Buick Encore, Encore GX Problems, Complaints and California Lemon Law

Buick Encore Problems, Complaints and California Lemon Law

Owners of the Buick Encore and Encore GX may skip the encore after dealing with performance issues and problems.

Since its release, the compact SUV has dealt with some safety issues. Complaints include service brakes, engine problems and a defective fuel system.

Indeed, General Motors released its first Buick Encore subcompact crossover SUV in the category for the 2013 model year. This followed its first Encore SUV in 2008.

Also, the automaker revealed the larger Buick Encore GX during the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show with the 2020 model year. However, now GM plans to discontinue earlier non-GX Buick Encore models in 2023.


The Buick brand became part of the GM lineup back in 1908. It was one of the first American brands of automobiles.

Fast forward to 2013, sales of Buick Encore models steadily increased from 31,956 cars to 102,402 in 2019. However, Encore sales took a huge dip in 2020 down to 41,752 vehicles sold. As of November 2021, roughly 20,000 Buick Encores were sold.

Still, owners of these vehicles are protected by the California lemon law while they are still under warranty. The lemon law protects consumers who purchase their vehicle in the Golden State against recurring problems or unfixable issues.

Buick Encore Engine problems

Buick Encore owners often complain about engine problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

One common complaint involves the turbocharger. This feature helps the vehicle reach freeway speeds. However, some 2019 Buick Encore owners have complained about difficulty merging due to low power.

Specifically, some owners report a loss of power, stalling and the engine start button malfunctioning. They are alerted with warnings from the check engine light. One owner reported to the NHTSA that they lost power on the freeway. The SUV’s diagnostics reported an issue with the air induction system that monitors and controls air intake to the engine.

Meanwhile, other Buick owners complain the turbocharged engine caused the vehicle to lurch forward unexpectedly. Any problems with the engine could be a major safety issue and may qualify as a lemon.

Power Train/Transmission

The NHTSA reports several problems with the 2019 Buick Encore. One stated the cogwheel in the transmission failed and the transmission failed to lock in place while parked. This resulted in a loss of power and stalling, the report said.

Fuel System Issues

Some Buick Encore owners complain about replacing fuel pumps in their brand new vehicles. The fuel system, which works in conjunction with the engine, can be problematic. In fact, one Edmunds reviewer reports they replaced two fuel pumps with just 4,000 miles on the vehicle.

Brake Problems

The NHTSA received multiple complaints for brake problems that compromised the safety of their Buick Encore.

Some brake problems reported include squealing, shaking, grinding noises or sponginess. Others report that their brakes may lock up or grab as the vehicle takes off. These issues may seem minimal, but if they are not addressed it could lead to brake failure.

Should brake problems or any other issues repeatedly occur, the Buick may be considered a lemon under the California Lemon Law.

Brakes Recall — September 2020 NHTSA Campaign Number 20V588000

Indeed, the NHTSA reports there is a GM recall for brakes on the 2020-2021 Buick Encore GX; the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette; Cadillac CT4, CT5 and XT4; and the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

The problem is a sensor connection contamination issue. This is located in the electronic brake boost system. When this happens, there could be an interruption of communication between the sensor and the brake boost system.

Specifically, if communication with the sensor is interrupted, the electronic brake boost assist could be lost. Extra pedal force will be required to slow and stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. One owner described how without warning their brake pedal gave out. They put their foot on the pedal and it went all the way to the floorboard. They had to pump the pedal repeatedly to get it to function properly.

Buick Encore GX Engine Problems

The Buick Encore GX is powered by two turbocharged three-cylinder engines. The manufacturer released two versions of the engine including the 1.2-liter with up to 137 horsepower and the optional 1.3-liter with up to 155 horsepower.

Buyers should expect the engine to be reliable, but that hasn’t been the case for some folks. One reviewer on Edmunds complained that engine and transmission problems started on the first day they owned the car.

How do you know if your Buick is a lemon?

First, you’ll need to determine if your Buick is a lemon or not. Both new and used vehicles that are sold or leased with a manufacturer’s written warranty could qualify. However, only if the vehicle has not been repaired within a reasonable number of attempts.

Also, the car could be a lemon if there is a “substantial impairment” that is covered by the factor warranty and it impairs the vehicle’s use, value, or safety.

Next, the car owner will need to make a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle. The specific type of defect your car experiences can affect what “reasonable attempts” means. Repairs for a brake problem may not require as many repair attempts as a problem that doesn’t affect the vehicle’s safety. Additionally, if your Buick is stuck at the dealership for repairs more than 30 days it may qualify as a lemon.

Those who qualify under the California Lemon Law, will be entitled to have their vehicle repurchased or replaced.

California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson

If you purchased a defective Buick Encore or Buick Encore GX vehicle and have repeated problems, it may be time to call for help.

California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson will review your case and let you know if it qualifies as a lemon.

We recommend that you obtain an invoice for all repairs and recall visits from the dealership. These documents will support your potential case. Should the vehicle experience repeated issues or become a safety risk, these documents support the Lemon Law Claim. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group for a free case review at 800-558-1087.

James Johnson ESQ