Interior Color: Other
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Number of doors: 4
Exterior Color: Tan
Rittman, Ohio, United States
2010 Buick Enclave - Click above for high-res image gallery
The summer of 2010's recall hit parade continues unabated today, with General Motors having just announced that it is asking 243,403 owners of its 2009-2010 Lambda crossovers to bring their three-row haulers in for inspection. The culprit? Second-row seat belts in select Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook CUVs have "failed to perform properly in a crash."
According to GM, a second-row seat-side trim piece is to blame, as it can impede the upward rotation of the buckle after the seat is folded flat. As a result, if the buckle makes contact with the seat frame, cosmetic damage can occur, potentially requiring additional force to operate the buckle properly. So far, no great shakes, but in the process of applying that additional force, the occupant may push the buckle cover down to the strap, potentially revealing and depressing the red release button. As a result of this, the belt may not latch, or in certain cases, it may actually appear to be latched when, in fact, it isn't.
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.
The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.