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Old 11-29-2006, 02:18 AM   #41
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i just read this entire thread thru for the first time... i must say, i agree with the bolded

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Originally Posted by singscountry1967
your editorial had me wetting myself! Perhaps copying that and posting in your local newspaper'* editorial section would also be entertaining for the townfolk. Seriously, you should write for a living!
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:15 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemax
Final thought: When i take them to court, they will have to litigate AGAINST their Comprehensive Warranty. They are going to have to say it actually doesn't cover what a 10 GM franchise dealer and I say is wrong with the car.

Somebody quick explain to me how that is good business.
If [when] you go to small claims on this, they won't actually litigate against their warranty. There'* absolutely nothing they have to gain by fighting in small claims. How a company does business with its customers, and how they do business in court will be two entirely different things. You're someone they can argue with and possibly rip off. A small claims referee is neither, and they know it. Their lawyer knows ahead of time that it isn't worth their time to argue in small claims. They will simply pay your claim and walk away.

The bottom line here is that you need your car fixed, and since it'* under their warranty, they need to pay for it. Almost nobody goes to small claims court, because normally an automobile service department is compentent enough to actually honor their warranty. Since you seem to have found the exception to the rule, you need to do what you need to do. If they don't take care of your car, they don't leave you with much choice. Small claims court can and will make them pay. Their lawyer knows this. If they don't fix your car. Just go to small claims, and you'll be amazed at how fast they pay to make you go away.

I've had to go the small claims court way just once. A girl hit my parked car. Her insurance company didn't want to pay to fix it, claimed it was totalled, offered me a couple hundred bucks. I filed a small claim, they called and paid me. It'* just that simple. You'll never actually go to small claims court, because their lawyer is aware of how illogical it is for them to argue *against* their own warranty. It really is a no-brainer to pay you. That'* why we can only conclude that they have no brains since they haven't fixed this yet!

Good luck, keep us posted.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:21 PM   #43
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My contact at Saturn corpprate says that all Saturn dealerships are privately owned businesses and although this will be handled internally by them, he will forward this incident to their "leadership if I let him know which Saturn dealership it is. It seems none are known as Saturn of the Valley to them.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:01 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singscountry1967
MadMax...your editorial had me wetting myself! Perhaps copying that and posting in your local newspaper'* editorial section would also be entertaining for the townfolk. Seriously, you should write for a living!
Thanks to The Lady in Maple Red. Your comment was most gracious, as has been your sturdy support. I have done some contributory work on a few fairly well known sites over the past 5 years after my corporate career took a sudden and vigorous trip to the outhouse. I have been doing contract work since then, which has provided opportunity for me to indulge my guilty pleasure of attempting to lend humor where welcome, and straightjacket deserving perspectives where tolerated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by popatim
My contact at Saturn corpprate says that all Saturn dealerships are privately owned businesses and although this will be handled internally by them, he will forward this incident to their "leadership if I let him know which Saturn dealership it is. It seems none are known as Saturn of the Valley to them.
Saturn of the Valley was/is one of the first Saturn franchises in the US. Saturn took advantage of a clean start in the industry. They wanted to rewrite the book on best practices, and instituted a highly demanding and cooperative relationship between the dealer and Saturn.

Robert Kelly, the owner of Kelly Automotive Group, was smart enough to know that a new direction was needed in the industry. In fact, he thought so much of the Saturn model that he spirited away Chris Saraceno from Saturn where he had developed the core of Saturn'* training and sales processes. Saranceno modeled down Saturn'* vision/mission concepts and processes to Kelly'* different operations, including Saturn of the Vacuous.

Somebody might want to call Mr Kelly and tell him that his middle management there must have missed training day. I still contend that employees don't get the attitude I saw from an infectious toilet seat. It'* the result of the environment management brings down on them.

Aren't I a fountain of useless information.

BTW, to maintain some degree of fairness, there have been developments by them. I have just been back and forth across 2 time zones. I need to clear my cell phone and head, so I can get up to date.

Be back tonight.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:14 PM   #45
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I don't know what it says about my life, but reading the developments of this story have been the most entertaining thing in my life for the past week! Keep us posted, this is better than any television 2-part cliff-hanger!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:06 AM   #46
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I swear.... working with these people has been like herding cats. I was up at Saturn afterhours tonight, and they were powerscrubbing their service area. They must do it to remove the marks where their knuckles drag.

Good News: The SSE is home, safe and sound. Supposedly, the uppers are all done. New plugs. The car is back to the right feel. Throttle is crisp and and the car has that agile lightness.

Expected News: They didn't do the LIM.

This was a function of my jumbled past 36 hours. I had something of personal importance going on and couldn't catch a full frontal phone discussion with them. Everything was phone mail. I knew I shouldn't let them get ahead of me, but i dropped the ball.

Anyway.....

So the last phone message I pulled today was "We're done!". Kinda gave me an image of a 9 year old standing with greasecovered, smiling pride.. after having learned to use a wrench... took your lawntractor apart.

From preceeding messages, I guessed they decided to skip the pending confrontation and "tore apart the engine". Those were their words, I'll have to translate from Saturnese (Valley dialect). In English..."We removed the throttle body, fuel rail, the several other connections, and unbolted the plenum (they even found the hidden bolt!)." I'm surprised they didn't call it a day after that exhausting experience. However, they must have cowboyed up and pressed on.

They confessed to finding the plenum warped and the gasket compromised. From this profound discovery they became immediately enlightened. So enlightened in fact, they were struck by a vision of the LIM. Even though they couldn't see it, they concluded from the mystical vision that it was intact, serenely unaffected by two major engine failures. I was tempted to stop and alert the press to the Miracle of the Enlightened Valley, but I just had to hear the rest of the message...

"That gasket was replaced before you bought the car." The car is 11 model years old, I was hoping for a little more specific time frame than sometime in the last decade. But ya go with what ya got. Actually, I think I know what he was saying.

So in summary on the last pass they acted out their lack of character by denying me the LIM. In reflection, with their lack of anything vaguely resembling ethics, ignorance of their own profession, and borderline personality disorders... I'm lucky I didn't find a mud puppy on the front seat of the car, left by some repressed passive-aggressive.. I'm going to have to go through the bills, but I think I cost them about $1600 on the warranty. In actual dollars, maybe $900 out of pocket, plus lost opportunity.

I'm recouping tomorrow. Have to hit the car and check the work in the light. Plus get the oil turned catalytic acid out of the car. I'll have to take her out and run her. It will probably be a shock to her system. In the past 3 weeks she'* had more miles on a tow bed, than on the road.

And..... with me a story that doesn't have a perfect ending, is just a story that isn't done yet. Let'* see.. I have 100 miles left on the warranty, a legal aid person helping me, a bill for $80 at the Pontiac dealer, and an LIM that may or may not be sound....hmmm

If anyone recognizes my graphic novel avatar, you know I have a moral imperative.
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:35 PM   #47
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They didn't change the oil? That is another terrible mistake on their part. Immedialty change the oil, got the cooling system pressure checked. Then send them the bill with a reminder of the small claims.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:07 PM   #48
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Yes, my dealership correctly stated that an oil change was mandatory with the upper intake failure. How in blue blazes could your Saturn dealership not change the LIM gasket or the oil when they're holding a Pontiac Dealer estimate that says you need a LIM gasket too? Ugh. It'* like having Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber working on your car!
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:51 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wikoff
They didn't change the oil? That is another terrible mistake on their part. Immedialty change the oil, got the cooling system pressure checked. Then send them the bill with a reminder of the small claims.
This is Saturn of the Valley. They seem like such lifeless, unhappy people. You can't read them as to if they are that stupid or their acts are intentional.The only time they perk up is when they try to talk you down.

One of their counter-arguments in the beginning was that there was no oil in the antifreeze. I told them the issue is more likely the coolant in the oil, not the reverse. And that the coolant, particularly the DexCool, combined with the oil make a nasty acid. They didn't get it.

I have access to a legal aid group. They even sent a legal aid with me when I took the car and second opinion to Saturn. Just in case an argument for remedy broke out. I also have a lawyer, for whom I am putting a letter together, which I might be able to send with his letterhead. It will cover all that I want to recover.

A key piece that I'm missing... there must have been a GM FSB regarding this problem. On them they usually also indicate proper remedy. I haven't been able to hunt one down. I think I remember finding one at one point.

I'm changing the oil as we speak. I just stopped by to see you guys thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugsi
Yes, my dealership correctly stated that an oil change was mandatory with the upper intake failure. How in blue blazes could your Saturn dealership not change the LIM gasket or the oil when they're holding a Pontiac Dealer estimate that says you need a LIM gasket too? Ugh. It'* like having Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber working on your car!
Strategy and/or cheap laziness on their part. I know they didn't clear the stack to actually look at the LIM, because there is only 2 hours labor which would be about right to do the uppers. I made fun of it above, but the LIM edge is blue like the updated (but not aluminum frame) GM gasket.

Strategically its a good move by them. It also has a taste of that "control" thing I was talking about above. They just wanted to defy the Pontiac diagnosis. If the LIM is compromised, i either have to tear down to it and check ($$$), or get the FSB and hope it says the LIM is part of the remedy for the uppers failure. Plus a mildly bad LIM wil not show as quickly as the uppers failure. So they have a much better chance of getting me past warranty before i can make an external evaluation (ie definite loss of coolant). And think about it... they replaced the coolant, what are the odds on them having done it correctly? I'm going to check for air, but the average carowner wouldn't.

And actually the warranty became the problem again. I didn't have time to react to their remedy. If it'* billable work, I have to sign off on the remedy. With the warranty, they could go ahead before they heard from me.

Just think how pathetically stubbornly muleminded they are. If they had listened to me(us) from the start, they wouldn't have wasted so much time and money on the wrong remedies. Based on the Pontiac estimate, the full out of pocket for them to solve the problem quickly and completely would have been $375. It ended up twice that, and they have a customer in vendetta mode. Instead of enthusiastically thrilled.

Just plain bad business.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:22 PM   #50
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Keep checking your plugs. If the same ones look the same with the white and what not, the LIM gaskets would need attention.
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