2001 Chevy Transmission Failure
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS --
We have a GM (guaranteed misery) transmission in our Chevy Venture. We bought it brand new in 2001 and never had a problem with it until last Friday, 15 April 2005. My transmission failed while I was driving at night on I-94 North (Dan Ryan Expressway into Chicago) among SEVERAL LANES OF TRAFFIC travelling at about 60mph. My factory warranty expired in Oct 2004, 5,407 miles ago; the car has 41,407 miles on it. I have never towed anything; and I have the engine and tires looked at every 5-6 months like clockwork. It had to be flatbedded 35 miles to the hotel we were going to stay at for the night. Next morning I am on the phone looking for a dealership to repair the van; one nearby only takes vehicles by appointment and the guy on the phone doesn't sound thrilled about my problem. The service station in front of hotel can't help me, but tells me there is a Chevy dealership around the corner-about one mile away. I attempt to drive the car in the hotel lot and it is not right, but drivable. I figure I am 400 miles from home with an iffy transmission, just spent $75 to flatbed it here the night before and decide to try to drive it to the Hoskins Chevrolet (Elk Grove Village dealership) around the corner; hoping if I have trouble, someone will help this poor woman with her minivan! I make it thereby letting it just coast with the least bit of gas (the slowest mile I have ever driven) and the guys in service agree it's the tranny. Because of the low miles and that it's just out of warranty, they ask me if I called CHEV-USA and filed a claim; I begin that process on their phone. As it is Saturday, 16 April 2005, the transmission mechanics are not in until Monday. I authorize a $500 'teardown' to see what happened with the transmission. The CHEV-USA rep talks to acting service manager about having mechanics look at vehicle and they will communicate and then later communicate with me whether Chevrolet will fulfill this claim. Hoskins dealership arranges a rental for me through Enterprise at $47 a day (I require another van, or SUV, for myself, my friend, our two boys, and the goods we drove up to Chicago to purchase) and I am on my way. Back home (3 hours south of Chicago) on Monday afternoon, the mechanic calls me and says, "an internal part failed and the pieces of it destroyed the entire tranny, it has to be replaced. It is too far gone for a rebuild" and quotes me an estimate of $3300.
This is the first 'new' car I have ever owned; growing up I always had POS cars that were just as old (or older than me) and I just kept fixing things as they broke until they couldn't be fixed anymore. Having spent nearly $30,000 for this vehicle I was very surprised to have the tranny go at 41,407 miles considering the van doesn't tow anything and is well-maintained. I know that American cars have gone downhill these last 4 decades, but this is ridiculous!!!!! The van isn't even four years old yet! CHEV-USA rep told me I would get a "callback" today (Monday, 18 April 2005) between the hours of 3-5pm; no one called me back. This evening I called CHEV-USA and they apologized for the rep not calling me back and told me she would be back in the office at 7:15am Tuesday morning (tomorrow) and that I should expect her to call me back on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, this afternoon my local State Farm insurance office re-imbursed me my towing expense of $75, but will not re-imburse me for the rental car expenses. They recommend I ask Chevrolet to pay for my car rental expenses!
The quote for $3300 is just an estimate and I can't even believe any of this has happened! If anyone has any advice on what to do about all this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You for letting me 'rant'!