NHTSA — Power Train Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
114,800 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.

1997 Buick LeSabre drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1997 Buick LeSabre Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 012017


  • 49,000 miles


Transmission shudders between 30 to 40 mph. Also at 50 mph on the highway. Have been told may need transmission. Car only has 56,000 miles. Transmission fluid has been drained. Did not help. Please advise

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 302016


  • 190,000 miles
Sub frame is completely roated out on the back drive. Complete safty hazard needs recall

- Saint Cloud, MN, USA

problem #3

May 052010


  • 97,000 miles
My car jerks like a fish tugging on your line at different speeds and when coming up an incline. It also has a very strong odor that I smell when running the A/C. I smell it outside the car and occasionally I smell it inside the car.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 102009


  • 186,000 miles
The car accelerated itself in reverse and I was unable to stop it even though I had the brake pedal depressed as far as it would go. I had started the car, depressed the brake pedal (the brake must be engaged in order to put the car in gear) and the car shot back and would not stop. I was rather panicked as I was leaving a convenience store and was trying to avoid hitting the gas pumps, other vehicles and pedestrians. I managed to back the car into the street and attempted to put it in park so it would stop. The gear shift went into the park position, but the car did not stop. It proceeded across a busy street through a controlled intersection at approx.20-30 mph. At it started across the street, I shut the car off. The brakes would still not stop it. It finally came to a stop after rolling into a curb. I had absolutely no control over the car other than to steer it. I have known this to happen with several other GM cars, but always in a forward gear. I own a 1986 Pontiac trans am that has done this on occasion. I have had that car looked at by several mechanics, and none can find anything wrong with it. GM does not appear to be aware of this problem as I can find no records of recalls for any of their cars for spontaneous acceleration. Part of the problem may be that when it happens to someone, no one believes them. Everyone assumes they had their foot on the gas and the brake at the same time. I have tried to put my foot on both pedals (with the car in park) to see if that could be what happened, but I can't do it as the gas pedal is recessed further back than the brake pedal. At no time are they level with each other. By some miracle, no one was hurt and there was no property damage. I am going to check with various Buick dealerships and other mechanics to see if they have ever heard of this problem, but I fear it will be the same as with the trans am where I will get no answers.

- Winona, MN, USA

problem #1

Aug 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
Hello, I had a problem with my car hesitating going up a small grade or sometimes just driving down the road and took it back to the dealer. They told me it was a spark plug and fixed it. The problem continued and I took it to another dealer who said I needed a new transmission. Besides a new transmission, they also replaced the intake manifold gasket and put new brakes on the front with rotors. The receipt from the garage says the transmission had an 1870 trouble code. My car was purchased new and had 52,000 miles on it. The total cost was $4200. I asked the GM people for help with this expense as I am a single mother working 2 jobs and did not get a reply. I took out another loan to pay for this. Now, with almost 80,000 miles, the transmission is doing the same thing and my friend with a computer says it is the 1870 trouble code (when the check engine light comes on). I can not afford to spend another $4000 for another transmission.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

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