Edmunds cites the case of the General Motors () V-6 engine installed in Chevrolets, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Pontiacs for the model years 1997-2003. The NHTSA had reports of about 250 engine fires thought to have been caused by oil spilling or leaking onto heated exhaust manifolds. In a 2009 recall, GM sent out warning letters to all registered owners and has sent repeated letters trying to reach all owners. But the company told Edmunds that only a little over half the vehicles have been repaired. When vehicles are sold, often more than once, auto companies frequently have trouble tracking down new owners' addresses.
One car owner told Edmunds he had never heard about the recall until his 2001 Buick Regal GS caught fire while sitting in his office parking lot. According to reports filed with the NHTSA, another 250 fires have occurred with this engine since the recall was issued in 2009.
It would have been good to be in an intimidator-mobile, something brutishly big and ugly. Bullies respect power. But ours was one of Middle America's favorite chariots -- the 2001 Buick Regal GS Olympic Edition. Even worse, it was metallic gold and affixed with Michigan license plates.
|2001 Buick Regal GS|
|Base price (LS)||$28,895|
|Price as tested (GS)||$32,465|
|Type||four-door, five-passenger full-size sedan|
|Engine||3.8 litre OHV V6, supercharged|
|Horsepower||240 @ 5200 rpm|
|Torque||280 ft-lb @ 3600 rpm|
|Transmission||4 speed automatic|
|Curb weight||1610 kg (3545 lb.)|
|Wheelbase||2769 mm (109.0 in.)|
|Length||4984 mm (196.2 in.)|
|Width||1846 mm ( 72.7 in.)|
|Height||1438 mm ( 56.6 in.)|
|Trunk space||473 litres (16.7 cu. ft.)|
|Fuel consumption||City: 12.9 l/100 km (22 mpg)|
|Hwy: 7.7 l/100 km (37 mpg)|
|Warranty||3 yrs/60,000 km|