2011 Buick LaCrosse electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,797 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.

2011 Buick LaCrosse electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Buick LaCrosse Owner Comments

problem #15

Feb 032016


  • 51,542 miles


Vehicle completely dead after all types of electrical messages displayed when trying to start. Car was stationary both times. This first happened early Feb 2016; then repeated similar scenario 20 days later. Car was towed both times. Low mileage 52,278 miles. Messages generic, dealer could not determine problem and contacted the GM customer center also. Nothing done first time. Second time dealer started updating all the electronic modules-although again no specific cause and effect could be identified. Modules updated (ebcm, BCM ECM, etc. About 27 modules. Thus far car has not been dead again with exception of battery issue (already another warranty replacement for original). My concern: If these electronic modules (couple thousand of dollars) are the problem, how come it was not a recall vs repair. Owner should not be a hostage to a software update for a repair to make the car start? of note; my car has had 21 warranty fixes with my low mileage. GM prior to this electronic failure extended my warranty out due to the many issues after I was forceful. Basically, GM engineers are producing a car where they cannot definitively state the problem, but start trying everything. These module updates would cost couple thousand dollars and lots of time in shop. Note: My auto is a 4 wd larger engine Buick; fob vs key so somewhat fewer on the road. My auto was one of the first 2011 that rolled off assembly line probably but very similar to the 2010 (first year out with the current body style). The other 21 warranty jobs (driver seat, passenger side traffic warning message, oil leaks, transmission leak at same time as engine oil leak, problems with doors opening, radio nav system, right rear hub bearing pad, and a couple driven by the actual repair visit.

- Germantown, TN, USA

problem #14

Jan 122016


  • 111,200 miles
Defroster, heat, A/C, fan speed, recirc, heat/cool seats functions failed (stopped working completly) while driving in a snow storm on January 12, 2016 on highway us 131 to traverse city, mi. Found recall information NHTSA # 11V149000. Brought to dealer. Dealer said not coverred under recal due to VIN #, and owner cost of $400 + to repair. Contacted Buick customer care. Spoke with asia and leslie on 1/15/16, who said GM could not help. I described language of the recall as being identical to the safety hazard described in the NHTSA language: "windshield defrosting and defogging systems" on these vehicles, the software in the electronic climate control module may disable the ability to adjust the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system settings. If this happens, the driver will not be able to control the cooling and ventilation for the vehicle. Consequence: If this condition affects the defrost system when it is required, it may decrease the driver's visibility and could result in a crash."

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #13

Feb 112011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Buick Lacrosse. While driving at various speeds, the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure could not be diagnosed. The contact stated that the error codes were removed from the vehicle; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was diagnosed that the catalytic converter failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact also stated that the battery of the vehicle had to be replaced on several occasions, but the dealer could not diagnose why the batteries were failing. While driving to have routine maintenance performed on the vehicle, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to move. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be repaired. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was unknown.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

Oct 272015


  • 38,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Buick Lacrosse. The contact stated that the anti-skid device activated independently causing the vehicle to brake without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 38,000. The VIN was not available.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 182011

LaCrosse 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,400 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Buick Lacrosse. While driving 35 mph, the trunk opened independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the body control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure continuously recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 9,400. Updated 08/17/16 the consumer stated the truck popped open while the vehicle was sitting in the driveway and in the parking lot, at his job. Updated 10/25/16.

- Pigeon, MI, USA

problem #10

Oct 012015


  • 49,500 miles
Vehicle has been operating normally. It just came off warranty a few weeks back. Wife came home and parked the vehicle in the driveway. Went out several hours later to go somewhere and it would not start. There were no warnings of a problem. When we turned the ignition key we heard a few clicks and then nothing. Lights we noticeably dim. We were able to get it started with a jumper and let it run for a while. It will be serviced in the morning. It appears the problem is with the battery or there is an electrical problem in the system. While we were running, we checked to see if there were any codes and could not find any. The car was parked on about a 5% incline facing down. We used the incline to move the car to a flat area where we were able to jump start.

- Old Orchard Beach, ME, USA

problem #9

Jul 092015

LaCrosse 6-cyl

  • 55,355 miles


Car was parked in our garage at 2:30 pm. I went into the garage at 7:45 pm and found it extremely hot (115F), opened the garage doors and tried to start the car to get it out of the garage. Would not start and called aaa for a tow. Aaa suggested calling police & fire. Police came and they called fire dept. Temp under hood registered 150F and co alarm in basement started to go off. Firefighters put on protective gear, entered house and their co monitors went off immediately. Gas line shut off, house vented. Car eventually towed to dealership nearby. Gas company came that evening to restart and inspect dryer, water heater, stove and found no co problem. Have yet to hear from the dealer (flemington Buick) as to cause, issues, resolution. Update 9/15/15 the consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 10/15/15

- Flemington, NJ, USA

problem #8

Apr 202015


  • 13,000 miles
While driving, using the navigation system for directions, the display changed from day mode to night mode rendering it unreadable. The time of day was at least two hours after dawn and was was overcast. The display remained dark for nearly an hour. This also affected the backup display as well, rendering it useless. The radio was also useless as stations could not be selected.

- Melbourne Beach, FL, USA

problem #7

Sep 282014


  • 29,988 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Buick Lacrosse. The contact stated that vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the battery needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. In addition, the contact heard a clicking noise coming from the dashboard as the electronic suspension warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the electrical suspension module needed to be repaired. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 29,988. Updated 02/18/15

- Paulsboro, NJ, USA

problem #6

Apr 052014


  • miles
On more than 10-15 occasions I've experienced intermittent failure of the keyless ignition, whereby there is only one click and then no ability to start my vehicle unless I continue to press the button while turning off any and all ac, radio, power etc. I purchased the car used 1 year ago in excellent condition but noticed that it already had a new battery that was installed earlier in 2013.the vehicle is a 2011 and that seemed very odd. What I've noticed is that the battery terminals continually corrode mostly on the "positive" terminal and I've removed and brushed them several times and tighten, and that seems to work when it just absolutely won't start. Big inconvenience when I'm usually dressed in a suit... unfortunately, I've taken it to three different GM Buick dealerships over the past month and a half and it never will reproduce the defect when I'm there, so they've not been able to evaluate and remedy. Noticed service bulletin pi-0412 for parasitic drain/discharge so now I'll take it to another dealership to see if they can determine the cause based on this. Very frustrating to not be able to have this diagnosed and corrected before I potentially find myself totally stranded away from home.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #5

Apr 012014


  • miles


2011 Buick Lacrosse. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle integrated flip key system. The consumer stated he noticed a problem while driving his mother's vehicle. In order to activate the ignition, the driver must extend the Buick integrated flip key. After the flip key was inserted into the ignition, the driver must turn the Buick integrated flip key device to start the vehicle. During the process, the driver often inadvertently placed pressure with his or her thumb or index finger on the trunk latch disengagement switch. The switch disengaged the trunk security latch. However, the trunk did not open, to the point where it was noticeable to the driver or passengers. However, while stopping, the un-latched trunk inevitably opened.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #4

Sep 042012

LaCrosse 6-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
When turning left at a traffic light, my car lost power and I wasn't sure I was going to make it around the corner. After a few seconds my car regained power. 45 minutes later, I made a right turn into heavy traffic and then felt a sudden lurch. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that my trunk had popped open. I managed to get off the highway, parked the car and turned off the ignition. I got out, closed the trunk, got back in the car, and fastened my seatbelt. Before I could close the door, the trunk popped open again. This occurred three times before the trunk finally stayed closed. A few minutes later, I parked the car, opened the door, started to get out and the warning chime sounded. I got back in and saw that the on the console shift lever that indicates your car is in park was lit up even though the car was turned off. In order to get the light to go off, I had to restart my car and then turn it off again. Next I pushed the onstar phone button and asked to call my home. I got a busy signal. I called a second time and my husband at the number I was calling, heard me telling onstar call my home but I couldn't hear him trying to talk to me. All of these things happened within 1 1/2 hours. The next day, I found that I could not lock the door by touching the lock spot on the outside door handle. Then I could not unlock the car door by pulling on the door handle when the key was in my pocket. I have had the car for 1 year and eight months and the driver's memory seat has often lost its memory. Sometimes just one button but most of the time both buttons. Prior to this I had been having trouble with my trunk. I'd leave my car parked in a public parking lot and come out to find my trunk wide open. On May 3rd the GM dealer replaced a part hoping to fix this problem.

- Pigeon, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 302012

LaCrosse 6-cyl

  • 5,334 miles
While driving vehicle, vehicle electronics went inopt while cruising down highway at 60 mph. Speedometer, instrument cluster, turn signals, navigation and radio were all inopt.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #2

Nov 102010


  • 200 miles
This vehicle has the push button keyless start. Page 10-89 of the owner manual describes the method to move the transmission lever from park to neutral without starting the engine, for the purpose of towing the vehicle or moving it without starting the engine (if the car battery is dead or the engine will not start for any other reason), such as onto a tow truck for Transport to a service center. The manual says to set the parking brake (this cannot be done if the car battery is dead because the parking brake is electrically operated), select the accessory mode (by pushing the start button to show an amber light as described on page 9-20), then squeeze the small lever on the front of the transmission lever, and move it from park to neutral. This does not work. The lever cannot be moved out of park. Applying the foot brake does not help. I took the car to Liberty Buick in peoria, AZ, and described the problem to salesmen and service advisors. None of them could make it work or explain why. This procedure was tried with another Lacrosse with the keyless start feature and it also did not work, verifying that this is a problem with all Lacrosse keyless start vehicles. This procedure works with a "keyed start" vehicle if the key is turned to the ¿on¿ position (not the ¿accessory¿ position as stated in the manual). Apparently, insufficient testing was done on this feature and it was not correctly programmed into the electronic system of the vehicle. The interlock between the engine, brake, and transmission lever is not released in the accessory mode and there is no ¿on¿ position for the keyless ignition without starting the engine. This means that if my car is in my garage or on a road and the battery is dead or the engine will not start, I will be unable to move it out of the garage or out of traffic or onto a tow truck.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #1

Aug 242011


  • 435 miles
The contact owned a 2011 Buick Lacrosse. The contact stated the vehicle had a push button start engine and when he pushed the button to turn the vehicle off, the engine would start while he was walking away. The vehicle remained on for ten minutes during the last two times the failure occurred; however, the dealer stated it was computerized and offered no assistance. The manufacturer was notified and also stated it was all computerized and offered no assistance. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 435.

- Warwick, RI, USA

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