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Buick celebrates 110 years by naming most significant model of each decade

Sun, 23 Jun 2013 17:22:00 EST

In May of 1903, Buick began work on its first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, the first example of which was sold to a doctor in Flint, Michigan. That first sale was appropriate since later on, Buick became known as a "doctor's car." The Model B is the first of 11 cars chosen by Buick to highlight each decade of the company's 110-year history.
The 1916 D-45 Touring with a six-cylinder engine was Buick's highest seller that year, and helped push overall sales past six figures for the first time, making Buick the top-selling automotive brand. In 1931, Series 50 got an eight-cylinder engine, which helped the company survive the Great Depression. The 1936 Century was the first Buick that could hit 100 miles per hour, the 1949 Roadmaster had a supporting role in Rain Man, the 1953 Skylark had Italian wire wheels and the owner's name engraved on its steering wheel.
Then we have the iconic 1963 Riviera, the V6-powered 1975 Regal, and in 1987, the legendary GNX. With a turbocharged, intercooled V6 pumping out 276-horsepower it could hit 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. In 1999 Buick built the first car in China, the Century, and that country remains the brand's largest market.

2014 Buick LaCrosse to sticker at $34,060*

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:16:00 EST

Buick first showed the facelifted 2014 LaCrosse at this year's New York Auto Show, and General Motors' luxury-ish arm has now confirmed that pricing for the updated sedan will start at $34,060 (*including $925 for destination), a increase of $1,505 over the 2013 model.
Buyers will be treated to an updated appearance, both inside and out. On the outside, tweaks were made to the LaCrosse's front and rear fascias, and new wheels are on offer (though the ones seen on the car pictured above seem to have been simply pulled from the 2011 Regal Turbo). Inside, there's a much cleaner center stack layout, complete with a standard eight-inch reconfigurable touchscreen IntelliLink interface. Buick is also offering a new Ultra Luxury interior package ($2,495), featuring Tamo Ash wood throughout the cabin, black synthetic suede on the headliner and leather seats in a new sangria color. Standalone options include different wheels, Bose audio, rear seat entertainment, navigation and a sunroof.
The 2014 LaCrosse's base powertrain is the trusty 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with eAssist, which is capable of achieving up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway. But for folks wanting more power, a 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 is available as a no-cost option, available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

GM recalls over 230,000 more Trailblazer-family SUVs over door electronics

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 11:01:00 EST

Back in August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall on the General Motors GMT360 SUVs (Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X) ranging from the 2005 to 2007 model years and the 2006 GMT370 SUVs (Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL) due to potential fires associated with the driver's door module. Initially limited to 250,000 units sold or registered in 20 Snow Belt states (and the District of Columbia), the recall has now been expanded to include an additional 193,000 of these SUVs in the US and, according to The Detroit News, 40,000 more sold outside the US, including Canada and Mexico.
Like the original recall, the issue is still a faulty driver's door module that can short out, which could lead to a fire. The Detroit News is reporting that, out of the 443,000 units being recalled, GM says that there were 58 fires that caused 11 minor injuries, and the expanded recall accounted for six fires and one injury. Despite the lower number of fires, the recall notice recommends that owners park their vehicles until the recall repairs has been performed.
On recalled units with functional modules, the repair consists of a protective coating being applied to the module, while vehicles with modules that are not working properly will have the driver's door module replaced. The official recall notice is posted below, and it includes contact information for customers of all five brands.

Buick version of Equinox/Terrain CUV spied testing... with autonomous gear?

Wed, 12 Jun 2013 19:59:00 EST

Let's get the most pressing bits of this story out of the way right off the bat: What we see here appears to be a new compact crossover from Buick. According to the spy photographer, this machine may be a little bit smaller on the outside than the current Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain 'utes, which makes sense since recent rumors suggest GM's small crossovers will migrate to a new platform that will mark a convergence between the automaker's Delta (Chevy Cruze, Buick Verano) and Theta (Equinox, Terrain) platforms. This Buick would likely use this new D2UX platform.
We've been expecting Buick to unleash a crossover to slot between the very small Encore and the very large Enclave, and various rumors have indicated that the model may be known as either the Anthem or Envision. It's worth mentioning that Buick had planned, back in 2009, to release a vehicle in the compact CUV market, but abandoned those plans after a particularly poor reception.
And now for something completely different... Take another look at the spy shots above, and pay special attention to the cylindrical device mounted to the vehicle's roof. We can't say for sure what it is, but our spy photographer opines that it looks quite a bit like the 360-degree Lidar camera equipment used by Google for its autonomous cars. Is General Motors working with Google on autonomous car technology? We don't know, but you can definitely consider us intrigued.

GM to offer 2 years free maintance on most 2014 models

Thu, 06 Jun 2013 15:45:00 EST

A day after Ford announced it was scaling back the complimentary maintenance program for its Lincoln brand, General Motors has gone in the completely opposite direction, offering most of its 2014 lineup with free maintenance. Since 2011, Cadillac models have all come with a four-year/50,000-mile complimentary maintenance program, but Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles will now come standard with free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles for the 2014 model year.
The program will give vehicle owners and lessees free oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections following the recommended maintenance schedule laid out in each vehicle's owner's manual. We contacted GM to see which vehicles were eligible for the program, and a spokesperson got back to us with the following comment:
"All 2014 models are eligible, it's just that the included services vary by model, e.g., Spark EV would not need oil changes, Corvettes don't recommend tire rotations."

OnStar RemoteLink mobile app coming standard on all new GM vehicles

Thu, 06 Jun 2013 09:28:00 EST

As an evolution and improvement of its OnStar technology, General Motors has announced that it will be expanding the RemoteLink Mobile App on most 2014 model year Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The new, aptly named RemoteLink Key Fob Services will allow users to remotely operate all of the same systems as the car's key fob, including locking and unlocking the doors and remote starting (on vehicles equipped with a factory remote starter) using a smartphone.
These Key Fob Services will be free for five years - starting from the vehicle's delivery date - but the full suite of RemoteLink features will continue to be offered only with a subscription (trial or paid). These premium features include contacting a live adviser, getting turn-by-turn directions and remotely monitoring the vehicle's diagnostic systems.
Scroll down below for the complete press release with all the details.

2013 Buick Encore nets strong IIHS, NHTSA safety scores

Wed, 05 Jun 2013 18:31:00 EST

After being crushed from every which way and rolled over like a labrador, the 2013 Buick Encore has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To earn the accolade, a vehicle must achieve the highest rating of "Good" in each of the institute's four main crash tests: Front Moderate Overlap, Side, Rollover and Rear. The Encore aced those four tests with "Good" ratings, but missed out on the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation by receiving a Poor rating in the institute's new Front Small Overlap test. To be named a Top Safety Pick+, the Encore would need to score at least an "Acceptable" rating in the new test, as well as "Good" in all four original crash tests.
Despite the miss, the Encore joins the Enclave, LaCrosse, Verano and Regal as Top Safety Picks all. If you count only the Encore with all-wheel drive, then all five Buicks have also earned five-star overall ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration, making Buick one of the few manufacturers to offer a full lineup with high scores from both safety rating organizations.
The front-wheel-drive Encore, despite performing equally as well as the all-wheel-drive version in NHTSA's crash tests, only earned four stars overall. As far as we can tell, the discrepancy between the two is because some safety equipment, like Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Assist, are optional features on the FWD Encore and standard on the AWD model.

NHTSA may greatly expand GM airbag recall

Wed, 05 Jun 2013 16:30:00 EST

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pondering whether to dramatically upscale a pair of airbag recalls on General Motors vehicles. The two existing campaigns, one launched in the fall of 2012 and the other in January of this year covered just 6,845 vehicles, but the government agency is considering whether to boost the recall to around 400,000 units.
The existing recalls involve the the closely related 2012 Buick Verano (shown) and Chevrolet Cruze sedans, along with Sonic and Camaro models. The root of the problem is a shorting bar in the inflator module of the steering-wheel-mounted airbag that may contact the primary state airbag terminal, a condition that could prevent deployment in an accident. Dealer technicians have been replacing the steering wheel airbag coils to fix the issue.
According to a post on NHTSA's website, the root cause, said to be a production issue, may not have been completely isolated - particularly for the second recall, which was for the Camaro. According to Automotive News, GM says it is cooperating with the government investigation, but won't say whether or not it knows the true origin of the problem.

38k GM eAssist hybrids recalled for circuit board, fire risk

Mon, 06 May 2013 13:27:00 EST

General Motors has issued a recall covering 38,197 2012 and 2013 model-year Chevy Malibu Eco, Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans equipped with eAssist, and sold in the United States. The automaker will check the generator control module for proper operation. Only vehicles built before December 2012 are being recalled.
According to the automaker, a malfunctioning generator control module could slowly drain the battery, causing an indicator to light up in the dash. If that indicator is ignored, the driver may experience a stalling engine, and in some cases, "a burning or melting odor, smoke, and, in rare instances, a fire in the trunk."
GM says the issue is not with the eAssist battery pack; the smoke and fire comes from overheating of the control board. One trunk fire has been reported, but no injuries are known. Scroll down below for the official press release from GM.

Buick picks top 11 highlights from first 11 decades

Sun, 21 Apr 2013 17:58:00 EST

Buick has taken the time to highlight some of the company's personal points of pride from the past 110 years. Those include everything from the automaker's very first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, to what Buick claims is the world's first concept car: The 1938 Y Job (above). That one also walked away with the worst name for a design study.
All told, the automaker has sold 43 million vehicles through the end of last year, and those include the lusty 1963 Riviera. That model celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013, and remains one of the brand's most iconic designs.
Of course, Buick is rightfully proud of its quickest model, too. The 1987 GNX managed a 4.6-second bolt to 60 mph in tests by Car and Driver, and it also took the honor of being one of the automaker's rarest creations at just 547 units. You can check out all 10 in the gallery above.