NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems

CarComplaints.com Notes: The Buick Rainier is a replacement for the Oldsmobile Bravada, hopefully minus the transmission issues and AWD complaints.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,306 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Buick Rainier Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 012013


  • 92,000 miles


Speedometer and tachometer step motors malfunction and do not go back down upon deceleration. My speedo will show I'm doing 40 mph while stopped and sometimes peg out while driving in the neighborhood. This creates an unsafe situation with speed management in all types of driving conditions.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #10

Mar 212013


  • 80,778 miles
While I was driving down a rural road doing about 35 to 40 mph the speed suddenly froze at 40 and it no longer moves. I'm currently a driver for the city and this is a complete hazard when driving and can't determine your speed. I was very afraid due to the fact I couldn't understand why this happen to me which occurred in the process of acceleration. When I finally looked down my speed said 90 which I knew for a fact I wasn't going that fast at all once the vehicle got stuck on 40 it never came back down. Someone really needs to revise this situation with this vehicle since this problem is very common where's the recall on this.

- South Holland, IL, USA

problem #9

Feb 132013

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
Driving on a city street- speed limit of 35 mph my meter read 75 mph. I put my gps system on to monitor my mph. At traffic light while idling the meter read 45 mph. 2004 Buick Rainier had been sitting outside for 3 days with the temperature in the 20's and this was the 1st time I had driven it. Tried accelerating and stopping a little suddenly hoping to jolt the meter back to normal. No results. Parked for about 30 minutes, started the car and it began to register at 65 mph when driving 35 mph per gps. Idling read 25 mph. After more stops and restarts the idle speed would read just below 20 mph. Called onstar for a diagnostic and they connected me with GMC tech. They were going to try and reset the speedometer but found out it could not be done and wanted me to go to a local dealership. I was 400 miles from home and instead contacted my dealership at home. I was informed that this is an ongoing complaint about 2004 Rainiers and that I should have no trouble traveling home in 2 days and that my speed control should work fine. I am very displeased that the GMC tech did not convey this information to me knowing that I was traveling and was concerned about safety. The next day I drove about 30 minutes parked the car for 1 1/2 hours and when I started driving then the speedometer was back to normal. Googled this problem and found many complaints and stories just as mine and found out the there has been no recall because there were not enough complaints about the problem. Shame shame shame on Buick!!! I have since visited my local dealership and will be having a cluster replaced next week. S. so consider this a complaint about 2004 Buick Rainier and a complaint about GMC tech handling of what I consider a safety issue. I intend to trade in a year or two - but at that time I will certainly reconsider purchasing a GMC and/or Buick.

- New Martinsville, WV, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Aug 152007


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. While driving 70 mph, the speedometer will display speeds between 20-120 mph. While driving various speeds on the freeway, the speed will decrease on its own. The contact must literally stand on the accelerator pedal to maintain a steady speed. While idling at a stop sign or light, the engine continues to rev. The contact scheduled an appointment with the dealer for June 23, 2008 to diagnose the failures. The current mileage was 41,000 and failure mileage was 35,000.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 012007


  • miles
2004 Buick Rainier speedometer & gas gauge went haywire at 43,000 miles. The needles pointed randomly and the gas gauge showed 180 degrees off the markings, pointing straight down. Complained to the dealership, who stated this was a known defect and replaced the entire unit for a $100 deductible even though the car was out of warranty.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 192006

Rainier 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


I was in the midst of a 10 hour road trip over the holidays when the speedometer originally quit working. I was traveling at a rate of 70 mph. The speedometer started inching up and buried itself at 120 mph. I pulled off the road in an attempt to get the speedometer to go back down but it settled on 60 mph while in park. I continued on w/my trip and took the car to the dealership upon arrival in abilene, ks. They were not able to identify the problem in the cluster and checked bulletins for past problems w/speedometers. Over the course of 3 months the speedometer continued to repeat this action. I had it into a dealership in austin, tx on three separate occasions w/the same response from the dealership until the speedometer finally quite working altogether. The dealer told me he had seen this in a few other models by GM. I called and filed a complaint with GM and was told there was nothing they would do. I then had to pay to have the cluster replaced in February 2007. Three weeks later the car was back in B/C the entire system shut down and the speedometer quit working. The service department saw the problem upon arrival but was unable to prolong.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #4

Oct 202006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier with a failure mileage of 47,000 and a current mileage of 57,000 miles. The contact stated that the speedometer displayed the incorrect speed. When she put the vehicle in park the speedometer showed that the speed was above zero. The registered speed varied. When she started the vehicle it would automatically display a speed which was above zero. When the contact started to drive the speedometer would keep going higher until it reached 120. The contact has not taken the vehicle to the dealer or spoken to the manufacturer.

- Bremingham , MI, USA

problem #3

Oct 042004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,600 miles
At dawn or early evening the digital display speedometer disappears, and makes it impossible to see how fast consumer is traveling. Manufacturer states the vehicle is doing what it is designed to do....also, does it during day if it gets very cloudy like it is gaong to snow, etc. In Michigan, wher econsumer lives, there were several such days.

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #2

Dec 202004

Rainier 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,991 miles
Car is 2004 Buick Rainier with AWD. Less than 2000 miles at time of incident. Temp 0 F, 4" fresh snow. Returning home at 5:00 P.M., turned into 100' long driveway and proceeded toward garage. Because of snow in driveway, had to accelerate to reach front of garage when normally I just coast because it is a slightly downhill approach. Car would not stop by pushing brakes and hit garage door. Car seemed to be accelerating as it pushed garage door into snow blower and snow blower into stored vehicle inside garage causing damage to both. Speed was less than 5 miles per hour. Air bags did not deploy. Incident reported to insurance company next morning and insurance company set up an appointment with dealer. Dealer provided estimate for repairs but did not investigate for mechanical failure. Returned vehicle to investigate after christmas but nothing found to have caused incident.

- Sault Ste. Marie, MI, USA

problem #1

Dec 202004


  • miles
Numbers on speedometer disappear in early morning and just before dark.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

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