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Another GM recall: Gas gauges are faulty on SUVs

Another GM recall hits the headlines in May 2014.  Following the ignition switch problem (recall notice photographed), there is now a gas gauge problem.
Another GM recall hits the headlines in May 2014. Following the ignition switch problem (recall notice photographed), there is now a gas gauge problem.
Photo by Scott Paulson

There is yet another General Motors (GM) recall of its vehicles. This recall has been made before the car manufacturer has even cleaned up its last batch of recall problems. GM is now recalling 51,640 more vehicles, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Sunday. The vehicles in the latest recall are sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).

The recalled SUVs need to have their software fixed. Of dire concern is that the software may not register correct fuel levels. This problem is an engine-control module concern in some 2014 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia SUVs. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the concern is that the vehicles could have empty tanks or stalled engines, leading to crashes. To correct the erroneous gas gauges in the thousands of vehicles with the problem, GM will recalibrate the SUVs’ fuel system free of charge.

According to KERA News, this latest needed correction to General Motor vehicles follows numerous GM recalls that were made in the recent past. GM recently had to recall 2.59 million small cars for faulty ignition switches. Regarding the faulty ignition switches, the vehicles’ keys could fall out of the “on” position while the vehicle is in motion. Naturally, when the ignition slips out of the “on” position, it cuts the engine power off and disables the vehicle’s air bags. The small cars listed on the ignition swith recall include the following vehicles: Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Pontiac G5, and Saturn Sky.

Even though it is said that GM took a $1.3 billion charge in the quarter ending March 31 of this year, some vehicle owners have just been officially notified of the ignition switch recall at the end of April – over two months after initial stories about the GM vehicle concerns surfaced in the news. In the previous recall, customers have received notices saying that the needed-materials for the fix are not available yet. Therefore, persons are still waiting to be notified that the fix can be finally be made.

Case in point, after contacting Advantage Chevrolet in Hodgkins, Illinois – a suburb of Chicago – about the recall in February, this reporter was told that an e-mail with information about the recall would be sent by the end of the business day by a female who claimed to be a service consultant with the dealership’s service department. No follow-up communication was ever made – even after repeated attempts to get information from the consultant were made.

It isn’t the first time that a communication regarding service, repairs, or billing has been totally ignored by this dealership’s service department. A letter sent to Service Representative Deena Cassano on or about January 4, 2014 about other service department concerns at Advantage Chevrolet has yet to be answered – four months after the letter was sent. In other words, the concerns with GM go far, far beyond the manufacturing of the vehicle. It goes right down to the persons responsible for dealing with customer service at GM outlets. (All the service rep ever sent was an offer for a $25 gift card if a customer satisfaction survey is received - and she is contacted about the survey.) Apparently employees are worried about survey responses from customers who get a survey but are not concerned with answering customer's letters' of concern.)

Of tremendous concern and frustration with American consumers is that GM received $33 billion in debtor-in-possession financing to complete the process of GM filing for Chapter 11 reorganization some 5 years ago this June. Specifically the General Motors Chapter 11 sale of the assets of automobile manufacturer General Motors and some of its subsidiaries was implemented through section 363 of Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The United States government-endorsed sale enabled the “NewGM” (NGMCO Inc.) to purchase the continuing operational assets of the old GM.

The normal operations, including “employee compensation,” warranties, and other customer service continued without interruption during the bankruptcy proceedings. Given this, one would expect every person at each and every GM operation to do his or her job and communicate with paying customers who were forced by our government to bail them out. Had the U.S. government under the Obama administration not bailed the company out, customers would not be continually subjected to GM’s failings – including attempting to get a response from GM’s service outlets.

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