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Pontiac Grand Prix Engine fires 3800 series II 1996-2003

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  • I addition to everything Jeff asked about, could you tell from the flames you saw - where the fire was emanating from?
  • Was a 2000 GT 4 door sedan. The fire started right in dead center of the front part of the engine, just below the oil filler opening. Only thing is, I had NO hard braking. Of all the things I have done while driving, I seldom have to brake hard. As of today, the insurance company, AAA totaled the thing and I'm getting a fairly good value from them for it, ($4200 and some change). They will attempt to get at least my deductible back from GM, which I doubt they'll accomplish. I do have an attorney looking into the claim by GM that there is no liability on their part for safety recalls after the 4 year warranty. Could be true. This is Kansas after all.
    If I knew how to post an image with this comment I would do so.
  • Just added a photo of the fire damage on my car space page. New to the site here, so took me a minute to find out where to do that.

    I enjoyed the car up until 9/1, but I do have to say I had my share of problems with it. 3 of the 4 windows broke at one time or another requiring new regulators, at $400 a pop, which was several years ago. The third one I never fixed. The fourth one will probably survive now that it's being sent to the Grand Prix Grave yard. Had a transmission sensor of some sort right after I bought it, which GM fortunately did cover, since it was under certified pre-owned warranty. Lucked into that by a few days only. Had several other sensors & such go out, problems with the trip computer. It was a good handling car, though.
  • The recall only applied to the supercharged engines (GTPs). However, it does sound like it might have been an oil leak like was supposedly the case with the GTPs. It might also have been related to the starter wiring, as that area fits your description. There is a known issue with the starter solenoid feed (unfused) rubbing on the top of the starter solenoid. I am glad your insurance company paid-out on this one.
  • Good luck with that deductible thing. We had the same thing and my insurance company (Allstate) was very confident at first that they would be able to get something out of them (GM). They told me that I would probably get at least a partial refund of my deductible. They even hired a special investigator to investigate the recall, and I've had several conversations with him about it all.

    A year later (July of this year) I received a letter from Allstate stating that they had given up. Maybe it was due to the whole auto industry collapse and the gov. taking over. Who knows.

    Good luck with yours.
  • GM REFUSED to do anything to rectify the situation with my 2000 Grand Prix. I managed $4200 & some change out of the insurance company. GM tried to claim that there is a statute of limitations on warranty for 4 years in Kansas and when I reminded them this was a recall issue not a warranty they told me that the warranty statute was what governed it in KS. I can guarantee it'll be a cold day in hell when I ever consider another GM product again. GM apparently wants to do whatever they can to NOT STAND BEHIND their defective products. I've been warning anyone I see with a Grand Prix of the subject vintage to check out their car. I figure that's the least I can do to hopefully keep someone else from maybe losing their house to a fire. I wonder how many cars in my office lot would have been destroyed by the fire if my car had waited until I got back to work to catch fire. Hmmmm. Since I work in a building with no windows where the workareas are, and minimal traffic during the work day, I'd bet quite a few.

    Such a shame our tax dollars went to bail out GM.
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    I lost my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix in March, 2006. I called GM the very next day, they sent some stupid idiot down here to check out the cause of the fire, he looked at my car less than 15 minutes, on April 18, 2006 I was told by GM that they were not responsible for it. I have argued with them and argued with them. I have tried to hire an attorney but have been told that since no one was hurt or died, it wouldn't be feasible for them to take the case. I found out Friday that GM is now recalling Grand Prixs and Buick Regals to fix the problem before an engine compartment fire starts. I was once again on the phone with GM today to find out what they plan to do about my car. I gave them 2 days to overnight a check to me. Am calling them again tomorrow and every day until I get satisfaction.
  • I have a 1999 GT and heeded the recall. So far , so good. My question is has there been any engine fires on any cars that have had the recall service done?
  • Took my 2000 GTX in about a year and a half ago and had the recall work accomplished. About one week later the engine burned up and the car was totaled. Insurance company paid out and tried to recoup money from GM but failed.
  • my moms 95 Bonnie unsupercharged has never done anything of the sort, however, it did blow a 1/4 inch vacuum line off the other day, and ran at 4000rpm untill i shut it off. it has the 96 series 2, because it was a demo vehicle, and some kids stole it off the lot in 96, so the dealership repaired it, and replaced the engine/trans. my uncle bought it in 98, and we inherited it in 00 when he died. we drove it till Dec 04 when the upper intake went out, and it sat, on exactly 150,000 for 4 years until me and my granddad got it 99% fixed, and then we sent it to a mechanic to get the kinks worked out. the mechanic told me it wouldn't make it 2 miles, but its had 21,000 miles put on it since then. We put it up down in Dec 09 because an ignition coil went out, which i have since replaced. i watch all my vehicles so closely, that nothing happens that i dont anticipate, i do need to replace the valve covers though, because that mechanic dented them, so now they leak oil on the headers(which nearly caused an engine compartment fire)
  • ncdubncdub Posts: 1
    I haven't seen it, but daughter says when she turns the key, nothing happens EXCEPT the rpm reads about 5 and the speedometer reads 180. Someone just told me it might be a bad battery cable connection, and that loose cables were common problems in this era. This friend also suggested to jump the car--might
    be a low battery. Anyone got any ideas?
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    I have posted my story numerous times on here. I am still fighting with GM about my car that burned March 23, 2006. I have given the CEO until 4 p.m. central time this afternoon to return my calls. I have sent an email to CNN and 48 hours concerning this situation. I have tried to get Oprah to cover this but she hasn't seemed interested in it. If I get safisfaction I will pass along to everyone how to do it.
  • tjmac921tjmac921 Posts: 1
    I had an engine fire yesterday April 14, 2010 on my 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. Have owned the car since it was new, I have always maintained the car regularly. Just had it in the shop less than a week ago for oil change, replaced coolant, and had a couple belts replaced. Have not heard from insurance adjuster as of yet to see what they are going to do, the damage was pretty severe probably a total loss. Fire was very similar to other posts from the past several years.
  • hollywhitakerhollywhitaker Posts: 4
    edited April 2010
    How are problems with recalled vehicles or equipment remedied?
    Once a safety-defect determination is made, the law gives the manufacturer three options for correcting the defect – repair, replacement, or refund. In the case of a vehicle recall, the manufacturer may choose to repair the vehicle at no charge; replace the vehicle with an identical or similar vehicle; or refund the purchase price in full, minus a reasonable allowance for depreciation. In the case of equipment, including tires and child safety seats, the manufacturer may either repair or replace the affected equipment at no charge to the consumer.

    INFORMATION SOURCE: WWW.NHTSA.GOV
  • How are problems with recalled vehicles or equipment remedied?
    Once a safety-defect determination is made, the law gives the manufacturer three options for correcting the defect – repair, replacement, or refund. In the case of a vehicle recall, the manufacturer may choose to repair the vehicle at no charge; replace the vehicle with an identical or similar vehicle; or refund the purchase price in full, minus a reasonable allowance for depreciation. In the case of equipment, including tires and child safety seats, the manufacturer may either repair or replace the affected equipment at no charge to the consumer.

    INFORMATION SOURCE: WWW.NHTSA.GOV
  • grngtpgrngtp Posts: 14
    tjmac921, sorry about the fire and damage. I hope you weren't injured and are okay. Did you have the recall work done at a dealer to the change the front valve cover gasket?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
  • Thank you for your concern. Yes my son is ok. To answer your question, the car burned before we could. we got a post card two weeks before. However I have spoke to another person that still had his burn to the ground after the so called "quick fix". Did you get a recall card? Did? you get the "quick fix"
  • Hi all. I just found this site and need to vent. As of this coming June it will have been two years since my wife's 1998 Grand Prix GT burned. I bought the car used with 36,000 miles on it after checking the car fax report. The car was beautiful and a great replacement for her 2002 in which she was t-boned in on the drivers side and walked away. The car I believe save her from serious injury. The replacement 1998 model caught on fire while she was on her way to work. She had just come down the mountain (very steep) when she stopped at the bottom for a stop sign she noticed a smell that she immediatly dismissed as her brakes. Her first stop was the post office where she picked up the mail in the morning for her employers. when she got out of the car she notices a puff of smoke escape from the edge of her hood.She immediatly went and popped the hood inside the car and moved to open her car hood and poof there was instant fire. Originally we went after the car dealer as we had only had the car for a very short time. About a month or two later we recieve a recall notice from Pontiac regarding possible engine fire in our model of car under heavy down hill braking. I did not file a claim to my insurance company as I was adamant that the responsibility laid elsewhere. Of course I had already dragged the dealer to an inquiry under the lemon law which I lost. My wife and I currently have a claim in to GM's bankruptcy division and no one has even looked at the car which sits in my yard under a very worn out tarp. Has any one gotten satisfaction from GM?
  • stevie75stevie75 Posts: 1
    My 2002 Grand Prix GTP caught on fire in a parking lot while I was in the grocery store 2 weeks ago. I had just left work and was on my way home. I'm just thankful my daughter wasn't in the car with me. I submitted the claim to my insurance company, and they're totalling it because they can't find the wiring harness needed to fix it. GM doesn't make it anymore. I didn't learn of the recall on my car until after the fire but didn't bother calling GM on it because I was afraid I'd get caught in the middle between the insurance company and GM and end up with nothing for my car. This is my second Grand Prix, and I will never buy another GM vehicle again!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,139
    Hello Stevie75,
    I am from GM Customer Service. I apologize that you experienced a concern on your vehicle. Can you please email me with more information about your situation so I can look into further? You can access my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • outdoorladyoutdoorlady Posts: 14
    Congratulations Stevie75, I think you are the first to get a response from GM out of the hundreds of us that have posted regarding this problem in the past 31/2 years!!!
  • gtp03dawgtp03daw Posts: 16
    What else can I say...State Farm insinuated I committed arson and denied the claim. GM denied the claim. Then State Farm forced me into either singing the title or paying
    for the storage fees to date. When NHTSA got GM to issue recalls, GM again denied the claim for "statute of limitations" In the mean time I spent another 895+ dollars to have the oil pan gasket replaced.And that was done less than 1 week after my front valve cover was replaced under recall the old pan gasket was leaking directly onto the exhaust system. Then another 900+ for the manifold gaskets that started leaking...Conveniently after the time limit for replacement......Then GM dops Pontiac....

    Just great...

    And if GM is reading this the article below is from Consumer Affairs ( the car pictured on fire is my 03 GTP ) I have several more. My original post is several pages back
    ( Got Marshmellows )

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/11/car_fires.html

    Good luck Stevi75
  • gtp03dawgtp03daw Posts: 16
    What else can I say...State Farm insinuated I committed arson and denied the claim. GM denied the claim. Then State Farm forced me into either singing the title or paying
    for the storage fees to date. When NHTSA got GM to issue recalls, GM again denied the claim for "statute of limitations" In the mean time I spent another 895 dollars to have the oil pan gasket replaced. And that was done less than 1 week after my front valve cover was replaced under recall. Then another 900 for the manifold gaskets that started leaking...Conveniently after the time limit for replacement......Then GM drops Pontiac....

    Just great...

    Article below is from Consumer Affairs ( the car pictured on fire is my 03 GTP )
    I have several more.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/11/car_fires.html
  • gtp03dawgtp03daw Posts: 16
    You can also check "got marshmellows" on page 3..

    What else can I say...State Farm insinuated I committed arson and denied the claim. GM denied the claim. Then State Farm forced me into either singing the title or paying
    for the storage fees to date. When NHTSA got GM to issue recalls, GM again denied the claim for "statute of limitations" In the mean time I spent another 895 dollars to have the oil pan gasket replaced. And that was done less than 1 week after my front valve cover was replaced under recall. Then another 900 for the manifold gaskets that started leaking...Conveniently after the time limit for replacement......Then GM dops Pontiac....

    Just great...

    Article below is from Consumer Affairs ( the car pictured on fire is my 03 GTP )
    I have several more.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/11/car_fires.html
  • Well I am not giving in! My son was driving this car and I thank god he is not hurt! I am trying to find any and all people who have had their car burn to the ground! I am finding a class action lawyer to start this going! We are all either accused of arson! or told the warranty limitations has run out, or we are not the original owner, and NOTHING will be done! people have lost their cars, their homes, garages, apartment buildings, and I am thanking god I haven't heard of a death yet. god willing that wont happen.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,139
    Hello Hollywhitaker,
    I am from GM Customer Service. I apologize for your situation with your vehicle. Can you please email me more information about your situation so I can look into it further? You can find my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • nekogpgtnekogpgt Posts: 2
    I know your post is like really old but I stumbled across it when I was looking for parts. Moving on, my sister had that same issue with her Grand am they never found the problem or fixed it. My Grand Prix had a starting issue, it MIGHT be your mass air flow sensor. It's a common part that goes bad in those cars. Grand Prix's normally don't have a lot of issues or serious ones. 87s though may have had more issues, especially if its an SE with a 3.1 L engine. They're basically a Grand am with the nicks and nacks.
  • nekogpgtnekogpgt Posts: 2
    Most liekly, it also has the 3.8L The LM model just has a few more options than regular model. But they have the same motor.
  • for a while now I have had smoke coming from my alternator area. i know it's not my alternator because it is brand new since nov. the smoke seems to be coming from that area though under it. it is smoking so bad now that it's coming through my a/c vents and it smells I've been told like oil burning.my boyfriend thinks it maybe be oil burning and I need a new valve gasket cover but it might not be as simple as that. it is smoking with the a/c on and with it off. i dont kno what it could be but the smoke is getting bad. have any ideas?
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