OT: My New Car Lasted 1 Week!

Submitted by RageCage35 on March 30th, 2010 at 3:30 PM

I graduated college in May 2009 and was fortunate to get a financial job right out of college. I saved up my money to buy a new car that I purchased on Saturday March 20th. I am someone who buys American every chance I get. I was looking at a Ford, but my father allowed me to use his GM points towards a new car purchase. The amount of money towards a GM car was significant enough for me to purchase a new 2010 Chevy Malibu.
I used the car for exactly one week and had a tire issue with 382 miles on the vehicle. I cannot recall an incident where my tire went flat. I noticed the meter saying the tire was low and heard the tire having issues so I pulled into the nearest restaurant. There are alot of potholes in NJ,PA due to the weather. I had to call onstar on Saturday night while I was driving my friends to go out. They put the donut on the car and I drove home.
Monday I drove the car back to the dealership after hours for repair. Today I called the dealership and the technician said it would be $385 to fix the rim and tire. I was stunned. He said it was not under warranty. Warranty or no warranty does anyone else think the dealership should fix my issue free of charge or am I nuts?
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do? My father is off work today and visited the dealership but they would not budge. They said $385 was at cost. My Dad balked and took the car to a repair shop. The dealership said they would pay for the difference if it’s cheaper. I will be going as calmly as possible after work but I cannot believe that this is deemed acceptable customer service. At the very least they should fix my tire and apologize for the inconvenience. If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.



March 31st, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

If you have cash your mentallity makes sense but if your financing like 99% of people whats another 5 thousand dollars to spend when your making payments every month.

It's $5,000, plus interest, that you no longer have? On the bright side, you perfectly captured the way people think that leads them into insane debt.


March 31st, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

If you buy a new car, anything could be faulty on it, whereas a car thats 10 years old and has 100-200k on it has proven itself to be defect free. Also a 10 year old model has had enough time on the road to gain a reputation for longevity (or lack thereof) so you know what you'll get. All of this on top of the cost advantage.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

They are most likely claiming the rim is damaged due to impact, which technically may not be covered by warranty - hard to say without the specifics. Get the number of the regional GM customer relations rep - GM may be willing to do something.

When you talk to them be nice - they won't react well if you come on strong. Say you have all your money into this new car and $385 is going to be very tough to handle.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:02 PM ^

Now think about what's going to happen when you go to the emergency room when the government is running the healthcare system? It's terrifying, the DMV, the post office, GM, they all suck. Good luck to all of us in the upcoming years, try and stay healthy.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

no reason to censor it. he'll just be neg bombed and that will be the end of it. if he had created a diary about that, that's one thing. a dumb unrelated response that took less than a paragraph? that can stay.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:04 PM ^

but a flat tire in the first week can happen on any car. Tires aren't going to be covered because it's not a car issue, just like if a rock went through your windshield. In the first week I got my new car a hail storm came about and all the dents weren't covered under warranty.

Steve in PA

March 30th, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

This is another example of how little most US car companies are willing to do for their next sale. They seem to be one-and-done with sales. It's stupid really and your situation is another example.

You're fresh out of college and bought your first new car. With this sale, they could look at you as a long term customer with a new vehicle purchase every 5-7 years, but the dealership and the manufacturer have soured the relationship and I would be surprised if your next vehicle was a GM.

Most foreign-owned car companies would have picked up the tab since their out of pocket would be next to nothing. I know my Nissan while under warranty would have covered it.

I'm not a Harley guy, but a friend was dating a woman whose family owned several dealerships. He was telling me how they sell the Sportster 883 almost at cost because they know if you buy that you'll be back in a short time (2-3 years) to upgrade if you keep riding.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

Thanks I have been searching for the GM regional rep. No luck yet. My father suggested that as well. I'm not sure the exact issue with the tire my father said it was torn up on the inside but no visable damage to the naked eye(although I only saw it when it was dark out)


March 30th, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

The dealer should be able to give you the regional rep. If they are charging you $385 the rim has to be damaged as well. If you have to go the GM website and get a number for customer service. escalate it before it gets fixed - it is probably impact damage but if you tell a good story and plead nicely they may help.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:21 PM ^

I was leasing an 08' Saturn Aura until the end of 2009. In March 2009, I had an issue where there was leak from an unknown source. I didn't notice it until a drive up north quickened the process and flattened the tire. Needless to say, driving the distance from when I noticed the leak to when I got the spare on, I ruined the rim. Although I have no idea how it happened I had to pay ~$280.00 to replace the tire and rim. The guy at Discount Tire said the Aura rims are notorious for being weak. Unfortunately for you, the Aura, G6, and Malibu all use the same rim if I'm not mistaken. Hope it doesn't happen again.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:27 PM ^

My father is very busy helping me on his off day. He took it to a mechanic he trusts and can get the job done for under $200. He said he is getting it taken care of because he needs his car back tomorrow. It is apparently not covered under tire warranty according to him (I'm still going to call). I'm going to continue to fight this out of sheer principle of how I believe a business should be run.


March 30th, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

Hope someone covers the cost for you. I wish you nothing but the best, sincerely.


A car company can't be responsible for everything. Assuming you did nothing wrong, you're simply a victim of some bad luck due to a pothole, nail, or whatever it may be. A new car does not make you immune from problems.

GM's warranty is covering the stuff thats within their control. Its a warranty you agreed to when you bought the car. If you break your arm tomorrow its not GM's job to fix it just so that you remain a happy customer with fond associations for their generosity. A business can go above and beyond, but I don't think they're wronging you if they decide not to. They've done what they promised and appear to be making some effort to make you happy. Maybe you think its not enough, but I disagree.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

I just cant bring myself to spend 25-35K on a new car. I target used cars 2-4 years old between 15K-25K miles with one owner. I regret to report that Honda and Toyota make for the best values in this area unless you find a steal.


March 30th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

My fiance had a similar problem. She got a brand new Saturn Aura on a lease about 1.5 years ago when GM had just filed for bankruptcy. About a month after she got hit by some driver and had to send it to the shop to get the bumper replaced. Well it was horrible timing because all the part suppliers were going under and they couldn't get the part. When they finally got it done TWO MONTHS later she was driving it home and noticed that the breaks were horrible and wobbly. Obviously she needed new breaks. Well she told them about it and they gave the same lame excuse "it's not under warranty because it's how you drive it". BS because we had the thing for a month.

Luckily it's a lease. When the guy told me this I said, "alright - I guess we're just going to burn up these breaks and in three years GM is not only going to have to replace them but the rotors as well" - and I ended with the shot to the throat "no wonder you guys are going bankrupt with policies like this".


March 30th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

That's a bummer story, but I know a lot of people who have purchased that new Malibu and they are all very happy with it. This it likely a freak incident, albeit unfortunate, but the car you bought is a quality one.

For all of you saying "see, this is why American cars suck" are completely ridiculous. I bought a Sony HD TV a couple years ago that I had to bring back and exchange after 2 weeks. Does this mean that Japanese electronics companies suck? No, sometimes products have issues.

One problem does not denote a lemon. If you continue to have problems, then that's another story.

Steve in PA

March 30th, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

Sony didn't charge you money to return it for a new one because of an issue that was no fault of your own. Instead they exchanged it and most likely kept you as a customer next time you are looking for a TV.

If they would have charged you $50 for a replacement because there was a power spike to your TV that would be a more accurate analogy.


March 30th, 2010 at 5:52 PM ^

Go back and look at all the recalls they've had on numerous vehicles. They have tons of issues and they just keep making more and more shitty cars. I swear they make shit that is suspect and they have the mentality like if enough people complain we'll just put out a recall. I as well as my family members have owned several chevys and they were shit, so I would never buy one IMO buy either a Ford or Nissan, Toyota, Honda, or Mazda. The foreign car companies have their shit together and if there is ever a problem in any way with a car you purchase from them they go out of there way to make it right because they value the CUSTOMER! GM IS SHIT!!!!!


March 30th, 2010 at 8:54 PM ^

How's the acceleration in your Toyota? If foreign car companies have their shit so together then why did Toyota just recall over 2 Million vehicles? Why did they lose money last year? Why did they just close 2 plants in the US (NUMI & Princeton IN)? Why did they not issue a recall on a safety item because they could save money??

Foreign car companies are typically rated amongst the worst in customer service. Every company tries to do right by the customer. If you don't like GM, then fine. That is your right, but get some facts.

Hemlock Philosopher

March 30th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

An issue with a pothole is not the dealer's fault, or manufacturer's fault. It's an accident. I had this happen with my new Legacy GT back in 2005. $1200 for new tires and rims and an alignment. The culprit was a 1' deep pothole next to a railroad track. Just try going after the RR companies for that... My insurance said no thanks, I was in a residency, so I ate it.


March 30th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

This happened to me shortly after I bought my BMW. Alloy wheels in particular with low profile tires are very vulnerable to damage. Fortunately I had purchased a tire / wheel warranty when I bought the car.

Your situation sucks, but it may not be so bad if you look around for options. Here's some suggestions though:

1) most new car tire warranties are for tire defects not road damage - so most likely won't help. However, the tire may not be damaged. The wheel may be bent to the extent that your tire bead is not sealing.

2) take it to a reputable tire place. (In my area Discount Tires, and Colony Tires (Goodyear) are reputable, but it varies widely by area.) Have the tire place evaluate the tire and the wheel. Particularly if the tire is road damaged or not, and for that matter defective or not. As I said, you problem may solely be a bent wheel.

3) ask at the tire place, and look online for alloy (or steel if you have them) wheel repair. That bent wheel may be repairable for $50-100 (versus the cost of that new wheel the dealership wants to sell you).

4) Also, look on craigslist or ebay for someone selling your car's wheels. Many people buy a new or used car and then replace the wheels and tires. You may be able to pick up a full set for the price the dealer wants for one new wheel -- and then you have spares for the next pothole.

Good luck!


March 30th, 2010 at 5:43 PM ^

Somewhat related

My most recent set of tires came from Sam's Club. They came with a lifetime guarantee. Not more than a month later I was only way back to campus and had a flat on the freeway. I was one exit from a Sam's and nursed it in there. They looked at it and decided the tire was shot and so they made me pay the difference between a new tire and how much tread I had worn off the original. It came out to $11 and change. I thought the service was exceptional and would gladly buy tires there again.


March 30th, 2010 at 5:52 PM ^

this issue. Not to say this isn't an issue.

I suggest you contact Mark Reuss, GM North America President. He is on Facebook and is great at responding to customers. Wheels & tires, obviously, are very susceptible to road damage. I'd be surprised if any of the auto companies cover under their warranty. GM has the best bumper-to-bumerer coverage in the industry. I actually took out some issurance (5/month) from the dealership to protect myself from the poor Michigan roads. I would at least raise the issue and take things from there. To those that sugggest this is an American auto issue, is just ignorant. Kinda like the ref. at the hockey game last weekend. However, if you do have the issue on a Toyota, I'm sure you can get the dealer without stopping.


March 30th, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

I agree with another poster. If the rim was in fact defective when purchased then that is the only scenario where I could argue that you are in the right.

However if you happened to puncture the tire by a pothole or a nail, etc. then that has nothing to do with the automaker. And subsequently if you drove on a flat tire too long and it damaged the rim then again, unfortunately, that would be your fault.

The biggest issue here looks to be you now have a damaged rim and it is impossible to ascertain how/when that occurred. It now falls into the Chicken or the Egg argument. Did the faulty rim cause tire damage or did the blown tire cause the rim damage? There really is no way to prove this so it looks like you are going to have to pony up the dough.

If if makes you feel better I average about 1.5 nails in my tires each year. About 14 months ago I purchased two new tires with a lifetime warranty. Then 8 months ago two other new ones without the warranty. And of course the nail that I got a month ago happened to go into a tire without the warranty.

This crap happens to all of us. Don't let it ruin your day/week.

Go Blue.


March 30th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

I just recently purchased a couple year old used car (not GM). It's obviously still under warranty, but they made me get a tire/wheel protection service that would cover something like yours going wrong.

So for that reason, I don't think tires/wheels are covered under the general warranty.

(I know for a fact that if I had to replace a rim/run flat tire on my car it would cost just as much as the 4 year policy did - so I figured it was a no brainer)


March 30th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

There are tire/wheel specific insurance policies that cover this because it is never covered (nor should it be) by either tire or auto manufacturer. However, these policies are usually only worthwhile if you have expensive low profile tires (usually implying expensive large wheels), which are more prone to damage from potholes. So in your case, sorry, bad luck.


March 30th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

Find a copy of the warranty, Research a good attorney in your area, then tell the dealership that you're prepared to go ahead with a suit. The dealership will probably just do it at this point, as $385 is a pretty nominal amount of money to them.


March 30th, 2010 at 6:35 PM ^

I drive a 2002 Acura MDX that I bought in 2005 as a certified pre-owned car that had come off a 3 year lease. It came with a 3 year warranty that covered pretty much everything. I got it with about 50K miles on it.

Long story short, late last year the transmission went at around 95K miles. I was out of warranty in every sense of the word, but there had been a re-call very early on for the model and there was a lot ot talk in online forums about issues with this particular transmission.

When I call to inquire about the $$ to fix, the dealer rep tells me that Acura has a program where they will cover somewhere between 50 and 90% of the repairs depending on the particulars of mileage, etc. I ended up getting out of there with about $5,500 worth of remanufactured transmission and labor and only paying $1,700 (some % of the actual labor). the reman tranny has a 3 year guarantee on it. To replace a transmission that is sporting 100K miles, that is a pretty sweet deal, especially when you consider I will likely sell it in about a year or so and get back the $1,700 as part of the resell value.

More than likely I will be getting a new MDX after that.

Advice to the OP, contact GM directly and indicate that you will be posting your story online and telling everyone you know exactly your experience with buying a GM and they might be willing to work with you and the dealer.


March 30th, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

Too bad you didn't know me. My first car was a Malibu. The only thing that didn't go bad was the engine or transmission. Everything else went to hell....