General Motors Blazer

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The Air Bags That Didn't Save My Life
Posted by on
In summer of 2008, my father purchased an '06 Chevy Trailblazer for me, as I was scheduled to drive in November of that year. The car was purchased from a friend of the family, who had only put 20,000-30,000 miles on the car when it was in their possession. My dad drove this car cross country with this friend before we had purchased it from them, and he hit the guard rail on the highway and totaled the front of the car. The airbags did NOT deploy. The insurance had the car fixed, and our friend then sold it to us at a good price. I began driving the car in November, and had few problems until the timing belt went, the water pump, and then the brakes, all of which were inappropriately replaced very early. Then I had 4 new tires out on the car for $1,000 in July of 2009. Besides the price of gas, the car seemed to finally be doing okay. Then October 9, 2009 I was driving on a back road, and coming around a sharp and blind turn with no shoulder, there was an industrial van stopped in the middle of the road. I had no choice but to swerve left around this van, but when I did so the top-heavy car leaned to hard. To avoid the oncoming bus in the left lane and the nose of the still stopped van, I swerved right with all force I had. Once again, this top heavy car's strength versus my 5'4 and 130 lb. build was a clear win. I snaked through these two obstacles, however, the forest on the right side of the road was without question. As soon as my tires hit the wet mud, I had lost control of the car and began doing 360's and rolled. My car was totaled, an estimated 13,000 worth of damage. The driver side of the car was completely impacted, I could not open the door. The rearview mirror was inches from my head, had I not ducked the tree would've hit my face. I now have a torn AC joint, and herniated discs running from my neck down to my lower back, along with my third concusion. If I hadn't been buckled up, doing my part to stay alive, I would have gone through the windshield. Had my airbags deployed in this basically head-on collision, I would have no head trauma, neurological problems, or the AC joint damage. I now attend physical therapy 4 times a week, and the neurologist. It has affected my school and sports, not to mention I now have no car. This was the only American car my family owned, and GM, it will be the last. This whole experience has changed my views on GM.
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clutzycook on 11/08/2009:
1. When a vehicle is repaired after an accident, it's never going to be exactly the way it was prior to the accident. There's always going to be some little thing (if you're lucky) that will never be the same on it. I would have hesitated to purchase a car that had already been in an accident. That may have effected the deployment of the airbags. I know it wasn't your decision to purchase the car, but still...

2. Airbag deployment isn't always going to happen in the best of circumstances regardless of the car's previous accident status. Since the car had already been in an accident before this one, I don't know how you can blame GM.

Anonymous on 11/08/2009:
OP in some cases the airbag can damage you further. Count yourself lucky you had your seat belt on.

And I concur with Clutzy. You already knew it had been in an accident and the airbags did not deploy. So I am wondering why the car was purchased anyway.

BEJ on 11/08/2009:
You bought a used car that had previously been in an accident. I do not think you can blame GM for this. Personally I would not have bought a used car that had already been in an accident.
spiderman2 on 11/08/2009:
Airbags only deploy in a true head on hit. From the picture, your car looks as if the hit was more on one side. I drove a blazer for several years and I am going to respectfully suggest that you get a car and not an SUV. A car should be easier to handle for you and you won't have the problem of it being top-heavy and maybe you will be able to control it better.
Critical_level2 on 11/08/2009:
I am with spiderman2 on maybe the OP should look into getting a car. I have been driving SUVs for the last 15 years and have yet to roll one. People have top remember they are trucks and cannot handle on the road like a corvette can. I am wondering how fast the OP was driving to have to veer around like they did.
spiderman2 on 11/08/2009:
I was wondering the same thing too critical, but I figured if I said that may be the OP should slow down my comments would get moved into the "other" section. Defensive driving is a good thing.
Ytropious on 11/08/2009:
If the airbags never deployed the first time, why in the world did you think they would magically deploy the second time? In an accident they only fix the air bags if they had deployed. Since they did NOT they were left alone. If you or the original owner really cared you would have raised concern about getting them fixed before purchasing it.
Ytropious on 11/08/2009:
Also in a rolling situation, are air bags really going to have prevented all those problems you now have? Aren't air bags more for front end smashing damage, preventing you from crushing into the steering wheel? I wouldn't know I've never been in a situation like that, but when you roll it your head hitting the roof seems like more of an issue then you crushing into the steering wheel. The seat belt is what saved you, the air bags would have, in my opinion, provided negligible aid to you in this situation.
redmx3racer on 11/09/2009:
Timing belt, water pump, brakes, tires. All items that at some point will need to be replaced. We call this type of work "routine maintenance". Now-yes-the timing belt should be replaced @ 60K in the 4.2L engine. I'm assuming the vehicle had less than 60K on it when you had to perform this work. Maybe the first accident did something to speed that along. Often times, accidents can cause unseen damage to a vehicles engine/drivetrain componets.
As far as airbags deploying. They are designed to work a certain way. I'm a fleet/maintenance/body damage manager for a car rental company-and have seen my share of wrecks. I have seen cars worse than yours with no airbag deployment. I have seen cars with little damage have the airbags deploy.
Starlord on 11/09/2009:
Spiderman is totally correct. Airbags usually do not deploy in any kind of rollover. They are designed to deploy on a direct head-on collision. In any other type of accident, they tend to cause more damage than they prevent. From the photo of your vehicle, it is very easy to see why the airbags did not deploy. If you have suffered injuries in the accident that could have been fatal, the airbags would not have prevented those injuries, and were not designed to do so. You are expecting major surgery to remove a splinter, when it is not called for. BTW, I investigated many accidents and can assure you that you have received good information.
Anonymous on 11/09/2009:
Nasty accident. I have heard of airbags going off when someone roughly bumps the back of the garage, but as the others said, it's straight on. I have also seen people severely burned by these things after deployment (I'm ex medical), so airbags aren't necessarily the best all of the time. One other thing: if the bags didn't go off the first time the car was wrecked, why wasn't the problem seen to before your dad handed you the keys to it?
redmx3racer on 11/09/2009:
Sherdy: We don't know what type of accident the car was in the first time. For example, if it was a side impact-the airbags would most likely not have deployed. Just because they did not go off either time does not mean they are defective.
Anonymous on 11/09/2009:
How the heck fast were you going on that 'back road'?
Eloise on 11/09/2009:
BA, Ytropious!

It sounds like the OP's friend sold him a LEMON! Not exactlly friendly.
JR in Orlando on 11/09/2009:
The title "The Air Bags That Didn't Save My Life" implies that you died. Since you are writing this, I guess we can assume you are still alive, making the title untrue.

As the others said, airbags are meant to work in head-on accidents. Think of the triggering device for them as a push in off-and-on switch. When the switch is pushed sidewise, it does not trigger the airbags.
i_am_canadian on 11/09/2009:
I am in no way trying to downplay what happened, but always be grateful that you came out alive from a collision like that. Many people have not.
Principissa on 11/09/2009:
I'm not trying to downplay this by any means, but why on Earth would you purchase a vehicle knowing that it was in an accident? Regardless of whether or not it was repaired.
PepperElf on 11/09/2009:
JR - maybe it's a ghost writer...

but an air bag really only deploys under specific conditions.
so if your accident doesn't meet those conditions it won't deploy
JR in Orlando on 11/09/2009:
Ghost Rider - ha ha ha
PepperElf on 11/09/2009:
lol well played!
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Cheated Again!
Posted by on
VANSANT, VIRGINIA -- I love my Trail Blazer. The truck was never handled roughly, kept clean. My husband died 4 years ago leaving me to raise our 5year old son, alone. I was in need of a dependable ride. I had an old blazer and was crazy about it, the poor thing was eat up with miles, and it was time to trade. I shopped around mostly looking for a dealer that I trusted and one that would stand behind his/her word. I ended up at Morgan McClure Chevrolet Pontiac GMC. Castlewood, Virginia. They were very respectful, bending over backward to satisfy my needs in a vehicle. The money I paid down on this Blazer was saved over several years, pennies make dollars and sometimes those pennies were all I had to make ends meet. Getting along in this life lesson I signed a contract had the Blazer financed by my band.

I was told and I even wrote this down in my check book, after the initial 3 years or 30,000 miles my Blazer would have a 5year or 50,000 on the power train which was explained to me was all the expensive parts, motor, transmission, axles, as the salesman boasted GM was getting serious in protecting their customers knowing that repeat buying was a tradition they wanted to maintain. With this in mind I felt good about taking my truck in to have it repaired, I knew it was either a idler bearing or a alternator bearing. Sure enough it was the Idler. The mechanic was told that I thought the truck was still under warranty. He said he would check on that, he than turned to my friend and asked in a very rude manner, "Do you want the thing fixed". My friend told him that was why he brought it there. The mechanic never did come back and tell my friend if the truck was still under warranty there for we just assumed it would be take care. Keep this in mind, we could have taken it to one of several mechanics my son a talented mechanic would have fixed the truck free of charge. Bottom line the mechanic never came back to tell my friend anything and my friend assumed every thing was covered.

I did have several things done like an oil change that they promised me, they kept their word about the oil change being free. A new inspection sticker, tires rotated, the weather stripping fixed on both back doors. You could have knocked my friend over with a feather when they told him the final amount. $129.91 You see I have lupus and Ulcerative Colitis. I depend on my circle of friends a great deal. That was the reasons for buying the TrailBlazer, it has plenty of room, heated seats, very comfortable. The truck is beautiful. When my friend told me the price of this I nearly fainted. This amount really set me back I had didn't have that much money so in reality I have to let either my bills go this month or not get my medicine. I will probably not get my meds. I can't let my son live in a house without water and electric. Believe me I don't want your pity I want you to keep your word, I would have saved to get the extended warranty had I even though that this would happen. This set me back several months with my finances. When my friend got home and we talked about about what had happened, he feared I would blame him, but I blame myself for being taken in and not asking enough questions, I contacted Morgan McClure and spoke to the service manager, he just couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

By this time my emotions were all over the board and my head felt like it was going to explode. I had planned after getting my Blazer paid off I was going to order me a new Camaro, my late husband bought me three new ones for my birthdays. Now I don't feel like I can trust any of the dealers around here. So here I am please resolve this matter, I feel like I was cheated and just because I was a woman who had to depend on a friend to take the Blazer in I feel like I was not given the respect most men enjoy at the car dealership. All the mechanic had to do was tell my friend that the truck was not under warranty and he would have left and gone to my son and had the truck fixed all I would have been out would have been the part. My health make me vulnerable as well as my size, I'm short, not very big and most men tend to talk over my head or treat me like "a poor little dumb kid". All I want is to be treated with the respect I show each of them.

I want my money back and I also want the t-shirts five of them and five baseball caps that my son was promised, he looked each and every day for months for those things to arrive. My heart just cried for my baby, and to think he didn't ask the dealer for anything the dealer showed him these things. The dealer/salesman took this upon himself and then he broke a little boy's heart. Thank you for allowing me to vent and get this off my chest and out of my brain. I love the looks of the Chevy's but after this incident Ford is looking awfully good.
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Anonymous on 04/16/2009:

If 129.91 is enough to blow the budget for several months you bought more vehical than you can afford.

I feel bad about the issues you are dealing within life, but it is no excuse for being financially irresponsible.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Why Should I Pay for the Defective Fuel Sensor
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ALBANY, GEORGIA -- I received a letter telling me that the Blazer we purchased has a defective fuel sensor. We can have it replaced at the dealership and they will pay half the bill. I don't go to the dealership because they are 40% higher than everyone else. The way they treat you after the car is out of warranty is another story. When did the consumer have to start paying for the mistakes that the car builder makes.

I feel that the sticker on the side of the vehicle at purchase should have statement sayS "This vehicle is made almost right" or "You are taking a chance with this vehicle having defects". I know they always say "BUYER BEWARE". I just really feel I shouldn't have to pay anything for the repair. I think this my be the LAST General Motors vehicle I buy. My country bailed them out and now I have to pay again. Remember "BUYER BEWARE".
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trmn8r on 04/03/2012:
It is rare that an automobile manufacturer steps up for any defective part, unless it merits a recall. It sounds like this one is known to be a problem, if they are willing to pay anything.

My motorcycle fuel level sensor is known to fail often, and it costs $120+200 labor to replace. So, it isn't being repaired.
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GM DOESN'T care about Customers!!!
Posted by on
Where to start...It all started when my front left and right windows would fall off track when I rolled the window down(this was all prior to 12,000 miles), I took it to the dealership and they replaced the right side(motor) and said nothing was wrong with the left side, I took it back a couple of weeks later and told them the left side was falling off the track so they replaced the motor in the left side, the day after I picked the vehicle up I was driving down the road and the left window fell off track again, I took it back and was told if I drive over 70 MPH with my A/C on vent it causes to much pressure in my car which causes the window to fall off track(really, does this really happen?) so they replaced the seal 3 weeks later. When I got my car back from this I heard this horrible air noise and my left window would make a popping noise when it was rolled up, so once again I took it back, it was given back to me telling me all was repaired....YEAH RIGHT!! It kept making the noise so I again took it back, this time I was told it's just air noise fold in your mirror and it will go away(Is this safe?), I then took it to a body shop to look at to see if this was normal and was told that my door was bent and the body shop even demonstrated how it would have been done, so the body shop called the dealership and was told to send the estimate and they would review it, nothing was done by the dealership so I took it to another dealership and was told once again my door was bent but they couldn't get the original dealership to approve the repairs so I would need to contact GM. After several months of GM telling me that they were sending out a GM Rep I received a call saying the GM Rep will not be seeing your vehicle because the dealership says the noise is normal and there is nothing wrong with your vehicle, I advised them that I have another Chevrolet Dealership that has confirmed there is something wrong with my door and I also have a body shop that confirms there is something wrong with the door, her's your word against the dealerships and we are on the dealerships side. I asked to speak with a supervisor, was advised I don't have that information but I can let you talk to someone but they will give you the same information, I asked to talk to the GM Advisors supervisor, I was told I can't give you that information. I thought GM was about customer service, WE THE CONSUMER BAILED THIS COMPANY OUT!!!!
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bcd on 08/26/2009:
There is no doubt the dealership has failed to properly diagnose and repair the problem. You should get affidavits from the other dealer and repair shop stating what the problem is. Then take GM to small claims court. Good review.
Anonymous on 08/27/2009:
GM doesn't care about customers??? No ---- Sherlock! That's how they clawed their way to the bottom of the heap.
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Car Won't Start - 2005 Trailblazer
Posted by on
I have a 2005 Trailblazer that I bought brand new. At about 35000 miles it started not starting at certain times, brought it to GM, they looked at it and said they could not find anything (said it could have been bad gas)this has happened a lot now and have had it towed there when it froze when I tried to put it in gear and could not get it started or back in park. They told me the next morning at GM the battery was low and this was the cause, I checked this battery two days before and was fully charged and keeping a charge, so they said they needed to put a 6 year battery in it to do a computer check at 189.00 plus labor.

I know this was not the problem and told him the battery was fine, was not going to be taken to the cleaners by this service dept,they still charged me for half of the test and did not give me the print out what they found, I took this car to a service dept (not GM - thank god) near my house a they put it on the computer and found the problem right away, and no the battery was fine, the man told me the ignition switch was the problem,I have been told this is a big problem with trailblazer that has been going on for years, GM sent out a private memo to it service mgrs letting them no to keep quiet about this.

This problem should have been a recall issue, but GM does not know how to fix this problem.This car was over 32000.00 With only 37000 miles this should not be going on. When you ask them down at my Chevy dealer if this problem has happened before,they play dumb and tell you they have never seen this before,but if you do a little research on the web it will give you complaint after complaint about this!!!!Gm is trying to hide this problem.

I have bought 6 brand new Chevys from Denooyer Chevy on Wolf Rd in NY in the last 12 years - they want people to keep buying GM - this is not a way to handle this problem.

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2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer catastrophic engine failure - cost $7800
Posted by on

To GM Service Assistance,

Re: File #71-586559959

Our 2002 Chevy Trailblazer is at Connell Chevrolet in Costa Mesa, CA having a new engine installed at a cost to us of approximately $7,000. The vehicle has 82,000 miles. We have been without the use of the vehicle since December 19 when it became inoperable going down our street at 20 MPH. The only sign of trouble was a moment of steam coming out of the exhaust pipe. The heat sensor malfunctioned ($7800 malfunction). There were no warning lights, no bells, no alarms, no indications of any trouble...and then...nothing. My husband had the car towed that night to Connell Chevrolet.

On December 27th we visited Connell to get the full story. Apparently the head gasket blew again (see Attachment 1), and since the heat sensor wasn’t working properly, the engine overheated and blew (again, no sign of any trouble before this incident). Now we are without a car and have a $7,800 repair bill. No one I know has ever heard of two head gaskets going on a vehicle of this age and mileage. The first gasket went at 39,000 and the second at 82,000 miles....hmmmm. To us that indicates that there is a defect in this vehicle, and we want to know how you are going to assist us.

I am also attaching (Attachment 2) an interesting collection of Trailblazer Troubles I have collected over the last nine days while trying to figure out how this could have happened. We are first time GM buyers (we bought the vehicle brand new), but this will be our one and only if assistance is not received.


Greg and Susan Hansen

Additional info: if you google Trailblazer fan clutch and instrument cluster failures there are many, many cases of these defects. They combined along with the faulty head gasket to cause the swift and complete perfect storm of destruction to our engine. (We like the vehicle other than this...). I have also reported all these failures to the NHTSA online (National Highway Safety and Transportation Association). If you check out their site the 2002 Trailblazer has over 1,000 reports of safety issues. Just for comparison, the Nissan Pathfinder has 65, yes, 65 - go figure...

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Aerocave on 04/19/2008:
Although your situation is unfortunate, I don't think GM is going to offer you much help on a 6 year old vehicle with 82,000 miles...
El Duderino on 06/28/2008:
People just say, you have to assist me on this or I won't buy your product anymore. How about, you're willing to work with us on this? I work for GM, and I can tell you, when someone calls and says that we ARE going to help them, right or wrong, that affects what we are willing to accept from dealers and area reps as far as assistance. Sorry, but it's the way it is. We in customer assistance can not automatically say yes or no to assistance. What we can do is present your case to the right people. If you call in with attitude, spewing hateful things, why would we argue that you should receive assistance when the answer comes back as no? Karma's a female dog, remember that.
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2006 Trailblazer
Posted by on
I own a 2006 Trailblazer and it has been nothing but trouble since day one. At first it was cosmetic issues like the door panel clips breaking and the panel falling off. The 4wd knob fell off in my hand while in 4 High. Seat bottom separated from the passenger seat. Driver seat cushion separated. Now that the warranty is gone we are having more and more issues. The heater does not work on 5 (need that in the snow and ice) and the gas sensor is gone so you never know how much gas is in the tank. When you fill it up the fuel gauge bounces from full to empty for approx 50 miles then you have to keep track of miles for how much gas is left. I contacted GM but I was told since it was out of warranty I would have to come up with the 800-1000 to fix it. I think not. There were issues with the sensor in 2004 and 2005 so why wasn't it fixed in 2006 model. GM wanted me to take it in and pay the $100 to verify that it was the sensor but never said they would fix it. GM took my money for the Trailblazer and mu money from the Bailout and gave me the shaft.
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saj80 on 06/08/2010:
Get an estimate from an independent shop. Since your warranty has expired, there is no reason to pay a dealer their exorbitant repair fees.
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Erroneous Side Curtain Airbags Deploy On Yet Another Trailblazer
Posted by on
MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON -- My side curtain airbags deployed on my trailblazer, several seconds after a sudden maneuver, that did not involve an impact, nor a near rollover situation that General Motors claims to have occurred, therefore denying any warranty or other assistance. I purchased this vehicle new, with 101 miles on it (Was a dealer trade). I have retrieved filings of many extremely similar complaints (chilling!!) from various websites. This is clearly a safety issue that GM continues to deny and ignore. An airbag specialist I spoke to agreed that there should be a calibration compensation of the side curtain bag sensors in certain models, particularly the high performance versions. I seek the truth in this joke of a deployment, yet can't get any answers. Also, I find it peculiar that there are handprints (though not soiled) all over the headliner surface, that I noticed shortly after delivery.

Perhaps this already happened during a test drive or ??, before my Purchase? I intend to get answers, and the truth as I proceed, and begin to go public with this situation.

Thank You

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Soaring Consumer on 03/25/2009:
Contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their website is
08tbss on 03/26/2009:
Thank you for the information Soaring consumer, I have filed a complaint with nhtsa aka I also filed an additional complaint after discovering that the front seatbelt system must also be replaced. The drivers belt is limp, and the passenger belt is so tight that it broke the belt housing on seat top and is deforming the seat itself. I cannot imagine what this would have done if there were a passenger or a child in that seat!
Paul S on 08/29/2012:
My TrailBlazer did the same thing yesterday. The side curtain airbag just blew out and never deflated which caused me to get into an accident. My insurance won't pay to fix the airbag because it didn't deploy because of an accident. The shop wants $4000 to replace the airbag and won't release the car until I pay. No I'm facing storage fees.
They put a clip onto the computer in the car to see what kind of code the computer sensed at the time of deployment, but won't tell me. All they would say was 'I've never seen this before".
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Faulty Speedometer
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SANDY LAKE, PENNSYLVANIA -- I came to this site looking for information on any one else that might have had problems with their 2004 Trailblazer speedometer going wacko.

Mine went crazy and started to read all over the place at around 45000 miles. I have had many cars in my life, many with well over 200,000 miles on them with no problems with any of the gauges whatsoever. Since I see that I am not alone with this problem I have no doubt that it is a manufacturing defect with mine. My garage also told me I need a whole new instrument cluster at $400.00 to fix.

GM needs to address this problem!
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MRM on 02/23/2009:
I was thinking of purchasing a 2009 TrailBlazer as I like the body style. I'm hoping that a bad review like this dosent prevent me from buying the 2009 Trailblazer as they are awesome! Even though I am a Jeep brand loyalist, I am willing to drive other brand name vehicles.
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I Want My Money Back
Posted by on
ANYWHERE, NEW JERSEY -- My 2005 Trailblazer's instrument panel went nuts, now I know that the same issue is going on with other vehicles. I took mine to the dealership, as usual my warranty was up. Paid out of pocket $800.00 Got it fixed. Now there doing them for free to earlier models with the same problem. Now, I'm a hard working blue collar worker (union), marine (disabled vet),and we as Americans, bailed these fools out, for what so they don't take care of their own. GM should be absolutely be worried about where they are going in the future, there are millions of people with the same problem not just my self. I was proud to come home and buy an American car and so far is a huge disappointment, never again and no I am not sorry to say that.

They will be an American revolution when all that are done wrong by them will never again buy another GM product, to think we bailed them out. I want my money back Chevy!!!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous on 01/29/2009:
May I suggest a Toyota next time.
Aerocave on 01/30/2009:
I'm surprised that your selling dealership did not offer any assistance (goodwill policy)...that is, assuming you had a regular service history...and the mileage on the vehicle was not too above average.

AlleyS-I agree with you...and have to add the "single mother" statement to your question--and I'm not trying to be cold-hearted either...
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