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Oldsmobile Alero Defective Passlock Theft Deterrent System
Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2007 at 11:36pm CDT by 8932ca49
The Olds Alero has a defective Passlock Theft Deterrent System. It shows up when you insert your key in the ignition, turn it, hear the engine cranking, only to fail to start. The dashboard's red warning light, SECURITY, flashes on and off. It believes it is being stolen, thus shutting off the gas to the engine.
I bought my '99 Alero GLS on the last Saturday in May 2004. I loved the 3.4 liter engine, leather buckets, all electric, AC/PW ABS, tilt wheel, electric adjustable driver's seat, tinted windows, and great sounding CD and AM/FM stereo. Peppy and sporty, I fell in love with it.
Then in March 2005, I had my first encounter with this issue, and it cost me time, worry, inconvenience and $257.58. I had the repairs done at the local GM dealership and thought the matter was settled. Guess again !!!
The second time it happened was July 12, 2005, only months after the first incident. I was indignant and told the dealership what I thought of having to spend even more for what appeared to me to be the same problem. Dealership service manager said that although it appeared (DUH!!) to be the same problem, the diagnostic code revealed that it was a different problem. HUH??? It was the freakin' same old issue! Again I paid through the nose to the tune of $253.71.
Fast forward to around October,2006, a little more than a year after the last repair. I was at a gas station twenty miles from home, had just filled the tank and put the key in the ignition to begin the balance of the trip home. I was not able to start the car, SECURITY light blinking, I got on the cell phone and called the dealership to give them a piece of my mind - that their "fix" was not fixed - that it was acting up once again. However, after 5-10 minutes the car was running again, Happy and relieved to be on my way home, I breathe a sigh of relief and put this issue out of my mind. Or so I thought.
For the next few months it happens about two more times. However, after getting out of the car and allowing it to sit awhile, the car always starts again. But now it is starting to act up with greater frequency. The relief I originally felt gives way to rage realizing that this is a lemon with factory defects.
Today, June 21, 2007, I got in the car this morning to drive the 53 miles to work when I discover that again, I am stranded in my driveway, unable to start the car. I call the boss, telling him my predicament. I have been with the company only a couple weeks and this incident is not getting me any points. The stakes are higher now. Realizing that this could cost me my job, I vow to take care of this once and for all.
I drove to the dealership that I had "fix" the car two times previously. After explaining that I was now having an issue with a repair that they had fixed on two other occasions, they refuse to repair the car at their expense, explaining that the repair was covered for twelve months and it has been nearly two years since the last repair. I feel totally used, abused and screwed. I signed the paperwork, authorizing the repair for the third time. Inisde me the rage is building. I am totally fed up having to constantly deal with this ignition issue. Cost today: $276.99. What could I do? I need the car to make a living. The dealership had me by the short ones and they knew it.
With the dealership's permission, I sat in one of the salesman's cubicles to borrow the phone. I called GM customer service at the phone number given to me by one of the men in the service department. It was to Buick customer service, but it went through to GM customer service in the Phillipines. 1-800-521-7300. I was on the phone for two hours - 9:30 to 11:30 am arguing my point to GM the fact that this recurring, repetitive repair is a factory defect. Their argument: thank you for bringing this to our attention, we'll look into it - but we will not accept any responsibility for calling this repair a factory defect subject to a product recall.
I made up my mind that once I got home I would Google "Alero ignition cylinder" and see if there are any other Alero owners out there being abused and given the runaround by GM. That's when I came across others' complaints concerning this same issue.
Seeing that others are experiencing the identical problem, and after having been kept in the dark by GM, I called GM and told the customer disservice agent that I was fed up, that they were very much aware of this ongoing issue with the Alero and the real reason why they refused to take responsibility and acknowledge it publicly was because it was not making headlines, that people were not being burned alive in overturned shells of a vehicle. After all, customers were just being inconvenienced (oh sure... uh huh!); plus, having to repair the vehicle was a bonus to GM. After all, they were selling these overpriced parts and this helped to keep their GM dealerships afloat in an otherwise bleak year of lowered sales. For the first time, GM's U.S. sales were eclipsed by those by Toyota. GM was not numero uno in their own country!
I let her know in no uncertain terms that I was looking for restitution. The agent, Stephanie Vokey (1-866-790-5700 x 21936) asked me exactly what it was I was looking for from GM. I told her that I had gone through endless hours of inconvenience, exprienced mental anguish, emotinal stress and had expended time, energy and money to try to rectify a problem that kept recurring unexpectedly. I would settle for a total reimbursement of what I had shelled out monetarily: $823.95. She refused, toeing the company line by parroting over and agian that the facts of these repairs I've outlined do not in and of themselves add up to a company recall. I told her that I knew I was NOT alone, that I had been surfing the Internet and found others that had complaints about this same issue. When she kept up the broken record of providing no assistance or acceptance of any responsiblity for thie problems I was experiencing, I asked to speak to her supervisor. She curtly replied that I would only be told the same thing that she had just told me.
I was put on hold for ten minutes.
When Ms. Volkey returned, her attitude was more conciliatory; she said she would try to assist me by calling the dealership tomorrow and talk to the service department to see if GM could provide reimburse me for the repair.
My call to my lawyer is on hold pending whether GM is going to start taking this problem seriously, to admit that it IS a problem, OWN UP TO IT and REIMBURSE the people whose loyalty to GM led them to purchase a GM vehicle. A company that abuses,misleads and lies to its customers is treading on very thin ice, indeed.
I urge you to VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. BOYCOTT GM. Join me in bringing these greedy manipulators to their knees.
DO NOT BUY GM !!
If you have had this problem, contact me at the following email: COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_75664#