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Old 05-05-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
merc
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Default WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Okay, so I used a bit of an inflammatory topic, but as far as I am concerned, it is a valid one. Here's why:

I bought a 2006 Ion-2 with 38K miles on it after it was declared a total by the insurance company. Only damage on it was caused by a minor accident which resulted in the car going over a curb and dented the oil pan and left front fender. It also resulted in airbag deployment for a total insurance company estimate which they felt exceeded the car's value plus the insured's deductable.

That said, after my Malibu blew an engine after perfect oil changes and having only 110K miles on it, we needed a car to get to work.... so, we used our tax return which we normally use to pay our home taxes, to buy the best car we could get for $6500. That was the 2006 Ion-2.

So now, it starts to suddenly lose power steering while driving at least once a day for the last 4 days. Checked this forum, and found that the Power Steering motor is defective and that GM had sent out letters to Saturn owners and a service bulletin both admitting the problem and telling us owners to bring it in to be fixed for free if the problem occurred.

So, yesterday, I called GM and they told me not to worry and just bring it in to my local Chevy dealer and get it replaced for free according to the letter and service bulletin. They even made me an appt for today.

Took off work and made the trip to the dealer and upon checking in with them, I was told that I would have to pay for the dangerous defective part to be replaced since I had a "branded" title(otherwise known as a salvage title once the insurance company totaled the car).

I could barely afford the car much less pay hundreds to fix an acknowledged GM defective part in the Saturn, so I guess we need to just take our chances and drive this PO-GM-S.

At the same time, due to the same problem and same defective GM part, the Cobalt had been recalled and regardless of the title on Cobalts, they are fixed free of charge. The folks at GM couldn't explain why the same problem/defective part on a Cobalt would be fixed while my Saturn would not be, regardless of title designation?

So.... obviously, GM considers Saturn to be their scum line and Saturn customers to be of less value than Chevy customers since they are willing to risk our lives but not those of Chevy folks?

I will get this problem fixed eventually and then my case will be in Small Claims court just as soon as I can file it.
Being in Texas, I legally recorded all my conversations with the two GM representatives who I spoke to, along with the Chevy dealership service manager and have all documents of the Saturn letter to owners, GMs service bulletin and the Letter and notice of the Cobalt recall for the same part.

You can bet I will be suing for my costs, time, effort, aggravation and stress caused by having to drive this defective vehicle due to GM's prejudice against us due to being a Saturn owner and not a Chevy owner.

Our family has bought and proudly owned GM vehicles for the last 40 years... but this is probably gonna be the last for us due to GMs lack of respect for one of their brands and its' owners.

Maybe, when I win my case I can buy a better car like a Ford or even a Hyundai?

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

So after asking politely for what my car is deserved with regard to getting the dangerous GM mistakes fixed for free, and GM saying OKay, but then being refused by my local GM and GM dealer.... the guy who sold me the car has offered to fix it for free as well as doing the other GM screw up fixes for free and the current oil change for free too.

Of course, he also has a 2+2 door Ion with only 41K coming in to be fixed and sold at the same time too....... so, I am in and if fixed, happy too.

Err, nevermind.........

Last edited by merc; 05-05-2011 at 03:24 PM..

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

I know exactly how you feel. I went through a similar situation last year at (S)Crews Chevrolet in North Charleston. There are alot of Saturn owners that have defected to other brands. I bought a 2010 Mercury Mariner last year for wife, she loves it. Now I have 2 orphans. Co-worker's son had Ion, had some issues, got traded for Focus. For now I say 'GM never again'

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Old 05-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Egad.. and thank God I bought my car from someone who knows and can repair these issues instantantly. DOH.

My guy said he would have done the freakin GM issue on the starting 600 sec for free immediately, if I would have let him know my car was doing this stuff and regardless, he is good to do both GM defect repair and the ignition repair and an oil change at the same time this Tuesday.

Once done.... you will be unable to stop me from toasting this guy and his shop...!!!

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

The question begs to be asked, why would you keep buying GM vehicles? It seems to be this all could have been avoided had you learned your lesson with the first GM vehicle.

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Old 05-05-2011, 09:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Quote:
I bought a 2006 Ion-2 with 38K miles on it after it was declared a total by the insurance company. Only damage on it was caused by a minor accident which resulted in the car going over a curb and dented the oil pan and left front fender. It also resulted in airbag deployment for a total insurance company estimate which they felt exceeded the car's value plus the insured's deductable.
why would you buy a car that was declared a total?

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Old 05-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Hang on a second here. First, when you called GM and they set up an appt for you, did you tell them the car was a salvaged title (be honest)? Also, I don't know where you are getting your info from, but ANY car, regardless of manufacturer will no longer be covered by any warranty of any kind once it is a branded title. This shoots your theory of Chevrolet vs. Saturn being treated differently. I have worked at Dodge, Saturn and Chevrolet dealers, and we have almost every mfgr in our auto group and they will all deny warranty repairs on a salvage title. You bought a vehicle that was totalled at a steeply discounted price, you cannot expect to get free stuff for it as well...

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Old 05-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2 View Post
why would you buy a car that was declared a total?
Because, with todays vehicles and the cost for repair and parts, it does not take too much to write of a used vehicle. And air bag is over a grand and that means 2 of them in a front accident. My 06 Ion was in a frontal and was over 7 grand to fix. After one year, my vehicle is now worth about 6. So go figure.
By the way, the 7 grand included the dash and 2 air bags and steering wheel.
So it does not take too much to get a car written off.

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2 View Post
why would you buy a car that was declared a total?
Because we're poor. Why else? I knew the entire history of the car during its' 38K total mileage and it was the best car we could afford to buy for $6K drive out.

Other than the admitted Defective GM Parts in the car, it is almost perfect. On Wednesday, I would expect that replacing those Defective GM Parts would make it so.

Last edited by merc; 05-09-2011 at 10:29 AM..

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

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Originally Posted by MoparNut View Post
Hang on a second here. First, when you called GM and they set up an appt for you, did you tell them the car was a salvaged title (be honest)? Also, I don't know where you are getting your info from, but ANY car, regardless of manufacturer will no longer be covered by any warranty of any kind once it is a branded title. This shoots your theory of Chevrolet vs. Saturn being treated differently. I have worked at Dodge, Saturn and Chevrolet dealers, and we have almost every mfgr in our auto group and they will all deny warranty repairs on a salvage title. You bought a vehicle that was totalled at a steeply discounted price, you cannot expect to get free stuff for it as well...
The guy at GM put me on hold for 5 minutes and during that time looked up my car/title from my VIN. It was only AFTER he found my car's info did he come back online and tell me I was good to go at the local Chevy dealership for a free repair.

I think you are missing the point anyway, since the problem is that if my car was a Chevy Cobalt, with a branded title, the same defective power steering would be fixed for free. It is ONLY because of GM's prejudice against Saturn owners that they ONLY offered the warranty extension on the part and NOT the full recall which is what they did for ALL the other GM vehicles which used the very same Power Steering motor.

Hope I better communicated my complaint now.

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by merc View Post
The guy at GM put me on hold for 5 minutes and during that time looked up my car/title from my VIN. It was only AFTER he found my car's info did he come back online and tell me I was good to go at the local Chevy dealership for a free repair.

I think you are missing the point anyway, since the problem is that if my car was a Chevy Cobalt, with a branded title, the same defective power steering would be fixed for free. It is ONLY because of GM's prejudice against Saturn owners that they ONLY offered the warranty extension on the part and NOT the full recall which is what they did for ALL the other GM vehicles which used the very same Power Steering motor.

Hope I better communicated my complaint now.
Yes, between that and your explanation you knew the car. Understood.

Was really concerned with your situation and posted, not once but twice over in the ION General Forum where I first read your story. And so glad it had a happy ending.You had me worried.

Moral, tho: don't tap yourself out on a salvage vehicle [even if u know it's history!!!!]. That's just too much like gambling.

It turned out in your favor this time, but you put a lot at risk, including your house, to get a car, when it might have been a safer thing to do financially to replace the engine in your Malibu.

You're not stupid, just in your own words, poor. Lots of life lessons to be learned from this event.

Congratulations that it turned out all right and drive that thing into the ground !!!!

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Old 05-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

First, please don't mistake my frustration with GM as my being unappreciative for the help you folks have offered. I read and understand what you all say but just can't get myself past GMs prejudice against Saturn owners who got stuck with defective GM parts while they freely repair any kind of Cobalt with the same problem. Heck, a business who applied GMs thinking on this to how they treat their employees would have executives in jail by now.

Anyway... my Saturn/GM problems continue.... here is an update:
- The private dealer where I bought this car fixed the power steering problem by replacing it with a new model used by GM in their recall of the Cobalts. So we be good there.
- Unfortunately, after 3 hours of trying, he could not get the car to reprogram/recognize the new AC Delco ignition switch even after following the instructions I gave him which I got from this site. So, we were forced to put the old defective GM ignition switch back into the car so I could go to work and pick up my wife at the bus station when her work is over for the day.
- However, he said that according to the Chevy dealer that he deals with, I could buy a remote key fob and use that to unlock and thereby disable the Passlock function so that the car would start every time, first time. He said the part was $75 and that included programming.
- So, I immediately went to that dealership and they were out of stock on the part. Assuming that all Chevy/GM dealerships had the same pricing on the part I went to the Dealership closest to my home which had the part in stock and they wanted to charge me an additional $40 to program the new part with my car? I didn't have that much money in my bank account so I couldn't do the fix.... argh.

I think I really, really hate scumbag GM... and I wish my tax dollars didn't go towards bailing them out. With anti-consumer practices like this, it is no wonder they should have gone out of business....

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by merc View Post
First, please don't mistake my frustration with GM as my being unappreciative for the help you folks have offered. I read and understand what you all say but just can't get myself past GMs prejudice against Saturn owners who got stuck with defective GM parts while they freely repair any kind of Cobalt with the same problem. Heck, a business who applied GMs thinking on this to how they treat their employees would have executives in jail by now.

Anyway... my Saturn/GM problems continue.... here is an update:
- The private dealer where I bought this car fixed the power steering problem by replacing it with a new model used by GM in their recall of the Cobalts. So we be good there.
- Unfortunately, after 3 hours of trying, he could not get the car to reprogram/recognize the new AC Delco ignition switch even after following the instructions I gave him which I got from this site. So, we were forced to put the old defective GM ignition switch back into the car so I could go to work and pick up my wife at the bus station when her work is over for the day.
- However, he said that according to the Chevy dealer that he deals with, I could buy a remote key fob and use that to unlock and thereby disable the Passlock function so that the car would start every time, first time. He said the part was $75 and that included programming.
- So, I immediately went to that dealership and they were out of stock on the part. Assuming that all Chevy/GM dealerships had the same pricing on the part I went to the Dealership closest to my home which had the part in stock and they wanted to charge me an additional $40 to program the new part with my car? I didn't have that much money in my bank account so I couldn't do the fix.... argh.

I think I really, really hate scumbag GM... and I wish my tax dollars didn't go towards bailing them out. With anti-consumer practices like this, it is no wonder they should have gone out of business....
Sorry to hear you're still having problems. I think Saturn and the ION [and L Series] are prime examples of why GM went bankrupt. Case studies of how to run a business into the ground.

What is going on with your ignition switch : random no start ? Key stuck ? Lots of info on that here.

And that is some frigging nerve to charge $40.00 to reprogram sh**ty parts that they approved in the first place and that were kown defective from the first months on ION production. There are millions of them out there: Cobalt, G5, Colorado and Canyon all used this POS switch. It's like an X Car all boiled down into one unit: think of all the owners of these vehicles that GM has pissed off who will never buy from them again because A: they cut so many corners and B: let the junk continue to be installed in multiple lines of cars over several years.

Who is to say the new one you bought will be any better ?

Merc: GM stopped deserving your loyalty many years ago. Hope you get it sorted out then drive it until it won't go no 'mo.

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Old 05-13-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Quote:
There are millions of them out there: Cobalt, G5, Colorado and Canyon all used this POS switch.
Addendum to above post:got the dealer switch and the dealer BS additional programming cost for the part and guess what.....
It doesn't fix the GM defective problem...... My car is still broken and GM won't fix their original manufacuring problem... So, I will make it my job to notify as many fellow potential GM buyers as to the policy of GM and as to their potential and past going out of business and how it impacted me as a Saturn owner and try all I can to cost them at least the amount of money they cost me with their corporate BS of using my own bail out money to fark me out of my Saturn recall.....

Also, I would guess that there is a lawyer somewhere who might be interested in such a huge potential lawsuit... since the US Govt has picked up the bill now?

Last edited by merc; 05-13-2011 at 01:32 PM..

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Old 05-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #15
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

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There are millions of them out there: Cobalt, G5, Colorado and Canyon all used this POS switch.
You forgot the HHR....

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Old 05-14-2011, 12:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

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You forgot the HHR....
d'oh !!!!

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Old 05-14-2011, 12:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

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Addendum to above post:got the dealer switch and the dealer BS additional programming cost for the part and guess what.....
It doesn't fix the GM defective problem...... My car is still broken and GM won't fix their original manufacuring problem... So, I will make it my job to notify as many fellow potential GM buyers as to the policy of GM and as to their potential and past going out of business and how it impacted me as a Saturn owner and try all I can to cost them at least the amount of money they cost me with their corporate BS of using my own bail out money to fark me out of my Saturn recall.....

Also, I would guess that there is a lawyer somewhere who might be interested in such a huge potential lawsuit... since the US Govt has picked up the bill now?
I will say, tho, that for all my empathy for your situation, you knowingly bought a salvaged vehicle and that vehicle is only as good as the outfit that repaired it. There are all sorts of gremlins left over after an accident, mystery electrical crap that will happen.People always suspect "it's not right" after getting a repair.

My friend's near new 96 Maxima had $10,000 worth of work in repairs to put it right and he always felt it was never the same after the accident.

Everything you say about GM is true, but unfortunately you've sort of set yourself up to be in that grey area by buying a "branded" vehicle.You've handed them a reason to deny your claim.

It's a shame too, because even tho I despise GM and the cheap junk parts they built their cars with, I still love my ION.

Merc: what exactly is it not doing now after the reprogramming of the new ignition ? Won't start at all ? Key stuck in the ignition ? Has your mechanic fixed the electric power steering for you ? If he has, that is at least one problem dealt with.

Try and get it sorted out, cut your losses and move forward.Everyone has gotten burned at some point in their lives.

I've owned nothing but GM cars for the last 20 years and have watched their sad decline since I was 10. No more of their product for me. Ever. So don't feel like you're alone out there.

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Old 05-14-2011, 01:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

Wait to check out the new Cruize...

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Old 05-15-2011, 12:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

I don't know, Chilipepper. The public has been promised "just wait and see" by GM for 40 years. Look at all of GM's "game changers" : J Body, N Body, Saturn, Malibu [90's version], the GM 10s,Corsica /Beretta and all the versions for all the divisions so they'd have "something to sell" in the segment. The only real game changer they had in that time was Saturn, and we all know how that turned out.

Personally, it's time for me to move on. No more blind brand loyalty for me ever again.

BTW: I'd rather have a Cruze with the 2.2 or 2.4, so that one's off my list automatically. The 2.2 is the best thing about my ION.

Why would I get something with a timing belt and fussier maintenance schedule [as it was in the Astra and my same complaint with it then]? And unless that's changed in it's travels from Astra to Cruze..........

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Old 05-16-2011, 01:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: WARNING: GM prejudiced against Saturn Owners

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...I think you are missing the point anyway, since the problem is that if my car was a Chevy Cobalt, with a branded title, the same defective power steering would be fixed for free. It is ONLY because of GM's prejudice against Saturn owners that they ONLY offered the warranty extension on the part and NOT the full recall which is what they did for ALL the other GM vehicles which used the very same Power Steering motor.

Hope I better communicated my complaint now.
Not really, because if you did have a Cobalt with a branded title YOU WOULD NOT get a free power steering motor. Once a car is totalled you are up s*@t's creek without a paddle with regard to getting free stuff. You are misinformed about warranty procedures. Also, badmouthing GM when your experiences with them are an engine problem on a very high mileage car and electrical problems on a totalled vehicle is pretty harsh.

I certainly sympathize with you having problems, and I hope they are all resolved. However, there is also no doubt whatsoever in my mind that you could have had your pick of better cars in the $6500 price range. Choosing a salvaged car brings with it numerous risks, all of which are your responsibility to shoulder, not General Motors'. Good luck

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L series owners...low fuel warning? Dach L-Series Tech 5 08-05-2002 04:27 PM


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