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Hummer H3 2006 Lacks Child Safety Door Locks. Dangerous For Children
Posted by on
In October of 2010 I purchased a used Hummer H3 with approx. 70k miles on it. I at the time of purchase had two young children both under the age of two so essentially I was looking to purchase a "family safe vehicle." For the four months that I have had the Hummer h3 I thought that it was a child safe vehicle because it was car seat approved with the anchors and it also had window locks. Unfortunately, three weeks ago I had to find out the hard way that the H3 is lacking such a simple feature that could save childrens lives, the child safety door lock. I was driving along and my 18m old daughter was playing around with the window. I kept telling her to knock it off. I had the doors locked but the next thing I know she was able to open the door while I was driving and she almost feel out of a moving vehicle. I reported the incident right away to GMC corporate office and of course did not get a person in the United States. I was out sourced and was trying to talk about a severe safety issue that needs to be addressed with this vehicle. I finally was able to convince the representative to transfer me to a US representative. When I waited 45mins for a US representative to come on the phone she was extremely rude and told me that there is NOTHING that they can do for me. That is not a good enough answer for me. Why did you leave out a common feature found in 99% of the cars on the road today AFTER 1999. When I bought the hummer especially it being a luxury vehicle I was expecting it to be equipped with a lot of safety features because of the nature of the SUV but I was wrong. In the H3 because of its design a child sitting in a car seat ( which you say is car seat approved to be in those seats) can not only reach the windows but can also open the door when in motion.

The only thing that saved my daughter was the two leg straps to her car seat that was holding her in. When I was telling the US representative about this she just kept saying, " I am not sure why this year of the H3 did not have the child safety door locks. Mam there is nothing I can do for you. You can go to the hummer dealership and maybe have them installed but you will have to pay for it yourself." Then she calls the hummer dealership herself and then comes back on the phone and says, " you are not allowed to install the child safety locks on this model of h3." Basically, I fear having my children in this vehicle because it is not SAFE when a 18m old can open a car door while the vehicle is in motion there is a SEVERE problem!

IN 2006 HUMMER MANUFACTURED OVER 194,000 H3’S. Within 3 months after the hummer h3 was released there was over 100 complaints filed to hummer in regards to the child safety door locks. They still 5 years later have neglected to fix this problem and continue to make excuses on why this was never recalled. This is extremely dangerous for families with children due to the risk of a child falling out of a moving motor vehicle. In 2007 hummer added the child safety door locks to the h3. Why I ask did they not simply add it in the first place to the 2006 h3?
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Anonymous on 04/05/2011:
I never thought of a Hummer as a family vehicle. You can take it to someplace other than the dealership and have child door locks installed. Now you know what to check for on your next vehicle purchase.
momsey on 04/05/2011:
I agree with ript. A Hummer does not say "family friendly" to me at all. While I can understand the complaint to a point, I really don't see how an 18 month old can even reach the locks and or the door handle. Maybe I just don't know how an H3 is built. But it is a good lesson to learn.
Anonymous on 04/05/2011:
Hmmmm... Despite what my fellow my3cents'ers think GM certainly did their best to market the Hummer H3 as a family vehicle. I can see how that alone could lead the average consumer to believe the Hummer H3 is a "family friendly" vehicle.

Here's one of the ads.
spiderman2 on 04/05/2011:
What kind of child safety seat was your 18 month old child in? "The only thing that saved my daughter was the two leg straps to her car seat that was holding her in." An 18 month old child should be in a car seat with a 5 point safety harness and if you go by the new recommendations, the child should still be facing the rear of the vehicle.
SteveWiginowski on 04/05/2011:
I thought that child locks are something that activated by pushing a button on the edge of the door (only reached when the door is open). If this hasn't been activated, how can you expect it to be working.

Think of it this way. When you buy a car and a friend is in the back seat, can they get out of the car themselves or do you open the door for them? Generally they can open the door themselves unless the child lock has been activated by the owner of the car.
Anonymous on 04/05/2011:
In the past, Hummer ownership was kind of like inviting 50 Cent to your house to perform at your child's college graduation party -- complete overkill and massively expensive, but surely a great way to impress the heck out of the neighbors. Now, however, there's the Hummer H3. It's designed to be the "real world" Hummer: less 50 Cent and more your buddy's local alt-rock band.

This isn't to say that the company's engineers stopped their testosterone I.V. drip. The H3's styling still proclaims loudly that it's a card-carrying member of the Hummer guild, and the truck's got more off-road capability than just about every other midsize SUV when the pavement ends.

For everyday urban use, however, the smallest of Hummers still isn't the best choice.
dan gordon on 04/05/2011:
unless child proof doors are required there is no liability on Hummer. I got a good laugh out of a hummer being a family car. Its really for people to say look at me I have a big car and lots of money.
DebtorBasher on 04/05/2011:
I just checked out the manual online and there is nothing I can find that states they have safety lock doors. They do have add on restraints etc.
Not sure if the owner here has a manual, but you can download one free online:

I can well understand this parent's concern, imagine if you were driving and the car door came open with your child like that. I'm glad your child wasn't injured, and don't pay attention to comments stating anything along the line that you should have known...point is, it happened and it could have been serious.
clutzycook on 04/05/2011:
Just because a vehicle has safety features A, B and C does not mean that it has safety feature D (childproof locks in this case). I'm glad your daughter is OK, but unless I can see for myself that there are indeed childproof locks on a vehicle, I assume that the vehicle in question does not have them and proceed accordingly. When it comes to cars, they are always guilty until proven innocent.
momsey on 04/05/2011:
DB, I would be upset if my child somehow opened the door while we were driving, but there's no chance of my kid falling out of the car. He's almost three and still strapped in tight with a 5 point harness.
Anonymous on 04/05/2011:
It is scary for sure. It is a great feature but your particular make and model doesn't carry it. I am glad your little one is fine and she most likely scared herself out of ever trying that stunt again. Gazillions of us raised our children without this feature (including your parents) and we didn't have children falling out on the roadways. Rather than trying to redesign a 5-year old car (and the way they build cars these days it has already lived more than half its useful life), work with your daughter to ensure that she doesn't touch the door locks the same way that you convince her not to touch the hot stove. Short that, trade it in for something that better suits the needs of a growing family. I wouldn't bank on Hummer doing anything to help you at this point.
trmn8r on 04/05/2011:
How to know why they didn't add them earlier, but they didn't. Retrofitting the parts from a 2007 to a 2006 isn't straightforward, because the inside door panel changed.

You may have assumed the vehicle would come with them, but articles on the internet at least as far back in 2007 point out that the 2006 H3 didn't have them. Obviously there was no requirement to have them in new vehicles that year. You really can't expect them to do anything about this, IMO. The stats I saw were something like 60,000 vehicles sold in 2006.
Venice09 on 04/06/2011:
Steve, that's how the child lock worked on my vehicles. I don't know of any vehicle that has automatic child locks. They have to be activated.
Anonymous on 04/06/2011:
I thought child safety locks are a requirement on vehicles. I remember having a child safety lock on my 1990 pontiac bonneville. Hummer may want you to "think" they have a family vehicle, but I think hummer really is in the market for single guys who are trying to impress the ladies. At least that's what I get out of them.
trmn8r on 04/06/2011:
It's rather surprising that GM didn't think to include them on the first few years of this model, but then again a lot of things GM does are surprising.
JENNIFEROPSTAD513 on 04/06/2011:
To all of the fellow followers of this complaint, I would like to tell all of you that my child was in a 5point safety seat. I am just trying to make it prevalent to someone considering buying this vehicle that there is a lack of this safety feature. in regards to this vehicle being a family vehicle obviously it is a family vehicle otherwise they would not have implemented the car seat anchors and window locks into this vehicle. If the vehicle did not have these options it would therefore be classified as a recreational vehicle and not a SUV. SUV classification more or less assumes that this vehicle must adhere to the standards of safety. I know this vehicle is 5 years old but it is still crazy that this option was neglected by GM in the first place.

If you think about the people that purchase the H3 they are people that have families and cannot afford the gas guzzler h2. With that being said you would think that GM marketed this baby hummer with that reason in mind. SAFETY is important for all vehicles and in 1999 the US patent issued that any vehicle manufacturer knowingly leaving this out is being negligent.
Anonymous on 04/06/2011:
As of 2011, child safety door locks are still pretty much an option, and are not mandatory on all vehicles. There is a movement to change that however. BTW Jennifer, saw your response to an insensitive poster on another site regarding this issue.
momsey on 04/06/2011:
My VW Beetle convertible has car seat anchors. That doesn't make it a family vehicle. I'm just saying that just because something follows safety guidelines doesn't make it a right fit for a family.

And even if it DID have child safety locks, you'd still have to engage them! They're not necessarily automatic! This is a good review because maybe it will make people think twice before both buying and driving a vehicle with kids in the car. But I can't say it's fair to complain about Hummer when you didn't even look for this feature, you just assumed it was there.
SteveWiginowski on 04/06/2011:
I agree with momsey. This review was helpful to inform people that the H3 didn't have this feature, but the feature wouldn't have helped you in this situation as you attempt to activate the child safety locks prior to this happening. At that point you would have realized that the car didn't have them (or even earlier if you looked for them when buying the car).

It would be like buying a 20" bicycle for a child that you saw at a store, having the child ride it to then only realize that it doesn't have both hand (hand squeezing) and backwards breaks (where you push backwards to break), but only the hand breaks. It's a feature that many bikes have, but some 20" bikes don't have the backwards breaks.
ChuhBaca on 04/06/2011:
My opinions on the Hummer line-up aside (it's not the vehicles, it's the reason they are purchased for which I don't care), it does seem odd.

Have you done any research with NHTSA? Maybe you could file a report with them.
mrgreeneyes on 04/14/2012:
my wife calls me at home and tells me my three yo has opened the door while she was turning a corner and the door flew open.freaking her out to the point of tears. Now we knew the 06 h3 we bought had no child safety locks on it about 6 months after we bought it when my then first child was about 2yo.I told her when she got home I would remove the door panel and disengage the linkage to the inside door handle on his side.we have told our child to leave it alone countless times but you know how kids can be.may in a year or so when we feel he will be a better listener.we will put it back the way it was.
mtzd on 09/19/2012:
I own a 2006 pontiac g6 and I'm having the same problem
mamamonkey2 on 07/26/2013:
I have an 06 H3 and we didn't know at the time of purchase that there were no child safety locks. Our 3 yo messes with the door sometimes but since she's in her seat, I don't panic as much. But it's not as "massive" as people assume and I'm not a minivan mom.I'm glad her child's okay and people should stop judging! Her money, her vehicle choice!
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GM truck sunroof leak/Dealer performance.
Posted by on
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post this where it will get some exposure.
I have had an ongoing issue with GM and GSL Chev City in Calgary Alberta Canada regarding my leaky sunroof. 2007.5 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab.
Many owners out there are having problems getting their trucks fixed, including me and I'd like to share my story.
I'm hoping that GM will pick up and run with this once they see that there are enough concerned customers out there.
Here is a letter that I recently wrote to GM regarding the poor performance that I have experienced.

Administrative Operations - Service, Parts, Operations (SPO)
General Motors of Canada Limited, SPO
1908 Colonel Sam Drive
Oshawa, Ontario

To Whom It May Concern:

Recently I purchased a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab used in a private sale. Unfortunately, I have been having ongoing problems with the truck regarding water leaking into the cab of the truck during rainstorms.

I purchased the truck in December 2008 and initially did not have any problems as the temperature was most often below freezing. As summer arrived, so did the rain and almost every time it rained I noticed that the headliner, seatbelts, and carpet in the truck would get wet. I was due to have the oil changed in the truck and also intended to have washer fluid heater repaired due to a GM recall.

I brought my truck to GSL Chev City in Calgary as it is very close to my home.
The recalled washer fluid heater was repaired without issue.
I asked GSL to investigate a squeaky driver’s side front window. The technician noted a TSB regarding lubrication of window hardware and billed me ½ hr. labour. $62.50
I also asked to investigate a slight delay in the washer fluid when pumped. The technician tested the washer fluid pump and deemed it to be working properly. I was billed ½ hr labour $62.50.
I also asked GSL to identify and repair a leak that caused the headliner, seatbelts and carpet to get wet after rain. The intake employee (_________) told me that these leaks often occur when owners use touchless car washes as the high pressure spray overwhelmed the sunroof seal and sunroof drains. I told the Tammi that I do not, and have never, used a touchless carwash and that a light rain would cause the truck to leak. The technician tested the water tightness of the truck with a rain tower and came to the conclusion that everything was working properly. I was billed 1 hr labour. $125.00.
When I heard of these charges I contacted the service manager _________ and told him how upset I was regarding them. I told him that they were outrageous and he agreed with me. All of the charges in question were reduced to zero other than a ½ hr. diagnostic charge for the sunroof leak. $62.50
When I went to pick up the truck I noticed on the work order “Suspect touchless car wash was used and water overflowed front sunroof tracks (normal) No sign of leak at this time” This, after I specifically told the GSL employee (________) that I did not use those car washes. I was insulted.
I paid the bill and hoped that there were no more leaks.

The truck continued to leak so I took it back to GSL service. The technicians again tested the sunroof with rain towers and told me that there was no leak therefore there was nothing to be fixed. Fortunately, there was no charge. Once again on the work order/invoice it was written “leak not present at this time. Suspect customer is using high pressure car wash and over coming sunroof drain’s ability and causing water to flow through headliner and into B pillar trim” This comment even after I specifically told GSL on two occasions that I did not use touchless car washes. During a follow up conversation with ____________ I was asked if I was sure I was closing the sunroof properly as that may be a possible cause of the leak. I was insulted once again.

The truck continued to leak.

I took the truck back to GSL service and asked them to drop the headliner as that would surely enable the technicians to identify the leak. _____________ and I agreed that I would pay an additional 1 hour labour ($125) for the R&R of the headliner. I traveled to the shop to see the situation myself. When I arrived the technician had the truck sitting under rain towers waiting for the sunroof to leak with the headliner down. They told me that there was no leak and that everything was operating as designed. I looked around a bit and noticed a hole in the driver’s side drain channel and that the drain hoses ran uphill. The hole in the drain channel was dripping and the reverse grade on the drain tubing caused the drain channel to overflow as water rarely flows uphill. I asked them to drive a screw into the hole in the channel, as was done on the passenger side, and to try to correct the grade of the drain tubing that flowed uphill. They put the truck back together.
I was called by _____________ and told that the cost that we agreed on had now gone up. At this point I was once again disappointed and called Robert Wolfe (the owner of GSL) and told him my concerns. He called back shortly after and told me that the charges would be as we agreed on totaling1 hour labour. $125.00. Thank you Mr. Wolfe.
They put the truck back together. When I picked up the truck I noticed that on the work order/invoice, highlighted in pink was a note “No more work orders are to be opened on this vehicle without service management approval and a clear understanding of responsibility for charges RWK” I understood this as asking me not to return.
Being quite displeased with GSL at this point I didn’t think that would be a problem.

The truck continued to leak.

25/08/2009 I called and talked to Service manager at GSL and expressed my concerns. I asked if they would like to try again to fix the truck he said “no, he would rather not.”

25/08/2009 I called and talked to Francine at GM customer Service and let her know that I was intending to take the truck to Jack Carter Chevrolet in an attempt to have the problem fixed.

25/08/2009 When I was blessed with a free moment I decided to have a look at the truck myself. I dropped the rear corners of the headliner and adjusted the drain hoses, and repaired the problem. (Unfortunately the GSL technician had not done this as I had asked when in the shop) I lowered both hoses to just above airbag so that water didn’t have to flow uphill. I also noticed that the passenger side drain hose did not have the retainer clip to attach it to the body and keep it from moving around.
These Repairs took me, a Plumber, about an hour. I then tested the drainage system with a running hose in drain pan for approx an hour. There were NO LEAKS.

26/08/2009 Looking for more information regarding my issues, I went to another of the Chevrolet dealers in Calgary and inquired into TSB 09-08-57-002. When I read this TSB I was surprised to see that the EXACT symptoms were listed in this document. Even more surprising was that the same procedure that I used to correct the problem was also described in “Condition 2” of the TSB document. This was so surprising because, during my time at the GSL shop to view the truck with the headliner down, I specifically mentioned that this was a likely cause of the leak and asked for it to be corrected. Water does not have a tendency to flow uphill.

At this point I wish to express my concerns to everyone important to the situation. I feel as though I have been put through the wringer over this and pointing out these problems may help me and any future customers with similar problems.

Firstly, I’d like to comment on the fact that I have been able to identify hundreds of documented issues relating to these trucks and sunroof leaks. I was also able to bring to the attention to all I spoke, the TSB and PIT documents related to the sunroof issue. I know that GM has had to deal with this in the past, yet when it comes to my truck they had absolutely no idea. When I asked GM or GSL employees about an ongoing issue with the sunroofs leaking, I was told that there were no issues.

Secondly, why is it that your top notch mechanics working at a GM dealership spent hours and hours (supposedly) trying to identify and rectify this problem and I, a Plumber with no formal mechanics training, fixed it in about an hour?

Thirdly, I would like to know why your service department, after being told that the sunroof leaks in a light rain always come back with “we can’t make it leak” therefore it does not leak. Why, after being told that I NEVER use touchless carwashes on two occasions, GSL tells me that the likely cause of my leak is a touchless carwash? How insulting. Not to mention questioning my ability to properly operate the sunroof controls. Good Lord!

Fourthly, I must comment on the aggressive billing that I encountered on my first visit to GSL. Charging me ½ hour labour to view a TSB regarding a window squeak, or charging me ½ hour labour to have the technician sit in the truck and run the washer fluid for 10 seconds is a DISGRACE.. How many people would have paid that? It almost seems criminal. I have to admit, part of the reason I have been so tenacious with GSL is because of this aggressive billing fiasco.

Lastly, I would like to be refunded the monies that I have paid to have less than nothing done to my truck relating to my sunroof leaking. So far I have been billed $187.50 to have my sunroof issue fixed or even diagnosed. For that expense, I have not had my truck fixed, I have not had the problem diagnosed, I have been insulted, and have had to take it upon myself to fix the issue.

I find it a shame that I am not welcome to bring my vehicle to GSL anymore. It would be very convenient to have my service performed there but seeing how things have transpired, even if I was welcomed at GSL’s service department, I wouldn’t bring my vehicle there.

I hope that this will all be a lesson to everyone involved. Perhaps my truck won’t rust out and fill with mould due to the constant wet in the truck after all. Perhaps GSL and General Motors will learn something about providing a better customer experience.

I look forward to hearing your comments regarding this matter and to my refund as well.

Thank you for your time.

One Dissatisfied Customer

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Dealer does GM directed repair - accomplishes nothing for $828.51
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- I purchased this vehicle used from a Ford dealership on May 10th w/ 91,714 miles.

We took our trip to Florida on May 30th. After refueling in Georgia with about 200 miles left to our destination the "ENGINE OIL LOW - ADD OIL" warning came on. When we got to Lakeland I had the vehicle repaired at a Chevrolet dealership at a cost of $828.51. This was 1,304 miles after our purchase.

On June 19, the "ENGINE OIL LOW - ADD OIL" warning came on again. This is 1,183 miles after the repair was done.

Upon contacting the repairing dealer I was told they performed a service according to a GM service bulletin. The fact that it did not fix the problem was unfortunate but that was just tough.

I am now told by my local Chevrolet dealer I must now spend $2,500.00 + to replace pistons and rings. AND THERE WILL BE NO GUARANTEE EVEN THAT WILL FIX THE PROBLEM.

Can a dealer not properly diagnose a problem and effect an effective repair? This robotic process of complaint=a list of repairs to do. All at the customers expense until you stumble upon the right fix. What about a "certified" mechanic actually using his expertise in determining which of the many fixes is the correct one without blindly executing a sequence of fixes hoping for the best.

I really feel I have been robbed of $800 and have accomplished nothing.

GM's response: They called me and advised me the problem was being escalated to a Customer Relationship Specialist who would contact me the next day. I did receive the call which was essentially non-productive. GM was NOT going to provide any consideration. After which I sent the second email.

Second email to GM:

Well, your escalation call was received by me on 6/26 at 4:00 PM CDT. I must say I was not impressed at all with this persons knowledge of the situation. I know this problem is, as has been, known by GM for several years. This CRS (Customer Relationship Specialist) feigned ignorance that any such widespread problem existed. She did not appear to even be aware of my original email. Or at least was asking questions that she should have already had knowledge of if she had actually looked into what had transpired. She sounded as if she were simply parroting a prepared, generic script designed to provide a non-specific denial of any assistance from GM. I asked for an email outlining our conversation but she refused citing "GM policy" does not allow putting anything in writing. That alone, from my point of view, destroyed GM's integrity.

I really don't blame the dealer so much as I blame GM. The dealer simply followed what you (GM) dictated they must do without regard to whether or not it would fix the problem. So, as a result I have been robbed of $800 by a dealer with GM as the co-conspirator.

I will NEVER trust another GM service center as they are obviously staffed by parts changers directed by GM. There are no true mechanics.

Now, lean over to the person at the next desk, give him/her a "high five" and congratulate yourself on sidestepping a factory defect and screwing yet one more customer!
No response was received.
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GenuineNerd on 07/02/2013:
A "low oil" message means just that. The moment it came on, you should have pulled over or parked the vehicle, and topped off the oil. If you have been running the engine while this message is on, that's how the engine got ruined. On the other hand, if the crankcase IS full, and the "Low Oil" message is still on, then it's another mechanical issue with the engine. Checking the oil after every fill-up, especially if the vehicle had oil issues in the past (such as an oil leak), may have prevented this problem.
FoDaddy19 on 07/02/2013:
In fairness after 91k miles, your problem might be unrelated to the TSB. However if the dealership did no actual diagnostic work, and just blindly did what the TSB recommended then I think they should credit that $800 towards the cost of the actual needed repair. When it comes to oil usage things can tend to get murky. Even on brand new cars most manufacturers' consider 1 quart per 1000 miles as acceptable.
Jay on 07/02/2013:
GenuineNerd: "The moment it came on, you should have pulled over or parked the vehicle, and topped off the oil."

I did.
GenuineNerd on 07/05/2013:
There is the possibility that the previous owner neglected to have proper maintenance done on the vehicle. If the engine is full of sludge, caused by infrequently changing the oil, that could have caused the "low oil" message to come on...even if the crankcase is full. Sludge can cause engines to fail. Having a used car inspected by a trusted mechanic prior to purchase, getting a Carfax report and/or the vehicle's past service/repair history, and purchasing a service contract or extended warranty when the vehicle is purchased, could help should an expensive problem occur.
antcam21 on 08/06/2013:
you know I'm going through just about the same thing. my wife and I bought a certified used 08 pontiac g6 covnrt. in 2010 with roughly 25k beautiful car...or so we thought since day 1 it was leaking oil...3 years later and roughly 30 pages of service reports my car still leaks oil (bout 3 crank seals 2 rear main seals and every other seal in the car) not to mention my heated seats where repaired in 2011 and since then the fall off and my side seat airbag trims are hanging off because it looks like they wear ripped off (all work done by the same chain of local gm dealerships) and insted of being replaced they mended my panels with zip ties... now I'm here at 92,3xx mile my gmpp is up @99xxx and my power and drivetrain up at 100xxx...I'm left with this car that has spewed oil and now damaged since I took ownership...and no one wants anything to do with it or about it...not even gm customer care...
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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Junk Won't Accelerate Been In Shop 4 Times Won't Go Faster Than 17 Mph Gm Says Not A Safety Issue?
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- We bought a new 2011 Chevrolet equinox has now 25000 miles on it. It worked fine until few months ago when around 20000 miles on it started by trying to stall when driving down road and would attempt to die then take off down road. We took it back to dealer and they said it had code showed bad injector so replaced injector got back one day later same thing took back to dealer and they said this time it had 2 codes and had bad fuel pump even stated pressures on work orders. We got it back drove it about 250 miles then started acting up again but no light came on so drove it some more than light came on again took back to same dealer and they took it in shop 3rd time then said Gm was sending out a tech to reprogram and they instructed dealer how to reprogram it and replaced 2 relays on car. We got it back drove it for 3 days and it started doing same thing again almost died then picked back up started running again drove some more and it wouldn't accelerate past 17 MPH all way to floor had to drive 15 miles to get it home and thought it would overheat but didn't made a horrible noise and rattle in engine like it has before when acts up.

We took and called dealer they said not to drive it back they would have it towed which they did all the while dealer has treated us fine gave us loaner car. They the dealer asked GM to do a trade assistance as they couldn't figure it out and thought lemon law would apply as last time it was at there shop for 5 weeks and 4th attempt to repair while GM was supposed to be looking it over we were told by dealer he was having trouble even getting GM representative to call them back. The owner of dealership told us to contact Better Business Bureau to force Gm to buy it back or something through lemon law. We have never had any problems with any GM product before and have never complained or talked to Better Business Bureau but we did finally contacted them as car is still acting up. I realize sometimes things just aren't made right or maybe it has a short in wiring or bad computer or who knows what. My issue is the way we have been handled by GM customer service so unprofessional and was told that GM says there is nothing wrong with car that will decrease its durability or/and it has no safety issues in regard to the car. How can a car that won't drive faster than 17Mph not pose a safety risk to occupants we were almost hit twice driving it when couldn't accelerate. We have 5 GM vehicles guess time to purchase other products if they don't / won't stand behind there product we get no trade assistance and told the car has no issues by GM customer service. With customer service like we have received no wonder GM needs a tax payer bailout.
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trmn8r on 02/29/2012:
This isn't a safety issue - the issue is the car is not operating as designed, and GM is not making an effort to make it right.

When did you contact the BBB? Have you also tried to contact the district GM representative? Sounds like the dealer has been supportive, which is good. I hope GM steps up to the plate soon - good luck.
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2003 Saturn Vue 2.2 Timing Chain Quick Fix / Repair
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We own a 2003 Saturn vue with the 2.2 Echotech engine (timing chain) and we noticed a slapping sound near the timing chain area at idle and the noise smoothed out at a higher rpm we took the vue to an authorised repair dealer and they briefly looked at it and said it sounds bad so I left it over nite for there techs to look at it and after $200.00 Later they said the motor needs to be replaced new $3500.00 Plus install or a used engine with 70000 miles so I informed them to get it ready and ill pick it up after paying the $200.00 Fee they said they found metal in the oil so they put new oil in the engine after looking at the paper work I noticed they didn't even install a new oil filter ? Then I was told that I may not even make it home without destroying the engine so I took it to a honest and capable mechanic I know he said it sounds like the timing chain is slapping the motor casting after removing the top of the engine valve cover and discovered a bolt had backed making the timing chain guide to loose for the chain tensioner to adjust as needed after looking at the problem we decided to make a piece to hold the guide in position because the bolt worked loose and walered out the bolt hole and could not use a bolt so we took measurements and we machined a piece to retain the chain guide. He installed it and the engine sounds great and hope to get another 120000 mile out of our vue the job can be done by any decent mechanic we have the dimensions to make more (but the secret is to get it fixed before the chain breaks slapping noise is a good indication) any questions I can be contacted.
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Skye on 01/16/2011:
Maybe you would consider writing a complementary review for the mechanic who was honest and helped you out, and saved you big money.

Glad it all worked out for you!
trmn8r on 01/16/2011:
I assume you feel others may face this same issue. Very helpful. You have to wonder if they would ever sanction this kind of repair at the car dealer - you would hope they wouldn't always recommend a new engine simply because a hole got wallered out.
trmn8r on 01/16/2011:
Was your vehicle affected by the timing chain recall, and was it done or is that a different problem? Do you have reason to feel others will require the same fix that you implemented? Is there a Saturn users board where you could also post this?
NickL11354 on 01/16/2011:
We are talking about an 8 year old car here. I am surprised the OP would really spend time & money trying to fix it and thinking that is will last an "additional" 120,000 miles. I never thought it was cost effective to keep a car much past 100,000 miles due to the confiscatory cost of repairs & labor. I am talking about Hondas & Toyotas never owned any type of GM car
brunsy on 01/17/2011:
I owned a Saturn sl2 and had it until it had over 300000 miles and that's why we baught the vue hoping for the same longevity
the part we made seems to be working fine so far and look forward to getting many more miles questions 1-812-655-2851
camachmp on 01/17/2013:
I own a 2003 Saturn Ion with 241,000 miles on it. I am only now having a timing chain issue so I think she has done very well. Purchased the timing chain kit for $155 and having my trusted mechanic install it hopefully I can get another 100,000 miles on her like brunsy got.
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General Motors reaches new low in national customer service
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DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- I live in Hilo, Hawaii. The Chevrolet dealership closed on the Big Island about a year ago leaving no factory warranty service in the interim until another service company could be found by GM. In that interim, My Chevy truck at 50699 miles experienced a check engine light. Taking it to a reliable neighborhood mechanic, he found several engine codes and recommended a general tune-up, which I did. It included new spark plugs. Within a hundred miles, the light came on again. This time the code was isolated to P0305, which denoted a misfire problem in the fifth engine cylinder. The mechanic switched the spark coil pack with one of the other cylinders and cleared the code for a cost of $109.38. That didn't solve it and so I took it back for another look at the same code. The fifth cylinder plug was replaced and a compression test was run with the result of 160 pounds pressure. We also added injector cleaner and tested all the vacuum lines for an additional cost of $177.50. This did not solve thje problem and the neighborhood mechanic thought that the next step would probably be pulling the intake manifold to check the injector seals. This of course was going to be quite expensive. At this point, I felt we had done all the normal and customary service items; however, I felt it was better at this point to go to a larger mechanic shop for a second opinion. The mechanic there said he had heard that there was some kind of valve seating problem with the five cylinder truck engines, but that the fix was bigger than they could handle since it involves a new head and valves. I next by happenstance found one of the best Chevrolet mechanics (now unemployed since the Chevrolet dealership was closed). He was able to access GM's service website and learned that the condition I had was covered by GM Special Coverage 07123A with an extended warranty issued about two or three years earlier. Even though my truck had been bought and serviced at the Chevrolet dealership, I was never informed of the problem or extended coverage. Evidently the 2004-6 Colorado and Canyon trucks had heads with poor quality valve seats which would prematurely wear out. The ex-mechanic, who knew the West Coast district service rep, made a call in my behalf as to what should be done. He was advised that GM had just set up an authorized service dealer and to take the truck to them. He provided me the name of the dealer service manager and instructed me to use the West Coast District manager's name. The service was warranted and the work eventually accomplished even though it took two months (even with calls every couple of days with a promise always in a week or so). The dealership had all kinds of problems getting the new head from Chevrolet and even the proper tools for doing so. GM even wanted one of their own mechanics to fly to Hawaii to verify everything before letting the dealer proceed. I at one point offered to FEDEX the tools and parts from the factory at my expense to speed up the repair. (The national Customer Service said it would be difficult to do so because they were no mechanics and had no idea how to even figure out what parts I was identifying for them in behalf of the dealer.) It was very difficult not to have a vehicle for two months, but the dealership said they had other GM vehicles that have been at their shop even longer than mine all waiting on Chevrolet to act. Because of the unreasonable time the vehicle was in for warranty, I was in contact with the National Customer Service Center, where a case number was assigned (71--801620873). Unlike the dealer who tried hard, the National Office is where all of my problems were because they did not try at all to help.
At the point of six weeks with no vehicle, I inquired about a loaner vehicle. They gave me the story that since this was a national problem under the auspices of the U.S. Government's Transportation Department, they could not by law give a loaner car. (Of course I was incredulous at so ridiculous of a statement given me evidently in an effort to get rid of me.) The agent on the next phone call then changed the story and said that they could not preauthorize a car, but that if I was to get one, I could try to submit it for reimbursement. I responded that I was not a gambling or rich man and that I needed to know in advance. They said that they would try to make a business case for such a loaner, but that it might take quite awhile to get back to me while they discussed it. I said that as long as you are working on a loaner car, I needed to submit my receipts for reimbursement for the diagnostics after the tune up that I did before they had a new dealer take on the warranty work. They said they would look into it. Not once did GM ever apologize for the two months my vehicle took for factory repairs. Finally I did get a call saying that they would not allow a loaner car since I no longer had a bumper-to-bumper warranty (which was now another angle for them to deny a reasonable request). Also they denied any reimbursement of the diagnostics even though their service bulletin specifically said: "All customer requests for reimbursement for previous repairs for the special coverage condition will be handled by the Customer Assistance Center, not by dealers." When I read this statement to the agent, they said that they would only pay them if the entire repair had been done by a non-dealer mechanic, even though that mechanic had no access to warranty parts or bulletins from Chevrolet. Ironically, it was GM's own District Service Manager who instructed me to take the truck to the new dealer. Even the dealer's paperwork noted: "Customer had diagnostics done earlier," which diagnostics they copied so as not to waste GM's time and expense in duplicating the same. GM therefore saved money on the repair, then denied me subsequent reimbursement for what they saved even though their special condition paperwork provided reimbursement. I was of course upset and asked to reschedule a conference call including the District Service Manager and the Customer Service Agent. The agent called back in two days and said that the Dist. Serv. Mgr. didn't want to talk about it (evidently since he was the one who put me into the "Catch 22" situation to begin with). What was also comical was that the agent said she had thoroughly studied all the paperwork, policies, and dealer files to make her final decision of no reimbursement whatsoever. She then assured me that I would have the truck back soon. I responded by asking how seriously had the agent really done her homework because: (1) I have had my truck back for two weeks which the agent didn't know but would have known if she had really made any effort; (2) I had not yet submitted any receipts, cost total, or claim form for reimbursement; and (3) the agent seemed surprised when I read her own policy to her from the special condition paperwork from GM itself which apparently would not normally be in the customer's hands. At this point I asked for a management-level supervisor to take over. I was categorically denied this and told by the agent that she and the Dist. Serv. Mgr. (the one who avoided the two conference calls) were the only two employes of GM who could make any decision in my regard and that the case was closed. Incredibly this unilateral decision was made with the agent knowing that my company was one of the largest general contractors in the country and with a GM fleet. The agent (self-representing herself at the highest level of GM) willingly gave up the fleet business for the sake of saving about $280 (even after I had said that I could accept the condition of no loaner car). So buyer -- beware and take heed!
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When General Motors Lost Me
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SEVERAL CITIES AND STATES -- Watching TV tonight there was a story about how GM was losing business because they weren't building cars that people wanted or that quality was poor. But 28 years ago GM lost me forever, not because of quality or that the car was unsatisfactory. All new car models have some teething problems to sort out. They lost me because of dealer arrogance and non-service from the hour I drove the new thing from the dealer showroom.

In 1981 I decided to "Buy American" again. I had owned Fords from 1928 models through 1957. Then I owned various Volkswagens, a Plymouth, a Chrysler New Yorker, a Triumph 2000 in Britain, and finally a 1973 BMW 2002. None of these cars had been fault free, but I never had experienced dealer arrogance and refusal to work with me as I did with all but one GM dealership.

In 1981 I was working in Houston, owning the BMW, and needing a second car, primarily for my wife to drive. The 1981 Buick Century was a highly advertised new model with front wheel drive and a number of innovations. I had looked at several cars and decided on the Buick. Buying American was a large factor in my decision.

Following negotiations, I picked up the car from the dealer, Hub Buick, and was a proud owner for about 10 minutes until I noticed that the gas gage was showing empty. When I pulled into a station for a fill-up, the attendant said, "Say, you should do something about that tire." With about 25 miles on the odometer, I replied that there couldn't be anything wrong with the tire. But there was. Bare Cord was showing over a six inch patch of a rear tire. Needless to say, I hurried back to Hub Buick to inform my formerly helpful salesman of the problem. His reply was that "it had nothing to do with the car dealer" and that any recourse that I might have had to come from the tire dealer, who was closed by that time. I drove the car about 30 miles home on the freeway, holding my breath. The next day I took off from work to drive back into Houston to seek help from the tire dealer. His reply was that. "it had nothing to do with him", but was the responsibility of the transporter who had not properly secured the car to the rail car or highway transport, he did not know which. Another visit to Hub Buick was equally fruitless. The next day I replaced all four tires with a set of Michelins at my own expense.

About two weeks later my wife called me from home to my office to tell me that she couldn't start the car. I got somewhat in the doghouse by implying that may be she didn't understand such a fine high tech automobile. When I got home, I applied the routine: check ignition (there was spark); Check gasflow to the injectors, there was none. Check fuel filter, no gas to the fuel filter. Then check the fuel pump, which I couldn't find. I came to the reluctant realization that it had to be inside the tank; a situation that was beyond my troubleshooting ability.

A call to Hub Buick did result in a wrecker to drag the thing from Clear Lake to center of Houston. They confirmed that the problem had to be a faulty fuel pump which reqired dropping the tank and installing a new pump. But the rub was that with such a new model, there were no spare fuel pumps in Houston. Three weeks later they did manage to find a pump, but there was no offer of a loan car, so I had to pay for a renter those three weeks.

Several months later I was back home in Baton Rouge when the first scheduled checkup came up. Though at the time it was running OK, I took it to the nearby Buick dealer/service organization for the recommended service. After getting the thing back, the next day my wife drove it about 22 miles to Denham Springs for her art lesson. That afternoon she called with the information that the Century would not start. This time I knew better than to question her competence to start the thing. A call to the Buick dealer/service place resulted in their sending a wrecker to Denham Springs to bring it back to Baton Rouge. The result was that I had to pay $110 for the wrecker service, but they did replace a faulty distributor rotor button for free. At the scheduled service, they had replaced a perfectly good rotor button with the faulty one.

The final straw was on a trip from Baton Rouge to Orlando. Somewhere east of Pensacola the thing lost power and began belching black smoke. We stopped at a town in the panhandle, rented a motel, and, next morning, took it to the Buick dealer. They said that it probably was the oxygen sensor that had failed, but that they could do nothing about it because they had no spares. We struggled on to Orlando at about 40 mph, laying down a smoke screen that would have done a WWII destroyer proud.

In the nearly four years that I had it, there was only one good dealer experience. The Buick dealer in Orlando took the thing in, provided a loaner car so that our Epcot Center/Disney World trip was not lost, and was able to repair the thing for our return. I don't remember the cost, it may even have been covered by warranty. But living too far from Orlando to use that dealer caused me to leave GM for all time. Shortly after, before the catalytic converter crashed, we traded it for an '85 Volvo 740. We have had nothing but Volvos since, and never have had a poor Volvo dealer experience in spite of driving each of them over 145000 miles.

The only really good thing about that Century was how the front wheel drive handled snow and ice on ski trips to Colorado.

I have never missed an opportunity to tell my family, friends, and others of my experience with Buick dealers, and I assume that the rest of the GM dealers are the same. Lately I had a similar experience on taking a friend's Chevrolet Malibue to the dealer to replace a radiator cap. Until the service person tried it himself, he implied that I was too stupid to remove the radiator cap. But when he tried it himself, he couldn't either. The handgrip part of the cap had separated from the rest of the cap and it took special tools to accomplish the feat. Things have not changed much lately. Last year I took Buick up on an offer of a Golf shirt if I would test drive a 2008 Lucern. The dealer sales person did not seem to know the difference between a Lucerne and a Lacrosse. I was taken out in a Lacross, and when I questioned the difference, was told that there wasn't much except the price. They did give me the shirt. Even if the offer had been a free Cadillac I think I would turn it down or give it to charity. Maybe not: I wouldn't have wanted the charity to have to deal with GM dealers.


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spiderman2 on 01/13/2009:
They lost me in 2001 over similar experiences with a Blazer. The only good GM experience I had was with a Saturn that I bought the second year they were out. That car was great and the dealership was great. But after my Blazer experience, never again. I am a Honda girl all the way now. My van is 6 years old and has never had a problem.
Disaster Worker on 01/13/2009:
What a great post! You painted a very clear picture of your experience.
Ben There on 01/13/2009:
I always get some sad GM vehicle when I get a rental car. You can attempt to hide a tired brand and poor design with silly sames like Pontiac Sunblazer (just made that up, but it could be one of there cars for all I know). I don't get how a car can feel so clunky and heavy yet so cheaply made at the same time.
Aerocave on 01/14/2009:
Give me a break! This was 28 years ago! This could have happened at any dealership with any vehicle...domestic or import...I appreciate your detail, and can certainly understand why you walked away from your experience disappointed, but you need to get over it! GM is building some of the best cars and trucks on the market--and this isn't some "dream" I'm having--check out JD Power or Consumer Digest for example and you'll see for yourself.

And your comment about this "is the way it is at all dealers" (or something like that) is simply false. There are a lot of excellent dealerships out there that sell General Motor's products. Your experience could have easily happened at any import store--both in 1981 and your "Golf Shirt" story.

2 other things I have to add: The warranties that are standard now on almost every vehicle include a loaner vehicle if it is a "non-driveable" issue--28 years ago things were different!
And your beloved Volvo's were ranked "about average" in terms of overall dependability in JD Power's survey; Buick and Cadillac were ranked "better than most...every other GM model was "about average"--Just like Volvo...and no Volvo models were "Consumer Digest Best Buys" for 2008--GM had 13 (yes, I realize GM has considerable more models but Volvo does have 10)

I'm not trying to discredit your feelings by throwing surveys at you--but...its 2009, my friend--not 1981!
Aerocave on 01/14/2009:
No, Alley, its not about a grudge at all...its just that too many people are still convinced that domestic automobiles are inferior, and many times it stems from an incident from years ago (as this one). Nobody's going to argue that point--years ago they were inferior--but that's just it--years ago. One of the reasons that the domestic automakers are struggling is because of "perception" of the products. A perception that is not reality.

Why are you always calling me out? Am I not allowed to respond with my opinion?
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Catastrophic Mechanical Failure
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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- I was so very excited to find a dealer in my area that had a Solstice in stock for sale! On August 26, 2006 I purchased my 2007 Solstice off the showroom floor of a dealership, Penn Pontiac, Baltimore, MD to be exact, despite horrors with the "salesman" at the dealership. The problems started immediately when I pulled in my driveway with my new prize and my neighbors gathered around to take a look. (How could they not?!) One of them pointed out to me that there was a large screw in my tire. Then, I put the convertible top down and found the rubber weather seal badly damaged. No problem, right, it's a brand new car? Got right on the phone to the putz that I bought the car from whom wants to argue with me "how do I know you didn't do it on your way home?" (I live ten minutes from the dealership!) This was on a Saturday evening. When Monday evening (after work) rolled around, I had a friend meet me at the dealership to give me a ride home. I was fully prepared to return the car to them if they were not willing to replace the tire and repair the weatherstripping. After a very heated go-round with my favorite sales rep he finally agreed to do the repairs. Promptly on the 10th of the next month my first car payments, yes plural, showed up in my mailbox. This genius sales rep and the credit manager at the dealership got me financing at two different banks simultaneously! I have a payment due in 10 days, but who do I pay?

Back to the dealership I treck. I could see my favorite sales rep roll his eyes when he saw me coming through the door. It took an act of congress but I did get the financing squared away (without so much as an apology from the dealership.) Oh, by the way, did I mention the "great" bonus I got for buying my car from the fine folks at Penn Pontiac? Free oil changes for the life of the vehicle! Actually, it was a nice little perk (or so I thought). Well, 3000 miles rolls around and I go for my first oil change. No, kidding, it was free! Next time I go back for my second oil change, I ask to have my tires rotated as well. No problem; oil change was free and I paid $19.95 to have the tires rotated. Fair enough.

But, as has been said, the third time was a charm. NOT! I got my oil changed and went to the cashier and proudly presented my free oil change card only to be told that this would be the last free oil change I would get. The dealership had been taken over by new owners; the Bob Bell Automotive Group and they will not honor my free oil change for life perk! Well, didn't that just suck??!! Oh, well. What did I expect? I wrote a nasty letter to Ruthie Penn, the former owner and to Pontiac protesting the rip-off. Neither cared. Ruthie never responded at all; GM responded, but didn't do a thing. I couldn't believe the complacency of GM's customer service person who called me! Anyway, the Bob Bell group is pretty big in Baltimore so surely my nightmare was finally over, right? WRONG! It only went downhill from here. Time for oil change #4, so off to the new owners at the dealership I went. I was also due to have the tires rotated again. I waited an hour or so for them to finish my car and paid the cashier my bill. Around $49, I think. Not too bad. I go out and get into mu car and start out of the parking lot thinking that something didn't feel quite right. But, the parking lot was gravel (yeah, can you believe that one?) so I rolled out onto the highway. I got about 50 feet around the corner and knew something was DEFINITELY wrong. I pulled back onto the parking lot via the other entrance and got out of my car to look. I couldn't believe it! Right front tire had only ONE lug nut on it! Needless to say I was scared to death thinking of what could have been! I walked back into the service area and asked the service manager if he was trying to kill me? Why, he said. I invited him outside with me to look at my car. Oh, I'm sorry. I get that taken care of right away. He called over the intercom for "Chris" who turned out to be some kid who worked on my car that was dummer than a post. Gee, I'm sorry, he said. He fixed my car and I never did see the service manager again. I was still pretty shaken so I just took my car and went home. This took place in late October/early November 2007.

Here comes the icing...On January 21, 2008, at about 5:10 PM, the height of rush hour traffic, I am about 1.2 miles from where I had just left work, on a very high traffic road, driving 40 MPH (the speed limit) in the right lane when, without any warning whatsoever, a loud BOOM! and my car went into a 360 degree spin landing in (luckily) a center turn lane. Scared me unbelievably! How I managed to not hit anyone or have them hit me is nothing short of a miracle! I managed to get the car off the road into a gas station that was fortunately right there. I had difficulty getting the car to move.

People came running from everywhere. I assumed that I blew out a tire, but upon examining the car, there was nothing blown, leaking, dragging or visibly broken. I called AAA and had the car towed just 3 blocks down the road to Anderson Pontiac. The tow truck driver had a very difficult time getting the car to move up on to the rollback. When we got to the dealership, the service department was already closed and again, the tow truck driver had a hard time getting the car off the truck. He thought that I maybe broke a tie road causing a wheel to lock and throw me into such a violent spin. I left the vehicle witha note and went home. Next morning I called the dealership and spoke to a very nice person there who told me that from what little he'd seen that it was most certainly not a tie rod, but rather a problem with the rear-end and he would call me when he had more information; around noon.

Well, it was finally 3:00 and I knew that this was not a case of "no news is good news" so I called the dealership. I spoke to the same guy who informed me that the BOOM I heard was the rear differtial "exploding". Whatever that means! He continued by telling me that he would have to replace the whole rear and that he couldn't locate one anywhere in the country. He told me that the dealership would pay for my rental car and that he would let me know in a few days what he could do.

First, I want to comment on the difference between the service department at this dealership versus the other one that I had been going to. Everyone here from the time I rolled up with the tow truck forward has been so professional and knowledgeable I was shocked. While it is very comforting to know that my car is in good hands, I really wonder what the residual damage is to the vehicle and whether or not I should accept a vehicle back with only 23000 miles on it after such a major and violent incident? I have better than 5 years worth of payments left on this car and what's to say that something else couldn't happen as a result of this incident? And, with all of the historical information available to buyers today, how would I ever sell it? DO you think maybe this car has dark cloud?
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KCRovert on 01/24/2008:
I don't have any experience with GM, but my experience with Ford would tell me that you are most likely stuck. Ford had to replace the entire engine on my new 2002 Explorer, less than one week after I purchased it. I talked to the salesman and sales manager about exchanging my obviously flawed vehicle for a different one. Their response: You bought it, it's yours. The best they would offer was to allow me to trade it in, taking a huge depreciation of course.

I kept it, and even after having the engine completely replaced, I have not had a bit of trouble since. Hopefully, after they replace the rearend of your Solstice you will have equally good luck. Sounds like you at least found a much better dealer to work within the future.
Starlord on 01/24/2008:
I can understand about the weatherstrip and the oil change thing, and the exploding differential. I think that crying about a screw in a tire was a bit much. Surely you couldn't blame that on the dealer. I hope you get it fixed, or get satisfaction under your state's Lemon Law.
Aerocave on 01/24/2008:
Let them fix the differential...It sounds like you had more issues with the dealership (Penn) then the car. The car is fine. I have to say, your posting was very entertaining.
mydogbozo on 02/03/2008:
I know exactly how you are feeling. I used to work at Penn Back in the early to mid 90's. Poor management was their bag. I left there and went to a Buick dealer that wasn't any better. The service manager there, Mark, was a worthless piece of crap that never wanted to speak to the customer. He would get angry if the customer made it to him. The owner, Ruthie, was female carbon-copy of her worthless late father Stanley. He was a diabetic that I saved one afternoon by giving him a Recees Cup. That moron never even thanked me for saving his life. That old buzzard was a work of art. I hope he is roasting in hell right now !!! lol
QCF on 02/27/2008:
Geez! We are in Maryland too and just bought a brand new 2008 Duramax 3500 4 door 4X4 truck and the rear went up in it with less than 4000 miles on it. Maybe Maryland is jinxed SMILE! Thank Goodness we caught it before something happened like what happened to you. I drive the beltway at least once a week. YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY PERSON!
dixiern on 01/07/2010:
I have 2006 that I actually spec-ed out and ordered. It only has 35,000 miles on it. The thermostat, crank shaft censor and some other sensor just went out plus the rear axle seals are leaking... Also just had the catalytic converted recalled along with some rear-end seal that would cause the problem this guy had... I still like my little car, but it's time to find something else.
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GMAC SmartLease is taking advantage of innocent people
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AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN -- December 4, 2009

“GMAC SmartLease is taking advantage of innocent people”

Much to my surprise I’ve recently discovered that GMAC SmartLease has changed the way they treat their lease customers. Someone ought to hire a lawyer; this may even qualify for class action status. I can hardly wait to reveal their indiscretions but first let me explain why I feel that I am qualified to discuss this issue.

“Someone ought to hire a lawyer; this may even qualify for Class Action status.”

I have been involved in some capacity in the retail automobile business since 1964. I retired in 2007, so I can safely say that I have 43 years exposure to the car business. I have always been involved in the General Motors business. I have been a Salesperson, a Sales Manager, a Finance Manager, a General Sales Manager, a General Manager, and a Dealer/Owner. I feel that I have some idea of what I am talking about.

Now the Story……………

Since the 70’s I have arranged retail leases using GMAC as the leasing company. I have even leased several for my personal use. In each of my personal leases I have sold or traded my vehicle prior to the end of the lease. It was simple, I would call GMAC SmartLease and they would tell me the payoff. If the vehicle was worth more than I owed, I would sell it to a dealership (often my own) and they would pay me for my equity. Suddenly GMAC SmartLease has changed their program. What has changed is how GMAC SmartLease has decided to interpret the early termination language of their contract.

“If it was worth more than I owed, I would sell it to a dealer and they would pay me for my equity.”

Currently I am leasing a 2007 GMC Acadia. There are only a few payments remaining and the lease will be complete. When I called GMAC SmartLease to inquire as to the payoff, they gave me a figure that appears to be correct. (Residual value plus remaining unpaid payments less unearned interest.) The new change that GMAC SmartLease has incorporated into their business plan is that if anyone other than me were to pay this lease off, GMAC SmartLease wants them to pay approximately $5000.00 more than my payoff. This means that if I were to drive into a GM dealership (or any dealership GM or Non-GM) and work out a new lease or purchase, using my Acadia as a trade in, there would be a $5000 penalty assessed against me for me trading early. I consider myself lucky because I understand that this is really a GRAB on the part of GMAC SmartLease. I am able to protect my self in this situation but I wonder how many unsuspecting people have allowed this sort of thing happen to them. I bet that during the past several months or years there have been hundreds if not thousands of GMAC SmartLease customers who have been taken advantage of. This can not be a good thing.

“There would be a $5000 penalty for trading early”

I wonder if GMAC SmartLease realizes that they are compromising future business. Why would anyone want to ever do business with a company that evokes arbitrary practices designed to take advantage of the public. I like GM vehicles; I did have Cadillac at the top of my list of new cars to consider. However, now I wonder if I can ever force myself to drive a GM vehicle again.

Is this a good long term business practice? Will GM survive with their financial arm attempting to take unfair advantage of customers? A very smart man who coached and trained me in the early years of my career taught me the following:

1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

I think not.

If you want to know more about this issue feel free to call or e-mail, my contact information is:

Nick Taylor
(760) 710-7234
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Anonymous on 12/06/2009:
It is what it is. You applied for it, and you signed it. If you're unhappy, do something different next time. And next time read the terms before you sign the dotted line.
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GM service bulletin about code p1870
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COLLINGSWOOD, NEW JERSEY -- This GM service bulliten might apply to your vehicle:

TSB # 01-07-30-023A
Harsh 1-2 Upshift, SES, MIL, or CEL Illuminated, DTC P1870 Set (Replace Valve Body)
1996 Buick Roadmaster
1996 Cadillac Fleetwood
1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade
1996-2000 Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette
1996-2000 Pontiac Firebird
1996-2000 Chevrolet and GMC Light Duty Truck Models
1996-2000 Oldsmobile Bravada
with 4L60-E Automatic Transmission (RPO M30)
Built Prior to January 15, 1999 (Julian Date 9015)
This bulletin is being revised to update the Parts Information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-07-30-023 (Section 07 -- Transmission/Transaxle).
Some customers may comment on a harsh 1-2 upshift and the Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon indicator is illuminated.
Typically, these vehicles will have been driven more than 32,000 km (20,000 mi) before this condition occurs.
The scan tool may show a DTC P1870 set as a history code.
A harsh 1-2 shift or DTC P1870, caused by wear in the control valve body, may be difficult to duplicate when the transmission temperature is below 93°C (200°F).
The condition may be due to wear in the control valve body. This wear occurs in the bore that contains the TCC isolator and regulator valves, and results in poor, or no, TCC apply.

DTC P1870 is a type B code. The conditions for setting the P1870 DTC must occur on TWO CONSECUTIVE TRIPS (ignition cycles, with a drive cycle) before setting a P1870 history code.
When the conditions for setting DTC P1870 are met (first trip), the PCM commands maximum line pressure and harsh 1-2 shifts are the result.
This may result in a harsh 1-2 shift with no history code if the conditions for setting the DTC required for the second trip are not met, on two consecutive trips (Ignition cycles, with a drive cycle).
When the conditions for setting the DTC are met, on the second consecutive trip, a DTC P1870 is stored as a history code.
When the P1870 code is stored, the PCM will turn on the Service Engine Soon (SES), Check Engine Light (CEL), or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL).
Install a control valve body with the revised TCC regulator and isolator valves. These valves are used in all transmissions produced after January 15, 1999 (Julian Date 9015), and all of the service parts currently available through GMSPO contain revised TCC regulator and isolator valves.

If all of the following conditions are true, it is not necessary to rebuild the transmission or to replace additional transmission components beyond the control valve body.
Transmission operation is normal before the transmission reaches operating temperature, or before DTC P1870 is set (no slips, flares, or missing gears).
The torque converter is not blue or overheated.
The transmission fluid is not burned or has no burned odor.
The transmission fluid pan contains no abnormal debris (clutch material, bronze, brass, or metal fragments

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