SOLDOTNA, ALASKA -- As a consumer from your state, I felt it was my responsibility to bring to your attention the following incident.
I own a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4x4 with automatic transmission. In February 2003, at 76,000 miles, we started to experience slipping/hard shifting in our transmission, along with a 'whirling' noise coming from somewhere underneath the vehicle. Five trips to Hutchings Chevrolet in Soldotna, Alaska, and $1740.19 later, we have new oil cooler lines, new re-surfaced rear brake rotors and replaced pads, a new right front axle seal, new rear transfer case bearings (that finally fixed the 'whirling' noise), and new shift solenoids, but... our transmission is STILL slipping/shifting hard! When hooked up to the service center's diagnostic computer, the code '1870' is displayed. At this point, the service mechanics THINK that my transmission needs a new 'valve body' and possibly 'pressure regulator', although they admit that this may not resolve the problem and that, ultimately, what I need to do is install a new transmission.
Having read of similar Chevy transmission complaints (code 1870/hard shifting between 1-2 gears once the transmission warms up) on several different websites (www.my3cents.com, and www.thecomplaintstation.com have the most comments), AND having already been told by the Chevy dealership that Chevy has posted a service bulletin on this 'valve body' -- knowing that there have been repeated failures -- AND having called Chevrolet's Customer Assistance Center (I spoke with Dean Nelson at 866-932-4368, ext. 38341), AND having filed a complaint report with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), I am appealing to you for additional assistance.
Please know that I DO NOT normally condone lawsuits, especially against corporations, for they inevitably pass on the expenses to the public by increasing their product prices; and burden society, in general, when they endeavor to recoup financial losses by issuing employess lay-offs or firing employees. However, I have done everything in my power to encourage the Chevrolet Corporation to resolve this issue honorably, and I have been told that there is nothing they are willing to do -- in other words, 'It sucks to be you. Thank you for buying a Chevy'.
A transmission is an essential component of a vehicle, along with the engine and the body. No well-maintained three year old vehicle that was purchased brand-new should be suffering from a transmission failure. I believe that Chevrolet is aware that their transmissions are defective and have been for over five years. I believe that they are misleading the public when they state that their vehicles are 'Built like a Rock', and show images of their vehicles being used in excessively rough terrain. I believe that, by not standing behind their product, they are guilty of dishonorable and dishonest behavior.
This is the third Chevrolet vehicle we have owned. We've never had a problem with our previous Chevy trucks (purchased in 1994). We have maintained this Suburban properly and have not abused it in any way. We can not afford to spend any more money attempting to repair or replace the transmission, nor can we, honorably, attempt to trade or sell this vehicle, knowing that the transmission is faulty. Additionally, this is our ONLY means of transportation, as we can not afford a second vehicle at this time.
Can you help?
As a resolution, I would like the following:
I would like for Chevrolet to either:
1) replace our transmission with a brand-new transmission, free of charge,AND supply us with a loaner vehicle, for free, until our Suburban is completely repaired or;
2) replace our vehicle with a brand-new comparable vehicle, or;
3) pay off our outstanding vehicle loan amount of $17,000.00 so that we can purchase a new vehicle with a functioning transmission from a completely different car manufacturer.
Please contact me if you need more details regarding this incident.