BBB Accredited Business since

Whitaker Buick GMC

Phone: (651) 464-5612 Fax: (651) 464-0660 131 19th St SW, Forest Lake, MN 55025 View Additional Email Addresses

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Whitaker Buick GMC is a full service Automobile Dealership offering New car sales, Pre-Owned vehicle sales, Parts & Service for all domestic vehicles. Our dealership is proud to be a BBB Integrity Award recipient, serving the region since 1954.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Whitaker Buick GMC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Whitaker Buick GMC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Whitaker Buick GMC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: July 01, 1975 Business started: 09/24/1954 in MN Business started locally: 09/24/1954 Business incorporated 09/28/1954 in MN
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Minnesota Department of Public Safety
444 Cedar St Ste 133, Saint Paul MN 55101
Phone Number: (651) 201-7000

Minnesota Secretary of State
180 State Office Bldg, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul MN 55155
Phone Number: (651) 296-2803

Type of Entity


Business Management
Steve Whitaker, President Jim Bush, Used Vehicle Manager Eric Christenson, Service Manager Bob Flinn, Finance Manager Doug Hansen, New Vehicle Sales Manager Tracey Hills, Parts Manager Cindy Rogers, VP & Office Manager
Contact Information
Principal: Steve Whitaker, President
Business Category

Auto Dealers - New Cars Auto Dealers - Used Cars Auto Parts & Supplies - New Auto Repair & Service Auto Services

Service Area
Entire Upper Midwest. Many customers come to us from Out-of-State
Products & Services

According to information supplied by the company, Whitaker Buick GMC sells new Buick and GMC's, Pre-Owned vehicles of all makes and models, and offers Service and Parts on most all vehicle brands.

Industry Tips
Auto Repair and Services Buying A New Car BUYING A USED CAR USED CAR WARRANTY LAW

Additional Locations

  • 131 19th St SW

    Forest Lake, MN 55025 (651) 464-5612


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

5/18/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: A vehicle was sold to me based on the dealer's assurances of the vehicles safety and performance. Unfortunately, the vehicle did not perform as promised and exhibited multiple other defects/problems. I contacted the seller beginning the next day when the vehicle would not start and had exhibited multiple problems including safety issues. I explained to the seller that the vehicle was not performing as promised. I requested return/refund. The seller requested that the vehicle be brought in for repairs. The vehicle was brought in as requested and picked up when the dealer claimed the vehicle was ready. The seller advised that I drive the vehicle for another weekend or week and then return it if the vehicle was still having problems. The problems persisted but the seller has continued delaying the return for several months. This vehicle purchase was based on the repeated claims and assurances of performance by the dealer. The vehicle has not performed as the dealer assured it would and is not safe.

Desired Settlement: A return/refund.

Business Response:

April 27, 2016


To: Better Business Bureau of MN/ND, Attn: Mr. ***** ****

Re: Customer Complaint ID # ********, from Mr. ***** ********


We have received the complaint referenced above from the BBB regarding our customer Mr. ***** ********, and want to address his concerns. Mr. ******** is requesting a full refund of his purchase price on his 2015 Chevrolet Malibu due to ‘vehicle safety and performance’ issues. We have found no such issues. The vehicle was purchased as a used car from our dealership on January 1, 2016 with 23,873 miles on the odometer. On January 12th, 2016 (at 24,435 miles) the vehicle was brought to our service department by Mr. ******** with three concerns, and we have noted what we found with each item in blue:

  1. Customer stated that the vehicle would not start the day after purchase, but it did start when he tried again later. Finding: vehicle started normally when technician checked it. He tightened all battery cables and connections. Stated that the no start condition could have been due to a frosted starter motor, but all was working properly at that time.
  2. Customer stated he was getting poor mileage and there was a ’shudder or hesitation’ at 40-45 mph. Finding: Often times fuel mileage is something that is perceived to be different than the EPA estimates due to incorrect calculation, not re-setting the fuel economy monitor or using the highway estimate to gauge city driving mileage. Our technician took the vehicle out on the road at different speeds and achieved the following results – at 45 mph the car’s fuel monitor indicated 32 mpg, at 55 mph it stated 38 mpg, and at 70 mph it stated 32 mpg. Over 25 miles total, this trip returned an average of 28.1 mpg. We then took a 2nd trip, traveling 17 miles at speeds between 30-55 mph and the vehicle achieved 32.1 miles per gallon. We then took a 3rd trip the next day with the vehicle while driving at speeds between 30 – 55 mph. A total of 17 miles were driven and the Malibu returned 30.5 mpg. The temperature was 2 degrees Fahrenheit on the 12th and 17 degrees on the 13th. Cooler winter weather -combined with oxygenated fuel used at that time of year - will typically return a lower mpg rating as compared to warmer temperatures.

    According to the EPA information on this vehicle, it is rated at 25 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg for highway driving. On this same report, owners submit their actual fuel mileage, and this is reported at 23.5 mpg. In view of what gas mileage figures Mr. ********’s vehicle returned when tested, it is achieving 28 – 38 mpg. These numbers are in line (or better) than what is reported on the federal government’s EPA report.

    We also hooked up our diagnostic computer to the vehicle to check for any indication of improper engine performance – there were no trouble codes, indicating the engine is running to proper specifications. We also checked for any ‘shudder’ or improper shifting issue, and found none. Often with the new multi-speed transmissions, a driver will notice more shift points than their previous vehicle as there are more gearshifts involved on acceleration (or deceleration). See the link below for the EPA fuel mileage on this vehicle.


  3. Customer stated the vehicle would drift to the left. Finding: Our technician confirmed a slight pull and then performed a 4-wheel alignment. He then test-drove the vehicle and found no further drifting issue.


Our Sales Consultant Howie ******* has been in touch with Mr. ******** regarding a possible trade-out due to the fact that for some reason he is not happy with the vehicle. We have never said that the vehicle can be returned for a refund, but we are happy to trade him into a different vehicle if Mr. ******** is interested. It is important to note however, that this would be at ‘trade-in’ value on the Malibu, and not the original price that was paid. We found no reason why Mr. ******** claims the vehicle to be ‘unsafe’ (a term used in his complaint to the BBB, not on the 1-12-2016 repair order).

In summary, we have addressed each concern that Mr. ******** raised on his visit to our service department on January 12th, 2016. The vehicle has not been back to us since that visit. The vehicle is under a full bumper-to-bumper General Motors warranty up to 36,000 miles, so if there are any further issues, any GM dealership across the country (including us) can repair any type of mechanical failure.




***** ********, President

Eric ***********, Service Manager

Dave ******, Used Car Manager

Howie *******, Sales Consultant

Whitaker Buick GMC

Forest Lake, MN 



Consumer Response:  I am rejecting this response because:

The seller has continued with delays and made excuses instead of any reasonable attempt to resolve this issue.
With regards to repairs, it was apparent upon leaving the seller’s service department that the vehicle performance and safety issues were unfortunately not corrected. This includes all issues, not just the three listed in the seller’s response (and the vehicle continues to pull to the left and is a hazard). The seller was promptly notified but have continued with delays.  

Regards to MPG, at the time of the sale, the sales person, Howie *******, made assurances multiple times that the vehicle would get 37 MPG. The vehicle purchase was based on this claim. Unfortunately, the MPG was recorded at 15-22 MPG over several trips with resets to the trip odometer each time. This wasn’t reasonably close to the assured value that the sales person claimed during the sales process. Attempts to go back on the sale’s person’s assurances after the sale is a real disappointment and simply unacceptable. 

The seller has been contacted many times beginning the day after sale and met with various excuses for delays. I have been very patient (continual delays from the seller for months, not days).  The sales person has not made a reasonable attempt to make corrections or resolve this issue and instead has required many reminders. I’ve tried for months to resolve this issue but have largely been ignored. I made an exception to the return upon their request for swapping the vehicle out but have found their request empty. Each time I selected a vehicle, they made an excuse to not move forward. When I requested simple numbers associated with a vehicle swap, they removed over $4000 from the amount I paid them. This is an insult given I contacted the seller immediately after the purchase and have been very patient for months.

Customer Review(s)

The customer review(s) below are un-filtered. These positive and negative reviews are not used in the calculation of the BBB Rating. If you wish to file a complaint and request a resolution to your issue please click here. This customer review section is not BBBs complaint resolution system. Customer Reviews are the subjective opinion of the individual who posted the review and not of Better Business Bureau. A customer review is not posted on a business if a BBB complaint on the same issue(s) is also filed. BBB cannot guarantee the accuracy of any customer review and is not responsible for the content of any customer review. Public comments are not customer reviews.

Customer Reviews Summary

0 Customer Reviews on Whitaker Buick GMC
Positive Experience (0 reviews)
Neutral Experience (0 reviews)
Negative Experience (0 reviews)