NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2008 Buick Lucerne (Page 1 of 4)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,728 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.

2008 Buick Lucerne electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Buick Lucerne Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #78

Aug 022019


  • 112,000 miles


Car was stationary fuel relay burnt out. We replaced it and new one went out. Thought it was fuel pump. Replaced pump and still wouldn't crank. Realised the fuse block is bad. Saw online where this is a common issue. We are having a hard time finding the correct block. Ordered one from GM online and it was the wrong one. Sent it back. Car has been down for over a month. This should be a recall.

- Hartford, AL, USA

problem #77

Sep 032019


  • 72,000 miles
In the last month and a half my 2008 Buick Lucerne has burned up six fuel pump relays it keeps melting the relays and the fuse block I believe this to be a safety hazard as it could catch on fire this should definitely be recalled

- Lake Jackson, TX, USA

problem #76

Aug 142019


  • 164,000 miles
Rear seat makes contact with top of fuse block cover causing it to push aginst fuel pump relay causing it to overheat and burn out. This relay gets heated to the point that it could present a fire hazard. Due to the heat it generates, it melts the fuse block causing it to have to be replaced. Back seat cannot support weight of an average size person. This problem causes the vehicle to shut down and lose power rendering lose of power steering and power brakes. It is unreprehensible that GM is not made to correct this blatant mistake. This has happened 4 times and the block has been replaced by authorized buic dealer.

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #75

Jan 102019


  • 124,000 miles


I receive a letter from GM stating that the rear seat brackets may contact the electrical system causing damage including fires and draining of the batter. The letter further gave a very narrow time frame as well as conditions where owners could get reimbursement or repair of the problem which prohibits myself other owners from being able to correct this design defect without incurring sizable repair bills. I have replaced my battery twice because of the draining issues. The vehicle can not stay dormant for more than 2 days before the battery dies. It is unconscionable as well as an unscrupulous business practice to not recall the affected vehicles and have the problem corrected at no costs to the owners. I am lucky that it is just a battery drain, in some cases there have been fires and engine stalls. This is a potential life-threatening problem that should be corrected by GM immediately.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #74

Apr 102019


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Lucerne. The contact stated that the fuse box failed three times in three months. Also, while driving, a burning odor was detected. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The contact coasted the vehicle over to the side of the road, opened the back seat of the vehicle, and noticed that the fuel fuse was burned. The contact replaced the fuse, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the fuel box and fuel pump were replaced; however, the failure recurred. The contact spoke with murdock Hyundai logan (located at 3131 main St, logan, ut 84341, (888) 494-8023) and the contact was informed that there would be a fee for diagnostic testing and repairs. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer and was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Logan, UT, USA

problem #73

May 202019


  • 85,000 miles
Fuse box under the seat overheats and burns out fuel pump relay along with the fuse box. Unsafe if it happens while driving

- Salinas, CA, USA

problem #72

Jan 012019


  • 64,000 miles


I received a letter in January, 2019 regarding this vehicle, stating that the "vehicle's rear seat bracket could contact the vehicle's rear electrical center (rec), which can, over time, damage electrical components within the rec enclosure. If damage occurs, the components can melt or overheat, which the customer may detect by a melting odor in the vehicle. Damage could also cause the vehicle's battery to drain, a no-start condition, or a stall." We have had 2 new batteries installed in this vehicle in recent years and I've also smelled the burning smell that they are referring to in this letter. I took the vehicle to shelton Pontiac Buick in rochester, mi to find out if our car had been affected by this condition, and after examining the rec harness, they said that it has been affected and needs repair. They quoted me $720 to repair it. Buick was the one who contacted me regarding this situation, which is unsafe and should be under a recall with no charge to the customer to fix. It is a manufacturer's problem and not due to wear and tear and I believe I should not be charged for this repair because of their faulty design. I have spoken with their customer assurance center many times and have gotten nowhere with them. I also wrote a letter to neelie O'connor, the executive director of Buick's North american contact center and never received a response. She was the person who signed the letter, alerting us to the problem. I do not want this vehicle to be unsafe as I am on the road a lot, going back and forth to detroit for cancer treatments. It needs to be fixed and Buick should pay for it.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #71

May 072016

Lucerne 8-cyl

  • miles
2008 Buick Lucerne. Consumer writes seeking reimbursement for vehicle repairs. The consumer requested to be reimbursed for repairs to the rear electrical center. The vehicle exceeded the mileage parameters.

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #70

Apr 142019


  • 67,249 miles
Twice in the last twelve months there has been a short in the tail light assembly resulting in my battery getting drained. I could not get to my tools in the trunk because I could not get the electrical system to open the trunk and I could not open it manually. The short has been due to an electrical wire being pinched between a washer and the frame when the tail light assembly was replaced after a bulb was replaced. It caused my car to die while running.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #69

Apr 122019


  • 118,000 miles
Fule pump relay fuse box cought fire

- Nashua, IA, USA

problem #68

Apr 112019


  • miles


My car shut off will not start with key in the ignition, and when started with the keyless remote it still will not move and car will not come out of park. The whole entire ignition system is locked up. I tried my spare key the car has shut down and it had to be towed home. The car was stationary.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #67

Mar 172019


  • 97,000 miles
Experienced a crank no start on my 2008 Buick Lucerne, did some research to find this make/model/year has a long history of issues with the rear electrical center due to the placement under the back seat. The fuel pump relay fuse was extremely burnt and noticed the fuse box was melted near the relay fuse. Brought my car to the local Buick dealership and they notified me a 10 year "special coverage" was available on this car but I was never notified of the issue. I am the 2nd owner of this vehicle. Ended up having to pay for an entire new rear electrical center and the labor to replace it (~$700). I called GM customer service and they said they wouldn't be able to do anything about it. If the electrical box is being burned and it's directly under a seat I fear this is a major safety concern. I believe this should have warranted a recall and it absolutely should be required for GM to notify the current owner of the vehicle for this issue.

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #66

Mar 122019


  • 130,000 miles
Car wouldn't start checked fuse panel and fuel pump relay terminal is melted upon further research this is a common occurrence in the 2008-2011 Buick Lucerne models caused by the panel being directly under the rear seat bracket. Bracket applies pressure to panel lid which intern pushes and applies pressure to fuel pump relay GM recommends replacing relay with low profile style relay and cutting seat brackets. If this is such a know issue and GM recommends these modifications why is this not a safety recall? if the terminal is melting and burning like that this could cause a fire directly under a foam seat in the rear of a car and in my case directly under my children's car seats!!!!!!!!! I have to replace the entire fuse panel due to the melted contacts with estimate repair costs of over $300 for something that could be prevented by GM doing the right thing and fixing their problem!

- Osceola, IN, USA

problem #65

Jan 312018


  • 26,000 miles
I received a notice from Buick on Friday, Jan 18, 2019 stating that the rear seat bracket may be contacting the rear electrical center (rec) which causes an smokey odor in the vehicle. Reimbursement is eligible if you have it repaired but I'm not eligible for a recall or the funds because my car was originally delivered July 2008. I bought it with only 24,000 original miles on it in June 2017. I have never been notified by Buick about this situation. All this time we thought that the previous owner was a smoker. Something has obviously burned or is burning in the car. Due to the superior condition of this vehicle and the service records showing we have well maintained it, we are requesting assistance to get this repair completed at no charge by the Buick corporation. When contacting the Buick corporation on Monday, Jan 21, 2019, they said that because of the original delivery age and it's about 6 months past eligibility, that they won't assist. I find it ironic that I was not notified of this situation before January 2019 and have been the car's second owner since June 2017. Buick has known about this problem but has done nothing about it.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #64

Nov 292018


  • 88,500 miles
"takata recall"relay to fuel pump in fuse box under drivers side rear seat. Keeps melting (relay and fuse box) leaving an electrical fire smell in car. This is the 2nd box and fuel pump to be replaceed in less than 2 years.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #63

Dec 022018


  • 131,000 miles
My battery is located under the back seat and caught flames yesterday with my small children in the back. I dont understand why U would put a battery under a passenger seat where people sit on top of with fabric

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #62

Oct 012018


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owned a 2008 Buick Lucerne. After starting the vehicle, an electrical surge occurred and the driver noticed smoke under the hood. After opening the hood, flames appeared from the engine compartment. The fire department was called to the scene and extinguished the flames. The vehicle was destroyed and towed away. The cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The local dealer was not notified. The failure mileage was 170,000.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #61

May 252018


  • 42,000 miles
Automatic door locks on various doors have failed repeatedly. This problem has required entire replacement of the door lock/latch assembly's which is quite expensive. Failure of door locks is sometimes not immediately noticeable since it is intermittent at first, until it does not work at all. Children or persons could fall out of car as result of failed locks that you think are locked but they are not. You rely on the door locks to keep everyone safe from accidentally opening the doors.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #60

Oct 222016


  • 78,000 miles
Buick Lucerne electrical problems - onstar suspected. I 'm not sure that this is or isn't a safety problem, but after complaining to Buick I was advised by them to file a claim(?) with you. About a month to 6 weeks after an in-town accident (10/22/16) that was repaired immaculately by the local GM dealer, the car sat in a park and fly lot for about 5 days while we had gone visiting out East. When we got back the car was dead as a stone. After a triple a call we got home and immediately got a new battery (12/20/16), even though I was surprised that it had gone dead because there was no warning (slow starting, etc). However, in the next 6 months or so, two more new ones went dead (2nd 1/3/17, 3rd 3/13/17) and were replace by the dealer at no charge. However, in the next year or so, not only did the onstar go dead, the brakes lights quit and was replaced, the cruise control quit, the stabiltrak quit, (and both were replaced). My insurance company - american family - informed me that the accident is not the cause of the problems. So finally I took it to another shop cas (complete auto service - austin) that does the city's police cars, and they ran a diagnostic on it and even though the onstar has quit working, by removing the fuse in it that 'seems' - after spending over $1300 and still not replacing the onstar for another $650, - to have solved the problem. At least so far.

- Austin, MN, USA

problem #59

Nov 062017


  • 70,235 miles
Was driving and vehicle started to stutter, hesitate, then total loss of steering brakes didn't work properly. We were on an over pass during rush hour traffic busy intersection. Finally after about 1 hr we made it to autozone limp mode all the way. Purchased coils X 3, coil ignition module, spark plug wires, spark plugs, camshaft sensor, crankshaft sensor. Then find out it was only a freaking fuse under seat that was burnt and melting away. Not very happy. GM should be held accountable for knowing about this and not offering to fix it.

- Fayetteville, OH, USA

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