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2002 gm transmission problem (sun shell)
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SALEM, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- As a consumer from your state, I felt it was my responsibility to bring to your attention the following incident.

To Whom It May Concern;
I bought a vehicle at Dobles Chevrolet in Manchester. It was a new 2002 Chevy Silverado. It was my husbands dream to own a new truck. He chose an American made vehicle against many friends recommendations. He needed a reliable truck because, at the time, he was traveling to Boston everyday. Now the problem, 2 days after Christmas 2004 he tried to back out of our driveway and the reverse did not work. He called his childhood
friend who has maintained our vehicles for about 8 years and he sent him to the best transmission man in the area. In the meantime, we contacted Dobles who gave us the customer service number to GM. GM customer service spokesperson said we should be having it repaired at a dealership. At that point the transmission had already been taken apart at the shop. We opted to go with the reputable transmission shop. The owner of the shop was a GM transmission engineer for years before opening this shop with his son. He said that GM transmissions are infamous for their transmission failures and that GM refuses to recall them. The sunshell (alias the beast, I now find out from looking on line with many other people with the same problem) had been made of cheap metal and eventually shatters. GM finally made the part out of steel in models starting in 2003. Low and behold, no more problems. My mechanic tells me that even if I had driven in and out of Boston in reverse everyday till then, that transmission should not have failed. Yet, Dobles nor GM will stand behind their product. We are a very hard working family, who lives paycheck to paycheck. I realize I am only Cindy Cleary from Salem, N.H.,but someone has to care about hard working families who just want to be treated fairly and have the right thing done. My husband took great care in that truck for 2 and 1/2 years. He had his oil changed every 3000 miles like clockwork and only let me drive it on occasion. The truck has a tow package on it, but has NEVER towed anything. Please help us. My husband lost hours he did not get paid for. The $2500 the transmission cost is on my credit card and we will be paying it for a very long time. If you look into this as I did, you will see I am not alone. Just because GM is a large corporation, someone, somewhere should be able to help us. We have the itemized bill, all the parts all the information you will need. The GM customer service rep (Adrian Baxter) told me $2500 was a lot of money to be asking for. Maybe for people like me but for GM?

As a resolution, I would like the following:

Well, ideally the transmission should be recalled. I would like GM to do the right thing for all consumers who had these problems. For myself, the $2500 that is collecting interest on my credit card. I should not have to put one dime into transmission repair. I will even forget about the 1 and 1/2 days of work my husband lost.

Please contact me if you need more details regarding this incident.
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User Replies:
TXRoadTrip on 01/21/2005:
American car and truck manufacturers lack now days – read Consumer Reports before purchasing – personally I only buy Toyota now. It’s the best for the money warranty value and lack of costly repairs as compared to American cars and trucks.
TXRoadTrip on 01/21/2005:
Check for any recalls and/or other consumer complaints online and document it. Then you might force them to recall.
TXRoadTrip on 01/21/2005:
File a complaint also. What about your warranty on the truck? And did you check about your mechanic? Maybe not a good one?
nibler on 02/16/2005:
I work for GM and my sun shell went out on my 2002 tahoe not one, but twice and I believe it will go out again. I drive them all the time I should have known. the tranny feels like it's slipping all the time...they covered it under warranty both times....I will not stand for a third time.....
crwalk on 07/15/2005:
I have the same problem reverse and jumps from 1st to 3rd. Talked to several transmission shops and they all say this is a very common problem with GM transmissions ....particullarly the 4L60e found on most trucks. It is due to the sunshell being made of cheap stamped metal....There's a 90 degree bend stamped into the sunshell which easily cracks over time. The bill to repair it is around 2,500 unless you can swap it with a rebuilt one which will run you around 1,200. I was a Toyota owner but switched since my sister-in-law is a GM employee. Sorry sis but I will never buy another GM product again. The truck is only 2 years old! And GM wonders why they are losing the battle with other manufacturers!??
daveydoo on 11/04/2006:
I just had a problem with the GM transmission. I went into reverse and the sun shell broke. I also got a $2500 REPAIR BILL.
Jynx77 on 10/08/2007:
I have an '02 GMC Yukon. The transmission "reactor shell" went out at 32K miles. No reverse, high revs before shifting. Luckily, that was covered under warranty. Now, a mere 50K miles later, I am experiencing the exact same problem. This vehicle is a disaster. I will never own another GM product for the rest of my life.
Hammbone on 03/10/2008:
I have a 2002 Silverado. Have never had any problems with it, yesterday driving home for work the sun gear failed. I heard a loud bang and I lost reverse, 2nd and overdrive. I bought a new stronger sun shell for $50.00 and am going to rebuild it myself. Downtown estimated $2500.00 for repairs
grammyx5 on 08/17/2010:
I own an '05 Buick LaCrosse with approx 31,000 miles on it. Yesterday the transmission went (in the middle of a 3 lane roadway). I had it towed to the dealer where I purchased the car and now am going to have to pay $3,000 to get a whole new transmission! I have never heard of losing a transmission with such low mileage. I am the proverbial little-old-lady who only drives this car to church on Sundays and faithfully maintains it every 3,000 miles. I will probably never buy a GM car again.
sucker4gm on 07/06/2011:
I've been buy GM cars for over 30 year and the LAST GM car (2005 Chevy Impala) has had more trouble the all the others combined. Two transmissions, water pump, weak AC, tie rods parking brake... the list goes on. No chance of making 100k miles on this one.
jake graham on 08/24/2013:
I have a 02 Tahoe and I thank I'm having the same problem and it only has 60k miles on it and it will be the second time I get my transmission repaired
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