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Old 11-20-2003, 12:22 AM   #1
scotted73
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While perusing other nameplate forums, I came across this Time magazine article:

http://www.time.com/time/globalbusin...543826,00.html

It kinda puts the problems Saturn owners are having into perspective. Seems as if every automaker suffers from some sort of problem. You've just got to be able to pick the Manufacturer that has a product that appeals to you individually--whether that involves the actual vehicle, sales staff or service staff.

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Old 11-20-2003, 07:53 AM   #2
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Interesting. I sold my 00 VW Jetta to get a VUE. It was a great car... when it did not suffer from gremlins. My beef w/VW was not their product. It was how they dealt with problems. Cars are going to have some problems... they are mechanical. What sets good (Saturn) from bad (VW) manufacturers is how problems are dealt. VW dealers did everything possible to blame the customers instead of taking accountability (initial coilpack failures, motor mounts, clutch failures at 5000 miles...).

What happens when you have issues w/dealers? You contact the manufacturer. VW did nothing to dealerships. No pressure was applied. They almost always took the dealers' side. Although this situation never actually happened to me, I can list at least a half dozen acquaintances. I was an active member of vwvortex.com. There are horror stories of dealer treatment towards customers that are so ridiculous its seems like a fiction novel. VW did nothing for these customers.

Other car brands that I've owned ('91 SL2 & '97 Jeep Wrangler) had minor issues (being newly released models), but the dealers bended over backwards to ensure issues were addressed and I was satisfied. I did not even think twice about buying a Saturn b/c Saturn is customer driven. If there is an issue w/a dealership, I'm confident Saturn corp will intervene in reasonable situations. Me buy another VW? I'd have to hear miraculous turn arounds from VW owners. VW will need to expand on the Drivers Wanted ad campaign if they continue on the same path.

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Old 11-20-2003, 06:56 PM   #3
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I agree with you completely on the dealership handling of problems. The manufacturers do not directly own the dealerships and therefore it is up to the management company and/or General Managers to set the standard. Some of them are in the biz solely for immediate profit and do not look into the path ahead when dealing with customers. Others bend over backward to take of their customers--even the ones that abuse them.

My wife had a Ford Explorer that was serviced at a Ford dealership. When we went to pick it up, the Service Advisor was unable to explain the repair bill (A/C work). Further, we were handed the keys and told "it's somewhere out back". At Saturn, we get a full explanation, a car wash and our vehicle is brought to us. This is not indictive of all Saturn or Ford dealerships, but these experiences can push you to another Nameplate for a new or used car.

I hope those who have problems are able to get some sort of satisfaction with the handling of their problem (s).

Also, each Saturn Dealership is allotted a limited amount of funds to handle warranty claims.

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Old 11-20-2003, 10:17 PM   #4
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Every manufacturer is going to have some faults with vehicles in their lineup somewhere. I agree with everyone else, its all in a matter of how you deal with it. With Saturn, I have never had any issues with any warranty or recall problems. If I took it in, they would always fix it, and apologize for the inconvienence it caused me to bring it in.

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Old 11-20-2003, 10:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by scotted73

Also, each Saturn Dealership is allotted a limited amount of funds to handle warranty claims.

That's an interesting note.
Is this a typical way of doing business among the auto industry?

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Old 11-21-2003, 08:43 AM   #6
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Uncle Bik,

Yes it fairly common among manufacturers to allott a "slush" fund for warranty. The problem is this-the lower your warranty claims, the more money they allow you to use. So, if you use the factory warranty system to cover warrantied items, you don't get as much leeway to use the funds. We opt to use the warranty system the way it's supposed to be used. We don't get as much slush fund money, but we do keep our owners happy.

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Old 11-21-2003, 09:45 AM   #7
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I think Saturn is more reliable than most competitors. I have not had a Saturn leave me stranded. Problems I have had have been taken care of, none have been operational in nature. They have always been things like a seat latch, water leaking into my ION, and I had water leaking into my tail-lights on the SC1 due to a seal in that area which was installed improperly.

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Old 11-22-2003, 04:27 AM   #8
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The old adage "You can frost a brick and make it look like a cake" holds very true. The "brand" or "name plate" on any vehicle is no indicator of how reliable or well built it may or not be. Anybody remember the early 90's PONTIAC Lemans? My neighbor had one that refused to start everytime it rained (guess it did not want to get wet) About the only thing(s) in that car made by GM were the radio and the battery...The other side of the coin being the Chevy (Geo) Prism...Toyota quality with a GM Badge plastered on it.

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