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  Home : Company : 2004 : GM to Restart Production, Extend Warranty of CVT  [ Save | Forward ]

GM to Restart Production, Extend Warranty of CVT • March 13, 2004

The New York Times reports that General Motors will soon restart production of its continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT is sold by Saturn as the VTi, and is offered as an option in both the Ion and Vue models. Production of the CVT was halted in January due to durability concerns of the transmission's steel belt. "In the field, we have seen very limited instances of belt failure, but we don't know if the causes of those belt failures are related to the condition we discovered in the tests," GM spokeswoman Debbie Frakes said.

The paper also says the GM will extend the warranty of the transmission used in 2002-04 Saturn vehicles. Future models manufactured with the CVT will also be sold with the longer warranty. Frakes told the NY Times that the transmission's warranty will be lengthened to 5 years or 75,000 miles.

Internal high-speed, long-term testing reportedly gave the company some concern that belt failure could occur in a small percentage of vehicles. The problem is reportedly unrelated to the issues that originally plagued the transmission and caused the company to delay its availability in the 2002 Saturn Vue. The company told the NY Times that "those problems were related to inconsistent machining of parts so that they did not always match specifications, causing variations from transmission to transmission."

Saturn has a supply of the transmissions at its Spring Hill manufacturing plant that have been "recalibrated and will be used to restart production," Frakes told the NY Times. "We have found what we feel is a good fix and will be back in production by the end of March." The paper says that after production of CVT-equipped Ions is ramped up, the Vue will "follow a few weeks later."

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Source: New York Times

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