A few years ago, Marie and I bought a used, 2001 Chevy Malibu. It was a beautiful car with low mileage. It didn’t have an Owner’s Manual so the salesman said he would send away and buy one for us.
Shortly after our 30-day warranty expired, (isn’t it always that way?) our car wouldn’t start. I turned the key, and nothing happened. It was as though we had a completely dead battery. .
We still didn’t have the manual. So I called the salesman. He said he would send out a mechanic.
The mechanic took a look at the dash, saw a blinking light and told us it needed a (whatever). I asked if he had one and if he could install it for me. He said that no, it was a big job and he had to tow it in.
The original estimate was over six hundred dollars! After Marie and I screamed about this, the Service Manager eventually reduced it to $547 and change.
I believe it was about a year later when we had the same problem again. With all that expense, they still hadn’t actually fixed the problem. But now I had the manual. I looked through it and found the “no-start” problem. It described a 10-minute procedure to get it started. I carefully followed the instructions. Ten minutes later, the engine started right up.
My first thought was that we had been ripped off. Surely the salesman and the mechanic knew about this no-start problem with the Malibu, and the 10-minute procedure to start the engine. But neither one of them mentioned this to us. I think everyone in General Motors must have known about this problem with the Malibu and the 10-minute fix. After all, it was right in their Manual, so it had to be quite common.
I tried in vain to get a refund of our money, but was turned down by the dealer’s General Manager, the Service Manager, and the General Headquarters of the Dealership.
My letter to the CEO of General Motors accomplished nothing. Perhaps the CEO never saw my letter. A woman, presumably from a “Complaints Department” called and told me I had been turned down. Her argument was that the Service Manager had turned me down and that was it!
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about a Ford incident for comparison.