GM Customer Drives 450 Miles For Ren-Cen Refund

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
gm customer drives 450 miles for ren cen refund

What do you do when a company you own (through your trusty Treasury Department) won’t help you out over the phone? Out of luck with his dealer and pissed off at the “condescending” attitude of GM’s phone support staff, one former Marine and “lifelong GM customer” drove from Virginia to Detroit in order to get The General to take responsibility for chronic power steering pump failures in his wife’s Chevy HHR. His initial reward: more condescension, and the privilege of getting escorted from the premises of GM’s Headquarters. But Marines don’t quit that easily…

The aggrieved customer, David Derringer, knew that the HHR’s steering pump was essentially the same unit as the recalled pump in Chevrolet Cobalts, and demanded a refund for the replacement unit he bought. GM insists that the HHR’s unit is “tuned differently” than the recalled Cobalt pump and has had half as many warranty claims. But after being booted from the Ren Cen, Derringer took to Detroit’s local media, and GM soon gave the tenacious ex-Marine the refund he was looking for. Though he admits to having lost money by taking the fight to Detroit, Derringer insists that the principle is what’s most important. He tells Detroit’s WDIV

I’ve had some satisfaction knowing I’ve done all I can do

See WDIV’s interview with Derringer here.

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9 of 56 comments
  • Supremebrougham Supremebrougham on Oct 05, 2010

    First of all, good for him on standing up for what he believed in. I'd say that a lot of that could have been prevented if his dealer had been better to him. When I took my HHR in last year to have the steering looked at (at the time I didn't know about the recalls or defective parts) the dealer did everything they could to have the car fixed without question, and gave me a loaner car. This is also the same dealer that when I had my Oldsmobile and GM said that I couldn't have it serviced there because it wasn't an Olds dealer (Chevy-Cad) went straight to the top for me and got that nonsense eliminated for me. So my point to all this is that if the dealer is worth a darn, things like this don't have to happen.

    • See 1 previous
    • JimC JimC on Oct 06, 2010

      "Spend some money on them for otherwise DIY repairs, keep them in business." Respectfully, I disagree. I replaced the rubber flap in my toilet tank, a DIY job. I also "installed" a low flow showerhead. If I call a plumber for some major repair and he chooses to overcharge me for shoddy work, does that make it my fault because I didn't call him for the $3 fixes in my toilet and shower?

  • Oboylepr Oboylepr on Oct 05, 2010
    I guess them Hyundai dealers fall over themselves to help everybody out. Perhaps, I'll let you be the judge. Wifey needed a new keyfob for her 03 Elantra. Went to my local Hyundai dealer fully expecting to part with $100-$200 bucks. Parts man told me that my fob was an older type but he might have one around. He found one, it wasn't new but in very good condition, he programmed it, stuck in a new battery and gave it to me. When I asked, "how much?", he said don't worry about it, have it on the house. That was a nice surprise! That was 6 months ago. Just yesterday my wife picked up her new Elantra from the same dealer. What goes around, comes around as they say. It's a lesson GM could learn if they were listening. Obviously they are not, pity.

    • Bill Wade Bill Wade on Oct 05, 2010

      My wife's Santa Fe ate a front hub at 105,000 miles. I took it in figuring a 5 or 6 hundred dollar job. They told me they had never head of that before and replaced the front hub, brake pads and brake lines, sent me on my way and no charge. She now has a new Santa Fe and I now own a Veracruz which seems to be an outstanding car. That dealer and Hyundai more than earned their money back. Don't even ask me about an 07 Suburban that eats cash worse than a boat.

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Oct 06, 2010

    I knew GM BK v. 2.0 was coming as soon as the ink dried on BK v.1.0 NOTHING. OF. CONSEQUENCE. HAS. CHANGED. NOTHING.

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    • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Oct 06, 2010

      @Buickman, As an American, I really DO wish that GM would get the plot. It does kill me as an American that they don't...

  • Nevets248 Nevets248 on Oct 06, 2010

    Meet the new boss, same as tho old boss.......