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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2013, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Buick Regal trunk opening on its own

I have seen various posts about the issue of trunks opening on their own. The usual initial conclusion is this must be caused by accidentally pressing the trunk release button on the remote. I thought so too, and initially attributed the problem on my 2011 Regal to this. I realized this was not the problem one night when I was awakened with the panic alarm sounding, the trunk open and my keys on the dresser - unable to have been pushed accidentally. This was the only time the panic alarm sounded when the trunk opened on its own, by the way. Since then the dealerships has tried
1) replacing the trunk switch
2) reprogramming the electronics
3) giving me new remotes
4) changing the frequency of the remote signal to rule out some other device was setting off mine.
5) installing a 2-second hold on the trunk release button to tule out accidental pushing of the fob
6) installing a 2-push on the trunk release button to rule out accidental pushing of the fob yet again

None of these things affected the problem at all. The trunk would open seemingly randomly intermittently when the car was parked and locked. It sometimes took 8 weeks for the problem to recur - but it always did. After 2 years of the dealership and the GM field engineer (who took over the case from the dealership), and 11 instances of the trunk opening on its own, GM replaced my 2011 Regal with a new 2013 Regal. Paul Meade, the GM field engineer said GM was seeing this problem across a line of GM vehicles, not just mine. I was told by Lekeia Williams in the GM Executive Office Department, that while the problem was across a line of GM vehicles (it was never specified what exactly the line was), GM was not seeing this problem past model year 2011. Ten days after I got my new 2013 Buick Regal Turbo from GM's adjustment, the trunk on the 2013 Regal opened on its own. The dealership has installed a work around - a switch that disables the solenoid so I can totally prevent the trunk from opening. But sadly, GM seems totally unable to figure out what is causing this problem or to provide an actual fix for it. When GM replaced my 2011 Regal with the 2013 Regal, I was told by Lekeia Williams that she was told that GM could not solve this problem. So it persists over more than 2 years with 2 different Regals with GM no closer in understanding than it was 2 years ago. The last thing GM wanted to do was totally remove the trunk release button from my remote and see if the problem still occurred. To me that is like going onto step 7 of a troubleshoot and then going back and providing another alternative for step 1 of the troubleshoot, when step 1 has already been determined to not be the problem. I told GM they could try this on the 2011 Regal I returned to them, instead of using me as a guinea pig. I have not heard back from them.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-06-2013 at 09:29 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jlc8404 View Post
I have seen various posts about the issue of trunks opening on their own. The usual initial conclusion is this must be caused by accidentally pressing the trunk release button on the remote. I thought so too, and initially attributed the problem on my 2011 Regal to this. I realized this was not the problem one night when I was awakened with the panic alarm sounding, the trunk open and my keys on the dresser - unable to have been pushed accidentally. This was the only time the panic alarm sounded when the trunk opened on its own, by the way. Since then the dealerships has tried
1) replacing the trunk switch
2) reprogramming the electronics
3) giving me new remotes
4) changing the frequency of the remote signal to rule out some other device was setting off mine.
5) installing a 2-second hold on the trunk release button to tule out accidental pushing of the fob
6) installing a 2-push on the trunk release button to rule out accidental pushing of the fob yet again

None of these things affected the problem at all. The trunk would open seemingly randomly intermittently when the car was parked and locked. It sometimes took 8 weeks for the problem to recur - but it always did. After 2 years of the dealership and the GM field engineer (who took over the case from the dealership), and 11 instances of the trunk opening on its own, GM replaced my 2011 Regal with a new 2013 Regal. Paul Meade, the GM field engineer said GM was seeing this problem across a line of GM vehicles, not just mine. I was told by Lekeia Williams in the GM Executive Office Department, that while the problem was across a line of GM vehicles (it was never specified what exactly the line was), GM was not seeing this problem past model year 2011. Ten days after I got my new 2013 Buick Regal Turbo from GM's adjustment, the trunk on the 2013 Regal opened on its own. The dealership has installed a work around - a switch that disables the solenoid so I can totally prevent the trunk from opening. But sadly, GM seems totally unable to figure out what is causing this problem or to provide an actual fix for it. When GM replaced my 2011 Regal with the 2013 Regal, I was told by Lekeia Williams that she was told that GM could not solve this problem. So it persists over more than 2 years with 2 different Regals with GM no closer in understanding than it was 2 years ago. The last thing GM wanted to do was totally remove the trunk release button from my remote and see if the problem still occurred. To me that is like going onto step 7 of a troubleshoot and then going back and providing another alternative for step 1 of the troubleshoot, when step 1 has already been determined to not be the problem. I told GM they could try this on the 2011 Regal I returned to them, instead of using me as a guinea pig. I have not heard back from them.
Hello jlc8404,

I am sorry to hear about this ongoing issue you are experiencing! It sounds very frustrating. I would like to review your case if I may. Has a customer service agent given you a service request number? If so, may I have the number so I can look further into this for you? If you do not have a service request number, would you be able to provide me with your name and VIN? Thank you!

Jessica
Buick Customer Care



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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Jessica - this has been going on for over 2 years. I have had lots of case numbers, but no results. The problem is a technical one, not amenable to resolution by customer service or apologies in English. I have googled this problem and find it is not just on GM vehicles - I have seen various posts in various forums by car owners of other brand cars with the same issue. I am posting it in this forum because I don't know what else to do about it. GM engineering seems fixated that the only possible cause of this problem is accidental pushing of the trunk release button on the remote. I have shown clearly, factually and unambiguously in 3 ways (working with Paul Meade - the GM field engineer for my area - testing his attempted fixes on my cars) that that is not the case for me. But after more than 2 years they keep returning to that faulty logic. As I said in my first post, GM through Lekeia Williams (the GM Executive Office liason between me and Paul Meade) said that GM was not seeing this problem past model year 2011, although Paul Meade told me personally that it was a problem across a line of GM vehicles. Ten days after GM substituted a new 2013 Regal for my 2011 Regal, the problem occurred again in the 2013 Regal - supposedly 2 years past the model year GM said they were not seeing the problem anymore. Latest case # 71-1169307136. My feeling is the only way I will know if GM ever solves this problem is if I receive a recall notice as it applies to multiple GM vehicles, not just my 2 Regals.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-16-2013 at 12:00 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 01:45 PM
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Saw this on the other forum. Didn't know if you were aware of this "fix"?

New 2X Trunk Release Relay

2011 Buick Regal T-05
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 03:37 PM
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Hi jlc8404,
I looked into your case and I do see that you have been working with multiple people to get this issue resolved. I have reopened your case with your District Specialist to investigate some more options. Please keep me updated. Thank you,
Kelly J. -Buick Customer Care



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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cozbyrt -
Sigh… The first and most obvious diagnosis of the trunk opening on its own is that the trunk release button on the RKE transmitter is pushed accidentally. While, it is undeniably true that this event will cause the trunk to seemingly open on its own, the problem is the problem persists even after the 2-push was installed on my remote. It also continued to occur prior to this when a 2-second hold was put on my trunk release button – meaning I had to hold down the trunk release button for a full 2 seconds for the trunk to open. So my trunk is opening on its own independently of the accidental pushing of the trunk release button on the remote. I initially thought 2 years ago that the problem was accidental pushing of the trunk release button. Then one night, I was awakened in bed from my panic alarm sounding and the trunk open on its own. The RKE was sitting on my dresser, unable to be touched accidentally. So, accidental pushing of the trunk release button is not causing the trunk to open in my case. Also, I have googled “trunk opening on its own” and found several complaints from other people stating that their problem was not caused by accidental pushing of the trunk release button on their remote. I don't think GM would have given me a new 2013 Regal to replace my 2011 Regal at no additional cost to me, as they did, if the problem were that I was accidentally pushing the trunk release button while walking down the street with the RKE in my pants pocket.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Buick Customer Service -

I have nothing to update for you and never will. Either GM can find the cause of this problem and provide a fix or they can't. So far in over 2 years they have not come up with either. If they solve the problem, there will be a recall and you should know about it also. I have been shuffled between numerous departments in GM, owing to GM's internal structures, and find that often (usually) one does not know what the others are doing. Rather than rely on the customer to be the link between GM departments, I suggest that GM come up with an internal method of disseminating information among departments - like global bulletins.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 02:18 PM
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I have owned my 2011 Regal for almost three years and the trunk has never opened on it own. As a matter of fact, when the trunk is unlocked, it never moves out of position and only allows the release button to be pressed and the trunk opened manually. Also, my remote does not have any keys or other devices, which may become magnetic, included in the chain.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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gorphil

On both my 2011 and 2013 Regal Turbo sedans the trunk lifts up in full upright position whenever this problem occurs - same as if I double press the trunk release button. It is the standard way all sedans with remotes have worked for me over the last 20 years. My understanding is hatchback designs (like with a windshield wiper on the rear window) don't lift up like that - you need to hold in the trunk handle for them to lift up. If your trunk never lifts without pressing in the trunk handle, obviously you could never experience this problem. The only analagous thing would be if your trunk somehow became unlocked after you left it locked. However, it sounds like your starting situation is not the same as mine, so it is not clearly relevant to me.

GM has never explicitly told me exactly what line of vehicles they are seeing this problem in. I am sure it is not every GM vehicle and I am also sure the problem is intermittent for users experiencing the problem. I would think most people attach keys to their RKE Transmitters. If there is any possibility of them becoming magnetized and that causing the problem, GM should thoroughly investigate. I have always attached my house keys to my remotes and never had any problems like this. I previously owned a Pontiac Grand AM and Pontiac G6 for a combined 10 years and never once had the trunk open on its own - same for all other brand sedans I have owned in the last 20 years that had remotes.

I think GM should look at any and all possibilities for this problem. I admittedly am a layman as far as cars. I do have an undergraduate degree in math and an advanced degree in computer science. My hunch at this point is the problem is with the electronics of the car. Just as GM has beaten to death the issue of accidental pressing of the trunk release button on the remote - I think the following 2 things should also be beaten to death:

1) the possibility of an outside signal setting off the trunk opening - this would include a magnetized key also.
2) the possibility of a defect in an electronic component in the car, that under certain circumstances fools the electronics into "thinking" that the trunk opening circuit has been completed where the trunk release button has not been pushed.

I am well experienced in software bugs, even some more difficult ones that could be either software or hardware in origin, and intermittent ones can be very hard to pinpoint. I have gotten no explanation from GM and never received instructions from them to remove my attached keys from my RKE transmitter. I guess if this were a real issue I would have to start carrying my keys in another pocket as they wouldn't have to be attached to the RKE transmitter to cause this problem. Again, I am willing to listen to any and all reasonable explanations and I think more importantly GM should too - with the exception of the beaten to death incidental contact of the trunk release button, disproved explanation.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-17-2013 at 05:31 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 07:28 PM
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Hello jlc8404,

Our agents are working to help find a resolution for you. I realize that this has been an ongoing issue for you, and I apologize for the frustration you have experienced.

Jessica
Buick Customer Care


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Originally Posted by jlc8404 View Post
gorphil

On both my 2011 and 2013 Regal Turbo sedans the trunk lifts up in full upright position whenever this problem occurs - same as if I double press the trunk release button. It is the standard way all sedans with remotes have worked for me over the last 20 years. My understanding is hatchback designs (like with a windshield wiper on the rear window) don't lift up like that - you need to hold in the trunk handle for them to lift up. If your trunk never lifts without pressing in the trunk handle, obviously you could never experience this problem. The only analagous thing would be if your trunk somehow became unlocked after you left it locked. However, it sounds like your starting situation is not the same as mine, so it is not clearly relevant to me.

GM has never explicitly told me exactly what line of vehicles they are seeing this problem in. I am sure it is not every GM vehicle and I am also sure the problem is intermittent for users experiencing the problem. I would think most people attach keys to their RKE Transmitters. If there is any possibility of them becoming magnetized and that causing the problem, GM should thoroughly investigate. I have always attached my house keys to my remotes and never had any problems like this. I previously owned a Pontiac Grand AM and Pontiac G6 for a combined 10 years and never once had the trunk open on its own - same for all other brand sedans I have owned in the last 20 years that had remotes.

I think GM should look at any and all possibilities for this problem. I admittedly am a layman as far as cars. I do have an undergraduate degree in math and an advanced degree in computer science. My hunch at this point is the problem is with the electronics of the car. Just as GM has beaten to death the issue of accidental pressing of the trunk release button on the remote - I think the following 2 things should also be beaten to death:

1) the possibility of an outside signal setting off the trunk opening - this would include a magnetized key also.
2) the possibility of a defect in an electronic component in the car, that under certain circumstances fools the electronics into "thinking" that the trunk opening circuit has been completed where the trunk release button has not been pushed.

I am well experienced in software bugs, even some more difficult ones that could be either software or hardware in origin, and intermittent ones can be very hard to pinpoint. I have gotten no explanation from GM and never received instructions from them to remove my attached keys from my RKE transmitter. I guess if this were a real issue I would have to start carrying my keys in another pocket as they wouldn't have to be attached to the RKE transmitter to cause this problem. Again, I am willing to listen to any and all reasonable explanations and I think more importantly GM should too - with the exception of the beaten to death incidental contact of the trunk release button, disproved explanation.


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Jessica - and all of Buick Customer Care and all of GM

Part of the problem is aside from the GM attempts to solve this problem listed in my initial message in this forum, I have no idea what or if any technical effort is being made at all by GM currently to resolve this problem. All I have heard indicates they are fixated at continuing to believe the problem could only be related to accidental pushing of the trunk release button on the remote, although that has been proved in multiple, redundant ways to not be the case for me, and presumably for other GM customers with the same problem. I have heard nothing more. I wonder - if it is demonstrated to them that the 2-push on the trunk release button doesn't solve the problem, will they then suggest a 3-push, when that fails a 4-push, ad infinitum? Someone could build a whole useless career doing that. I'd really like to know what else they are working on other than general platitudes - like testing theories of outside signals or some internal chip malfunction/misdesign. Otherwise it sounds like they continue to have no clue on the origin or fix for this problem and are doing nothing more at all on this issue.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-18-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 05:54 PM
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Hello again jlc8404,

I do see that the agent working on your case will be calling you on Monday morning. I hope that they will be able to provide more options for you. Please keep us posted!

Jessica
Buick Customer Care

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Jessica - and all of Buick Customer Care and all of GM

Part of the problem is aside from the GM attempts to solve this problem listed in my initial message in this forum, I have no idea what or if any technical effort is being made at all by GM currently to resolve this problem. All I have heard indicates they are fixated at continuing to believe the problem could only be related to accidental pushing of the trunk release button on the remote, although that has been proved in multiple, redundant ways to not be the case for me, and presumably for other GM customers with the same problem. I have heard nothing more. I wonder - if it is demonstrated to them that the 2-push on the trunk release button doesn't solve the problem, will they then suggest a 3-push. when that fails a 4-push, ad infinitum? Someone could build a whole useless career doing that. I'd really like to know what else they are working on other than general platitudes - like testing theories of outside signals or some internal chip malfunction/misdesign. Otherwise it sounds like they continue to have no clue on the origin or fix for this problem and are doing nothing more at all on this issue.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Jessica - and Buick Customer Care,

You stated that the agent working on my case (district rep?) would be calling me Monday morning - today, 5/20/13. I have received no call. Furthermore, I am not waiting with eager anticipation for any such call. The problem is the people from GM who interface with me on the phone from various departments (over 1.5 years now!!) are not technically trained. They are all liberal arts types - who although may be polite and good listeners - do not have the technical background to provide other than secretarial responses from the technical folks they interface with on the other end. The further problem is those technical folks have never impressed me when speaking to them in person at the dealership when they were attempting to fix my cars' problems. Their level seemed more that of a sales person - as in "if you push this button, this will happen". An engineer should know and be able to discuss what is going on in the innards of the car once buttons are pushed. Especially in a case like this where there is a malfunction - it does no good to describe the myriad features of the buttons on my Regals. All I want to know is why the trunk continues to open on its own and what they are going to do about fixing that malfunction.

A few random thoughts. This problem may be more widespread than GM even realizes. I have looked in several forums where others have complained of this problem. The usual response is the trunk release button is being pushed accidentally. I think many if not most people would give up at that point and assume that is the case, and not even bother reporting it to their dealer or GM. Had I not been awakened with my panic alarm sounding and the trunk opening on its own, with the RKE transmitter on a dresser top, unable to be pushed accidentally - I would have had no way to refute this facile (although plausible) explanation. After that, it has been shown on my cars that even with a 2 second hold on the trunk release button and later a 2-push installed on it and the problem still occurring - that accidental pushing of the trunk release button is not causing this problem in my cars, and presumably the same is true in many others with the same problem.

I have long felt and suggested numerous times to GM - to no seeming avail - that there is a general oversite in all RKE transmitters for all car makers. They are all subject to accidental pressing of the buttons. This should be addressed by GM and all car makers as an incidental issue. It is not great to have one's car doors able to become unlocked when walking away from a parked and locked car. I think a double push or the equivalent should be installed for all buttons on the remotes that could be activated by a single accidental push, not just the trunk release button - which seems to be coming an industry standard for all car makers.

In general, my feeling is electronics are great and a big convenience - when they work properly. When they don't, they can be a royal pain. This is a perfect example. My first car was a 1969 Chevy Malibu. It had 2 keys - a flat-headed one for the ignition and a round-headed one for the trunk. The trunk needed to be unlocked manually for it to open. That is definitely less convenient than a properly working trunk release button on an RKE transmitter, or an inside the car trunk release button. But - that $3000 car could never have the problems I am having with my $30,000 Regals. They don't have properly functioning trunks and GM seems unable to solve the problem.

My final suggestion - if GM is truly technically unable to understand or solve the problem of intermittent trunk opening on its own, I think it should install a switch like mine as standard equipment on all its vehicles. This switch disables/enables the solenoid so at least I can park my car, flip the switch off, and not have to worry about coming back and finding my trunk up in the air and everything in the trunk totally exposed, or missing, or soaked in rain or snow. The inconvenience is for me to use my trunk I have to unlock my car door and flip up the switch to activate the solenoid again. Sometimes if I have a small article I want to put in my trunk, I find it easier if I pull down the back seat and stick it in the trunk that way, rather than turn on the solenoid switch and use the trunk normally. If I had my druthers - I would rather have the same key-locking trunk that I had on my '69 Malibu than no such option on my Regals.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-21-2013 at 10:09 AM.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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GM needs technical help in solving this problem. Can anyone help GM solve this problem? GM gave me my new 2013 Regal to replace my 2011 Regal in February, 2013. Lekeia Williams of the GM Executive Office Department told me in December, 2012 that she was told that GM could not solve this problem - that's why GM offered me a new replacement car at no additional cost to me - collateral subsitution of the 2013 Regal for the 2011 Regal in my 39 month lease on the 2011 Regal. Lekeia Williams told me that she was told that GM was not seeing this problem past model year 2011. I had first reported this problem to my dealership in October, 2011 and after they couldn't fix it after several attempts, the case was taken over by the GM Field Engineer in my area, Paul Meade. Ten days after I picked up my new 2013 Buick Regal Turbo sedan from the dealership in February, 2013, it did the same thing as the 2011 Regal - its trunk opened on its own, and continued to do so after Paul Meade installed a double push on the trunk release button on my RKE transmitter. The car is not a black box or designed, built and delivered by extraterrestrial aliens to Detroit. It was presumably designed and built by GM. There has to be an answer to this problem! The amount of time the dealership/GM has had to work on this problem (at least 1.5 years if starting from me) is perhaps analagous to having a flat tire and waiting 2 months for roadside assistance - clearly unacceptable. The dealership's service department can only fix things that are broken - it can't fix design defects, so I place no blame on the dealership in this matter.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-22-2013 at 06:33 AM.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Is there any feedback whatsoever on this issue from within GM or from the GM user community? I would think GM has an obligation to inform the general public about this issue and what it is doing about it. The silence is deafening. Rightly or wrongly, the impression given is either of incompetence or indifference within GM, or even intentionally suppressing it - possibly all 3.

Last edited by jlc8404; 05-23-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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