NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems

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


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,795 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Buick Rainier Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 172014


  • miles


I tried to get my car inspected today in Virginia but it failed due to the dummy lights on in the dash board ABS and brake. The dealer could not comm with comp but changed the fuse for the cig lighter then the codes read ebcm module fault.. in 2014 my running headlights would just go out.. no lights until I put on high beams I have had them worked on and changed but still burn out

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #9

May 152016


  • 110,000 miles
After headlights are on for a long time they will go off.

- Fairmont, NC, USA

problem #8

Jul 282014


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. While driving at 50 mph, the headlights failed to illuminate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #7

Jun 022015


  • 95,000 miles


Have noticed after a heavy and driving rain that the electrical systems acts up. We call it crazy car! all the dash lights blink & flash, bells ding and gauges fluctuate while the vehicle is at rest and on the move. We shut the engine off, sit for a minute and restart only to get the same thing. That may happen for the entire ride duration or we may get no dash lights at all. It appears to me that there is a short or a moisture that creates this happening because after a few days of good sunny weather where the water has evaporated from the roadways, our beloved rainer comes back to normal. We still experience the dimming of the headlights as we are driving at night when we are cruising with no gas pedal application at around the 32 mph marking which is rather annoying as other drivers feel as if we are flashing them. We see a down surge in the battery gauge drop for 14 volts to 11 volts and then come back up. Sometimes this can happen once or twice during a 10 mile ride or as many as 50! we wonder, when, oh, when will GM pay attention to these complaints or are we just talking into the wind?

- Dudley, MA, USA

problem #6

Mar 042013


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. The contact stated that the low beam headlight socket melted causing the light to shake. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the head lamp module needed to be replaced, along with replacement of the light. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 14V755000 (exterior lighting). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Manchester, CT, USA

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problem #5

Jul 122013


  • 121,000 miles
This is my second complaint rising from the same issue, I own two 2004 Buick Rainier's and they both have had an issue with the low beam headlamp bulb and connector being melted due to poor connection. This is a costly repair since the GM parts catalog does not list a replacement connector, they would rather sell the entire headlamp assembly. The first complaint occurred on my other Rainier now this one. No headlamp is a safety concern, and due to the wiring overheating and melting could be a potential fire hazard.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #4

Jun 032013

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


I own two 2004 Buick Rainier's and have had this issue with both, also have talked to many friends that had the same issue. The issue is that the headlamp bulb connectors are melting where they plug into the bulb, causing intermittent or no function at all of the headlamp. When trying to find a new connector for the bulb I was told I would have to buy the entire headlamp housing assembly, which is quite expensive. I know there are more cases out there with this as an issue, as GM uses these type of connectors on the Chevrolet trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Oldsmobile Bravada, and the Buick Rainier. I think this issue should be addressed because it is a very common problem caused by defective materials.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #3

May 312011

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I have a 2004 Buick Rainier. Speedometer is saying 120mph when only going 25. It would adjust itself for a day but then it was all over the place and now staying at 120 more often. This started at the end of May. For a few years now the hatch window lock is a problem. Can't open it because I have an issue with getting it locked again without slamming it. Have also had condensation in my head and rear lights since I've gotten it. Why they have yet to recall about the speedometer is crazy. This is a safety issue especially when children or the elderly are involved! the cost to fix the cluster alone is 455.80$ (cheapest). This should not be my responsibility when most, if not all, of the Rainiers are all malfunctioning in the same way.

- Oak Hill, WV, USA

problem #2

Jan 132010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph and above, the low beam headlights would fail on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they advised her that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #1

Feb 062009


  • 50,950 miles
I have had trouble with the headlights dimming while driving since the beginning, the dealership has several times worked on the problem, which I think has cleared up..so far. Now my speedometer has started messing up, it says I am going 50 while parked and 120 while driving. I only drive short distances and mostly into and back from town 6 mile one way. I have 50,969 miles on my 2004 vehicle, I keep its checkups and oil changes regularly: Dealership has records. I feel this vehicle has had electrical issues from day one, I see turn signal and brakelight issues in recall so I don't believe I am wrong about this. They want to charge me over $400 to change the "cluster" as the economy goes, I too cannot afford this kind of charges on an item that should not have issues. Especially when I take good care of it and really has low mileage and wear and tear (perfect condition).

- Sault Sainte Marie, MI, USA

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