NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2002 Buick Regal

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2002 Buick Regal, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA07008

    Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling

    Summary: By letter dated March 12, 2008, General Motors Corp. (GM) has notified the Agency that it will conduct a safety recall (identified by NHTSA recall number 08V-118) to address a defect in approximately 207,542 model year (MY) 1997-2003 Buick Regal gs and Pontiac Grand Prix gtp vehicles equipped with the L67 supercharged version of GM's 3800 series II V6 engine.the recalled Regal gs vehicles were built from August 1996 to June 2003 and the Grand Prix gtp from March 1996 through January 2003.according to GM, oil may escape past the valve cover gasket on the front cylinder bank (cylinders 1-3-5) and deposit onto hot exhaust system components.under certain conditions, it is possible for this oil to ignite a small Pilot flame, which may spread to the adjacent plastic spark plug wire channel, the spark plug wires themselves, the plastic engine cover, and other under hood components.reports indicate this most often occurs on higher-mileage vehicles shortly after the vehicle has been driven and then parked.typically, the fire was discovered within 5 to 15 minutes after the vehicle was parked.during this time window, under hood temperatures may become elevated.such elevated temperatures combined with a lack of airflow through the engine compartment may permit a small Pilot flame to propagate and ignite other fuel sources.to correct the safety defect, GM will install an improved design front valve cover gasket and spark plug wire retainer.this remedy will be suppliedfree of charge for all recalled vehicles.until sufficient parts become available to repair all of the affected vehicles, GM strongly recommends that owners observe the following important precautions: (1) they strongly recommend that owners do not park their vehicle in a garage, carport, or other structure; (2) if owners notice a burning odor, they should have their dealer inspect the vehicle - the dealer will inspect the vehicle without charge; and (3) use premium fuel (91 octane or higher) in the vehicle as recommended in the vehicle's owner manual.the action taken by GM is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation.the subject fire incident rate on the C-, G-, and H-platform subject vehicles is low.the Agency will continue to monitor this issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.accordingly, this investigation is closed.see document file for additional information regarding this resume.


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA02030

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery:Hoses, Lines/Piping, And Fittings

    Summary: EA02-030 is closed with gmea02-030 is closed with GM's actions in 03V-473 and 04V-090 recalling approximately 529,000 MY 1998-99 C- and H-body vehicles equipped with defective fuel pressure regulators.these vehicles were equipped with plastic intake manifolds that are unable to contain pressures that occur in some backfire events and defective fuel pressure regulators with leaking diaphragms that can provide a source of fuel to produce a combustible air-fuel mixture in the manifold.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by ODI that no safety defect exists in the vehicles that are not included in GM's recalls.ODI will continue to monitor the incidence of manifold ruptures and related fires in other MY 1995-2002 GM passenger cars equipped with the subject intake manifold.for additional information, see the attached closing report.

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