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GMC, Car Warranties, SUV
#1 of 51 GMC's Bad Business Practices
Feb 29, 2004 (8:52 am)
I would like to tell you all a story:
My story begins with our quest for a new SUV for my wife who had been driving a 1995 Isuzu Trooper happily for many years. We were in the market for an SUV, and settled on the GMC Envoy XL. My wife especially liked the ergonomics, style, drive and the fact that it had a third-row of seats. Our dealer Roslyn Buick Pontiac GMC was happy to bend over backwards to earn our business and take the more than $40,000 price for the vehicle, but when it came time to go to bat for their customer offered ZERO in the way of assistance!
Following are the concise facts of the events leading to this story. Buyers of GMC Envoys and patrons of Roslyn Buick Pontiac GMC beware!
My wife, a Speech Pathologist/Teacher left her sister's (former Assistant District Attorney) home to travel approximately 200 feet before turning left into a public parking lot to get lunch. As she turned into the driveway she lost control of the vehicle and wiped out the driver's side of the Envoy. The left tie rod snapped causing the wheel to collapse and the subsequent loss of control. The Envoy was towed back to our home where it was towed to the dealership for repair.
When observing the damage, one would conclude that my wife collided at high-speed with an 8" steel-reinforced curb, which upon impact dented the rim, caused the tie rod to snap, etc. However, after visiting the sight of the accident it turns out that there was no 8" steel reinforced curb. In fact, the curb was nearly level with the pavement, leading us to wonder what could have caused that tie rod to snap. GMC and the dealer have not been able to answer this question.
Upon inspection of the scene of the accident, it was clear to me that my wife was not at fault and I directed GMC to investigate. This truck was less than four months old with approximately 5,300 miles and was driven like a baby. In my mind GMC had to conclude that the accident was due to their defect. Upon discovery I believed they should have stood behind their product and replaced the vehicle. That never happened.
GMC took the better part of the month of December to inspect the vehicle and assumed no responsibility for the accident. They hired what they claimed was a third-party inspector to review the damage and conduct an investigation. We put up with this only because we were confident that after reviewing the facts they would have no choice but to conclude that it was a manufacturer’s defect that caused the accident. But that never happened.
I have the parts (removed from the vehicle), photographic evidence of the damage, and scene of the accident as well as testimony from highly credible upstanding citizens of the community. If it is GMC’s contention that the tie rod snapped due to driver error than I can only conclude that they have something to hide. This vehicle is supposed to be able to withstand off-road conditions and buckled going over a 2” obstacle at low speed. If you consider buying it, I would recommend that you consider something else! Furthermore, the dealership jerked me around and offered no help in the way of intervention. At the very least, spending the kind of money that we did I expected a little handholding and empathy. We got nothing! I had one conversation with the owner of the dealership who didn’t even want to hear the story. He wanted no part of it and made no effort to go to bat for us whatsoever. This resulted in the poorest customer service experience of my life. Thank you Roslyn Buick Pontiac GMC!
#2 of 51 I think it is going to be very
Feb 29, 2004 (2:04 pm)
hard to prove that this was a manufacturing defect and not just a result of the accident. What does your insurance company say?
#3 of 51 Look at it from other perspectives -
Feb 29, 2004 (2:25 pm)
"Furthermore, the dealership jerked me around and offered no help in the way of intervention."
The dealer has ABSOLUTELY no part in a defective product claim - it's between you and the manufacturer - the dealer couldn't step in if they wanted to, even to help, unless they assumed all responsibility for a product they didn't manufacture (they sell 'em, they don't build 'em or provide a warranty).
"At the very least, spending the kind of money that we did I expected a little handholding and empathy."
In their minds, you came in saying their product broke and I'm sure "calling a lawyer" was mentioned. I wouldn't even speak to you for fear of being included in the whole deal.
"I'm sorry you had an accident, I'm glad your wife is OK" would be all ANYONE could say in a case like this.
The only recommendation I could give would be to have your insurance company investigate, and if necessary, hire your own accident investigator.
Proving that the product was defective is going to tough, especially if in any way, they can show that human error caused your wife to "lose control" of the vehicle.
Mar 01, 2004 (5:26 am)
What did the wife collide with? Hitting a low curb would not cause a drive to lose control. Are there collision marks on the outside of the wheel? The side of the vehicle? How fast was she going?
Mar 01, 2004 (6:17 am)
This doesn't seem to have a lot to do with Finance, Warranty, or Insurance; rather, it's general dissatisfaction with GMC's customer service. We don't generally leave discussions open if the only intent is to "slam" a particular manufacturer, given that there are dissatisfied customers who have horror stories for each and every make & model.
I am going to change the discussion title, and I'm sure the board hosts will watch the discussion to see if there's productive conversation, or if this simply turns into an anti-GMC rant. Let's try to focus on the former. Thanks!
Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host
Mar 01, 2004 (2:55 pm)
Thanks to those of you who responded.
To the moderator, it does have to do with Warranty with respect to the manufacturer standing behind their product. In my case they didn't. With respect to the dealer, I can appreciate that the dealer can't do much more than listen and fall back on the manufacturer. I think any auto buyer would want to know that their dealer would intervene in the event that "an apparent" defect caused an accident. In the case of my dealer all that I was really looking for was the courtesy of a phone call or contact name for a GMC representative to "listen" to what I was saying. The way that I was handled from a customer service perspective was horrible.
From my perspective, believe me when I say that if I had a logical explanation for what happened I would have paid my $500 insurance deductible, gotten my vehicle back a lot sooner and went on with life.
The reason that I went through the dealer was that I was CONVINCED that there had to be a defect and I was concerned that the vehicle may be unsafe. In fairness (and to a much lesser extent) I also did not feel right about having to own a repaired vehicle if the accident was indeed due to a defect. My wife turned into a parking lot, the tie rod snapped (somehow) and the truck fish tailed into a light post taking out the drivers side. Luckily my wife is fine.
This is a legitimate warranty question. How would you feel if you were driving normally, lost control of your vehicle and wrecked it? Would you expect the manufacturer to replace your vehicle?
#7 of 51 I wouldn't expect this -
Mar 01, 2004 (3:26 pm)
"I think any auto buyer would want to know that their dealer would intervene in the event that "an apparent" defect caused an accident."
The dealer isn't involved, in any way. They didn't build the vehicle and don't provide a warranty on it - and I know they don't want to jump on the "who is next to get sued" bandwagon.
Now for something not intended to irk your ire, but it may:
"This is a legitimate warranty question. How would you feel if you were driving normally, lost control of your vehicle and wrecked it? Would you expect the manufacturer to replace your vehicle?"
Prove it. Simple. Prove it. A police officer statement, or better yet, and real mechanic, not a consumer guessing and wondering with no qualifications for judging accident cause or metal fatigue stress index.
As an aside in my regular job, I do accident reconstruction and investigation. If a tie rod had broken, unless the vehicle was going at warp speed, the wheels would literally split (go different directions) and the vehicle would slam to a stop. The drag alone, at normal parking lot speeds, would prohibit the vehicle from traveling very far (maybe 5-10 feet from 10-15 mph) and would stop the truck.
I don't mean to make you angry, but to expect the manufacturer to just assume responsibility when the scenario is far-fetched is unrealistic. There have obviously been several mechanically qualified people who disagree with your hypothesis (and have seen the vehicle).
Mar 01, 2004 (4:57 pm)
First of all, good to hear that your wife was not injured.
My wife,... left her sister's ... home to travel approximately 200 feet before turning left into a public parking lot to get lunch. As she turned into the driveway she lost control of the vehicle and wiped out the driver's side of the Envoy. The left tie rod snapped causing the wheel to collapse and the subsequent loss of control. The Envoy was towed back to our home where it was towed to the dealership for repair.
My first question would be, what was the weather and pavement condition at the time of the incident? Were snow or ice present? Even though the Envoy has AutoTrac (AWD), it is not infallible to traction loss, especially when turning. I would also ask, was it an abrupt turn-and-accelerate in an attempt to beat oncoming traffic (since she was turning left)? You also mention the rim was damaged... on which side? The natural bulge of a tire would act as a buffer to wheel damage from the outside for several inches - the Envoy's standard 245/65R17 tire would give almost 6 inches of sidewall from the road to the base of the rim. When you visited the scene, was there evidence of a patched pothole that she may have struck? This line alos raises questions: "wiped out the left side of the Envoy" - if there was no curb/wall/divider present, where did left-side body damage occur, or did you simply mean the suspension area? When I hear "wiped out a side," I expect to see extensive body damage from bumper to bumper.
If this was a public parking lot, meaning owned and maintained by the municipality, a police officer should have been called and a report written. If this was a parking lot owned by the adjacent business, it is not a public lot, and should not be misconstrued as such. Your sister-in-law should have known and advised this.
I'd be very interested to have some of that information.
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#9 of 51 Personal experience with sister truck - Trailblazer
Mar 03, 2004 (3:33 am)
I honestly have a hard time believing that the tie rod snapped for no apparent reason... I had my Trailblazer 4x4ing many times while I owned it... I can send you come cool pix if you want with 2-3 tires off the ground... =o)
Personal experience for future reference... always keep a disposable camera in the car(you know, those 4.99 ones) and if you get in an accident, break it out, take pictures('cause pictures are woth a thousand words) from all angles, especially of the damage, both cars, surroundings, etc.
Question... was the tire flat? If so, was it flat before the accident? or did the tire burst, causing the loss of control, truck slid into the curb(thereby causing the broken tierod by the 2" curb) ... just a hypothesis... I just have a very difficult time beliving that a ~1" steel tierod snapped because the tire hit the curb(shoulda busted the bead before the tierod in that case)....
Please elaborate on the kind of damage done(flat tire-and cause of flat, broken suspension parts- a-arms, etc.., other conditions... =o)
Mar 03, 2004 (7:15 am)
It is kind of amazing that we know more about the family's occupations then we do about the incident. But it dosen't surprise me that someone with such a condescending holier-then-thou attitude didn't get what they thought they had coming from the manufacturer.