Cadillac customer feels bad vibration from GM
By Rick Badie
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Bud Layson bought his first Cadillac 15 years ago.
“My wife wanted one,” says Layson, a retired salesman who still works every other week selling steel pipe fittings across the Southeast.
In May, Layson bought a new 2008 DTS. He says it just may be his last General Motors vehicle. The DTS vibrates during acceleration, going up hills, when it’s hitting 60 miles per hour or so.
It used to make a pitched, whiny noise, too. A new gear was supposed to stop both problems.
“But it did nothing for the vibration,” said Layson of Duluth. “It feels like it’s coming up through the acceleration pedal, but you can feel the vibration all over. It’s not a safety problem. It’s an aggravating problem.”
After he had the Caddy serviced at a local Cadillac dealership, he filled out a survey he received in the mail regarding the experience. In the comment section, he explained the car’s vibration and the repair(s) that hadn’t fixed the problem.
Then Layson, 73, made a promise: “I told them that I’d never buy another GM product.”
Days later, Layson got a voice message with an 800-number from General Motors. Layson called.
A customer service rep pulled up the service record on his car. Then he put Layson on hold and contacted the area dealership shop that had worked on it.
“When he finally came back to the phone, he said [the company] had no resolution for the problem at this time,” Layson told me. “But he said that, if and when we do, that I’d be the first in line to get my car fixed. I may be dead by then. I tried to control my temper, but I was upset.”
Online, there were at least two automotive forums in which car owners sought help with the same problem. I didn’t find any reports about recalls of the Cadillac DTS due to vibration, so I called GM headquarters and was hooked up with company spokesman David Caldwell. I told him about Layson’s car.
“This is not a repetitive problem,” he said, noting that there had been no official recall of the Cadillac DTS for vibration issues. And even if a handful of owners have raised the issue online, he said, they pale in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers who apparently enjoy the car.
As for Layson’s vehicle, Caldwell suggested that he schedule to have a regional GMC engineer have a look-see. Layson can call the dealership and make arrangements, he said, or he can call 800-333-4CAD.
“We’ll have someone at his front door,” Caldwell said.
Layson didn’t know he had the option. He might heed the advice, but right now he’s pretty put off with Cadillac. After all, he owns a nearly $50,000 car that doesn’t run right.