Making GM Pay

General Motors paid half the cost to fix my vehicle.  Of the $1,188 expense, I only paid $594.  Personally, I think GM should have been forced to recall this part and pay for the repairs.  Unfortunately, I don't have control over that.  However, I can tell you the steps I took that helped me get a somewhat positive resolution.  The following account details how I got GM to ante up at least some of the cost.  From my post on

Step 1: Call GM Customer Service (1.800-222-1020) to file a complaint. Make your complaint appear knowledgeable.  All of the following research can be found on other pages on this blog. I mentioned that I've read that poorly designed actuators and a plastic instead of metal blend door are to blame for the widespread problem. This is a manufacturer's defect, a very important term to them. Second, the problem impacts the ability of the car to defrost. As noted in a letter from GM's Director of Product Investigations and Safety to the NHTSA on December 23, 2009, the 2010 Equinox was recalled since a manufacturer’s defect resulted in non-operational defrost systems that was a safety concern, could result in a crash, and violated federal motor vehicle safety standard 103. In other words, GM has admitted on another vehicle that manufacturer’s defects that cause inoperable defrost systems are their responsibility to replace. Lastly, I also mentioned that the NHTSA site has nearly 200 filed complaints about this problem on this vehicle and model year.

Step 2: Go to the dealership service center and ask them to diagnose the issue, and if it is the blend door, make a determination on if it resulted from a manufacturer’s defect. I got a free rental while the vehicle was getting diagnosed, which took about half a day.

Step 3: On confirmation of diagnosis and defect, say that you will not proceed with the repair until GM makes a determination on whether they will pay for the replacement in total or in part.  I heard from a GM rep that they are less willing to make refund payments than they are to split the costs of repair at the time of repair.  In my case, the dealership called GM directly to plead my case and got me the 50% off. Part of it may have been that they were paying by the day for the rental car I was using, and I assume they get paid the repair costs either way if they do it, which wasn’t guaranteed unless GM participated in payment.

In the end, Chevy’s design has led to a very common problem that is a safety concern for most drivers. I believe they should have recalled the vehicle to fix the issue, but they haven’t done so.  If possible, do your best to make them pay.  This entire process was resolved for me in 3-4 days and filing the formal complaint was well worth the effort.