Friday, December 29, 2006

Daily Drive- the "I hate Saturn" edition...

I tried to compose my self, but I couldn't contain my rage as I drove to work in my wife's car again today. So you get a picture of me at my desk today... after the drive*;

SockGuy sock dujour;

Green Royale... if only they could conceal my seething rage.

*You may remember from a few posts ago that I have had a recent scary occurrence with my 2002 Saturn VUE. Well, last night after work, I went and picked up my car from the dealership after paying more than a thousand bucks to get it out of limbo. Let me tell you, signing that credit card slip hurt more than I can ever explain right now... Anyway, I drive off in my car and get home and then turn around and drive to my mother-in-law's house to deliver her birthday flowers (she's very good to me, so I got her flowers). Once it was time for me to leave and get back to my wife and sick 5 year old, I returned to my car... which I just paid a lot of money (for me) to have fixed... and it would not start again! After spending what is for me a fortune, the damned thing still has the exact same problem! After punching the roof a few times, I went back in to my mother-in-law's home and borrowed her car to drive home. This morning the car was towed back to the dealership. I told them in no uncertain terms that the car now belongs to them. I do not want it back ever and will not under any circumstances drive the thing again and will only be in it to collect my belongings this weekend. You might remember that the car does two things; it won't start and then when it does, turns off while I am driving it and then I lose the steering and brakes. On Christmas day it did this 3 times after it had been inspected by the dealership- all three times with my family in the car and twice while I was driving the car. As the poop flavored icing on this crap cake, the fuel gauge system of the vehicle is faulty, with a known defect... which isn't covered by any kind of warranty or service agreement, even though it is a known commodity with the vehicle (I basically never show a full tank and the low fuel light comes on and the tank registers empty after 18-180 miles... nice range huh).

I have been in touch with the dealership and now also with the Area Manager from Saturn at the headquarters in TN. I have to say that prior to these problems, I loved the car. Now, I am scared to death of it and am really heartbroken by my experience with Saturn. At the moment, the status is that the dealership is paying for me to have a rental car, the Area Manager is researching resolution options and will have an answer to me by next Tuesday and I have begun the process of getting an attorney. I am so disappointed by this development because I was very proud of my car and having bought an American car. I felt like I did a good thing and now I am sickened. I really, silly as it sounds, feel let down by Saturn because I bought into their marketing and image of the company and people.

Saturn, here's your chance to make this right. I don't think I am asking for too much when I say that I want a car I can rely on and is safe for me to transport my family in. I want my money back for the repair that didn't repair anything and I want a different car to drive because I refuse to get back in the one I used to love so much and am now terrified to drive with my family in it. In all fairness and openness, I promise I will share Saturn's responses and welcome comment from Saturn or the dealership. The people I have dealt with from the dealership to Saturn's corporate offices have all been pretty good to me and I can not fault any one person for being rude or unhelpful- quite the opposite. Collectively though, this situation has ruined my belief in what I once thought was a fantastic car company and it quite literally breaks my heart. I was so sold...

Good luck Saturn, I hope you make the right decisions.



Bernie said...

Tim, I had a similar problem with a GM product, and it was a problem with the ignition. I don't know crap about cars, so I can't get any detailed than that, but the problem sounds exactly the same. The vehicle would just suddenly lose power, including power steering and brakes... then after sitting on the side of the road and jiggling the key in the ignition for a minute or so, it would suddenly start.

Anonymous said...

We'll be watching closely, Tim. I'll be interested to see how Saturn handles this situation.

My image of GM is already pretty poor, we'll see if they do anything to change that.

Yokota Fritz said...

A four year old GM vehicle with electrical problems sounds about par for the course to me...s

annie said...

I got a 1998 Prizm you can have....

Anonymous said...

There is a reason GM is on track to be the world's Second largest car company on the near future, perhaps as soon as next year.

Sounds unfortunately as the tech was grasping at a solution. Debugging one of these is a chore, someone, the service writer, the tech, or the Zone rep. needs to drive the car for a period, like a few days, nothing sobers them up like a car mysteriously failing on THEM.

The Donut Guy said...

Tim, if you haven't done this.........

Google "Saturn Vue stalling". Looks like it could be a myriad of things..... fuel pump, clogged catalytic converter, wiring, etc.

I sure hope they take care of you....

Ed W said...

I had similar problems with 2 cars, the first one a '76 Civic I bought new, and a used '71 Firebird. The Honda had an ignition switch with an intermittent contact. The Pontiac never did get diagnosed. It went away on the hook of a wrecker. Good riddance!

Donna Tocci said...

Tim - it will be interesting to see what their response is on Tuesday. I hope it is one that you all can live with (especially YOU!)

Anonymous said...

Tim, Sorry to hear about your Saturn woes. It is one thing when these things happen with just YOU in the car, but quite another when your family is along too.

I'll never forget the fifth (5th!) time I had to have my BMW towed in a 12 month period. I was driving my kids to school and the car started smoking and then stalled on the I-5 freeway near the Newhall Pass. I called AAA and then called a Japanese car dealer. As much as I loved driving the BMW and as much as I would like to have an American car, I now depend on Japanese cars.

Good luck, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Hey masi guy:
my wife just sank $1000. large into her 2oo2 vue AKApice of crap
and it stalled on the expressway of to the shop!! good thing she had the new Robert radolph cd
yea we thought we'd do the by america thing to bad the motor & trans axle comes from the uk bilt by honda. to hell with a undependble piece of shit i'm going to buy another jeep.
jonny Clueso

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim:
this is like the twilight zone
and your living my life! Well at least in my vue that is.
This thing is just awfull! we haven't had it a year and it needed a $1200.00
engine cpu. now it's stalling.
my wife won't drive it. can we drive them back to spring hill & burn them in protest.
Dad M.

JAMES said...

I bought a 2005 Saturn Vue Redline new two years ago.I immediately had several problems.
1.Sunroof malfunctions;took our Modesto CA. Saturn dealer 5 or 6 returns total,for various reasons, to finally fix.
2.Loud crackling noise that comes from all of the door seals,especially after it rains.Sounds like your in a hail storm.
Still not resolved,after four visits and one included replacing the door seals.
3.Brake calipers rattling. Took it in to the Modesto Dealer and was told the noise was just a loose part on the calipers.
Then they informed me that part of the caliper assy. needed to be replaced. So we let them have the vue for another couple days to make the replacement. A few days later we moved 850 miles away. My wife drove the Saturn with my son in the passenger seat,and I drove our truck.
It wasn't until we Arrived in Port Angeles Wa. that my wife said the clunking noise was worse than before. When you went from reverse to forward or forward to reverse and let off the brakes, there was this disturbing loud clunk. It sounded like something was falling off.
We had the vue towed to the closest saturn dealer which is 2&1/2 hours away in puyallup.
The service manager in Puyallup was very candid with us about how shocked he was at what he found.
He said we were lucky we weren't killed because the brake calippers were about to fall off! He also asked me if we had repairs on the front bumper recently. He said the bumper assy was left very loose also.
We were beginning to wonder if this was the work of a vengeful
service tech. in Modesto who knew we were moving!
4.The Modesto techs. also had to take two shots at getting rid of a loud buzzing comming from the drivers door , while listening to the premium sound system even at low volume.
They basically said you just have to expect that kind of vibration noise when using this sound system!
Tell me,what the point is of paying for a premium sound system, if it's going to make that obnoxious noise!?
5.Saturn of Modesto replaced the back-up light lense cover that was cracked in the manufacturing process. To do so they had to remove the inside cover of the tailgate.
Needless to say,they didn't replace the cover properly which resulted in a very loud rattling. I fixed that myself , for fear they would just break something else.
6.During the last visit to repair the sunroof,they lost part of the overhead map light, which was just flopping around in place and inoperable.
I had to wait for them to order parts , of course.
On the visit previous to this one they didn't fully reseat the light assy. which left it and the overhead cloth flopping down slightly.
There also left black grease prints all over the same area.
8.The air conditioning has also failed on us a couple of times.
But only when it gets REAL HOT OUTSIDE and your going down the freeway at 60+ miles per hour!!
Of course they said they can't fix it unless it fails for them while sitting still in their air conditioned garage!
9.We informed the finance manager/ warranty salesman that we were moving somewhere that there was not a Saturn dealership and that we were concerned about not being able to get warrantied service locally.
We said that this would be a deal breaker as we were not going to pay this kind of money for a new car and not be able to get service under warranty in the town we live in.
He assured us that they always work out deals with local repair shops in cases like this.
What the sleeze failed to tell us is that this only applies to the extended service warranty, which does't kick in until after 30,000 miles.
After two years of putting up with all of this , we only have 22,000 miles on the vue.
Wouldn't the right thing have been for the salesman to have pointed out that we ARE going to have to drive 10 hours for every attempt Saturn makes to repair something before we hit 30,000 miles ?
In the mean time we are spending a tremendous amount of time and money on these trips, and still do not have all of the vues' problems resolved.
Maybe Saturn figures that if they keep us driving back and forth enough,we'll hit 30,000 miles and the extended warranty will kick in and let them off the hook.

I hope so. I would hate to think they're all this way

Anonymous said...

Im sorry to hear about your bad expirence with saturn. And thank the lord that nothing terrible, like an accident, happend and your family is safe.

All I can say, as a child, and grandchild of people who worked their entire lives making GM and Ford DONT give up on the American auto industry.

You werent wrong to "buy into their marketing" The US auto industry does alot of wonderful things for american people. Giving someone without higher than highschool education a good job, that they can support a family on is a big deal. If the US auto industry goes, then so there goes one of the last oppertunities for an american citizen to find a good job, with good pay, and great benefits.

So just as Saturn should take your families safety and well-being very seriously....

We the american people should try and stick with them thru their tough times and try to support not the company itself...but the people they employ.

god bless, and good luck with this situation..I hope it works out well for you.

cornelia amiri said...

I know what you're going through. I fully understand. On my 2003 L200 Saturn my bumper fell of. There was no collision. I taped it up and parked in my apt lot and the bumper cover was on. When I came out the next day it was totally gone. It cost over 1000.00 to fix and took seven days, plus I had to pay for the cost of replacing the license plate. Three days after having it fixed, the bumper cover has fallen off again. It is very dangerous to have your bumper just fall off. Having a bumper fall off when driving could easily cause deaths. Saturn says it's because the black protective piece below the bumper rubbed against something and that pulled the bumper, like a drive way or a curve. That piece is less than 6 inches off the ground. It may have touched something how can that rubber piece simply touching something from time to time be helped. It shouldn't cause the bumper to fall off.