NHTSA — Visibility: Power Window Devices And Controls Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,604 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.

1998 Buick Century windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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1998 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 042008

Century 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Buick Century. The contact attempted to roll up all four windows but only the rear driver's side window responded. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was told that the window motors and tracks would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred intermittently on the front passenger side window. The failure mileage was 11,000 and the current mileage was 50,000. Updated 4/1/11 updated 1/13/2012

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #6

Jul 291999

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,225 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Century. The contact stated that both rear electric windows do not operate. He stated that the windows cannot roll up once they are down. The contact notified the manufacturer, but they have not responded. He has replaced the regulator component, which cost an estimated $350. When the window was replaced, the mechanic failed to offer an explanation as to the cause of failure. Presently, the left rear window still malfunctions. The current mileage was 72,000 and failure mileage was 22,225.

- Centereville, VA, USA

problem #5

Oct 112005

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,933 miles
We have a 1998 Buick Century with less than 50,000 miles. The information in complaints 10137627 and 10134068 are very similar to our two experiences. In June 2004 the drivers side window just fell and could not go back up. The rear window on the side did the same thing a year later. Both were spontaneous. Each repair was about $500. I submitted a complaint to Buick which was summarily dismissed because the car is "old" and it has only happened to each window once. (as an aside my wife's brother has the same year make and model and it has happened to three of his windows. The two vehicles were purchased from the same dealer about 4 months apart) I have accessed some information mentioned in the other complaints so I need not repeat it here. I believe Buick has in inherent defect which should be repaired or changed at no cost. It was however replaced with the same hardware. Our grandchildren ride in car seats in the back of the car and this failure could endanger them. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Jul 092004

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,071 miles


Contact owns a 1998 Buick Century. Power windows were defective. The contact took the vehicle to dealer. All 4 windows stopped working. Within 2 months all 4 windows have been checked. The dealer worked on 3 windows. They failed at 70, 000 miles. The contact did not want to pay for windows to be fixed.

- Sun City West, AZ, USA

problem #3

May 052005

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
We have 2 Buick Century automobiles; a 1998 and a 2001. Both have power windows. Power window units in both autos failed this summer. A small plastic piece that connects the regulator cable to the power window motor breaks allowing the window to slip down and not be closed. The repair is expensive since Buick does not sell the connector devise; instead it requires customers to purchase a complete ¿¿dealer only¿ power window regulator assembly for over $300. Since may we have had 50% of our power windows go out on the 1998 Buick Century and one go out on the 2001; without the money to purchase the dealer part have had to have a mechanic prop the windows in the closed position with a wooden dowel. Since one of these windows is the driver¿'s window we believe that this presents a safety issue. Our mechanic told us that he sees a lot of this problem since ¿¿this is a bad design¿. my dealer told me that this was related to heat, however they do sell Buick¿'s with this window design throughout the country, including areas where heat should have been considered in the design and engineering. A google search came up with over 500 complaints on this part. The Buick discussion board on this shows a 50% failure rate in their own survey. I believe that GM has an obligation to develop an improved version of the plastic part and an obligation to make that part available to allow the assembly to be repaired instead of completely replaced. Please look into this issue and consider a recall to replace these failure prone plastic parts with metal parts that will withstand ordinary use in all climate conditions found in the United States. We are concerned both about the cost and the safety of driving around in an automobile that either cannot be locked and secured or in a vehicle with a window that can not be opened in an emergency if the owner is unable to afford the repairs and is forced to simply prop the window in the up, locked and secure position. Thank you.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

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problem #2

Jun 012005

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact stated front driver side and two rear window regulators broke, causing the windows to stay down. The window regulators were being replaced.

- Okalla, FL, USA

problem #1

Dec 042003

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
1998 Buick Century custom - the electric rear window stopped working and dropped open and won't close. An examination of the window revealed that the harness is made up of two steel cables attached together by a small piece of plastic. Surprise, the plastic broke! in December 2003, the same year that the back window broke, the driver's side window broke and it is the exact same piece that broke in the back window. Only this time it broke while my daughter was in the center lane of I-75 and we're fortune that she wasn't in a serious accident. The falling of the window at high speed created a scary distraction that narrowly missed causing a potentional bad accident. It have been told to me by a body shop as well as a Buick saleman that this is a common defect. It is not only dangerous but conveniently costly to repair. They don't make the plactic connector, which would be very easy to install, but only sell the entire harness for $375 + tax. I have writen and spoke with GM in detroit. They have offered me an additional $1500 towards a new car or they will pay 50% of repairing the window. This sounds to me like they are very well aware of the problem but it is going to take your organization to insist upon a total recall.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

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