By on November 26, 2007

2007-gmc-acadia-top.jpgThe Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland resident Earl Arnette flew to Pittsburgh in April to buy a new GMC Acadia. Despite the fact that the CUV lacked the rims he coveted (and paid for), Earl drove his baby home. Soon thereafter, the power liftgate wouldn't lift, the adjustable seat belts wouldn't adjust and the remote start wouldn't start. Before Arnette could make it to the dealer, he had a head-on with a firetruck. His airbags didn't deploy (even though there had been a recall in February for faulty airbag sensors). After the heavily-damaged vehicle sat at a dealership for two months, Arnette discovered the holdup: the dealer couldn't get parts. Two months after that, the Acadia was finally fixed. Ish. The liftgate and remote start still didn't work. And then the GPS system died. Unwilling to accept an offer to cover his rental car fee, Arnette wrote a letter to GM CEO Rick Wagoner listing his full demands, and contacted the Maryland attorney general's office. Oops. "Arnette's letter to the AG triggered an automatic redirect of his complaint to GM's legal department and all contact with Arnette ceased, GM spokesman Randy Fox said. Should he decide to drop his 'legal action' with the attorney general's office, GM's executive customer assistance center would try again to work out an amicable solution with Arnette." Reporter Why risk bad word-of-mouth on a product that is getting rave reviews? One would think GM could have tried a little harder to accommodate a consumer who wanted the Acadia so badly he traveled 200-plus miles to buy it."

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17 Comments on “GMC Acadia Woes: “GM missed an opportunity to do right”...”

  • avatar

    So there’s another customer GM have lost to the transplants!

    I never want to hear from some over paid GM executive about how there’s a “perception gap” and that their quality is as good as the transplants. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t have £15000 to gamble with. And that’s what buying from GM is, a gamble. Maybe they should re-invent themselves as a casino?

    Blackjack table: How many more lemons can GM make before they’re declared bust.

    Roulette table: Drive a GM car around a track and predict where the car will breakdown.

    Craps table: Roll 2 GM cars down a track and predict how many of the airbags will deploy.

    Poker table: Take a load of consumer reports to the table and try and bluff people that the quality on a GM car is as good as the transplants. The winning hand is dependent on how far up the table your car is against how credible the report is.

    If anyone is interested in making a casino like this, drop me an email. I think there’s money in this!

    On an unrelated note, how unlucky was Mr Arnette?! Bad enough all that stuff didn’t work, then you crash your brand new car into a fire truck and THEN find out the air bags didn’t work!!!!! Poor man!

  • avatar

    And some people actually question why so many avoid GM products. GM deserves to die the slow death they have been undergoing, by losing marketshare 1 customer at a time.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    How many defects would Mr. Arnette’s new Acadia have if GM had not improved its lousy product quality?

    1. It lacked the rims he paid for,
    2. The power liftgate wouldn’t lift,
    3. The adjustable seat belts wouldn’t adjust,
    4. The remote start wouldn’t start,
    5. The airbags didn’t deploy.

    GM’s bright lights, instead of quietly apologizing and replacing the long-suffering customer’s rolling junkyard, brings its abysmal quality and woeful customer care to international attention. The publicity will undoubtedly result in thousands of lost sales.

    Way to go GM!!!!!!!

  • avatar

    Sending a letter to the AG represents a “legal action?” That’s nothing but crap. The AG does not represent Arnette, the AG represents the people of the state. This is just a scare tactic on GM’s part and/or a reason to obfuscate, delay and deny.

  • avatar

    KixStart: Sending a letter to the AG represents a “legal action?” That’s nothing but crap.

    That depends. Perhaps the Maryland Attorney General handles cases under the state’s lemon laws. I know that in Pennsylvania the Bureau of Consumer Protection is within the Office of Attorney General. “Sending a letter to the AG” could cover a wide spectrum of possible actions on Mr Arnette’s part.

    This, of course, doesn’t excuse GM from its obligation to make things right regarding Mr. Arnette.

    This is the key quote in the article: “Why risk bad word-of-mouth on a product that is getting rave reviews? One would think GM could have tried a little harder to accommodate a consumer who wanted the Acadia so badly he traveled 200-plus miles to buy it.”


  • avatar

    As much as everyone likes to bash GM, in this case I think the dealership should shoulder most of the blame: 4 month delay that pissed off owner and a PDI inspection that should have discovered that there were issues with this particular vehicle (not all Acadia’s are ‘junk’ and not all all GM’s are junk).

    However, that being said, GM should have a process in place to ‘punish’ bad dealerships and help customers out.

  • avatar

    Never buy the first years production of ANY new car!

  • avatar


    Agreed, I do my best not to beta test cars on my own dime. At least with software, you can usually revert to a prior version if it hasn’t taken down your hard drive first.

  • avatar

    “Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids”.

    Looks like GM is up to their old tricks again.

    I hope this bit of news makes it’s way to as many media and internet outlets as possible.

  • avatar

    “As much as everyone likes to bash GM, in this case I think the dealership should shoulder most of the blame: 4 month delay that pissed off owner and a PDI inspection that should have discovered that there were issues with this particular vehicle (not all Acadia’s are ‘junk’ and not all all GM’s are junk).”

    Bzzzt, wrong. You missed the first principle of root cause analysis. Primarily responsibility for a problem lies with the original source of it, not with those who failed to catch it later on down the line. The knee jerk blame the dealer, blame the customer response is a large part of what has gotten the 2.8 into their current mess.

    Also, I doubt that the dealer kept the vehicle for service for four months for no good reason. It is almost certainly the case that GM didn’t provide the needed replacement parts. One of the many common problems buyers of popular new models face is that the manufacturer might dedicate every available model specific part to new vehicle production and thus leave the spare parts channel bone dry. Smartly run companies know that shifting a small fraction of parts production into stocking the spare parts chain is a necessary cost of achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty, but GM almost never puts customer satisfaction as a top priority.

    In the instance of this Envoy GM has probably succeeded in pushing yet one more formerly loyal customer into the Never Again Club.

  • avatar

    GM is a joke, for a company with so many problems one would think that they have learned to “keep it simple”! But no, never, it is not the GM way.
    SO here we are once again and the General has released a new product to market and even though GM is the biggest automaker in the world it appear to be unable to properly support this new vehicle(s).
    Arcadia, Enclave, Outlook, and soon to arrive Chevy. Now just think about the x4 factor GM needs to contend with in terms of all of those silly UNNECCESARY extra parts and trim pieces.
    Somehow I do supect that suppoting all of this extra shit is not helping GM stay on top of the underlying mechanicals. Remember all of this cost $$$$$!
    Now lets have a look at GMs nemisis, Toyota. Toyota is releasing ONE new Highlander model to market this year. One standard wheel design and one optional design! One dash, one seat design, one set of interior trim, one exterior body, etc.
    Kinda makes their supply chain a little bit easier to manage dont you think? Which also frees up manpower and money to make sure everything works right(we hope).
    Needless to say Toyota has much lower production cost yet will compete directly with GM in the sales numbers game and might possible outsell GM!

    GM is a disaster that IS happening now! They are doomed simply because they are unable to change a corporate culture that do not work anymore. Making three of the same vehicle to satify your bloated dealer network is STUPID and WILL fail in the long run as it has in the past!

    No other company in the world with maybe the exception of Ford would even think it viable to release three cloned vehicles to market and not except them to compete against each other before they can make any kind of dent in the competition.
    There are three GM dealers within a stones throw of my home. If I want to buy a Lambda GM has x3 the necessary sales and support force available to me. All three dealer will cut each other throat to offer the lowest price to make the sale. Oh, I almost forgot about that Saturn dealer in the same area! Now I can count 4 GM dealers trying to make sales in the same geographical location that is serviced by a total of one Toyota and one Honda dealer. The Toyota and Honda dealers each sell MORE vehicles than all 4 GM dealers combined.

    And some GM fans just can’t understand why so many people avoid GM like the plague!

  • avatar

    Interesting. The Acadia actually hit “average” in CRs survey so I suspect this chap got the worst of the bunch but the companies response is inexcusable. Muttonheads.

    Looking at the clog of GM “stuff” (I don’t use the appropriate term, personally) at the bottom of the CR ratings I wonder how many owners of those took a vow of “GM ownership celibacy”. How many of their friends and neighbors watched these disasters and reconsidered GMs “turn around”.

    This is the Bitterness, Anger, Resentment Factor (BARF) in action for all to see.

    Way to finesse the situation Rick buddy. Smooth.

    Take care,


  • avatar

    The vehicle may be a POS, but the point here is that in most states once the car was involved in an accident GM is totally off the hook.
    He should have taken it in for warranty repair before wrecking it. Then he might have had a recourse under lemon law.

  • avatar

    The parts thing is no surprise. The last company I worked for switched from Escapes (too many repairs) to Equinoxes (Oops) for the fleet. Turns out the wheel bearings on these things failed prematurely, catching Chevy off guard.
    I drove rentals while that thing was in the shop, becuase new wheel bearings simply couldn’t be had.
    To be fair these vehicles were getting abuse the manufacturer never intended. The company should have had Explorers or something of that nature.

  • avatar

    I seem to recall reading an article discussing this sort of thing a short while ago….oh, yes! 'The Big 2.8 Make Their Own Bad Luck'

  • avatar

    MY counterpoint to the opinions of the bloggers…

    GM is an independent company, no matter what one expects, they do not have to do anything. No matter the jury, its just a jury. They are independent from me. Expecting them to be what I wish or think is my responsibility. I do not have “shoulds” GM does not either. I can set myself up to believe GM is this and that, but reality is reality. My opinions are just opinions. How good or bad a company they are in my eyes, bares no will over them. Or is up on trial. I can trial any one in my eyes all I want, it bares entitlement to obligation on there part. I need to leg go, and let GM.

    Now, I do want the vehicle to work flawlessly (technically impossible), but If I chose to expect that its my responsibility. What ever I expect something to be is my responsibility. Putting that thing/person on trial is my choice. But my choices do not determine “shoulds” for others, or responsibility. I am independent after all, because I chose of my own response-ability to be so. I chose to let GM be GM.

  • avatar

    is this the real GM? as far as the dealer, he should have replaced the malfunctioning parts with parts off of a car in his inventory. that would have been “excellent” customer service and great PR for himself.

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