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Chevrolet Tracker Rusted Crossmember Subframe

recently took car in because when i applied breaks the front of the car dipped and the car would steer to the left. told me the crossmember or also they said sub frame was badly rusted and needed replaced. i understand this is not supposed to happen...no recalls for this part. was told metal was too thin and possibly welded incorrectly. i want my money back from chevy...any suggestions?
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Comments

  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    what year & model do you have?
  • i have a 4 door/4 wheel drive year 2000
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i think the corrison warranty on the trackers back then was 3year/36000 miles. but dont quote me. My exhaust at where the manifold meets the Cat is so rusted it could go at anytime. the steel is paper thin, I know chevy isnt going to cover my tracker as it is a 1999 and is pretty old as far as warranty related issues is concerned. you can try and get chevy to do something about it, but i think we all know whats going to happen.
  • Catastrophic failure! 2000 Chevy 2dr 4 WD Control arm mounting boss completely separated from front cross member. Car shook violently just after I turned off of 55 mph highway. This car is in otherwise very good condition with just under 79,000 miles. This is an obvious premature failure of the front cross member. GM Customer Service's reason for not addressing the problem was the lack of vehicle history. This could be because it had been routinely maintained and had no other major repairs. Pictures available on request.
  • thats incredible! i'm on the case still...my dad is a tool salesman and is very familiar with chevy dealerships and has a couple buddies in one so hes doing what he can. i bought mine when it was only a yr old and has taken it in about every 3 or 4 mo. to get oil change and checked. mine is just over 80,000 miles but is a great car otherwise. thanks for responding. picture?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,219
    Your CarSpace page is a good place to park pictures and link to them. Log in with your Edmunds member name/password and then go to Albums.

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  • thanks, i added it to carspace album. take a look
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,219
    Yikes! You may want to check out the Complaints section at the NHTSA.

    Here's the shortcut to your photo.

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  • thank you so much! i submitted a complaint...thanks for your help.
  • Thanks Steve, Being a GM employee of 28+ years you think I would learn. I have went through all the channels with Customer Service with no satisfaction. My next move is to take your suggestion and contact the NHTSA. If nothing else this may prevent someone from being seriously injured. I have posted a picture in my album.">
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,219
    Your photo is even more dramatic! Pays to put a car up on a lift for inspection now and then I guess.

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  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i didnt realize what the part was until i just seen that photo. and the first thing that came out of my mouth was words i cant even type on here!! that is way worse that the explanations of it all..
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,219
    May as well just post it here too:

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

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  • You have got me there. I will download a couple of more photos so you can see how the rest of the car looks. I did look under the car and on the frame but never would have guessed this would have happened to a 2000 vehicle. I am also relatively confident the dealer was not aware of it either. He has a reputation for having good clean vehicles but I think this one got by him too.
  • What a coincidence, or is it? I also have a 2000 4DR/4WD Tracker with a rusted crossmember. Just had an estimate done at a local dealer yesterday and it will be $800 plus to repair. They also said that it is not a part that would have been covered under any warranties. I just got finished filing a complaint on the NHTSA web site and upon reading further on that site found where there is an investigation still open on this subject. Per the original investigation GM says that they have data showing that crossmembers that fail in this manner DO NOT cause a loss of vehicle control and is NOT a risk to motor vehicle safety. Well, I am just glad I was not travelling at 65-70 miles per hour on the highway when mine went! I guess at this point we just have to grin and bear it and spend the money to have them fixed, but if the engineering analysis that is still being conducted proves anything I will be going after a full refund of my money.
  • jredderjredder Posts: 11
    thank you for that. i also filed a complaint with nhtsa a couple of weeks ago. i'm glad to know there is an investigation. i can't believe gm would suggest vehicle safty would not be an issue here. unbelievable! obviously they never drove a car with a rusted crossmember. then had to spend $900 to get it fixed when it wasn't even supposed to happen in the first place! if you find out anything more let me know please. thanks
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    are these problems only with 2000 models? i wonder what changed?

    chris
  • No, per the NHTSA defects investigation report it pertains to 1999 to 2001 Chevy Trackers and the crossmembers were designed and made by Suzuki. It says that there was insufficient corrosion protection, and that in March of 2006 they made design changes to enhance the coverage of paint to the inside of the part.
  • I have also ran across a Mitsubishi owner with a very similar defect. The official reason was the stamping process that forms the cross-member resulted in a thinner cross section in the area of the mounting bracket. It would be interesting to see if they used the same vendor. I think it would be beneficial if everyone who has been affected by this defect to contact the same GM customer service rep. The body of evidence should encourage them to address this issue before someone is injured. I would gladly share the name and number of the rep I contacted but I want to be sure the host for this post deemed it appropriate.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    march 2006 they made a design change? was the tracker made that year?

    chris
  • I do think it would be a good idea for all of us to band together and contact the same GM representative. The Chevy dealer I went to told me I should refer to my service manual and get the GM National Service Center number and give them my complaint. I was planning on doing that this week. I do not currently have the number with me ,but will post it later this week. I also went on the NHTSA site again to see if there have been any new complaints and have found a few new ones. I also checked and the investigation is still open.
  • If you would like to contact the GM Customer Service Specialist call 1-800-790-5600 extension 12054. We have been waiting for the front cross-member part for over a week. When I asked the local Chevy Dealership to look-up the part for me he said that it looked like they had a hold on the shipment of that part. Does that raise and red flags?
  • Hopefully, the parts are not still bad!! That would be a shame if a bunch of people have had their cars repaired and the part is still faulty. Maybe it means that they are going to finally do a recall, but I'll wait until I actually see it to believe it. Did you call this customer service number? I will call it today and see what they have to say....
  • I believe the cross-members that they had were probably by a specific vendor manufactured and stocked a while back. By the time it came to their attention, (which appears to be just recently)there were several in the loop and they have yet to purge the defective ones. I have called the Customer Service Rep and they refused to replace the part. The reason they gave me was the lack of vehicle history. I also contacted the previous owners who live locally and they said that they never had any major repair issues with the Tracker only routine maintenance. Would that account for the lack of vehicle history? I think as of now they (GM) have been in a state of denial. But hopefully that will change.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i was just wondering something. does the age of the trackers with this problem cause chevy to not have to replace the parts? is there a legal limit in time that chevy doesnt have to replace these parts if they are past a certain age? is there a limit on recalls? i mean if a car from the 90's was found to have a bad part would they recall it 16-17 years later? or would they just think there wasnt enough out there anymore? the problem was with 99 thur 01 models right?
  • It is my understanding that 1999 - 2001 is the affected models. I have a couple of friends who have the older Geo Tracker and their under-frame is in good shape. I am sure if the car had over 100,000 miles or was 10 years old that might be an issue. I gave Customer Service all the details on my Tracker e.g. 78,000 miles, I am sure if that gave them an out they would have stated so. If the sheet metal was rusting and the bushings were worn that would be another thing. But my Tracker is in otherwise very good condition. You would never guess that the frame was in that bad a shape.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,219
    I found this at the NHTSA:

    "Are There Any Limitations on My Right to Have My Vehicle Remedied at No Charge?

    Yes. There is a limitation based on the age of the vehicle. In order to be eligible for free remedy, the vehicle cannot be more than 10 years old on the date the defect or non-compliance is determined. Under the law, the age of the vehicle is calculated from the date of sale to the first purchaser."

    Full text can be found at the Motor Vehicle Defects and Recall Campaigns page.

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  • Excellent piece of research! I was contacted by the GM Customer Service Rep today. She just wanted to acknowledge that she had received my e-mail. I gave her some of the info that we had gathered and informed her of the complaints that have been filed. My part (cross-member) finally arrived today. The mechanic that found the part for me said that the local dealership told him they still could not get the part. The new part has drain holes to relieve any moisture that may settle in the recesses. I am going to keep a very close eye on it to be sure.
  • I found this very interesting. For those who have not seen the official defect summary per GM submission to NHTSA
    I take issue with the statement, "GM provided vehicle test data showing that crossmembers that fail in this manner do not cause a loss of vehicle control and, therefore do not represent an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety".
    To NHTSA's credit they have upgraded the investigation to an engineering analysis. Just moments before my control arm separated I was on a very crooked highway (Indiana 446) at 55 mph. I am convinced.
  • thewolfethewolfe Posts: 6
    Well, I just had my crossmember replaced last week by my personal mechanic instead of a local dealership and at least saved some money. I actually drove it the couple of miles to my mechanics (with my boyfriend following) and if I got over 35 mph the car shook violently (I can only imagine what it would have been like if I had been going 65 mph when it went)! I kept my receipts for the part, installation and alignment and kept the part for proof if a recall is ever issued. My mechanic was just utterly amazed at the rust and what other parts could be affected along with the crossmember and cannot believe this could not be a driving hazard. I just hope that no lives are harmed due to this defect before GM decides to do something about the problem!
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