I'll just paste in the letter I wrote to GM below... I've told this story 20 times in the past day and can't type it in again...
April 29, 2008
P.O. Box 33170
Detroit, MI 48232-5170
Dear Sir or Madam:
What do I say in the first three lines of this letter to grab your attention? I won’t write and cry for help like the 5,000 other letters behind this one or tell you that I’m going to sue your company. This letter is quite the opposite and might be my formal resignation from purchasing American made cars.
For the past six years, I have driven only American made cars and had a sense of pride in doing so – there’s nothing like supporting domestic goods to help stimulate our economy! I’ve owned a Chevrolet Lumina, Chevrolet Blazer, a Plymouth Sundance, a Jeep Grand Cherokee and recently a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Of the cars before the Trailblazer, I’ve been a happy GM customer. As I am soon to graduate college and enter “the real world,” I’ll be doing it with a chip on my shoulder. In honor of all of my hard work and dedication, I decided to jump into a fairly new vehicle that would hopefully last me for the next ten years. Little did I know it would barely last two months without digging deep into my pocket. The Trailblazer I purchased was used (2004) from the Northeast Auto Outlet in Philadelphia, PA (http://www.northeastauto.com/) and was the shiniest on the lot. I had interest in the cheaper model because it was more in line with my budget, but the dealer pushed this one in particular on me… and now I know why.
Two weeks after the purchase (3/14/2008) is when the trouble began. The “Service Engine Soon” light came on and those same words have haunted me since. I took it into the dealer and was shocked at the response… “The computer needed to be reprogrammed and unfortunately that’s not covered by your extended warranty or the dealer 30-day warranty.” Of course, why would it have been? The bill came to $103.79 and after I called the service manager a week later, he credited me $95 towards my next visit which was great. Two weeks later (within the dealer 30-day warranty) I called because the light came on again. I wasn’t able to come out until after the 30-day dealer warranty period. I work and go to school – my schedule doesn’t take into consideration potential three-hour waits at the dealer and it’s hard to anticipate having this many problems with a newly purchased vehicle that had the GM certification. I was told by the dealer/service center that the gas cap seal had a crack in it and that all it needed was a new gas cap. Sure, no problem – I paid for it and had the oil changed and tires rotated. The bill came to $72 after the $95 credit. Ironically, the light came on again a few days later, “Service Engine Soon.” All I could think of is… God, what now? I just made my first payment on the truck and I’m having the worst luck with it. Well today, they told me that it was actually a crack in the gas tank neck and that the estimated bill is $1,375 before tax. They need to replace the gas tank. Oh, and I forgot to mention – they don’t cover the rental car so I had to put that out of my pocket too, $64. One month and two weeks after I purchased this truck, this is what I have to deal with. I told my dad, “Drive around with me for a day – you’ll see that I take better care of this truck than I do anything else. This is the nicest thing I own and all I want it to do is last.” He said, “That’s not the point, we know you don’t beat the *** out of it – I’m just shocked the dealer won’t help you… at all.” I spoke to the service employee and was instructed to speak to the sales manager, Mike and that he may be able to help me. I told him my situation and was told, “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do.” I explained to him again that I just bought it there a month and a half ago. He repeated, “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do.” I replied, “Are you kidding me, is that it?” Again, “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do.” In my angered state, I shouted “This is f*cking ridiculous.” I probably shouldn’t have said it, but I so upset for being treated this way. A month and a half ago, that same guy was kissing my feet convincing me that I didn’t want the blue Trailblazer, but that the gray one was nicer and it would just “work out better for me.” Now, less than two months later, I’ve missed a total of three days worth of work, two scheduled classes, had to reschedule an interview, wasted hours in a waiting room, am out almost $1,500 and I received the robot syndrome from the guy who sold me the car. So if I was at all out of line for throwing the f-word around, it was the most justified time to do so. Again, now I know why he pushed this particular Trailblazer so hard – get the *** off the lot.
Now that I’ll be graduating college, I’ve got these bills on my credit card, school debt to worry about and finding a job in this fabulous economy; not to mention a fairly new truck that might cause more problems again at any given time. If I can say anything, it’s that I’ll think twice about buying American next time. A friend of mine had the same problem with his Acura TL, but the solutions were very different. Needless to say, his problems were resolved at no cost, and mine… I guess I’ll just have to live with them.
I had plans of trading this Trailblazer in to get my dream truck, the Trailblazer SS but obviously now, I can’t. I see things on your site like the Volt and I had a sense of pride knowing that your company is moving in the right direction. I hope only the best for GM and in it’s future endeavors but I don’t think I’ll be a returning customer. My first experience with a fairly new GM vehicle has been nothing short of stress and anger. Again, take this letter however you’d like but I had to get it off my chest and know that I made the effort to be heard. Feel free to call or write back – I’d love to hear if GM has any input on the matter.
Ryan A. Gibbons
Temple University Undergraduate Student
Review about: Chevrolet Trailblazer.