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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear General Motors,

I am having major transmission problems with my car at 42,000 miles. I’m having a hard time getting the car fixed by your Chevrolet dealerships. It has been a month and half since my car’s transmission originally failed and the car is still not fixed. At this juncture, I’m calling upon the amnesty of General Motors to help me out in this situation. The following is a description of my situation up until now.

At the end of February, I was finishing up a trip from Vermont to Rhode Island when my transmission initially failed. I brought my car to a Chevrolet dealer in Wakefield, RI to have them fix my tranny. They put in a new torque converter clutch solenoid switch. This cost me $570. When I picked up my car, the transmission was the same as it was when I dropped it off. After taking a ride with me, the technician at this dealer thought my transmission was fine. He said that my car had a misfire so I should get a tune-up. That would cost another $700. He assured me that my car would be fine to drive back up to Vermont. I needed to get back to school, so I didn’t have time for them to perform the tune-up. I decided to drive back to school.

I scheduled an appointment with a Chevrolet dealer in Lebanon, NH. They said that my car did not have a misfire and that it did not need a tune-up. Instead, Miller thought my torque converter was bad, my valve-body was bad and a few other parts of the transmission needed replacing. All of this would cost an excess of $1700. I went ahead and had the repairs performed to my vehicle. At the same time, I contacted Chevrolet Customer Assistance in hopes that they could reimburse me for repairs. I never expected Chevrolet to tell me that they could offer me no assistance, but that is what they told me. They also told me that they could not help me recoup my costs of repair at the Chevrolet dealer in RI. They said that since it was an issue of workmanship, I needed to settle that with the dealership myself. I think Chevrolet should have more power over their dealerships than that. It would be one thing if I brought my car to a non-Chevrolet dealership, but that’s not the case. Chevrolet or GM should be able to arbitrate a dispute of workmanship between two of their dealerships.

After 22 days at the NH dealer, they finally called me to tell me the car was done. When I picked it up, I immediately noticed that the car was not fixed. It was essentially the same as when I dropped it off. After $1800 and 22 days in the shop, you would think the car would be fixed… I brought the car back and the technician from dealer took the car for a drive. He thought my car was fine. In order to sort out this discrepancy, my service assistant went out for a ride with me. He agreed with me that the car was not fixed.

I made an appointment with the dealer so they could try and fix the car again the week after. I told them that I would need my car fixed by the upcoming weekend so that I could drive down and see my family in Connecticut. I made plans to see my family two months in advance and I did not want to break my plans just because the dealer could not fix my car the first time. After 3 more days with the car they finally called me and said that they know what is wrong with the car. They said that since the car was not taken apart that they would not give me a loaner car. Instead, they thought I should drive the car home to CT with the transmission in bad repair.

The next day, I went to the dealer and told them in person that I did not feel comfortable driving the car 420 miles round-trip over the weekend. They assured me that the car would be fine. I gave up arguing with them and just took the car down.

About an hour into my trip down to CT, my transmission began to slip. It was revving freely all the way up to 5,500rpms. It was really scary because I was in a very rural area of VT and I wasn’t sure if I’d be stranded. I called the dealer and told them what was going on and that I would try to drive the car back to the dealer really slowly. After two hours of limping the car down the highway, I made it back to the dealer. They finally gave me a rental car to take home. They never apologized. They were more concerned with the cost to them of having to give me a rental car. That’s horrible business. It’s their fault the car was not fixed correctly in the first place.

Those are the facts up until now. Before all this happened, I was totally in love with my car. It was originally bought from Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet in 1997 with their NASCAR appearance package. The car is a real eye-catcher-I put it in car shows in the summer. The car is in perfect condition.

After everything I have been through in the past month and a half, I do not want the car anymore. I do not think it will ever be fixed properly.

I am a very committed General Motors fan. I am 25 years old and I will be finishing law school this May. In my life I’ve only owned 3 cars. All cars were made by General Motors (1985 Cutlass Ciera, 1998 Monte Carlo LS, and 1997 Monte Carlo Z34).

The problems I’m having with my 1997 Monte Carlo Z34 seem to be very premature. Everyone who has heard about my situation thinks it is awful. As I said above, I called Chevrolet Customer Assistance in hopes that they would help me with repair costs. They have not helped me. All they offered me were GM Ownership Loyalty Certificates if I decided to buy a new car from GM. I was offered $1500 worth of Certificates. With all the debt I have looming from school, I am not sure if I can afford to buy a new car. If I were to buy a new vehicle, it would have to be a real sweetheart deal.

I know there are a few people from General Motors who monitor this site. All that I am asking is that someone from GM please come forward and help me in this situation. I do not think I am out of line by asking for help. You can private message me on this message board or email me at: [email protected]

Many thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Rick Straube
 

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I take it from what U paid 2 have the car fixed, I assume it's no longer under warranty??
 

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Have you compiled a history file on the model? Researching NHTSA's complaint information?
You paid for the fix therefore the other party's role in the agreement has not been fulfilled. Since you are studying law, I would think that you would opt for small claims court. If anything else, the dealership must show up personally (no attorney representative-correct?) and hash out the arguement in front of a judge. If all that you say is true and you have the documentation, you should have no problem winning. For you, it's a day in court and some homework. For the dealership, it is all this plus getting hauled into court.
Unless the dealership is fulfilling a warranty (that would drag GM into the arguement since they are footing the bill), I can see GM's point that it doesn't concern them. Everytime the dealership changes oil should not be a GM problem.

I used the same tactic with a pc mfr after the pc went out days after purchase. Their claim to fix it was okay but not the time period (a couple months). I told the salesman ofthe mfr that I would pursue this in small claims court. The mfr sent another pc out the following week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have compiled a history file for my car. My model was a lemon right off the assembly line. GM has historically had major problems with OBDII when it was paired with my engine (3.4L DOHC). The code was never written properly. It has glitches in it that were never fixed. This is part of the reason why they switched over to the 3800 engine entirely after 1997. I have yet to hear of someone with a 1997 Monte Carlo that didn't have major problems. So far, I've had to get the fuel injectors, plugs, wires and PCM replaced (all under warranty). The only reason this car has made it this far is because it wasn't driven that much.

I know I could take both dealers to small claims court. Heck, I could make a real mess of the situation and probably bring a larger suit against the second dealer. Taking these guys to court is the American way, you don't have to tell me that. I don't want to have to do that. Even though I am almost done with law school, I'm not inclined to go to court first and ask questions later. Considering the problems associated with this model car, I wish that GM would just step up and help me out on the repair. My belief is that Chevy dealers have not been able to fix my car until now because the problems go way past the transmission.

Thanks for your replies thus far. I'm hoping that the General sees this.
 

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Nobody does. But sometimes that is the last resort.
How about the silent recalls? Ford is notorious for those; they'll stonewall until the customer finally gives up. I had a Taurus that had electrical problems of which the ignition switch situation didn't become public until after I traded the car.

What really gets me is that many of the service desk supervisors have no technical training but merely parrot the dealership's line.

Also, people do not know how much power the big dealerships havewith the manufacturers. This is the one thing that I look for when buying a vehicle. If they go to bat for you, GM will listen.
 
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