NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,763 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.

2003 Buick Regal transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Buick Regal Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 122011

Regal 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,716 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Buick Regal. The contact stated that the vehicle was overheating and would lose power without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where he was informed that the catalytic converter, idle air control valve and the manifold absolute pressure were defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure nor was the vehicle repaired. Updated 12/12/11 the consumer stated the exhaust manifold front and rear glowed reed hot. The engine temperature gauge was in the red. Coolant leaked from a hose near the engine and the engine began to emit blue smoke. The vehicle burned one quart of oil excessively. The battery, thermostat, front brakes, transmission oil filter and gasket were all replaced. Also, the driver rear window was inoperative, the windshield washer was sprayer did not work, the catalytic converter needed to be replaced and the heat/ac blower did not operate in all the settings. Updated 12/23/11

- Girard, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Buick Regal with transmission fluid problems. Consumer states that she noticed an odor. Upon personal inspection it was found that transmission fluid was leaking onto the engine and could have caused a fire.

- Indianola, IA, USA

problem #3

Sep 092006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact stated after putting the vehicle in park, the vehicle jumped into reverse on its own slamming the contact between the driver's side door and a chain link fence. The contact suffered injuries to the left leg and calf and a broken right foot. The dealership has not been contacted yet. The vehicle was towed to a body shop. There was damage done to the vehicle and to the chain link fence. On one other occasion the vehicle jumped out of park and tried to go forward, but the contact was able to stop the vehicle in time.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #2

May 312005

Regal 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,700 miles
(1) I have a 2003 Buick Regal with mileage of 17700.this morning at 9 am when I stopped before the traffic light in the intersection of mound rd and 13 mile rd. (2) suddenly the brake pedal appears to be very loose and the car starts going backward slowly. I keep on pressing the brake but the car keeps going backward. I switched to parking gear and then driving gear and press the gaspedal and the car starts moving forward. Both my wife and I were in the car. Fortunately no car was behind us so no accident occured. (3) the dealer checked the car and can not find what is the problem. So they asked us to continue driving until the problem happens again! how can we continue driving a car which almost led to a fatal accident? that is crazy!

- Rochester, MI, USA

problem #1

Sep 132003

Regal 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,400 miles
I brought my car into the dealership because of a throttle problem. They sprayed something on it (aluminum type spray) and sent us on our way until they ordered a new part. It was the wrong part and a month went by without a further call regarding any new part coming in. On September 13th I headed into anchorage on the busiest highway in the state of Alaska. The throttle spring let go. I found myself clutching the steering wheel with the brake pedal to the floor. I was on the highway at 70 mph and the brakes wouldn't work. I tried downshifting but that didn't even cause a blip of reaction in the car's speed. Not knowing what would happen by applying the emergency brake while going at least 70 miles per hour, I had no choice and pushed on the emergency brake. That didn't work at all. As I rushed down the road with the park brake on, I also pressed on the regular brakes and that finally worked enough that I could slow down to approximately 50 mph. I drove onto the shoulder and turned the ignition off. Smoke rose all around the car. I stayed calm and took into consideration that it would be best to be in the right lane if I rolled the car. Luckily the Saturday morning traffic was light enough, initially, that I didn'R rear end any vehichle, I didn't roll, and I didn't lose control. I have not, and will never again drive it. I have been without a car since 9-13-03. I am a 10 year customer of Buick. They are doing a buy back of that car and I will be out about $3000 when all is said and done. Pretty easy "out" for a company that could have been sued if I had been killed in their vehicle. My own driving skill resulted in my not having a fatal outcome in this incident. If this had happened on a weekday morning, there would have been a traffic jam in my path. If it had happened on snow or ice, I wouldn't be around to tell you of this. I am reporting this so others are aware of the throttle problem.

- Chugiak, AK, USA

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