By on June 28, 2014

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Meet Angela. TTAC, Angela. Angela, TTAC.

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Angela is a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, a bright young woman, and a hell of a bartender. She’s been working full time and going to school full time for the last several years, and she’s been relying on her 2008 Chevy Malibu to get her back and forth between school and work.

However, a little over a month ago, she started to notice a serious problem. I think it’s best if I let her tell it in her own words:

I noticed that my steering wheel/power steering was acting up. At first, it was hard to turn make tight turns (like when parking). It then escalated into “jerking” while driving, ever so slightly. It almost felt like the alignment was off…way off. Eventually, the problem started getting worse. When I would drive at rates of speed higher than 65 mph, the jerking would occur more frequently. At times, it would almost carry the vehicle into another lane. SCARY! For some reason or another, when the weather is either really cold or really hot, the power steering warning will display on the dash info center when I start the vehicle. The wheel would also randomly shake from left to right when I was not touching it all. It was like the exorcist had taken over at a stop light.

To be honest, I thought the problem was just my power steering fluid was low—or my car was slowly falling apart. I took it to a local Firestone to check it out. 20 minutes after I dropped the car off, I got a phone call from Firestone, explaining that they had never seen the problem before and had to do research on the situation. After doing research, they discovered that there was a massive recall and advised me to take the car to the dealership immediately to get the problem fixed.

Let me stop right there. I have received several recalls for my 2008 Chevy Malibu over the past year or two. None of the recalls regarded this matter. NONE! They were all for either the ignition switch or the gear shift not displaying the correct gear—which, by the way, had never been a problem with my vehicle at all.

I called a local Chevy dealer, Carl Black Chevy, and spoke with the service advisor. She ran my VIN and told confirmed that yes, my car was one of the models recalled for the power steering issues. I asked her to set up an appointment to get the problem fixed, at which point she explained that they were waiting on the shipment of replacement parts. I asked if I could take it to another dealer and was told no, because no one has the parts. Excuse me? She said that GM has not released the parts to dealerships yet. Listen, I realize that I may be “car illiterate,” but that sounded shady. I called another dealer and went the through exactly the same conversation with Freeland Chevy in Nashville.

My blood was boiling at this point. I went home and did research on the situation myself. I found that the recall happened in March and it was now June. Fed up, I decided to call GM directly. The customer service rep I spoke with in the recall department told me that GM has ordered X amount of replacement parts, but they have not been released yet. Also, they are unable to pinpoint when the parts will be released or be shipped to dealerships.

When I asked the man what they are doing to solve the problem, he answered my question by asking, “What would you like GM to do for you?” Clearly, I just want my car to be fixed! It is dangerous to drive it and it seems as if GM just doesn’t care that millions of cars are driving around like a ticking time bomb.

I called back a few days later to see if I could get any more information. The story hadn’t changed. When I asked why GM was comfortable with allowing their loyal customers to be unsafe in their products, the gentleman offered to give me a loaner vehicle. I thought this was a great offer, and was told that the service manager from the dealership closest to me would contact me about setting a time to drop my car off and get the loaner. Guess what…I never got that call.

So here I am today, with a vehicle that clearly has issues. I literally am taking a huge risk every time I get in it. The wheel shakes and jerks when I drive. Half the time, I look like a drunk driver weaving along the interstate. I’m sure GM will fix it, but who knows when this will happen? Also, to this day, I still have not received a recall notice in the mail on the power steering issue.

Seems like the New GM is still operating much like the Old GM. If you were Angela, what would you do?

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102 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Something less than a Total Recall...”


  • avatar
    dkleinh

    If I were her, I would’ve told the GM representative that what I would expect him to do was to offer me a loaner car until my now obviously dangerous vehicle could be repaired. After all, I don’t think it would be in GM’s interest to have another accident/injury/death due to a recall issue.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      GM did offer her a loaner vehicle. The dealership screwed up and never called her to arrange the loaner.

      • 0 avatar
        SomeGuy

        Correct.

        A guy I know had a Cobalt LS with his car having the exact ignition symptoms that have been on the news. He got a free loaner for several weeks.

        For my 07 Sky, I’m just told to wait 6 weeks and the parts will arrive.

        All she needs to do is press GM or the dealer for a loaner and she will get one.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It almost begs the question of when a company has an obligation to buy the vehicle back. For those of you who work in the industry what is a reasonable amount of time to get parts out to dealers? Should she be given a rental like some who have the ignition issue have been?

    FWIW my secretary had a Cobalt with the ignition recall and she was given a rental for roughly 2 months while the GM dealer waited for parts. Ironically the rental was a fairly new Ford Focus sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      She should get priority over the switch recall and be put in a loaner immediately. The sloppy switch is a theoretical danger; if you don’t bump it with your knee or have a heavy key ring you may never have a problem. Angela’s Malibu is actively trying to kill her NOW by pulling the car out of control.

      It’s amazing to behold GM’s lack of any sense of urgency about the issue. Perhaps the local TV station might be interested in doing a feature. Any chance she has a congressperson on a transportation committee?

      • 0 avatar
        koshchei

        I’m not sure that it’s an actual lack of urgency — they’re probably going through regression and QA testing. It’s that GM isn’t being transparent with the customer that gives the perception that they’re sitting in a cargo container somewhere waiting for an excessively paid executive who’s never driven or even seen a GM car to get in from the golf green.

        Of course, they may be in a container somewhere while an excessively paid executive plays golf while GM burns.

      • 0 avatar
        Chris FOM

        Exactly this. There’s a surprising;y similar situation with BMW at the moment. The bolts holding the VANOS system (which is BMW’s implementation of variable valve timing) on one of their engines are faulty and can shake loose, which could be catastrophic, to say the least. BMW’s also having trouble sourcing enough replacement bolts in a timely fashion. The difference is, I got a letter from BMW explaining the exact situation and what to look for indicating the bolts are failing along with instruction to take it immediately to the dealer if it does show up. They’ve got enough bolts to replace them on an as-needed basis, just not enough to do the preventative recall.

        • 0 avatar
          beanbear

          We just got a recall notice for the rear vent window switch on our ’13 T&C, and I thought it was responsibly done: described the issue, what can be done to avoid it, part availability (none yet), stop-gap fix (have dealer disconnect the switch).

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The short answer is ASAP. The long answer is when the replacement parts are certified and ready. Sometimes waits are short, and sometimes long. The main thing is to make sure they’re right before release, and take care of any affected customers with safety related issues with loaner cars until the parts are ready.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Probably call customer service tomake sure the dealership is doing there part. Just document everything along the way.

    I really find it interesting that a non-.GM dealership saying they won’t work on a car, not saying what is wrong, because is recalled. Sounds fishy to the original letter has been doctored for this article.

  • avatar
    Rday

    I think Firestone did not want to fix Chevy’s problems. Seems like good sense to me to refer the lady back to GM. It was a recall problem and GM needed to fix it.
    I had all kinds of problems with Gm and thank God I no longer have any dealings with them. If you like hassles, GM is the brand car to buy.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    When you try repeatedly to solve the problem at the lower levels and fail, then you write the CEO. Send a letter to Ms. Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company, 3000 Renaissance Center, Detroit MI 48265-3000. Also send a copy of the letter to the Chairman, Tim Solso, at the same address. You may also want to send a copy to Sen Bob Corker, TN.

    When I’ve done this in the past, the problem was resolved promptly with a follow-up call from that executive’s personal assistant.

  • avatar
    Jason

    “If you were Angela, what would you do?”

    Not own anything with GM’s fingerprints in it, ever, ever again. My first GM car was also my last.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      This. I love reading people trying to rationalize not learning from experience as being a virtue or a badge of elevated intellect.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. K

      Gee, just like a certain car with a cowboy hat on the front?
      With globalization parts come from all over and the assemblers are not manufacturers anymore in the sense that they were years ago.

      Just about every brand uses outside parts, and they are just like us, customers not manufacturers.

      ‘Purest’? MBz, Porsche. With new ownership i expect Porsche to have loads of(more of) VW/Audi/Bugatti stuff in the years to come.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      I’m 100% with you. I owned one and never again. Even the much-maligned VAG makes better cars as far as I’ve encountered.

      It is way too dangerous, she should not drive it. If she’s lucky, they’ll give her something from just about any other brand and she might realize that a relationship with a GM car is almost always an abusive one.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I can’t speak for the experience of others, but I think you’re going a little too far with that analogy. Twenty-two million cars were recalled in 2013 alone, the top three being:

        Toyota, 15 recalls, 5.3 million vehicles
        Chrysler, 36 recalls, 4.7 million vehicles
        Honda, 15 recalls, 2.8 million vehicles

        Essentially, much of what the industry has been producing since probably 2008 has been subject to problems. The problems are deeper than GM and their obvious internal issues.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/automobiles/safety-agency-says-22-million-vehicles-recalled-in-2013.html?_r=0

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          It depends what they’re being recalled for. Faulty ignition and steering mechanisms trump airbag labels and spare tire jacks every time.

          For example.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s true, and there have been somewhat less serious recalls in the past. The threshold of what “makes a recall” is not covered in the NYT article, but I imagine its something along the lines of an item in the design or manufacturing process was faulty in some way. The fact twenty-two million cars were recalled suggests recalls are industry wide problem at the moment, not just endemic of GM and its numerous issues. This part of the article is particularly telling:

            “Toyota’s tally included about 780,000 vehicles that were first recalled in 2012 for a suspension problem. The automaker had to recall those vehicles again in 2013 because the first repair was not effective in all cases.”

            I’m not sure what the edge cases were, but it sounds like they had to go through at least two different designs before nailing it on the third try. I am quite surprised by this, especially from Toyota. How serious people may consider this problem over say the GM Delta platform ignition switch issue, I cannot say.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I think the increasing number of recalls is a combination of more parts sharing among models and even manufacturers, and things like big data allowing trends to more easily seen, a 24hr cable news cycle always looking for a story, and increased Government scrutiny. Everyone seems to be on a hairtrigger to recall these days compared to in the past. Cars are WAY better than they have ever been before.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    If you want to keep the car, then keep bugging them for a loaner until they get you some wheels.

    I was about to suggest dumping it at Carmax, but that isn’t the moral high ground. Somebody could DIE. At least you have the knowledge that the car isn’t safe.

    At this point do what it takes to get the dealership to fix it and keep yourself alive, even if that means taking the bus until they get the loaner issue fixed. THEN dump the car.

    Just make sure your loaner isn’t a Cruze.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    1. go to dealer. get dealer service manager to talk to gm: get loaner.
    2. get car back from dealer, fixed.
    3. pay off loan.
    4. graduate.
    5. buy house.
    6. sell gm car
    7. buy toyota.
    8. go to toyota dealer to get recalls done. (no need to talk to corporate)
    9. get married
    10.have kid
    12.get divorced
    13.sell toyota
    14.buy google car
    15.tell google car to drive itself (and back) to repair shop to fulfill directional stabilizer safety recall.
    16. send instructions for google car to pick up grand kids from day care on the way back from googaplesoft dealer

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Take the loaner and wait for the car to get fixed when the parts arrive.

    Let me give you the perspective from the “inside”. No, I’m not inside GM, but have been and am involved with such matters at other automakers.

    First of all, if Angela hasn’t been getting her recall notices, she needs to make sure that her name and address are correctly associated with the VIN in GM’s database. If she’s been in contact with them, this should be done now. Automakers do what they can to keep track of who has their vehicles, but it’s not an easy task and some customers get missed.

    Secondly, parts release issues for recalls are a problem these days. Any automaker will run into these issues because of regulations surrounding recalls requiring automakers to issue a notice of recall when the issue is identified rather than when they’re ready to actually service the vehicles. Design changes need to be implemented to the parts, suppliers set up to make the parts, and then the parts actually made and delivered once they themselves are certified to be released. Most customers don’t understand how the sausage is made, and most don’t care. They just want their car fixed immediately. I get that, but when someone complains to me directly about these situations, I try to help them understand that these things take time and we certainly don’t want to rush MORE parts into vehicles without making sure they’re correct and safe.

    So I hope that Angela can at understand *why* recall repairs can’t happen right away and that GM isn’t holding the parts out of contempt for her.

    Regarding poor service from the dealer, that’s unacceptable. Stay in contact with customer service and they’ll lean on the dealer to at least remain in contact with you and get you into a loaner until your car can be fixed. If customer service isn’t working to your satisfaction, escalate. If you need to, write a letter addressed to Ms. Barra. She might not read it, but these letters do get special attention.

    • 0 avatar

      Always reasonable and knowledgeable. Amazing how some just love making the snarky comments that hold no water in the real world. Also Americans are too pampered. Try getting a loaner from car makers in other countries because your car was affected by a recall.

    • 0 avatar
      namesakeone

      I doubt that her name and address are in the system incorrectly (unless Angela recently moved); she did get her prior recall notices. Otherwise, I think you’re right. Unfortunately, repair parts for a power steering pump or something similar–let alone an entirely NEW pump–are a lot more difficult to design, engineer, produce, test, and distribute than, say, a warning label for a jack or airbag.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      This is the right answer.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Not sure what Angela’s financials look like, but it seems to me there are plenty of deals on cars that don’t try to kill you out there right now. If she can drive a stick perhaps Steve Lang will cut her a deal on that Civic he can’t unload.

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    Just call the dealer and get a loaner, for heaven’s sake. If safety is the issue, which sounds like the case here, don’t wait for someone else to call. Things fall between the cracks under the best of circumstances, and now is certainly not the best of circumstances for GM service managers.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      This. I’m not making excuses for the service manager not calling Angela back, but consider that the service manager at any given GM dealer at any given moment is probably dealing with hundreds if not thousands of panicked customers requests for recall service and loaners.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Oh My God…

    All that and glasses too…

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Let’s see. Your car is unsafe to drive, no one at GM ever informed you of such, there are no replacement parts available….*and* there’s no telling when the parts will be available.

    The dealer needs to stop fooling around and put you in a loaner ASAP, and allow you to still store your own car at home or wherever until the parts are available (instead of having it sit at the back of a lot for a month, where it’s likely to be abused by a bored dealership employee). And if you had to pay labor fees for the Firestone inspection, you need to be reimbursed for those too…you know, since you had *no* idea and all.

    Do not wait for someone to be reminded of you and give you a follow-up call about the loaner. People never remember your business—or safety—as much as you yourself do. Call your service advisor *today* and get this taken care of.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      No one at a GM dealership is bored at the moment except for that sales guy that wrote to Jack. No self respecting porter is going to go out of his way to hoon a 4 banger Malibu. Just leave the car at the dealer so it has the best chance of being fixed asap so life can go on.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    I feel sorry for her. but she knowingly bought a 2008 GM car. I’m not sure if she bought it new or used, but when she bought it it was known that GM went bankrupt because of shitty cars. Even someone who is not a car gal heard about bankruptcy.

    so she knowingly bought a car from a company known for bad cars. Maybe she got a deal, or thought it attractive otherwise and overlooked the quality. the same with people who bought yugos, they knew they are crap, but the low price made them attractive anyway.

    So now she is “surprised” that the shitty car she bought, actually breaks. and that the company (that went bankrupt because apparently enough costumers were dissatisfied) isn’t acting properly. This is as if i would buy a Saab because it is $10K off, but later complain that there is no dealer network anymore. it was all known for people that have internet (and proves again, being literate clearly gives you an advantage).

    Again, I feel sorry for her, but someone who buys a GM had it coming.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      The 2008 Malibu came out in fall of 2007, almost two years before GM went bankrupt. All the car magazines hailed this Malibu as a giant leap forward from the ’04-’07 Malibu and declared it a legitimate competitor for the Camry/Accord/Altima. Even Consumer Reports liked it. So I guess Angela’s great failings were trusting “expert” reviewers, and not being clairvoyant enough to foresee the financial events of summer 2009 a year or two in advance.

      Don’t you think you’re being a little unfair?

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        I think bankruptcy was known way before that. Don’t you remember GM deathwatch? That may have started in 2007.

        anyway, the car had “chevrolet” written all over, and that was an indication it wouldn’t hold up in the long run :)

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu wasn’t a bad car. It’s narrower than some of the competition which hurts interior room and the interior looks a little cheap, but it’s a pretty sensible car choice if she bought it used for a good price.

      GM needs to either fix her car now or provide a loaner. Not sure what’s wrong with the power steering, but it doesn’t sound safe to drive. Would be nice to know the root cause of her problem and how the new parts correct the steering problems.

  • avatar
    Lee

    I’d be parking and insisting they come up with a service loaner or rental. Or get prepared for a lawsuit when it fails completely and kills someone.

  • avatar
    omer333

    Pardon my language, but fuck me running.

    For the life of me, I can’t see why anyone would even think of getting a car from GM at this point.

    Angela, for your safety and the safety of others, I hope you take the bus.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I’ve had this same issue several times with Chevorlet and Audi, recall but no parts to fix it. I suspect it’s common thruout industry. Fortuantly for me none of those recalls/tsb made the car dangerous. A loaner would solve her problems and maybe have her consider a new Chevrolet. Except they always put me in a pos Cobalt unlike Audi who gave me A4 and A6 when all I had was the lowly A3. Instead they dropped the ball.

    • 0 avatar

      My Mother in law had a similar issue, she had one of the first v6 rav4′s in the US ( ordered a few months before the first batch was shipped) A few weeks into owning it a sensor went belly up in the ABS system. It took them 3 months to get a new one. At first they said it would be fine to drive, than they decided it wasn’t and gave her an Avalon loaner. I thought the Avalon was a nice car but as I recall she was annoyed getting a sedan when she owned a CUV.

  • avatar
    modelt1918

    Hey General Motors…This is why I haven’t bought one of your cars since 1972. TotaI junk and no help from the dealer. Tried Ford next, junk also! I bought a japanese car and I have never bought anything else since. See the new GM, same as the old GM. Learn your lesson America.

    • 0 avatar
      Kaosaur

      In fairness to Ford though, at least they didn’t look the bailout gift-horse in the mouth and used that money to totally revitalize their brand. While they still need some help on interiors, they seem to be making proper cars again. We may be a generation or two away from being able to equate with a Honda or Toyota. Heck, if you’re looking at the utility vehicle/van side of things, they’re a pretty great competitor to Mercedes right now.

      Whether things will stay that way, on the other hand…

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Reality is that automakers work very much on a “just in time” basis today other than a tiny percentage of extra for repair parts, parts are only made as the cars are made. Especially when a recall happens and suddenly you need 200K of parts for a car that isn’t even being made anymore. So they need to tool up for the fixed part, then produce the fixed part, then test the fixed part, then get the part to the dealers, then they have to get the cars into the service bays to actually fix them. This is simply not a quick process, it does not happen by waving magic wands around. And as Danio said, today they can’t wait until they are ready to announce the recall.

    Obviously, the dealer screwed up, it happens. Go get the loaner and relax.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I would follow up and get the loaner. If a loaner isn’t available immediately, GM should pay for a rental.

    It’s annoying that she has to be that persistent to get something that the dealer should accommodate as a matter of course, but what else can she do? Does anyway really think selling a car that can’t steer straight is a reasonable solution? My guess is buying a second car to use until the Malibu is fixed and salable is in the financial cards either.

    To me, the troubling part of this story is the initial response from GM customer service the communication between dealer and GM customer service once a loaner was finally offered. Ideally a dealer and corporate have an efficient working relationship to make customers happy. Failing that, the bad dealers should have a healthy fear of the mother ship. It doesn’t sound like either is the case here.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Hypotethically, if I still had to use the car, I would crash it into a guardrail in the safest way possible, while still trying to make it a writeoff. Seriously, the steering isn’t working right, and they know it isn’t, it will be impossible to know if you did it on purpose (and technically it is almost in self-defense)
    Then sue them until their a**bleeds.
    (this is definitely not an actual advice, and could possibly be illegal, even if selling her the car in the first place is a worse offense)
    If you do get a loaner, make sure it’s not a GM built car…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice article, Bark.

    My sympathies Angela. I was warned in 2010 when I was buying a car to avoid MY08 and possibly MY09 Malibus due to a power steering issue GM at the time was choosing to ignore. I went with the MY08 W-body instead. In four years this August and 27K, the only non-maint item repair was… the power steering rack which broke as I drove it in 2012. Whether this is the same part or issue I am not sure. I drove a rental Malibu that July which was either an MY09 or MY10 and liked it so much I wanted one. I take a view if you like the car and it needs one major repair, that’s life you deal with it and move on. If you said to me well its needed four, then I’m more in board to dumping the car and lambasting the OEM. There are plenty of folks driving cars which have burned them a little in the ownership experience and love them despite this. Check out the Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Jaguar/VW/Volvo/Ford/Chrysler/GM/Honda/Nissan/Toyota forums if you don’t believe me.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The more I look at that Malibu, the more I like it. Its just got such a nice profile and as and added bonus actually offers room for its rear passengers.

      Additional: here is a link talking about a steering issue in an MY10 Malibu I4. Evidently there was a TSB on the electric steering module.

      http://www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5029

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “such a nice profile”

        Nailed me, too. My first thought was “sam hill izzat?” Drew a total blank on what car it could be. Google imaged it and saw it’s the generation of Malibus I really liked, particularly the rear-end treatment.

        The way I drive, I’m mostly looking at rear ends. On the road and sidewalks.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m glad we agree Kenmore. I imagine Angela is frustrated with it though. Unless there is truly a parts shortage, I imagine the dealer is either overbooked or is running into red tape with the reimbursement for the recall work, I don’t buy this parts shipment nonsense. I say call the dealer and get the part number. Then call Autozone/Napa/Advance and see if they can get the part. Assuming they can, then call the dealer and inform them of this and if the dealer doesn’t buy the part from the aftermarket, Angela is calling the local TV news/newspaper. Channel 4 in Pgh used to have segments dedicated to resolving issues viewers called in with, try the local media your story is most likely not unique. Shaming the dealer might work in this case.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        My neighbor (who is 20) got in a wreck with her 2003-05 Infiniti FX35 (sideswiped a semi on the interstate). She’d been complaining about it needing premium fuel and being a general gas hog..so I think her replacement car is a 2010-2012 Malibu LT, unless she borrowed it from someone.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It looks good except the areas around the bowtie. But the huge back doors are distractingly long. Makes no sense. Unless you’re petite and or short legged, you get a huge B-pillar blind spot just left of your face. You have to bob your head like a pigeon to look left and right.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I haven’t driven one of those since 2010, but when I did drive it I didn’t notice any visibility issues with the B-pillar, although I am 5’9. The long doors I think are what helps “make” the profile and are the result of the model being build on a LWB platform. This Epsilon I Malibu is a template of what GM should be doing with sedans, IMO. Most of their other offerings since its inception have done poorly at being sedans. One really must look no further than Epsilon II Malibu which lost the LWB and as a result has poor rear seat room. ATS, Regal, and to an extent CTS come to mind as being poor in the rear seat room department and make more sense as coupes.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s a huge back door though. Lots of rear legroom, we get it, GM. We can see that from across the parking lot. But the door exaggerates it.

            Here in this profile pic, the headrests are seen completely through the back door glass.

            pictures.dealer.com/v/vantuylautomotiveaz/1092/a7489de30a0d02b7006212ddd13b378d.jpg

            Although it must sacrifice the ease of front passengers getting in and out. I know it’s not a “problem”, but still.

  • avatar
    b787

    The fix isn’t ready yet, that’s not unusual nor shady. They should have given her a loaner though.

  • avatar

    “What would you like GM to do for you?”

    Have my local dealer send over a flatbed truck with a loaner (nothing smaller than a Malibu) to my house. Take my car back to the dealer. Call me when the recall service is completed. Return my car on the flatbed trailer and pick up the loaner.

    ” I thought this was a great offer, and was told that the service manager from the dealership closest to me would contact me about setting a time to drop my car off and get the loaner. Guess what…I never got that call.”

    I do think that Angela should have followed up with a call to that dealer’s service manager. In all likelihood, the service manager doesn’t want to schedule a drop off and loaner if he or she knows they aren’t going to get the needed parts in anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. K

      Ronnie Schreiber:
      “In all likelihood, the service manager doesn’t want to schedule a drop off and loaner if he or she knows they aren’t going to get the needed parts in anytime soon.”

      The service manager could give a Flying F about how long the ‘bu will be down IF s/he gets approval from the zone to put Angela in a rental.

      No approval = no corporate cash means the rental comes from the dealers pocket. People who give away a businesses money don’t have a long tenure in most cases – no matter what industry they are in.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Angela, you’re being too nice. Document everything, get the car fixed under recall and sell it while you can. Perhaps a GM dealer can give you a decent deal for another car. You can get quite aggressive and push them to buy it back, but I highly doubt they’ll do it on a fair basis. If GM is negligent and you can prove it by making certain you did your part 100%, you may want to consult with a third party that’s familiar with consumer protection. I wouldn’t suggest that if it was a defect that doesn’t pose a possible accident. A steering issue at highway speeds is no small deal. Push the hell out of GM and demand action.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    call 1 (800) 222-1020. tell them what happened, and ask for a loaner TODAY. Tell them either dealer stock loaners or a rental from Enterprise would be fine but you need good AC and a car that’s safe to drive.

    FWIW you could add that you have been thinksing of trading it in and you would like to try whatever from a Spark to an Impala, or even a Silverado or a Tahoe (don’t forget MPG) just no Caprices, Camaros or Vettes and likely if you ask nice and are businesslike it will happen.

    The service writer would be glad to give you anything – it’s easier to say yes then no but if the corporation ain’t paying and you give a rental out you’re (service writer) paying…

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    There’s been a lot of criticism of GM’s quality and handling of this issue, and some compliments to Ford. I’m surprised no one mentioned Ford’s recent recall of almost one million Escapes and other models that share the electric power steering. Ford announced the recall about a month ago, and so far I’ve heard of no one even getting a recall letter. My Escape had the problem last year, and ON FORD’s ADVICE, and using a steering column bought from Ford, it was fixed. Now, after agreeing to set up an appointment to bring mine in for them to look at, Ford didn’t look at it and won’t issue a refund now because the dealers don’t have diagnosis and repair documentation yet. Despite the bonus that at least my Escape won’t be in the repair queue.

    So what’s relevant to this Chev epas recall is that Ford is having an identical problem. And, it’s unfolding in exactly the same manner. I can see that Ford or GM can’t come up with hundreds of thousands of steering columns out of thin air, but Ford has cheesed me off enough with giving me the runaround for the refund (which was over $2300).

  • avatar
    turboprius

    GM fanboys still gonna bash the PowerStroke and ignore all this.

    Ah, America. Just do what everyone else has said; tow the car to the dealership and get it fixed.

  • avatar
    Terry

    Same complaints with a friend’s ’06 Tahoe. Steering twitches, loss of assist at times, etc.
    I scanned all wheel speed sensors and lo and behold…the left front was fading in and out. The left front wheel bearing was bad–no noise, just enough play to confuse the steering and ABS systems.
    Replaced wheel bearing, issue resolved.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    Just take it easy on the highway. Keep your hands firm on the wheel, 10 and 2. And keep calling GM. If this is not a suspension issue, it is unlikely the car will cross lanes on its own………Note also, the “official” target demographic for this website is “car-loving lonely 40-something males with too much time on their hands”. The “unofficial” target demographic is “car-loving lonely 40-something males with too much time on their hands, who like seeing pics of young, dimpled hotties in distress wearing delightfully anachronistic horned-rimmed glasses.”

    Nicely done, TTAC market research!!!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Hey now… wait… never mind.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’m with sketch, I thought she looked mighty fine but was actually trying to figure out the purpose of including her picture other than trying to get us to keep scrolling. ;-)

        I mean Mehta publishes our questions without pictures of us, he’s happy to get pictures of the cars.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I would follow up on the offer of a loaner car. I certainly would not wait for a call back from the local dealer. I would call immediately, give the name of the person I talked to at GM who promised a loaner car, then ask when within the next business day I could pick it up.

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    GM had an opportunity to follow up and keep a customer happy and they did not. This is a vulnerable young person that they could have kept in the GM family her whole life. I hope someone from GM sees this and jumps on it. When you make an expensive purchase like a car, oh forget it. Good luck Angela as a life long Toyota customer. Chevy lost me 1990 with similar BS.

  • avatar
    John

    Two Chevys in my life – NEVER AGAIN. Period. For as long as I live.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      I’d like to qualify my above comment: I did buy an early 90′s Buick Regal with the 3.8 liter six cylinder engine, with 70 some thousand miles on the clock, from a woman whose husband had passed away. Aside from a mildly leaking power steering pump which I replaced myself upon purchase, and mildly leaking valve cover gaskets which I never replaced as they leaked so little, the car gave me great service for four years, needing only oil and filter changes, and a set of new tires. Paid $1,800 for it, paid $200 for a NAPA rebuilt power steering pump, and at the end of four years, sold it for $2,000. But it wasn’t a Chevy.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Demand GM buy this car back and have Steve get her a good reliable late model Japanese car. I would trust Steve to stand behind what he sells.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    She’s just being legally/criminally irresponsible. It’s a wrong move to keep on driving a known “accident waiting to happen”. She needs to park it. Right now! And now it’s all documented.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I had this exact same steering problem amongst the multitude of problems I had on my 1986 Buick Riviera. 20+ years later and GM still has the same steering problems. That was the last time I set foot in a GM showroom. I see I made a wise decision

  • avatar
    CoffeeLover

    My first thought was to tell Angela to follow Dan Savage’s frequent advice: DTMFA. However, I realize that may not be financially possible. So, when possible, take the surface roads at slower speeds rather than the highway. Accept the longer times as safer times. As other posters here have detailed, keep after the highest levels of GM. Consider going even more public than TTAC (TV consumer reporter), but only you know if you want that exposure. And maybe it is possible to trade for a GM vehicle without this recall hanging over it.

  • avatar
    Hemi

    I’m the director for consumer relations at GM, have Angela give me a call and I will gladly help her out….

    Otherwise, call GM again to get a loaner and try to sell or trade in the car. Get a new or used Corolla/Camry at least they have a reliable streak in last 5 years. That car is dangerous and should not be on the road.

  • avatar
    limequat

    Ironically for all the GM bashing, the manufacturer of the parts in question -JTEKT/KOYO- is Japanese.
    I worked with one poor gentleman who was caught up in this mess. The folks back home in Japan were instructing him to give false updates on testing status. They would lie about tests, while putting resources on Toyota testing. Also parts designed for small cars (Cobalt) would be used on larger cars (Malibu) with no testing.
    My friend was too principled to stick around and decided that he’d rather be unemployed than participate in the train-wreck-in progress.

    This is not to say that GM is innocent in the matter. Far from it. They dropped the reputable/reliable supplier to save a couple bucks. THEN they didn’t have the engineering prowess to vet the supplier, the suppliers testing methods, or the supplier’s products!

    There is no excuse for such incompetence on something as safety critical as steering. Shame on all parties all around.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The dealer should definitely give her a loaner. Sheesh.

  • avatar
    heoliverjr

    I actually got the recall notice about this last week(also have an 08 Malibu) and it stated that the parts weren’t available. You can go to https://recalls.gm.com/#/ to look up recalls that your vehicle might be affected by.

    Seems to be some knowledgeable people on this post so is it common for recalls to take awhile after being announced?

    This post made me decide to follow up on the brake light recall that also effects the 08 Malibu and other related cars. It was announced on May 15 but notices won’t start going out until July 13th. In this case the parts seem to be ready (just finished an online chat with Chevrolet customer care and they told me I could get the car fixed now and seek reimbursement once I get the recall notice). Is that normal, notices going out two months after a recall is announced?

  • avatar
    dude500

    Disconnect the power steering pump. It’ll be tougher to drive at slow speeds, but at least the steering will be linear and won’t jerk around.


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