GM recalls 1.5 million cars. Can it recall its image?

Posted by: David Welch on April 14, 2009

Talk about bad timing. Right when General Motors is trying to deflect the bad press about a possible bankruptcy filing, the company has a massive recall. GM said it will recall 1.5 million cars made between 1997 and 2003 for possible engine fires. To critics who have eschewed the idea of government help for GM, this will no doubt conjure up images of the bad old days when big embarrassing recalls were far more common. GM’s quality has improved since the ‘80s and even since the cars in the current recall were built. But what a lousy image problem to deal with. To be fair, Toyota has had some big recalls in recent years, too.

But I can’t cut GM much slack on this one. Sure most of the models in question—they are the Oldsmobile Intrigue, Chevy Lumina, Monte Carlo and Impala, the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal—aren’t even made anymore. But there’s no excuse. GM has made that 3.8-liter V-6 engine for decades. It has been tweaked and improved over the years, but by 1997 that motor should have been flawless. In any case, just as GM is trying to make the case that it’s worth saving, a big recall is just one more smudge on the company’s sullied image.

Reader Comments

Hildreth Jones

April 14, 2009 1:08 PM

what do I need to do? I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. Do I have to buy another car or get this problem fixed!! I dont want to drive the car anymore hearing this type of news today!!

David A. Vogt

April 14, 2009 1:25 PM

On or about November 11, 2004 my 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix caught fire when we stopped at a rest stop about 50 miles from
Chattanooga, TN on our way to a wedding in Atlanta. Since we are from Illinois, I was forced to buy a new car in Chattanooga in order for us to have a way home. Thankfully, we had others traveling to the wedding who we were able to contact by cell phone. They picked us up at the rest stop, took us to Long of Chattanooga, a Pontiac dealer, and then on to Atlanta to the wedding. My car was in perfect condition and we had no intention of buying a new car.

Doris Adams

April 14, 2009 1:36 PM

We have purchased GM vehicles for 52 years and have found them very satisfactory,all manufactures have problems.GM gets bad publicly all the time from the media which doesn't help a company.

ME

April 14, 2009 1:42 PM

It sucks but America makes crappy cars.

Lory

April 14, 2009 2:03 PM

So, being a shop owner, I am a little concerned, for quite a few of my customers who own these vehicles. What is GM going to do, attempt to fix (band-aid)the problem, or take the cars back from them and put them in a crappier car? Give me a break.

GM Buyer

April 14, 2009 3:19 PM

The GM 3.8L V-6 was also in the Oldsmobile 88, Buick LeSabre, possibly the Buick Park Avenue & Riviera. Also the Pontiac Bonneville. I believe the minivans (Montana/Venture/Sillouette) had the 3.8 L V-6 as an option as well. Haven't received the details on this recall yet, maybe it doesn't affect the 3.8's in those.

You can't further knock GM because they have a recall. All of the manufacturers have recalls, yes even Honda and Toyota. At least GM is going to recall them and stand behind a flaw in their product. They could just disregard the issue like some other manufacturers have.

chris

April 14, 2009 3:25 PM

yeah, its just american cars...

Toyota to recall over 1 million cars worldwide
Automaker to fix a defect in seatbelt, or a component in the exhaust

JOE S

April 14, 2009 3:27 PM

To ME, What an ignorant comment, have you looked at a consumers report or JD Power list lately? All of the so-called flawless Japenese vehicles are slipping down the ranks and domestic (escpecially FORD) are in the limelight. I am not here to say the foreign or domestic cars are perfect but a comment like "america makes crappy cars" shows me a lot about your mentality, or lack of for that matter.

grumpy

April 14, 2009 3:28 PM

I agree with what 'ME' said. It's been decades since the U.S. has made decent cars. That's another reason why bailing out turds on wheels is stupid. Which is something else we've become over the decades. Stupid for putting up with it.

Cliff

April 14, 2009 3:33 PM

David,

If I have read what you stated correctly, you bought another Pontiac after that experience?

"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

CS

April 14, 2009 3:46 PM

I've owned American cars for years with no problems, so I can't complain. I think it's just in some people's heads that imports are better. In recent reports I've seen and read, the Chevrolet Malibu is jumping out ahead of the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. So, saying that American cars suck really is ignorant, because the experts are saying look again. Aside from the fact that I can get a loaded domestic car for far less than it's import equivalent.

Anna

April 14, 2009 3:46 PM

I retired from GM in 2002. I purchased new a 1999 Olds Intrigue GL 3.8L (the one that is in current recall). Where do I take my car for repair and do I have to wait for a letter? I love my Intrigue, it is a very solidly built car and was very disappointed when GM discontinued the Olds brand.I have been experiencing many strange mechanical things with my Intrigue: I am getting this loud screeching noise when I turn my blower on. I was told 2 years ago it was the blower motor. I am experiencing no loss of heat or air...is this really the motor going? Another strange thing is that my Low Coolant indicator stays on. I have been adding coolant for the past 3 years, it goes out for a day or less and then comes back on. Any idea what this might be? Anyway, back to my real reason for writing...can I take my Olds to any GM dealer for repair of the current recall? I really want to buy a compact SUV, but GM doesn't have one. I am a small woman (maybe 5 feet if I stand on tiptoes). I want to keep my Intrigue, but can't afford a new car at this time, so I need to know that it is safe to drive this car.

CS

April 14, 2009 3:49 PM

I've owned American cars for years with no problems, so I can't complain. I think it's just in some people's heads that imports are better. In recent reports I've seen and read, the Chevrolet Malibu is jumping out ahead of the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. So, saying that American cars suck really is ignorant, because the experts are saying look again. Aside from the fact that I can get a loaded domestic car for far less than it's import equivalent.

Chris

April 14, 2009 3:50 PM

Any of the American car bashers willing to say what they do for a living/produce?

I'm sure it all very high quality that never has any issues...

CJW

April 14, 2009 3:53 PM

Whether they are *now* capable of making good cars or not is beside the point. American car companies have a horrible reputation and they earned it. They are now suffering the consequences. If their cars have improved, well, that's admirable. But it may prove to be too little too late. A good reputation has to be earned over a long period of time.

I'd like to see them stay in business long enough to win back the respect they once deserved, but I refuse to foot the bill for their past stupidity.

If the current strength of their products alone is not enough to keep them in business, then they should be liquidated. They will serve as an important cautionary tale for the new, more efficient auto makers that inevitably rise from the ashes.

Ted

April 14, 2009 3:54 PM

I have a '99 Regal GS, GM did a recall last year for the exact same problem. My engine leaked from the front and rear valve cover gaskets. They only replaced the front valve cover gasket. The rear gasket still leaks and causes smoke. I hope this recall completes the repair that should have been done last year.

Sherry Deatrick

April 14, 2009 4:07 PM

My 99 Olds Intrigue caught fire last September on the expressway. the mechanic could not figure out what caused it. Now I know. GM sucks. At least I had kept up the insurance on it and was able to get a few thousand dollars and was lucky to be alive!

GM really sucks. Evil.

Brenda

April 14, 2009 4:13 PM

I personally feel GM should purchase these vehicle back from the current owners, or maybe they would prefer to implicated in lawsuits.

William Byrne

April 14, 2009 4:17 PM

NOTE TO GM BUYER-I Have a 2000 BUICK
LESABRE with this exact problem.My driveway is proof of it.This problem was
broughtup about 6 or 8 months agc , but no
recall was issued.I believe GM is trying
to minimize the extent of the problem
by mentioning only certain models.This engine is in all those models you referred to,so I know for a fact that
other models have it too.Example-mine.

josh

April 14, 2009 4:19 PM

I own the 2002 Impala and I have the same issue with the low coolant indicator. My coolant is not low but the indicator will not go off if the car is warmed up. If the car is cold, as in just, started the indicator isn't lit. I would also like to know if this is still safe to drive, obviously this is an issue with this engine as mine is not the only one doing this.

BILL

April 14, 2009 4:30 PM

Ihave a 2000 BUICK LESABRE with this exact problem. My driveway is proof of it.This problem was brought up before
and again only cetain models were mentioned.I believe GM is trying to minimize the problem by only mentioning
certain models.This is an engine problem
and if it is in other models they have
it too-Example MY CAR.

Todd

April 14, 2009 4:35 PM

Owner of a 2001 Chevy Impala with 125,000, mostly inner city mileage, still running strong, no problems to report til now with this recall. A great track record if you ask me.

Wife has a 2006 Honda Accord EXL with 16,000 miles and have made 4 trips to the dealer service dept. already for various problems.

I think I'll hold onto my Impala, and will most definately buy another Chevy again. We like the Honda as well. I also can't complain terribly about only 4 trips for dealer service, but we'll see how well it holds out as the mileage gets up there compared to my trouble free Impala.

Jason

April 14, 2009 4:38 PM

Well, bad news folks. If your 3.8 is leaking from the valve cover gasket, don't expect them to fix the leak. The reason there is a fire hazard is because the spark plug wire retainers, which are plastic, can catch fire. So going the cheap and easy route, GM is just replacing those with some made from another material, something non flammable. So you're car will still like oil like the exxon valdez, it's just not gonna catch fire now... Enjoy!

sharon

April 14, 2009 5:52 PM

yes...what do we do....can you tell me who to contact...thank you sharon

lucy

April 14, 2009 5:55 PM

I own a 99 chevy lumina LS.
I absolutely love the car but i have a problem with a coolant leak
my mechanic tells me that this is a GM defect that has been around for years but GM has not done anything about it!!
Hello!!

lucy

April 14, 2009 5:55 PM

I own a 99 chevy lumina LS.
I absolutely love the car but i have a problem with a coolant leak
my mechanic tells me that this is a GM defect that has been around for years but GM has not done anything about it!!
Hello!!

ps

April 14, 2009 5:55 PM

The timing on this couldn't be worse. If GM is to make the right statement, they need to fix this and fast. And not wait around to fix the gasket problem that some folks have (including my father in law who paid out of pocket to fix the valve cover gasket on his LeSabre. The 3.8 has (or had)a decent rep and was good on gas. Oh well, another nail in the coffin. Not that Japanese and Euro makes are any better problem wise but this reinforces a lot of people's perception of GM.

she

April 14, 2009 8:07 PM

I have a 1998 oldsmobile intrigue and i would like to know if i would have to purchase a brand new car because i dont want them to try and fix the problem because i dont believe it can be fixed....

kari Christensen

April 14, 2009 8:47 PM

I had to have to coolant system repaired on my Grand Prix, the manifold replaced, gaskets replaced on my 2000 Grand Prix GT 3800 V-6 when I only had 19,000 miles on the car,because my car was smoking up front. Not steam, but actual smoke, the car was 2 months out of warranty. I have never got over 200 miles on a tank of gas, usually about 185. I was told nothing was wrong with the car. (I had a strong smell of gas in my trunk less than a week after I purchased the car. The mechanic just blew me off. I have always heard a tick tick tick sound after I shut the car off. It sounds like something dripping on the manifold again or gas tank. The oil gets dirty in a month plus it still has a slow leak even after having the sensor replaced. Then I was losing 2 plus quarts a week. My coolant light wont shut off even with everything full. To top it off I have 3 windows held up with duct tape because the mechanisms are broken. I had the other one repaired when the manifold and gaskets were replaced. I will not have them repaired as the car isnt worth what the cost of the repairs.


I was told the 3800 V-6 was the best engine GM made. It was the reason I purchased the car.

I wish I never would have bought it. It has cost me more money than I care to think about. Plus it is hazardous to drive.

This is coming from someone who has only purchased GM cars.

If they survive, I will think long and hard before I spend my money on one of their cars again.

Trent

April 14, 2009 9:37 PM

Recalls are to address safety concerns, not lack of maintenance. Most of these automobiles are out of factory warranty, in most cases at or over 100,000 miles and do require periodic trips to a technician/mechanic to identify and repair regular and common maintenance items such as "oil leaks" that occur due to use. So before you blame the manufacturer (whoever it is, in this case GM) for a faulty piece of plastic that is not flame retardant, (Not sure of a plastic that is...) some of us folks may want to consider your responsibility in maintaining your vehicle and get your car to a garage where you can get the real issue resolved. I just had my 1996 Pontiac Bonneville (3.8L V-6 Naturally aspirated Series II) into the GM Dalership to have the intake and YES valve cover gaskets replaced because of an OIL LEAK!! Yes, I smelled burning oil and took it to the local GM Dealer Service Department for maintenance. The repair unbelieveably cheaper than having to buy another car and less of an inconvenience road trip breakdown. The new plastic spark plug channel or whatever it is, probably won't fix the maintenance issue. THE OWNER OF THE CAR...will have to have it done. Come on America claim responsibility!!!

Jins Philip

April 14, 2009 10:16 PM

I had a 1998 Grand Prix GT 3.8L V6 engine and the engine caught on fire 3 weeks before. So all I could do was put the car in a junk yard for $200.00 dollars.

Carlos

April 14, 2009 10:22 PM

On March 25th, 2009, I had no other choice but, to pay a grand total of $1,114.67 at a local Pontiac Buick GMC dealer for both Intake Manifold Gasket replacement which consisted of disassembly of intake manifold, Valve Covers etc..etc..

I have called the Pontiac Help line 1-800-762-2737 because the regular GM Customer Assistance Center "1-800-GM-CARES" was busy all day.

I was treated with respect and they gave me a Case # and hope to hear from them after one working day to see what they can do for me such as reimbustment.

This is most unfortunate for GM to wait this LONG and come clean that in fact the Gasket Material was deficient to begin with and they have since re-designed the these gaskets.

I am not too sure that the DEX-COOL is the key for eating away at these Gaskets, and feel it is the material was just too thin.

Carlos

DAL

April 14, 2009 10:27 PM

I have owned Chevys, Pontiacs, and Buicks for the last 35 years. Along with my two brothers. Everyone of our cars have been great. Yes, my car is on the list however, I have had no problems with my Monte Carlo or any of the other cars. I have friends that own these great Toyotas and Hondas who have had nothing but problems with these cars including the paint which flakes off the car only after a few years. I would say that the American name plates are just as good if not better than the imports. I agree with CS that saying American cars suck is stupid and ignorant. Its great people like imports and thats their choice but I will put my Monte Carlo way above any import on the road. By the way My Car does not leak any oil. My next vehicle will be a Equinox but will also hold on to my Monte Carlo

Joe Blow

April 14, 2009 10:32 PM

Buy a Ford!

Chris

April 14, 2009 11:33 PM

I have the same low coolant indicator light problem on my 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. This is just debris on a sensor in the radiator giving a false level reading, and is not worth fixing. Simply check your temperature gauge for any real cooling problems. As for the car in general, it has been very reliable over the years, but GM certainly could have done a better job in certain areas like electrical items, and the 3800 V6 premature head gasket failures which seriously compromised their image with the car buying public.

Sally

April 15, 2009 12:00 AM

Say what you will but my teenage daughter is driving my old 2000 Grand Prix which has 230000+ miles on it. I bought it used with about 50000 on it in 2002. Biggest expence has been wheel bearings. Have done regular oil changes and a transmission flush at 150000 because a co-worker said it needed done. I have owned 2 firebirds prior to that that did not survive traffic accidents. Last year, I decided I wanted a newer vehicle,guess what I bought....Another Grand Prix

Sean

April 15, 2009 8:48 AM

I had a Park Avenue that caught on fire with me and my 2 yr old son in it...Now I have an 01 Impala....I know they better fix it or buy me a new one. Im so sick of everyone talkin about "Buy American" yet everytime I do I have HUGE issues. Maybe if they want people to buy American, American companies should make decent cars, not cars that are gonna wear out quicker just so we have to buy more

Joanna

April 15, 2009 8:54 AM

I have a 1997 and a 2003 Grand Prix. The 1997 has 300,000 miles on it and runs fine. Main problem I have had with it are the wheel bearings going out on it. The 2003 has 130,00 miles on it,I have had for about a year and the only thing I have done to it is general maintenance.

ps

April 15, 2009 9:17 AM

Trent- My father in laws buick had less than 60k and he maintained the car properly. And it's very GM of you to automatically blame the owner. That attitude is why GM is on the skids now.

Dave

April 15, 2009 10:12 AM

I have owned GM my entire life, and will continue to as long as they exist. I have had a few problems with them, yes, but there is not a mechanical device of any kind that does not require some repair! GM is a great vehichle, and I am proud to buy domestic! Remember all you nay sayers, there are foreign components on domestic vehichles that go bad also! I am a big believer of "spend your money where you make it". Our economy is in the crapper and there are folks that still want to buy foreign and complain that there is no work for us. HMMM. I say support our own automakers even through their flaws, (all automakers have them). Remember Toyota frame recalls? If nothing else, remember your job is more than likely is affected by it!

Tony

April 15, 2009 10:54 AM

Anna-I feel bad for you. You love your Intrigue, (my mom has one too, it's awesome) but you are experiencing a litany of problems with it. My buddy bought a Camry a few years back, same year as yours and now we have nothing to talk about. Since nada ever goes wrong with that appliance he drives, our conversations are lackluster. See, another reason to Buy American. Foreign cars are destroying the social fabric of this country.

Del

April 15, 2009 10:56 AM

I had a black 1998 Oldmobile Intrigue with alittle over 100,000 miles on it and this past Decemeber, the engine caught on fire while my mom was driving it. Is there anyway to get money back or an other car because the Intrigue ended up blowing up since the fire department did not make it to the car in time to put it out. So now I have no car to drive and got no money to put towards a new one or a used. I just dont know who to contact about the car.

Geo

April 15, 2009 12:47 PM

Ahem, for those who say imports are better:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/recalls/arecalls_auto.htm

I agree, it's maintenance of a vehicle that counts. PROPER maintenance. 99 grand prix gt with 160k miles and no engine troubles. The now discontinued 3800 v-6 is NOT the best GM engine it's the highest performance V-6 they had (ran like a small V-8). The lack of car knowledge from some of you people hating for wrong reasons is showing.

Ken

April 15, 2009 1:07 PM

Maybe I'm one of the lucky 1998 Olds Intrigue owners ?! Have 97,000 miles on mine and never a major problem. Hope to drive it another 50,000. Will a GM dealer check the car over for this latest recall at no expense to the owner?? Had a '97 Toyota Corolla and it had no major problems. I believe it is just the luck of the draw so let's stop bashing American made vehicles since all auto makers have come up with lemons....

ps

April 15, 2009 1:20 PM

Dave- I guess that means that when I drive an Equinox I should be speaking Mandarin as the engine was made in China. Or Spanish if I'm driving a Fusion. GM's not a bad car but I'd rather be driving a car made in a democracy than countries that supply your local Wal Mart

becca

April 15, 2009 2:40 PM

I reacently bought a 1992 lumina the sadan three weeks after we had the car the engine cought fire leaving me my family stranded and with no way to pay for the extreme damage. this car was not on the current recall but has the exact problem that the cars are doing know we would like to know how we need to go about finding out why this perticular car is not on the current recall

Donnie

April 15, 2009 4:05 PM

I own a 98 Buick Regal and an 87 Buick Grand National. The two are like night and day. However they both have the 3.8 power plant. That motor has serious some balls since it’s derived from the 5.7 V8 minus 2 cylinders. The engine recall is a quick fix at a car dealership and is free of charge. That’s a lot better than the recent Toyota recall of the Tacoma which’s frame will rust right out from under you.

I personally could never drive a Japanese car; they're small, have no power, and are bland.

jr

April 15, 2009 6:33 PM

So far I have not heard what they are recalling these cars for no one has said what gasket, but I am willing to bet that most of these posts are from car owners that have not maintained their cars properly. After all of this WHY ARE CONSUMERS STILL GOING TO THE DEALERSHIP FOR REPAIRS WHY NOT TRY AN INDEPENDET SHOP THAT HAS ASE CERTIFIED TECHS, maybe Americans just cant stop screwwing themselves since we keep going back to the dealers

ps

April 15, 2009 8:58 PM

Donnie- I'm sure the bland Mazda 6 (made in USA by union labor by the way) is no match for a Ford Taurus or Buick Lacrosse. Har dee har dee har har....

ps

April 15, 2009 8:58 PM

Donnie- I'm sure the bland Mazda 6 (made in USA by union labor by the way) is no match for a Ford Taurus or Buick Lacrosse. Har dee har dee har har....

Jeff

April 15, 2009 10:39 PM

Trent,

GM tried to hide the issue with DEX COOL eating up intake gaskets and after consumers spent alot of money repairing gaskets. They then fessed up and settled with consumers for pennies on the dollar for repairs made because of DEX COOL. I have a 2000 Impala which had the intake gasket replaced by the dealership free and now the intake is bad again allowing coolant into the oil. Now I hear that there is a issue with exhaust gaskets allowing oil into the exhaust. Time for manufacturers to do the right thing and make right engineering and/or manufacturing deficiencies.

Trent

April 15, 2009 11:38 PM

Ps- your point is taken. if your car is maintained then my comments were not directed to you. My point being breakdowns in components happen to ALL mechanical things eventually. Some last longer than others. You use them..they eventually break. I guess I am bias...I do support GM to a degree because I grew up in a family loyal to GM. GM awarded companies with business that supports my family with a jobs today.(As do other Automotive copanies) That point aside; We may not all see eye to eye on everything but we should not jump to conclusions. I digress to say that,taking my own advice now, I did some research today and found the reason for the recall is not so much the plastic catching fire, or necessarily a maintenance issue, as much as the design of the plastic part being removed that escalates the potential for a fire. Let me see if I understand this correctly... It is a long plastic channel that holds the spark plug wires and protects them from oil spillage from the fill hole in the front valve cover and holds them in place. Over time of changing oil and filling the engine (or leaks I suppose), the channel can collect/hold oil. The plastic covers a large area and limits the flow of air in this area allowing an increase in temperature from the exhaust manifold which can cause the plastic to melt and the oil to superheat to its flash point. GM's repair is to eliminate the plastic channel and install plug wire clips to keep the wires in place, which in turn also keeps this area cooler and prevents oil from pooling creating the potential for fire. Do your own research and Please correct me if I am wrong....

Jen

April 16, 2009 4:25 PM

I own a 1998 Grand Prix GT. I was out at a restaurant with friends on March 7th when someone ran in and said, "Whoever owns a Silver Grand Prix, you're car is on fire!". Needless to say, it is totalled.

I called GM yesterday to find out if my car was part of the recent recall (they check your VIN# to verify inclusion). Sure enough, it is.

Currently I am waiting to hear back from an investigator to find out what they are going to do for me. I just wish this recall would have been found and publicized a month sooner!

I would like to add, in response to ME's comment "America makes crappy cars", that my Grand Prix was a FANTASTIC car! Up until the Great Old Chicago Fire of 2009 (we were at Old Chicago Pizzeria when the fire occurred), I did not experience one major issue with that car in it's 170,000 miles of service.

Come on, ME. That crazy generalization is what is making American companies suffer. Knock it off!

Former GM customer

April 16, 2009 11:46 PM

BEFORE I START MY COMMENT, to all owners of the effected cars in the recall, go out to your car, open the radiator cap and look at your coolant. Is it clear, bright orange? No?!? I bet it looks like rusty mud, right.

open a new window in your browser and google: DEXCOOL LAWSUIT 3.8L V6.

Now,

I love cars, and I especially love Cadillacs, but will not buy another one until GM dies and Cadillac is reborn as Cadillac Motor Cars, LLC. and run by people who love cars and care about the brand and quality products as much as I do. I am hopeful, because Cadillac was around before GM and it will be around after GM.

Sorry to let you down, patriots, GM is not an "American" company. Company letterhead may have a Detroit, MI mailing address on it but General Motors is a faceless, multinational corporation. It has operations in the USA, Mexico, Canada, China, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Australia, to name a few places off the top of my head. The "owners" of GM are the company's shareholders, and anyone in the world can buy, own and hold, (and ought to sell) GM stock. Just as any American can log on to scottrade and buy shares, and be an American owner of another faceless, multinational automaker that makes cars in The USA, Japan, China, and other places, Toyota.

This corporation would have had to file for Chapter 7 liquidation last year if not for the bailouts that Federal Government 'gave' to them. Where did most of this bailout money come from? Borrowed money from the Chinese. Without China, there would be no GM today.

Why are they doing so well? /sarcasm/
Here is my GM experience:

1999 Cadillac Deville. Northstar V8. Over the years I had nothing but problems with the cooling system. Overheating, the radiator split, the head gaskets went, the bolts striped the block and the block needed a special (rigged up) procedure to put the heads on again. The second time the head gaskets went, the car went to the scrap yard. This was a 41,000 car, folks. Waste of money.
A Dexcool DISASTER!

1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The radiator went at 37,000 miles, the intake manifold gasket went at 55,000 miles, the head gaskets went at 72,000 miles and the engine was roasted. New engine that had the intake manifold gaskets go on it as well, as well as a water pump after two years. A Dex Cool DISASTER. Running the "all makes and models" yellow mix and have had no problems in 2 years, but WOW, what a piece of Junk!

2003 Chevrolet Silverado. No Dexcool Problem (I have run the yellow stuff in it the last 2 years) but the engine (4.8L) has clacked like a piece of junk when you turned it on since new. The Chevy dealer said "Nothing wrong with it, they ALL do that". Real Nice. The steering clunks at low speed. "They all do that too" It is because of the Intermediate Steering Shaft, that is junk. GM never recalled it, but every 1999-2007 Silverado (Classic) is affected by it GM made a new part, but it is not any good either. The one from NAPA is better.

Never buying a thing from those people again.

Don't believe me?
Google:

DEXCOOL DISASTER or DEXCOOL LAWSUIT, or NORTHSTAR PROBLEMS, NORTHSTAR HEAD GASKET, NORTHSTAR HEAD BOLTS, INTERMEDIATE STEERING SHAFT or SILVERADO STEERING CLUNK

interesting reading. lots of satisfied customers

Johnnie

April 17, 2009 4:09 AM

I own a 1998 Grand Prix GT.I was on my way out of town on March 13,2009 and mine caught fire. I would have never known if it wouldn't have died on me. Now my motor is gone. Can you tell me what I need to do from here?

DELILAH

April 17, 2009 10:04 AM

I'M WANTING TO KNOW WHAT GM- CARS HAVE BEEN RECALLED. WE WERE JUST BEEN GIVEN AGM CAR, AS A GIFT. AND THIS CAR IS CHEVY. AND HAS HAD MANY, PROBLEMS. WERE CAN I FIND, A LIST OF THIS CARS, BEING RECALLED. ONE MORE QESTION, WHY DOES USA, MAKE SUCH BAD CARS. IS IT BECAUSE THE CAR MAKERS, ARE EITHER, HIGH ON DRUGS, AND DRUNK, ON BEER ? THIS IS REALLY SAD.

Jen

April 17, 2009 11:53 AM

I'm going shopping for a new GM car tonight. I am confident it will last 170,000 miles and beyond without any issues - just like my Grand Prix did!

Johnnie - call 866-790-5700. They will ask for your VIN# and let you know whether your car is involved in an open recall.

Delilah - are, you, high?

Former GM Customer - perhaps you should relocate to China?

ps

April 17, 2009 12:09 PM

Trent- Loyalty is great. GM is lucky there are folks like you that stick with 'em. They need to get a lot more to keep going.

Trent

April 17, 2009 9:29 PM

Anyone that wants to know if their vehicle is invoved in the recall can 1) Wait for GM to send you a notice through the mail, 2) contact your local GM Dealer. They can find out in many ways but the Campaign recall document is the quickest to determine if your vehicle is in, they will need the 17 digit VIN number from the car or your registration. OR 3) use Jen's 866 number. Don't bet that they will be able to take care of it yet though. The parts may not be available yet. But the dealer does have the procedures...it seems the media gets it out quicker than the dealer is equipped to take care of it.

Carol

April 19, 2009 9:28 PM

I have a 2000 chevy impala 3.8 liter 115000 miles and have recently noticed that smell of hot oil after driving even short distances. I took my car in Friday for the recall and commented about the valve cover gasket possibility so I hoped that would resolve the problem. During my time at the dealership, I heard the reason for the recall is because the previous sparkplug wire clips restrained the wires too much and that normal shimmying of the engine over time was pulling the valve covers loose. Needless to say... all they would do was replace the clips so that the oil leaking from the valve covers would no longer run down the wires and onto the exhaust system to cause a fire. They are only doing bandaid fixes - that don't fix the real problem caused by those bad clips.

Victoria hagan

April 20, 2009 12:11 AM

I own a 2002 montecarlo and the low coolant light is on once a week. Is that a gm defect? And the manifold has a hole in it. I am the second owner of this car. Ive had it for about 2 yrs. Are these problems just the car or what? It has 170,000 miles on it. Ive had 3 tune-ups in a years time?? Im taking it to the dealership tomorrow to see whats goiing on.

Shanequa Phillips

April 27, 2009 4:41 AM

I have a 2000 Chevy Impala, and back in 2007 my whole manifold actually cracked open. I love you car, but I had to pay about $1,500 to get my car fixed. And ever since then it still feels like it doesn't drive the same.

henry

April 28, 2009 9:17 AM

proud owner of a 1972 pontiac, 2004 pontiac v6 grand am (just fast enuff, but not tooo fast), 2002 gmc van (202k miles), 2002 ford van (234k miles). all are well built american cars. i drive my cars verrry hard and they have held up. maintenance is the key. if you dont take care of your foreign car, it too, will leave you stranded. gm along with ALL other car companies have produced some bad cars, but their quality is NOW world class and has greatly improved even since 2004. give them a second chance!

be real

April 30, 2009 11:34 AM

All these people who say "american cars are just fine", "i've had my chevy for this and this long", i have heard this over and over again and people say that after having their engines rebuilt and tranny's at 100,000 miles lol. How does this prove to be a good car? This is not mentioning all the other problems you get with american cars. Just look at the track record's of japanese and american cars, Honda and Toyota are the most realiable cars and that is a fact so deal with it. The quality of japanese cars went down when they started to open shops in the USA so that's the reason, lexus has been awarded most reliable car for more than 10 years straight and guess what they are built in japan.I think american automobile workers just don't know what they are doing. I do believe out of "the big 3" GM has it the best. Ford and chrysler are just sad excuses for cars.

P Graceffa

May 18, 2009 1:05 PM

My husband & I just finished paying off for my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. Now this? I dont know where to get this fixed. We are already are loosing our GM dealers all over Long Island.

J.J.

May 18, 2009 2:39 PM

My car fits the description of the recalled vehicles. Calling Chevy customer service as to why I hadn't received a notice,they told me mine was not one of them. No response as to why other than they knew by the vehicle ID#. Did find out my car was originally mfg in Canada - maybe that's the issue?

GM has had over 20 years to get their act straight and their cars up to foreign standards, e.g., Honda and Toyota. Why haven't they?

sammie

June 1, 2009 12:31 PM

My car make and model, 98 Pontiac Grand Prix, exploded 3 weeks before the recall was announced. I am know going through the claims process.

Help

June 1, 2009 4:05 PM

My mother recently received a recall for her gm car, but is unsure as to where she should take the automobile for its repairs please advice. We are in the city of Fontana ca 92335

willaim_B

June 2, 2009 1:55 PM

bought a 99 deville in 2002 for $7,000.. loan payments. This car put me in debt, i did not even own it for four years, put less than 40k miles on it, $4500 in repairs and I had to ditch the car in FL because on my way back the coolant spilled all over the road, bad head gasket. terrible car. you have to figure i am missing work while the car is getting fixed, PLUS loan payments on top. a nightmare

esthemaria washington

June 2, 2009 11:46 PM

this so horrible for all involved. Our
Families are at risk. The sad part is
I ve just bought this 2003 Regal in
Sept 08. Please let me know when we
can get in on Class Action Suit here in
America. Canada is already receiving
monies for their suit. thanks

92regalgs

June 13, 2009 1:53 AM

every car company has recalls,and actually if you wanna get scared the amount of things not recalled is even more awing.if its cheaper to just pay off private parties than to recall x amount of cars,well then usually a car corporation will pay off the private party and not recall.this has happened for such things as faulty restraints,flamable interior components,etc and so forth,point is if your going to drive you should have some basic mechanics of vehicles down,or have someone close to you that does.dont buy something in a haste,i read a comment about the 3800 being the worst engine ever.well you have to bear in mind they have diffrent series of 3800 not all 3800 are the same.gm had to experiment and with the plastic intake manifolds they lost.they always warp and you can usually blow them intake gaskets in the forst 60k but thats the series2 i believe i own a series 1 only issue i have are the feed and return fuel lines,which im going to swap with a dirrent 3800 fuel rail/hose system soon enough.but yesh cars are made by people which by nature make mistakes things need to be tried in order to progress,cars are no exception just do your research know your motors/generations of motors also and always go with the gut:)

shell

June 22, 2009 10:27 AM

I have a yard full of Oldsmobile vehicles... I have a 2001 sihouette van & 1988 intrigue & also a 2002 alero. The van by far has been the worst. already replaced the engine & stills sounds terrible upon starting. However very comfortable & roomy for a mini van. The intrigue has 247,000 miles & I have only replaced the battery & regular maintenance. However it is leaking as the recall says but has by far been a great car. Love the way it drives & handles. Also The coolant light used to stay on in my car too. My husband just flushed all the dexcool, which was all corroded in the hoses, etccc & changed to regular anti-freeze which fixed the problem.. Only had the alero for a few months but no problems, yet. Overall Olds built pretty good cars... All brands have problems

Joaquin

September 23, 2009 4:32 PM

I had a 98' grand prix that also cought fire about three years ago. other then that i had no problems with the car. i loved my ponitac i would like to another one, but i don't know now.

mark

November 19, 2009 7:47 AM

G.M. = GARBAGE MOTORS OR GREAT MISTAKE
MOPAR= MORE PARTS
FORD= FIX OR REPAIR DAILY OR FOUND ON ROAD DEAD
AMERICAN CARS ARE PEACES OF SHIT!
THERE MOTTO IS: QUANITY NOT QUAILITY
THEY ALL DESERVE TO GO OUT OF BUSSNIESS FOR SCREWING THE PUBLIC AND KNOWING IT. THEY JUST DON'T CARE!

Floyd Faucette

December 18, 2009 12:29 AM

Don't park the cars in your garage even after you have had the recall fix. My daughter just had our 1998 Grand Prix engine catch on fire after it had been parked. Same problem and it had been in for the so called fix. Not fixed lucky it was outside on the street not in our garage like it usually is.

AllKnowingMasterOfTheUniverse

December 25, 2009 11:47 PM

North American auto manufacturing is not engineering driven: it's purchasing driven. Engineering has little say in which supplier gets sourced to make parts and even the most lame, shifty, crooked or incompetant supplier can end up manufacturing milions of parts, only to have the automakers cover it up or ignore it and maintain their $tranglehold. For almost a decade they now rely on foreign parts manufacturers (and so foreign engineering).
Ford has wised up: they see quality as the foundation of the automobile. The Japanese learned this lesson decades ago from none other than Henry Ford himself. Now who makes the best cars in the world? Up until recently, the Japanese. Now Ford Motor Co. is up and commence copying the Japanese who copied Henry Ford. Jeesh.
GM is imo is a greedy, stupid and short sighted money (purchasing) driven company that has caused it's own demise; but who there cares? Not the top executives who have profited greatly making fancy, glitzy problematic cars, demanding that the bottom line is decided by buyers who choose suppliers and not by the U.S. designers and engineers that GM fired and now relies on to be supplied from Communist China, India and every point in between.
Chrysler is a shadow, always was, always will be and if not for their crown jewel, the Windsor, Ontario Caravan/Voyager van plant working 3 shifts overtime for 10 years running, few would pay attention or even care.
Industry inside information: the automakers design cars for only the vehicle's warranty period. If prototype testing shows a longer lasting vehicle they reduce the quality and so the cost and so the need to replace the vehicle: to keep the great American Mechanical Money Machine turning (grinding now).

Angela

December 28, 2009 10:35 AM

My car caught on fire and totally burned up. It was sitting in my driveway I had just got home from work. I don't think the recall had been issued at that time. I gave the car to the junk yard. Now I find there is a recall, Is there anything I can do to get some kind of recoup for my car?

kurt

December 30, 2009 1:32 PM

I have a 2007 chevy silverado pickup truck ,the side airbags deployed for no reason injuring me.chevy wont fix it due to bankrupsy and 4 months after they deployed I received a recall notice in the mail for the same problem

Buick

January 2, 2010 2:12 PM

'99 Buick Park Avenue, 50k miles, regular maintenance by GM dealer, approximately $2,000 of damage, with the defective intake manifold. The dealers are well aware of this issue. Otherwise, it is unlikely that they would stock the part. The defect is that the hot exhaust gases are recirculated into the intake manifold (emissions control purpose) which is plastic construction. The extreme heat melts the plastic which then compromises the coolant passages in the manifold. Coolant then penetrates the combustion area. This manifests itself, if you're lucky, as an engine misfire. If you're not lucky, catastrophic engine damage occurs, possibly with explosion and fire. Other cases found on the Internet verify this.

Also, Buick dealerships are getting closed very frequently by General Motors. I'm on my 4th dealer in five years.

The 3.8L engine was a good one in the past (previous Buick had good luck), but the design changes resulting in this failure were quite a disappointment. GM did not acknowledge this issue or offer reimbursement.

Latest car purchased is a Honda, and it's doubtful I'd consider another GM model, perhaps with additional extended warranties (although I have little experience with those an am skeptical they would pay when the failures occur).

Bob

January 13, 2010 7:51 PM

Leaking valve covers, that's all it is. They don't want to replace that cause it'd be a hell of a lot of work times 1.5 million, but its not a serious problem in the technical sense. It's just unfortunate that the oil happens to land on your exhaust.

mayra

January 21, 2010 5:08 PM

My husband and i just got a 2010 malibu we had it for only 2 months and last night it caught on fire!! lucky it was park, and no one got hurt BUT damn did it hurt seeing our baby burn like that!!

jeff gurns

February 9, 2010 10:53 AM

i had bought a 2007 chevy silverado 3500 1 ton dump truck. and the muffler baffles broke inside the muffler at 7500 miles the exhaust manifold has cracked five times the starter has gone on it 2 times the front bearings and idler arm have gone on it 2 times the seat seem came apart i had a leak at the power steering pump hydraulic line an oil leak on the engine block the rear differential has been cleaned and flushed then the rear had to be redone because the ring and pinion gear teeth broke the bearings in the rear were replaced before all of this .the transmission torque converter had to be replaced and transmission had to be overhauled and im going to court trying to get the lemon law to win my case because gm refuses to make a deal. im sorry they have made 1 deal they will give $3,000.00 to pay off my lawyers and let me keep the truck still make my remaining loan payments and keep my warranty. now if thats not the most embarrasing offer i have evrer heard i dont no what is .does anyone have a solution for me thanx a fellow american that thinks gm should have never gotten the tax payers money for a bail out.

jeff gurns

February 9, 2010 10:53 AM

i had bought a 2007 chevy silverado 3500 1 ton dump truck. and the muffler baffles broke inside the muffler at 7500 miles the exhaust manifold has cracked five times the starter has gone on it 2 times the front bearings and idler arm have gone on it 2 times the seat seem came apart i had a leak at the power steering pump hydraulic line an oil leak on the engine block the rear differential has been cleaned and flushed then the rear had to be redone because the ring and pinion gear teeth broke the bearings in the rear were replaced before all of this .the transmission torque converter had to be replaced and transmission had to be overhauled and im going to court trying to get the lemon law to win my case because gm refuses to make a deal. im sorry they have made 1 deal they will give $3,000.00 to pay off my lawyers and let me keep the truck still make my remaining loan payments and keep my warranty. now if thats not the most embarrasing offer i have evrer heard i dont no what is .does anyone have a solution for me thanx a fellow american that thinks gm should have never gotten the tax payers money for a bail out.

Mechelle

March 9, 2010 2:11 PM

My chevy cobalt 2007 was totalled in August of last year. It was due to the electrical power steering failing. It crashed a day after it had been serviced. they couldn't fix the power steering that had to be serviced by the dealership that monday, ir crashed on Saturday. what do I do now? Is there some compensation I can receive cause I had to quit school with no means of transportation. Also had to move home quite rapidly cause expenses went to the car.

Ryan

March 10, 2010 12:38 AM

They should recall the Malibu as well.The engines in this car is crap.I have had my intake manifold gasket replaced three times and it is leaking for the fourth time and i just had a new engine put in in August!!!They knew that an aluminum intake would overheat and crack so why would they not take responsibility for their rogish mistakes?I am going to sue them.I promise.

Mandy

March 24, 2010 1:02 PM

The recall on the grand prix is no joke!!! Ours caught on fire yesterday!!!!!!! We have had so many problems with this car. From bearings, callipers, axels, the wiring harness, and several other things. Well it kept saying low coolant and we kept filling it up. There is a HUGE oil spot where the car is parked and yesterday on the way home it caught on fire!!! This is our second Grand Prix and both had problems out the rear! Not to mention one was bought off the lot!

I must be nuts

March 25, 2010 1:03 PM

It's funny how people decribe the problems before their car caught on fire or blew the motor and then blame the car. Your car was telling you there's something wrong, but you continue driving it. If you have to keep refilling coolant - there's a problem. If there's oil on the ground - there's a problem. If you have to replace gaskets several times - there's a problem.
If you continue to use the car when it's showing problems, you are risking completely ruining the car. Plain and simple.
Use your head!!!!

Marc Holcomb

April 3, 2010 2:04 PM

I have had a 2002 Buick Park Avenue with
3.8 liter motor recently it has been heating up very rapidly to extreme temperatures, the coolant does not appear to be circulating I replaced the thermostat and now wonder if the water pump may need replaced to solve the problem. Any input or advice on this matter would really be appreciated as
the 1st things dealerships and shops tell me is the engine need to be replaced and astounding high prices
and honest diagnoses of the problen is near impossible to get. WoI would like input on this!!

cdhurl

April 12, 2010 7:16 PM

I own a 2000 Chevy Impala that was listed under the latest recall for "Engine Compartment Fire". The recall came out April 14, 2009. A few weeks prior to this recall my engine started missing. On April 12th I took my car to the dealership. After running a diagnostic test, they found I had a burnt plug wire towards the back next to the exhaust manifold. They put a new set of plug wires on and handed me a bill for $280.23. Just recently I submitted a re-imbursement claim to Chevrolet which was denied because they said this would be normal wear and tear due to the mileage of the vehicle. Now, if you read the cause of the recall and the solution to fix it, it does not add up. The cause being drops of oil upon hard breaking causing a fire and the solution to be ADDING ADDITIONAL SUPPORTS TO THE PLUG WIRES BRINGING THE WIRES OFF THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD. The problem I had was a DIRECT cause of the solution that they are proposing. And to add, I have no oil leaks.

Henry

April 15, 2010 2:29 AM

Toyota's tragedy is a lesson learnt for other car makers, the technology platform is the same and its high time car manufacturers regularise protocols that take seriously issues of driver and passenger safety. To my knowledge every car manufactured in this age has a computer box, the processes are the same except performances. I used to think German Autos are top of the range in terms of reliability and cost effectiveness as they potray. I drive a Kompressor C200 2003 Model and it has given me a hell lot of nightmare, it does not go for month without registering a fault on the dash, being an accident free vehicle its highly unusually. I paid S 500 for a catalytic converter, airflow meter, immediately afterwards i had to tow the vehicle back to the same garage a Mercedes Benz agent again after it lost its traction power. A test was conducted and a report advised a new exhaust system on the vehicle was the soluton, and the cat + airflow meter to be replaced but at the agent 's cost as they ought to have advised on the replacement of the Exhaust system which i had to pay $ 200. The vehicle was repaired with new systems in place it was released performing perfectly more better than it was. On the very same day on way home, the ESP Vist workshop signal on the Dash appeared, and I immediately drove the car back to the garage for an opinion as the brake pedal was going deep down upon foot pressing than normal, when i arrived i turned off the engine, and when the mechanic started the vehicle to conduct the test, the 1 malfunction msg dissapeared, a test was done and no fault registered.So what does this say about my safety in terms of the vehicle braking system and stability when i drive at higher speed? Am i not risking my life for a failure in the braking system when i apply emergency brakes? I think mercedes must revisit the aspect of their vehicle technology and design.

ell

April 24, 2010 3:58 AM

my 1997 buick park ave.ultra caught on fire recently on april 3,2010.im just now finding out about the recall on a humbug.i googled the engine and this came up.my engine had no signs of any trouble.is there something i can do?will gm help me?

anthony mcpherson

May 5, 2010 10:41 AM

my 1999 grand prix still caught after
it was brought in to the gm dealership for recall repairs. i contacted gm by mail they said they don't have it on file, i mail the info again by certified mail, i have not received a response from gm, is this the way you

treat a customer? I don't think so

Never Again GM

July 15, 2010 2:03 PM

I have a Chev Optra.. It has 64000 km to date. 18 months ago I had to replace the head gasket. One year ago I had to get a new transmission. I am now in need of another head gasket.

I will never buy a GM car again.

The mechanic that looked at my new head gasket leak says the transmission that was put in my car was not new. GM refused to give me a receipt for it.

Dom

September 28, 2010 12:21 PM

1998 Monte Carlo (3.8L V6) Love the engine, have had to repair things but I'm thinking this engine catches criticism for how people drive it. It's speedy and asks you to jam on the accelerator over and over which normally takes its toll on an engine lol

jerry

January 30, 2011 5:02 PM

I purchased a 2001 chevy monte carlo new from gm 3.4 engine.changed the oil every 3000 mi took excellent care of it when it had 63,000 mi still looked new. coolant leak due to defective intake gasket ruined engine. I later foolishly bought a used 2001 monte carlo ss with the 3.8 engine it was in great condition and had been well taken care of. at 77,000 mi coolant leak due to defective intake gasket looked up engine. I have been a chevy man my whole life. all my father ever bought was chevy. I am now finished with any GM product for good and will tell as many people as possible stay away from GM.

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