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Hello, I actually just got off of the phone with an incredibly nice customer service agent at GM by the name of Rosalyn. Unfortunately, as expected, she was able to do absolutely nothing for my completely trashed transmission on my 2008 Saturn Outlook.
We started experiencing our first concerns on Thanksgiving day when we were accelerating from a stop light. At right around the 30-40 MPH mark our Outlook revved up incredibly high. It eventually shifted into gear and seemed to run fine at higher speeds. It continued to do the same thing the rest of the weekend, so I decided to see if possibly we just needed to have a transmission flush. I brought it to our local shop and they said they would give it a flush, but did not suspect that was the problem. Instead, she ran a few diagnostic tests, topped off the fluid and suggested we see if that helped any.
The vehicle ran great for a full week after my visit to the shop. Relieved, I thought we must have just been running a little low on fluid and all was good. Well, a week to the day following our shop visit, our Outlook suffered the same symptoms only this time they were much more severe and my husband was barely able to get the vehicle home.
We called OnStar to see if they read any codes and they said it was reading a code with the transmission that hadn't been showing up the time before. So, we knew that this was not looking good. Having done some research and found all of these various forums online, I was nervous and prepared to hear the worse.
Sure enough...yesterday we received the call that so many of you have received that our Saturn Outlook with 72,000 miles needed a completely rebuilt transmission to the tune of at least $3,400! Merry Christmas to us!
I was leery about even calling GM after reading all of the posts and limited successes of everyone else...but felt that if/when I make my formal complaints to the powers that be and make this story known to ANY AND ALL THAT WILL LISTEN, I thought it best that I give them a fair chance to do the right thing. I spoke to an incredibly pleasant customer service agent by the name of Rosalyn that made it very clear that she was aware of the ongoing issues that they have had with the transmissions on these vehicles. Clearly, I was not the first customer that she had spoken to with this problem. She advised that if I wanted GM to give any consideration in looking at the vehicle, that I would need to move it from the shop where it is located to an authorized GM Dealer. I explained that the local dealer in town has not been able to figure out why the traction control light comes on at random times for the past two years...and didn't really feel confident in their ability to handle something as critical as a transmission rebuild. Not to mention, when I first suspected I was having issues with my transmission, I called OnStar and was told that I no longer had any warranty coverage and so GM would not assist with anything involving the repairs of my car. Therefore, I researched and found the most reputable, reasonable priced shop in the area and chose them to fix my car. After all, I cannot afford to do this repair again...on my own dime.
Well, she proceeded to tell me that GM would be willing to consider taking a look at the issue if I would have the vehicle moved to a GM approved dealership. I wanted to make sure I was understanding her correctly, so I asked...."Are you telling me that you would like for me to have the shop I am working at stop working on my vehicle, request that it be moved to a GM approved facility and than you will CONSIDER whether or not you MIGHT help pay for some of the expense of the repairs?" She replied yes. I said, so what about the expenses I have incurred at the shop where I am at right now....those are my responsibility. I said, so are you saying you will for sure pay for the repairs if I move the vehicle...nope! Oh, but you want me to bag up all of the parts and move it....pay for the tow and the repairs already done at the current shop...and quite possibly the additional repairs at the dealership (which we know will be at a higher rate and not nearly as good as where I am at)...just so you can have your guy look at it? Yes, she said.
I reminded her that this is an issue that GM is FULLY aware of and has had a history of knowing about for several years now. She said yes...she knows and has received many calls about it herself. I pointed out that the shop that is currently doing the repairs on my vehicle said he can list six Saturns he has done rebuilds on alone...all with low miles...one as low as 36,000. Yet, GM has not issued a recall and will not agree to pay for my repairs. Yep!
She readily admitted that she felt awful and wishes she could tell me something different. I felt bad for her really. Here she is forced to answer calls and represent a company that is reprehensible. Knowingly allowing families out on the roads with a vehicle that is unsafe and can break down at any given moment....but does nothing about it! And even when they are told that there is a problem and are simply asked to make it right...they don't stand behind the product they made!
We wonder why our economy is suffering?
Well, I can tell you this...I realize I am out the $3,400 and GM is not going help me. But, guess what? I am also out of a vehicle for several days and unable to work. So you know what that gives me....plenty of time to make this story VERY WELL KNOWN to anyone that will listen! I am going to send this information to every news station I know of! I am going to send it off to every local news station and when I am done with that I am going to pop it off to some of our National stations. This is ridiculous!! We are talking about thousands of customers losing THOUSANDS of dollars every year and a company that is willing to do nothing about it! Yet, they are fully aware that they have a faulty product on the roads!! This is wrong and I am going to make sure that it is brought to the publics attention. I realize it will do nothing for me. But, maybe it will help another family down the road. Maybe another family won't be screwed next year at Christmas and have to tell their kids...."Sorry, but this year mom and dad had to buy a new transmission for their 'good' car...so I guess you will have to be happy with just a couple of DVD's and those bags of mini Starbursts you had on your list!"
I wish the rest of you the best of luck. Be safe...and Happy Holidays to all!
I don't know if any of the rest of you have the time....but I am sending my concerns to local and national news stations. I have already sent it to my local ABC news affiliate in Minneapolis. I also sent it to Brian Ross at ABC New and to NBC News in NYC. At some point GM needs to take responsibility for selling a shoddy product. I can accept that sometimes products don't turn out as we had expected...but when you realize that there was something wrong...let the people know and make it right! Simple as that! And if they don't want to do a blanket recall and would rather just take their chances that not ALL of the 2007 and 2008 transmissions are going to break down...fine...don't send out a recall. But make it right for those that do! I'm not asking to gain anything from this. I just want my flipping car to be fixed and feel like I am driving a safe and reliable vehicle. I don't think that is too much to ask for the price we paid for this car.
This is my last post for the evening...but I have been doing more research on this matter and have come to made a decision....After reading page after page after page of frustrating posts, I am convinced that GM is not going to jump in and offer any of us any help for a problem they clearly are aware of and recognize to be a manufacturing defect. It is obvious that they know that this is more than just an occasional misfortune, yet they are unwilling to accept their responsibility in the matter. As such, I feel that I have no other choice but to proceed with looking into legal action. Before I take this step, I am going to offer one final opportunity for GM to make matters right. I will be sending them a certified letter and will be cc'ing the National Transportation Safety Board on this letter. I feel that we need to make sure that we are being heard. This is a serious matter.
I can't speak for all of you...but I suspect that most owners of a Saturn Outlook are hard-working people that aren't flashy looking for a handout. We go to work every day and are just trying to get by paying our bills and raising our families. Owners of Saturns are not generally folks that are rolling in cash that have a spare $4,000 laying around just waiting to blow on a transmission rebuild. For me, this transmission rebuild has completely meant changing what I can do for my children for Christmas. It has meant physically getting sick with stress of trying to figure out how I am going to pay for it. It means not paying several other bills this month because I need to pay to get my car fixed so that I can go to work next week. It means having to figure out how I can muster up some extra cash so that my kids can stay in hockey this season and I can pay for the violin rental bill that is coming due next week. This repair is devastating! Do I sound dramatic? Well good....because this is....it is dramatically tragic! It is awful and something that we certainly didn't plan for when we bought this vehicle that we will still be paying on for another three years!
So, while maybe the financial burden isn't so hard-pressed for some of you as it has been on us. I hope for most of you that it isn't. But, regardless of your financial situation...I don't believe that any vehicle with less than 100,000 miles should require a completely rebuilt transmission. That is wrong! And I think that any company that would choose to dismiss its customers and allow them to take the brunt of the financial responsibility of their shoddy workmanship should be called out for it. So, no matter how these repairs have impacted your bottom line, I ask that you not just lay down and take it. I'm going to demand that they hear me and do the right thing. If they choose to not listen...than I will speak louder. They might not answer right away...but I assure you...they are going to hear me!! And I am going to keep talking and keep telling people what they are doing until they make this right!
So, tonight I will be sending one final letter to GM asking that they please reconsider their stand on paying for the repairs of my vehicle. I am going to send the National Transportation Safety Board the same copy of this letter. I will give them until 1/1/14 to respond. If I do not have a response from that time, I will be taking the formal steps to move forward with a class action lawsuit. There are over 40 pages of people dealing with the same issues I am having on this site alone. I have found multiple sites with the exact same conversations happening there too. I will let all of the people on each of the other threads know what my intents are there as well.
I hope that others will follow my lead and start doing more than just griping on a website. As one we are quiet....as many...we are mighty!!!
To file a complaint with the Vehicle Safety Committee you can follow below link...
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