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GMC's Warranty Business Practices

raykrayk Posts: 4
edited March 11 in GMC
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!
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Comments

  • hard to prove that this was a manufacturing defect and not just a result of the accident. What does your insurance company say?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    "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.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    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?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    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!

    kirstie_h
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  • raykrayk Posts: 4
    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?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    "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).
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    hi Ray

    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.

    kcram
    Host
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  • tblazer503tblazer503 Posts: 620
    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)
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    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.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    what kind of paying customer you are, when you start demanding things and threatening lawsuits, respect and cooperation get thrown out the window.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    A large sum of money that that tie rod didn't "snap" on it's own. this just does not happen...sorry.

    I too am sorry your wife had an accident and I'm glad she wasn't hurt.

    I would bet almost anything that the tie rod snapped as a result of a severe impact.

    But, I guess I could be wrong.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    Besides, did the insurance company investigate? Surely they would have before paying the bill. They have the same interest you have, if it's GM's defect, it's GM's money that pays for it.
    I'm still wondering: did the front left wheel collide with anything? You say the truck hit a light pole. Light poles are usually anchored by a large cement block. That block could have clobbered the wheel and subsequently broke the tie rod. And to repeat the host's question, was the road snowy, icy, or wet?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I'm afraid all we have is rants and accusations. There's no proof of any defect, plus like was said above, the insurance company HAS TO protect itself by investigating and if they said it was a defect, you'd better bet that GM would be getting sued.

    I'm glad the wife was OK, I'm sorry to hear about the accident, in general, but I don't think we have all the facts.

    Like an old cop friend of mine used to say - "there's one guy's story, there's the other guy's story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth."
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I don't like this discrepancy in Ray's posts:

    In fact, the curb was nearly level with the pavement

    This vehicle is supposed to be able to withstand off-road conditions and buckled going over a 2” obstacle at low speed.

    Everybody, grab a US dollar bill. The green printed portion on the rear is 2 inches vertical (the overall bill is 2 1/2). That is extremely high for a driveway curb cut. Anything over half an inch is a driveway you need to slow WAY down for.

    Based on Ray's description (can't call them facts, he wasn't there at the time), here it was one could reasonably assume occurred:

    Wife pulls away from sister's home and plans to turn left into driveway for lunch. Oncoming traffic is jmoderate to heavy. Wife sees a gap in oncoming traffic and nails the go pedal to turn in time. Not realizing curb is 2 inches, she doesn't let off the power. Vehicle strikes curb at left front tire, suspension executes extreme compression and rebound from impact (and may possibly put vehicle airborne). Tie rod breaks from unusual angle and force of impact. Steering wheel is yanked from wife's hands, she attempts to regain and overcorrects - Envoy strikes post in overcorrection.

    Having driven 4x4s for 20 years and owning them for the last 14 consecutive years, there's no SUV in that size class I would consider taking off road except a Grand Cherokee, Land Rover, or Land Cruiser. And even then, an experienced off-roader knows to never go faster than a crawl when the road is rough and/or unknown.

    Ray, with all duie respext, I just don't think this is a defect issue or a warranty claim. Sounds like an innocent miscalculation on your wife's part, and nothing more.

    kcram
    Host
    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,753
    Very good. I think you've got it.

    I guess in this day and age, when something bad happens, it HAS to be the fault of someone else.

    Sorry, but I, too cry FOUL!
  • raykrayk Posts: 4
    Like an old cop friend of mine used to say - "there's one guy's story, there's the other guy's story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth."

    Thanks for the feedback...when I saw the damage, I was convinced that my wife must have hit something big. I think this is the same conclusion that the third-party inspector (hired by GMC) came to. The trouble is that I arrived at that conclusion prior to visiting the scene of the accident. And I don't believe he based his findings on visiting the scene of the accident. In a nutshell that is my problem with this case. I will be happy to email a link with pictures of the scene of the accident. This by the way is documented as per the AAA tow receipt and tow truck driver that hooked up the truck. I own a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee and can take the curb in the photo at 50MPH with no trouble (I haven't tried, but if you see the curb (if you can call it that) you'll know what I mean.

    By the way, the weather was clear and the pavement was dry on the day of the accident.

    A few of you expressed interest in seeing pictures. If any of you would like to see shots of the scene of the accident and damage to the truck I will send you a link...just give me an email address.

    The bottom line people is that yes I was angry. Put yourself in my shoes, purchase a $40,000+ vehicle, drive it down a residential street and wreck it for no apparent reason at all and see how you'd feel. This was not an off-road expedition, it was a trip to the local deli.

    The anger is over now, an I am searching for answers. If anyone out there has a rational explanation for how this could have happened other than MFG. defect I am all ears. In fact, I would love nothing more than to be able to understand what happened and put it to bed.

    So if you are a dealer, or a MFG., or an engineer or scientist and would like a look at the pix let me know and I'll be happy to share them with you. And when you look at them you will say the same thing that I did when I visited the scene of the accident for the first time. "There is no way that, that curb (the one in the pictures) caused the rim to buckle, tie rod to snap and the ensuing damage." But it did...and that is why I am online sharing this experience with all of you.

    Believe it, it happened to my wife, and I imagine it could happen to you.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    let your insurance company fix the truck, take it home, and happy motoring.

    You're looking for someone to blame when I don't think there is someone to blame - and just because a tow truck driver says so, doesn't make it so.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Thanks for coming back with a little more info. But I think you are trying to split hairs to apply the blame. For discussion, lets say there was a manufacturers defect in one or both parts. Your story still leads us to believe that an impact started the chain of events. This would appear to override any manufacturer's fault. The part(s) failure under a possible lower then expected load, still required the impact for the final failure. And it could be possible the parts were weakened by a previous harder impact that didn't finish them off.

    Many manufacturers spend thousands to aquire customers, they are not going to try to save hundreds if they believe they are at fault. And once it gets to the manufacturer level, the dealer has to back out, especially in an accident situation. Remember you bought one car from them, they only get all their new cars from the manufacturer (who by the way gets almost all the $40K you spent).

    Glad you have calmed down and everyone is well. As your final act of defiance, complete a well written infomational report for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov ) about the failures. That way the info could be available if other simular situations occur for trend analysis.
  • raykrayk Posts: 4
    Just to be clear, my wife hit NOTHING and I can support this with photographic and testimonial evidence. For her to have hit something head-on there would have been bumper and front-end damage. The damage begins at the end of the left front fender.

    Driftcarracer, I mean "Dealer"...I am not asking anyone to "buy into my story". Be a scientist for a moment and PROCESS that I have PICTURES AND TESTIMONY from credible people who WERE THERE. Unless this is an elaborate scheme that I am cooking up and towed the truck to a fictitious scene, and dropped it there your "not buying into it" means nothing. I am sure you will "buy into that"!

    Montanafan...I appreciate your feedback, and if you see the pictures you will appreciate that she made a left into a parking lot, when the tie rod gave way forcing the weight of the vehicle down on the rim causing the truck to wipe out on the left side.

    The only thing that I can conclude is that perhaps there was a stress fracture in the tie rod, and that this was simply an accident waiting to happen. I plan on having a metallurgy test done on the tie rod to see what we find. I will share the results of the test with you all ASAP.

    Thanks again for all feedback.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... ** I am not asking anyone to "buy into my story". **

               Good, for a moment, I thought you were trying to push another Jayson Williams "story" on us ..l..o..l.....

                          Terry.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    "I am not asking anyone to "buy into my story". Be a scientist for a moment and PROCESS that I have PICTURES AND TESTIMONY from credible people who WERE THERE."

    OK, then why didn't the manufacturer take your side? Why didn't the investigator take your side? If you feel so strongly about all of this, why not spend a couple of bucks and have an accident investigator (on your side) look at the information and the scene?

    As adamant and strong as you seem to be about this situation, and as willing as you are to bash the living heck out of the manufacturer and the dealer, you'd think you'd bolster your case with something other than witness claims from passers-by.

    I think you have a long road ahead of you if you intend to hold onto your contention that this is the manufacturer's fault. You certainly haven't done your homework to back up your side of the story, and no judge or jury would point a finger based on he said/she said testimony and the car owner's version (who wasn't there) of how things happened.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    I still want to know:

    Did the truck hit the curb, then buckle/lose control? or did the truck buckle/lose control, then hit the curb?

    Where did the light pole come into contact with the truck?

    Did the insurance company investigate? What did they find?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    seemed conveniently "left out" - perhaps it conflicted with his conspiracy theory.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    "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."

    I can't believe that GMC didn't take this vital evidence into account.
  • rinebirdrinebird Posts: 83
    I read your dissatisfaction with GMC .I have been extremely dissatisfied with GM customer service. I assume they are related.
    My car had a class action suit settlement due to the brakes and calipers. GM refused to recall the vehicle. 250,000 people got a tiny bit of money ,me less than $50.00 for over $800.00 in repairs( in one year).The thing is the car's brakes and calipers have broken without warning 6 times in 8 years. Go to www.recalls.org it will show you under automobiles service bulletins etc. on cars.You can also report any complaint you may have.I found this site by a local TV news station story two weeks ago. GM had 18 service bulletins on my car. It is too late they say my car is now " too old ."I never received the bulletins .I also was told by customer service that this site is for dealers only, which is not true. I told them the car hasd bene dangerous since day one and they dont'; care. I am lucky to be alive.
    Godo luck.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    I was hoping the new post was from the original poster giving an update! Oh, well...

    rinebird, do you have a Lumina?
    My 91 Lumina was in a class action lawsuit for calipers, too. I got about $8.00. My rear calipers only seized up once, however. It cost about $300.00 to fix about 4 years ago and the brakes have been great since. Yours have continued to seize? That sounds more like a bad mechanic or bad parts than a GM problem.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    brake calipers or rotors on a vehicle for that long, working or not - seals and cables have a way of causing problems after 5-6 years.

    I'd replaced the stock components within 3 years, broken or not.

    Then, though, I wouldn't be able to (a) blame the manufacturer for a rubber sealed component not lasting 10 years, and (b) join in as cannon fodder for a lawyer's class action suit where I get next to nothing and they make a million bucks.

    As an expert witness, I've certified three class action suits - all three were shaky at best, and I didn't get on a bandwagon over the causes, for sure.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Are you aware that you can get rid of a car you don't like? You are not forced to drive the same car for your whole life.

    And the lawsuit was over the rear brake caliper slid pins suffering from corrosion. Your lawyer settled the suit, accepting GM's money and GM's continued claim of innocence. Your lawyer never promised big money, you were told the maximum you would receive was 12.5% of your valid claims.
  • rinebirdrinebird Posts: 83
    yes my Lumina had dealer calipers that were under warranty but break just short of warranty or the opposite oen breaks.One dealer still refused to say it was the caliper under warranty. 5 of my 6 calipers broke while the car had under 60 thousand. So I don't understand people that think because the car is dated that you have put miles on it. My lumina to me has been dangerous since day one due due to the the fact these calipers were faulty or Gm would never have settled.
       I am glad your car is ok 93 is the bad year.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    ...Replace major brake components (caliper and rotors) on cars after 5 or 6 years, or even 3 years????

    I've got a 94 Ford Ranger pickup, 80,000 miles, with the original rear braking system intact, and it looks good for another 20,000 or so.

    I replaced the front rotors, pads, seals, doing nothing to the calipers, at about 65,000 miles. These appeared to be original components. There was wear left on the pads, I did the work because the rotors were warping and I didn't like the shimmy when I was braking.

    Now I live in the sunny south and don't see all that white stuff and associated salt in a winter, but to replace stuff on a 'time' basic is just excessive.
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