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Electrical Problems with Pontiac---$14K paperweight

wleigh1wleigh1 Member Posts: 1
I loved my Grand Am. Until 3 weeks ago when it broke down on the freeway. I had it towed to the shop. - No problem found - the Bill = $680.00 with towing.
Under warranty, but because there was nothing 'wrong' with it when the dealer looked at it, it came out of my pocket.
9 days later...(24 hours out of the shop) at 2:30 in the morning ( I am a waitress) died again...Again, on the freeway....This time, tow truck driver felt sorry for me and didnt charge me. I gave him $30. The dealer said " there's nothing wrong with your car".
Called GM. Nothing they can do.
Thurs 1/9/03 got my car out of the shop... Friday night 1/10/03 ( in Minnesota) it was -35 with the windchill. It died on the freeway again. All oil changes, everything on time, scheduled services. everything....Now, its in the shop again.
2 years ago when I bought the car I was making 45K. I had been unemployed for a year, working the waitress job to pay my bills, I cant qualify for anything now, $14k left to pay on this piece of crap, and GM doesnt want to deal with it....
2 years time I brought it in for
1. Electrical blinker ( 3x)
2. Headlights - change every month after 40K miles
3. Sliding sunroof doesnt move
4. Radio wires loose (2x)
5. Brake problems with ( recalled 2000)
6. Engine lights flicker (3x)
7. Radio digital display goes berserk (4x)
8. Tail lights go out every 6 months after 36K miles
9. Car stalls - regardless of time driven- on the freeway ....(3x)
Total out of my pocket = $5220.00 in tow fees, items that should have been in warranty but Thomas Pontiac charged me because they couldnt find a problem
10. Cost of my sanity - working 3 jobs plus school - Priceless.
The first time your car has an electrical problem....SELL IT ---- FAsT!!!!


  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    I find it a shame that the dealer would charge you because they couldn't duplicate the problem.That's a lot of money to dish out for something that's under warranty.Your car definitely smells like a lemon.Most of your problems seem to be related to the electrical system.I would consult an attorney if I were you.Good Luck
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    ever notice how these are never listed on the web sites? they should be in the back of the owners manual. the minneapolis white pages says the pontiac zone office is in bloomington, 952-831-0399 local, national customer services at 800-762-2737.

    generally, whatever make you have, the chances are excellent that there is a zone office in the largest "big sports" city to you for that brand. check a white pages or for that city to find 'em.

    get your papers ready for copying and reference... call these guys, say you have a serious customer satisfaction problem, and would like to explore reimbursement for unwarranted personal expenses due to dealer inability to fix warranty items. don't make a scene, just tell 'em what is underway, that you can't afford to be sucked dry by issues the dealer can't or won't fix and charges you for as a "bonus", and that you are going to give them a chance to try and make up for the bad run you have gotten from your dealer. also ask 'em for a referral to another pontiac service department that is current on their training.

    don't say you're gonna tell the world how this is going down, work with 'em.

    maybe they'll own up to owing you some satisfaction and help you get it. you could even get some of the bogus charges for non-repair reimbursed by a GM check.

    but... don't let go of any of your original paperwork, and keep good notes. you may need 'em if you get nowhere and have to find an attorney to get you out of this machine with some cash to get into something else.

    good luck, sounds like it's been a bad run lately. a bad tech with no clue and not enough guts to look in the book or ask for help can make electrical matters worse with bonehead handling and misguided tests. I would run with that possibility, that the car is salvageable and Pontiac can be the good guys, until/unless you get information that you are on your own, and please don't call any more, from the zone office.
  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    I cannot believe they charged you $680 for doing nothing!!!! Talking about brass @#$&*!
  • cutehumorcutehumor Member Posts: 137
    is it a 98? 00? how many miles are on this car? more info please; I'm not sure about electrical warranties, but I know 5 yr 60k miles for drivetrain. 3 yr/36k miles for entire car.

    P.S you should have never paid a dime if under warranty.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    assuming all the shop trips are not "problem not found." I know what job Helen Keller would have if she were alive today, intake maintenance technician, verifying the complaint and putting the car in the right line :(

    but it pays better than refereeing, doesn't it?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    than we've been told. Nobody can saddle you with a $600 bill without your permission and/or approval.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    but there are so many permutations of the possible, some of which do clearly encapsulate fraud and/or inadequacy to the task in all its forms, that I'd like to see the history.

    regardless, a car shouldn't die twice in a week from the same thing that isn't being fixed, and assuming friend poster is correct about that, I can believe a revolving-door dealer ham-handing through the vehicle every time he has a boat payment to make can set up a case like this. I can also believe a dogmobile with tons of hidden faults that don't diagnose, you get them once in a while.

    personally don't know anybody who has driven a thomas vehicle, not my side of town, so don't know what their rep is. I've had great luck with my dealer, Tousley Ford, over 14 years, but there are people who spit and make the sign of the cross when you mention them. there is some of that with every business. the kibutzing business here is kinda dependent on the raw material thrown to us wild things....
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I'd like to look at the whole picture.

    Consumers get too emotional about a subject to relate it correctly and there are/were many things said and done that we don't know about.

    All but the worst shops know they'll get called on an over-billing situation - I personally never exceeded an estimate, just because I made a promise to the customer. Some guys "push the envelope" because they feel if they get within 10 or 20% of an estimate that's good enough.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    and they worked with me on it when I called 'em on it. it was only a $100 factor in a $800 repair, but darn it, if they could call me twice, they coulda called me three times.

    "we can't fix it and you owe us $800 anyway" kind of stuff hits my buttons, I will admit that.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    I can also believe a $79.95 alarm system and somebody putting it in between football games could have something to do with many of the electrical issues mentioned in the first post, as well. in which case neither Pontiac nor the dealer may be able to get much done without pulling the aftermarket dingus off the car.

    be interesting to see if there is a satisfactorily resolution to this one....
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    someone's warranty coverage for that very issue, or another aftermarket item interference issue. That's just the way it is, but there's always recourse.

    If there's an alarm or remote start at the root of the program, shove it down the throat of the shop that installed the component. If your cousin Jed installed it, though....
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    shiny metal and all... even got it to stay right side up with enough duct tape around the edges, and the chunk of coathanger held it on the rod thingie OK.. .and you want to kill my warranty?

    heck of a note, put it back in the lawn mower, then.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    If you want to hear some, I'll pass them on.

    On about 20%, I had to call law enforcement. Somehow, there's a direct relationship between abusing your car and being violent towards people.
This discussion has been closed.