This is a really weird review. I have never heard of this happening to any car. Maybe yours was badly wrecked and cheaply repaired once upon a time? Anyway, I don't think that these cars are defective because of this isolated occurrence, I have known many people who own this same car and have never had bad problems. I'm very sorry this happened to you though. Here's hoping you get something worked out for the car and that next time you will not write such a long book for people to read.
As unfortunate as it is to say, anyone driving a 12-year-old car is gambling with his or her life every time they drive. I actually owned a 1995 LeSabre, and I have a friend who's on his fourth LeSabre (1995 being one of the years he owned), and I had nothing, but good to say about mine.
Sorry that this happened, but I don't honestly see how anyone could blame General Motors for a problem on an old car.
The car wouldn't be so dangerous to drive if you were to drive it slower. I find that driving at least 15mph under the speed limit not only makes it safer, but gives me superior gas mileage. For instance, driving 55mph rather than 75mph from Minneapolis to Des Moines may take a little longer, but isn't it worth it if you are safe.
I had a very similar failure on another GM H-body car, a 1993 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight. Fortunately I discovered the problem right after the first of the six subframe retaining washers fell off the car, so I didn't lose steering control. The shop confirmed that the remaining five washers were bad and also told me that the subframe was rusted badly enough that it was no longer structurally sound. $1500 later, the car was once again safe to drive.
I visited the NHTSA Web site and documented the problem. They did nothing -- no follow-up on the complaint and no recall. Based on my experience, I would be very reluctant to buy an GM H-body or C-body car from the Snow Belt.
Slow moving vehicles are not entirely safe either. If the posted speed limit is 70, you may have people traveling at 80 or 90. A car moving that fast is going to come up on a car moving at 55 very quickly and if the driver is not paying close attention, you can see how it may not be very safe at all. At least on a freeway you can easily make lane changes. People like you drive me nuts on 2 lane roads though.
You're just not taking care of your vehicle. I've got one. 205,000 km on it. No problems since I've had it.
I own (not for much longer) a 1994 Buick Le Sabre Limited and had the same thing happen to me yesterday afternoon. I was travelling at about 35 MPH when all of a sudden, I lost complete steering control and the vehicle shot across a lane of traffic, hit the center concrete berm and then shot back across 2 lanes of traffic striking the guardrail. I was VERY fortunate to have just stopped at a traffic light and be accelerating to the 50MPH speed limit, rather than travelling any faster or onto the highway (65MPH speed limit) I was heading toward. Surprisingly I did not strike any other vehicles and there is very little body damage to the car, other than the obvious damage from the cradle collapsing. Very scary time.
I have never heard of anything like this happening before. I just had the car in for work about 2 weeks ago and the techs did not mention anything that looked out of the ordinary. (However, the frame is extremely rusted) This could have been a VERY SERIOUS accident and I am thankful and fortunate that no one was injured. But this certainly shows that this must be some type of structural deficiency. For a critical piece of the vehicle structure to "fall apart" during operation is completely unacceptable.
I understand that this is an older car and I always expected that it would not last much longer (145k miles), but I certainly did NOT expect that it could possibly be so UNSAFE to operate.
I only wish I would have seen this warning earlier. But then, I never had reason to suspect that critical failure of the steering cradle structure would be a problem... no matter how old or rusty the car is.
I own a 1997 Buick Leasbre, always garaged up to August 2005. Two days ago I found an undulated (severely rusted) washer on my driveway, and noted that there were more than one of these missing body mount bushing retaining washers. This is a Michigan car. It's going to remain parked till I can replace all four of them, as the remaining two are probably ready to fail. Can't find part on-line. Will probably have to buy at dealer.
I just noticed comment 18:51. If you drove 15 mph UNDER the speed limit in my area you would get rear-ended in less than a mile. The posted limit is 55 or 65 (depending on which freeway you are on). The average speed is probably between 85 and 110 mph. I totally agree that it will get you better fuel mileage if you drive slower, but causing a traffic hazard is not worth it. Police in our area do not enforce traffic laws and virtually everyone speeds terribly. I have personally passed police cars while driving at 100 mph and had them totally ignore me. I'm not saying this is good (it isn't) but if all traffic is moving fast, a slow driver is a far greater hazard.
I bought my Buick LeSabre with 140k on it as my first car. It was dumb, but hey, stubborn seventeen year-olds make dumb decisions. Luckily I didn't pay much.
I've had various mechanical problems, which I will mostly attribute to the girl I bought it from not taking care of it properly. Then I drove it for 40k and had never heard of a transmission flush. Poor thing, I drove it to the ground thinking that an oil change qualified as complete preventative maintenance.
However, the reason that I finally had to give my baby up is something I will NOT blame myself for. I took it to a mechanic to check my brake pads. Good news, my brakes were fine. Bad news, my entire engine cradle was rusted and rotted. My engine had already sunk 3 inches and my mechanic told me I was one railroad track away from my engine falling out. So trust me, the original review rings all too familiar. I'm just glad that I caught it before it caught me. My steering wheel also clicked just like the original reviewers.
It just doesn't seem like something that should be happening, even on a car from 1995.