Notes: The 2006 Buick Rainier has a lot going for it and just a few issues that keep it from making our "best vehicles" list.

The good news is the SUV has a quiet interior (thanks to triple door seals, acoustic laminate glass, and thicker sound-absorbing pads), a low number of overall complaints, and a RWD system which offers good balance and handling.

Unfortunately, it received poor safety ratings in crash tests, owners report that the gas gauge is unreliable, and there was a large recall for melting power window switches.

So close, Buick. So close.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,920 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.

2006 Buick Rainier electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Buick Rainier:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Buick Rainier Owner Comments

problem #8

Apr 092016


  • 131,000 miles


Just purchased car 3 weeks ago, it caught on fire at 3 am after being parked for 6 department says it started at the driver side headlight wiring or switch area. Completely destroyed my engine before fire department arrived.

- Thermal, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 112015


  • 53,000 miles
After filling up the vehicle with fuel, the gas gage goes to zero and the tank empty warning light comes on, after driving about 2 to 3 miles, the check engine light comes on. After driving another 10-15 miles the gas gage returns to showing actual level and the check engine light goes out. However, at about a tank level of about 1/4 the tank is near empty. This erratic malfunction of the gas gage is dangerous.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #6

Mar 142015


  • 106,000 miles
The air conditioning and heating controls had not been working and /or working erratically. We took the vehicle to the local dealership for repair. They claimed that they couldn't find any problem. We also asked them to fix the recall item, door switch, and were told there was no recall on our vehicle eventhough we had received notice from GM by mail. On March 14, 2015 I was driving on the interstate when the air conditioner suddenly started working full force. Within 10 minutes I smelled an electric fire and white smoke started coming into the cab from above and below the dash. I immediately pulled off the road and tried to open the hood. As the smoke increased I went to the passenger side to remove belongings from the glove compartment. Black smoke was coming from the dash and burning embers falling into the cab. By the time the fire department arrive, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. My family and I were not hurt, but are now without a vehicle and still owe the finance company since we had only purchased the vehicle 9 months ago. Subsequent research revealed the headlights we had replaced twice also had electrical issues, and the suspension noise from the rear of the vehicle had multiple complaints.

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 262014

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Buick Rainier 2006, [xxx], I have had trouble with my SUV turning off while driving many times. Also, it will not start after several attempts until it just wants to. Now, it has completely stopped starting and is sitting in a parking lot after trying to start over 5 hours, I am so upset and stranded. My VIN does not appear on recall list for switch, but that is the trouble I am having. What do I do now? information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Ellabell, GA, USA

problem #4

Jul 252014


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Buick Rainier. The contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, the engine stalled and the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle restarted after multiple attempts. However, the failure recurred multiple times. Also, the contact had stated that there was a burning odor present. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The technician stated that the ignition switch, various wires, and throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. However, the VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V406000 (electrical system, visibility). The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- Ellenville, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 102013

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 72,364 miles
The engine quits unannounced and the safety lock dash light illuminates. This can occur anytime regardless of speed. If at highway speed, the car will restart on itself. At low speed, I have to put the tranny in neutral and restart the engine. The dealer cannot find the source of the problem but suspects the ignition switch. The problem is what is causing this issue?

- Brainerd, MN, USA

problem #2

Mar 012012

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Driver's door module, power door lock and power window switches function intermittently and became inoperative. I took it to dealership and this was the problem. $422 to fixed. Waiting on part, as it was ordered today. 8-21-12 nothing on the drivers side door works, the whole door is dead.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 042011

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
Vehicle idling in driveway while I went inside to retrieve cell phone. Came out and smoke in vehicle and electrical fire smell. Pull exterior of power window panel up and saw switch burned and melted on one corner.

- Springfield, MA, USA

Not what you are looking for?