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Old 07-20-2004, 08:08 AM   #1
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Default UPDATE: my burned Bonny dilemma (LONG)

Well folks, after am entire month from the day my Bonny caught fire at the dealership, there is finally an outcome for all those wondering about it (original thread here). My insurance co. was ready to settle pretty quickly after they inspected the damage several weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until GM conducted their investigation and made me an offer. And wait I did...

Insurance initially offered me a settlement value of $7200 minus my $250 comprehensive deductible, an amount that I knew would probably not replace my Bonny (based on those for sale in my area). I discussed that point with my Ins. Adjuster, and faxed about 10 pages of documents showing various comparable Bonnevilles for sale in my area (most in the $8000-9500 range) which she said would be reviewed and considered. Insurance had no problem with waiting for GM'* resolution, and the Adjuster actually sounded optimistic when she told me that several primary inspections pointed to the Fuel Pressure Regulator as causing the intake explosion & fire (which is spelled out verbatim on the 98-99 recall notice many of you have received or read).

So I decided to wait for GM'* invesitgation, naively thinking they would step up and take responsibility........ hardly. I could barely EVER get ahold of a GM rep to get status updates, and basically they strung me along for 30 days only to give me an absolutely insulting settlement offer yesterday. My Bonny was a 1998 SLE in near-mint condition with 53k miles, as noted in my sig... and GM offered me a whopping $4500. The rep says "I'm sorry, that'* the best we can do... all we can offer is amount you might have received if you had walked in and TRADED the Bonneville before the fire." Wha?!?!?!? A faulty GM part (and a mechanic'* negligence, IMO) is the cause for my car being destroyed, and that'* how they treat us. And the rep says to my wife, "so is this what you want to do? We'd really like to get this resolved." My wife promptly says NO and hung up, and at this point I don't care if I ever talk to that guy again. Unbelievable.

BUT there is better news... a few hours later I updated my Insurance Adjuster on GM'* stance, and asked about the proof-of-price documents I had sent in several weeks earlier. She said that based on my research, Insurance would total out the car and pay me $8200 (still minus $250), and they will also reimburse me for the tax-title-license fees on my replacement vehicle (probably around $700-800 in my price range) as long as I buy it within 30 days... so around a $8800 settlement overall. And once they make payment to me, they have grounds to sue GM for reimbursement (which could eventually include the return of my $250 deductible). She said she thinks they gave a strong case too, although I won't keep my fingers crossed based on my experience with GM so far. SO, after all that we decided to settle with insurance and I am signing over the title and getting my check later today.

Meanwhile I am vigorously shopping for a replacement, and any help I can get from y'all is much appreciated! I've gotta find something within 30 days, or else I lose out on the fee reimbursement from my insurance. GM has got some kind of hook in me even after all this, because I am ping-ponging between another Bonneville or an Olds Aurora... really I think it will be whatever I find first, because I don't have a lot of time to waste. I'd like a 98-99 of either, miles around/under 60k if possible, SLE or higher if a Bonneville, and a dark color if possible. I was able to save my chrome torque stars and tires, so they are sitting in my garage just waiting to get mounted on whatever I buy (if it doesn't already have 'em).

I search eBay, Autotrader, cars.com, carsoup.com, and several local classifieds almost daily. The mileage is what is killing me, as there are tons of cars in the 70-100k range... but I really don't want to go that high for the family'* primary driver. Ideally I want a car I can keep & drive for 5+ years (that was the plan for the last one anyway). I live in central IL and will drive to the Chicago area, St. Louis area, or maybe into IN if the right car shows up in any of those places. Please please PLEASE respond or drop me a PM if you know of anything within those parameters, and THANK YOU for reading this lengthy rant.

Comments welcome... [/url]
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:41 AM   #2
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who was it you were dealing with at gm, and what was their title?

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Old 07-20-2004, 09:05 AM   #3
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I was dealing with two people throughout my ordeal, both in the department of GM Allegation Resolutions (or something similar to that). I am sure of the names, however: the first rep was Darren Transue, who was handling the claim until he left the company for medical school (or so I was told). All he basically did at the beginning was tell me it would be 10-14 business days (~3 weeks) before I heard anything. Then, the case was transferred to Gerard Cross, who received all the inspection reports and delivered the "fatal blow" so to speak.

And when I do speak to Cross again, I plan on asking how I can file an official complaint on GM'* poor response to this issue. Lives are at stake when engines catch on fire simply by starting them up! Folks, please don't waste time on this if your 3800-II is in the recall.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:04 AM   #4
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I understand your hesitation about 70-100k cars, but the 3800 is a tank and really just getting into prime shape at that point. I'm guessing they will be pretty reliable although other things on the car may need work. Sorry to hear about the problem, but at least you got some satisfaction.
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:51 AM   #5
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I think you did the right thing to settle with your insurance company and not GM. No doubt GM will (would) fight for a very long time on this issue with the hopes of weaselling out on any possible settlement.

Best to leave it to the insurance company lawyers to fight GM. Both companines have lawyers on staff for such things, if you wanted to fight you would need deep pockets and a lot of patience. Companies like GM know this and exploit this potential weekness on the part of the customer.

In future references to this incident, be sure to use the words you mentioned frequently; faulty and negligence. The car was subject to a recall sothere was already recognition of fault on the part of GM. Also, the dealer was negligent in undertaking the repair therefore causing the damage.

In all likelyhood, GM will settle with your insurance company.

Good luck finding something to your taste and within budget. Maybe you should be looking at a car with a blower now :P

Cheers,
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue
I understand your hesitation about 70-100k cars, but the 3800 is a tank and really just getting into prime shape at that point. I'm guessing they will be pretty reliable although other things on the car may need work. Sorry to hear about the problem, but at least you got some satisfaction.
Yea I 2nd that Rogue...... 70-100k isn't that bad for our cars.
Sorry again to hear that you lost your org Bonnie in the first place.
But now we've gotta mission.... we've gotta get you in a new Bonnie in less then 30 days.... so everyone... keep your eyes/ears open.

Where abouts do you live btw?

Also, go Bonneville, not Olds(Aurora)... we've got 1 too many of them
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin 91/97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue
I understand your hesitation about 70-100k cars, but the 3800 is a tank and really just getting into prime shape at that point. I'm guessing they will be pretty reliable although other things on the car may need work. Sorry to hear about the problem, but at least you got some satisfaction.
Yea I 2nd that Rogue......
WTF? Well, then, I third it...



Wow, what a freaking hassle. I'd be so pissed. Very hot.

I'd go for another Bonnie, too. Supercharged, if you can...
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Old 07-20-2004, 06:56 PM   #8
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I don't know guys (and gals), I think I might've found a really great deal on a '99 Aurora. Merlin, I am in central IL and am looking around here (w/o much luck so far), and also the Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis markets (much more to choose from in those areas).

And hey, whether I go with a blown V-6 or a Northstar V-8, I'm still in line for a nice power boost right? (Looking for a little validation here, in case I do end up with an Aurora)
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Old 07-20-2004, 07:16 PM   #9
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Yea either way you'd be getting a power boost.

It'* either the groan of the V8 or the whine of the SC.
Either way it'* the sound of power.
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:54 PM   #10
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the only problem with the Aurora is I hear that the Northstar engine isn't so reliable the second half of its life. (over 100,000 miles.) How true that is, I'm not sure.. I've never owned one. Just hear that they start to consume quite a large sum of oil and repair costs are through the roof.
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