it stayed. Changed the fuse again seemed to work for a day and shot up again to 120+ mph. Drove it to the dealership to have to repaired and they say it is the instrument cluster that is bad and it will cost $450. No longer under warranty and I cannot repair at this time. Dealership service says they have not heard of this happening at all. For my money they will only warranty it for 1yr/12000 miles. I have always believed buy american but right now I am truly disappointed.

- Redford, MI, USA

problem #3

Dec 182007


  • 45,000 miles
Speedometer began getting stuck and now does not give speed stays on zero or slowly moves up and gets stuck.

- Shelby Twp. , MI, USA

problem #2

Nov 152007


  • 41,000 miles
The speedometer reads erratically at rest pegged to 120 when driving. This occurs intermittently. When driving you do not have reliable display of your speed. GM says this is not a safety issue, I disagree. It is a failure in a fundamentally important function of the vehicle and should be fixed. This began with onset of cold weather and continues to the present.

- Loretto, PA, USA

problem #1

Mar 222008

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Instrument gauge cluster started working only sporadically March 08. Speedometer and tack have also failed to work about 25% of time in the past two weeks. On one occasion while driving about 15 mph through a neighborhood, the gas pedal failed to respond and the engine would only idle at 1000 RPM. After pulling over and restarting, the gas pedal returned to normal.

- Edwardsville, IL, USA

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