2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe - water leaked into trunk - leaking tailight - brake lines replaced - multiple other problems

Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2002 at 12:00am CST by 198646ec

Company: 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe - water leaked into trunk - leaking tailight - brake lines replaced - multiple other problems

Category: Other

Complaints.com received the following consumer message on November 26, 2002:


RE: 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe - water leaked into trunk - leaking tailight - brake lines replaced - multiple other problems

The following is a copy of a letter I sent to the Chevrolet. If possible, you can e-mail it to their customer service area at COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_66403# and make them aware that it is now posted on complaints.com.

Thank you very much.

To Whom It May Concern,

This is my third attempt to voice my distress with my vehicle and the dealership from which it was purchased. My husband, John T. Dobrie, and I purchased a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe in February of 2000. We specifically chose this vehicle because we previously owned a GM car, a Geo Storm and had been satisfied. As two newly married middle class people, we were trying to find something that would be reliable and affordable.

We chose to purchase a new car because we are saving to purchase a house and we didn't want to be caught in the cycle of vehicle repairs. The salesman at our dealership of purchase, SUN AUTO in Bohemia, NY, assured us that the Cavalier would be a reliable car, needing nothing more than routine maintenance such as oil and filter change, tire rotation, etc. for the first 50,000 - 60,000 miles.

Our dissatisfaction with the vehicle began only a few months after purchase when water began leaking into the trunk of the vehicle. We brought the car in for service and the source of the problem was found, a leaking tail light. The light was replaced. Subsequently, we have had continuing problems due to poor workmanship in the vehicle. A front headlight had to be replaced due to leakage, brake lines in the car had to be fixed because they were rubbing together, ball bearings in the front tires had to be replaced, and the paint on the radio was defective and peeling off, requiring replacement of the radio.

Regrettably, the staff of SUN Auto was not accommodating on any of the occasions that the car was brought in for service. On several occasions, the car had to be repeatedly brought back before it was actually repaired. The individuals that work at SUN Auto have not treated me or my husband with courtesy or respect. Within the last two months, we have had our most extensive problems with the vehicle. Our warranty expired at 36,000 but at about 40,000 our check engine light came on.

We brought the car to the dealership and once again, they offered no condolences or help other than offering to charge us $90.00 to put the car on the diagnostic computer. Feeling exasperated with the dealership, my husband brought the vehicle to another local mechanic. The vehicle required a new one-four coil pack due to extensive rusting. In the past month, we noticed a clunking noise in the vehicle which once again, led us to seek repairs. The entire rack and pinion of the vehicle had to be replaced, costing us over $600.000. We were also informed that the struts will soon need to be replaced as well. We have recently looked at the body of the vehicle and noticed that the rubber gaskets that line the back tail lights are completely dry-rotted and the paint on the plastic body molding seems to be deteriorating before our eyes.

The mechanic who did the work for us on the rack and pinion said that there were severely defective parts on the car. He gave us the knuckle piece to the car and showed us that it was seized.

The difficulties that have occurred with this vehicle have been detrimental to our budget, our time and our confidence in GM. I never expected to purchase a new car and experience so many mechanical problems in such a short period of time. We have been making payments on the car for 2 years and 9 months and have been trying to decide what will be best for our financial stability. In October, my husband made one last attempt to speak with someone at the SUN Auto dealership. He spoke with James Falcone, the Service Parts Director. Mr. Falcone made no effort to be understanding on the matter. During the entire course of their conversation, Mr. Falcone was condescending and sarcastic.

He blatantly said, "I will do nothing to help you in this situation." My husband brought Mr. Falcone one of the damaged parts from the car to inspect. Mr. Falcone actually placed blame on my husband, saying that we should have "greased" the part. This is a mechanical mechanism that is difficult to get to, even for a mechanic. I am appalled at his accusation. As my husband left the dealership Mr. Falcone arrogantly grinned at him. There seems to be no attempt at working with customers, let alone meeting their needs at the SUN Auto Dealership.

Now my husband and I face a dilemma. We cannot continue to bear the financial burden of these types of repairs. The current book value of our car would be $7,000 if sold privately. However, we cannot have it on our conscience to sell this car privately. We cannot sell this car to a buyer when we know that it is not reliable or well-crafted. This leads us to the trade-in option. The current book value of the car for a trade-in is only $4,800.00. We currently owe $5,800 on the car.

It saddens me to think that a car company I once had trust in has failed me in such a glaring way. In the future, I will be forced to look to other manufacturers for my transportation needs.

I truly hope that GM will reimburse me for the work that has had to be done on such a new vehicle. I have had no success in the past two months in getting any help from the company. The only previous response I have received is, “We can do nothing for you since you did not get work done at an official GM dealership.” This is not acceptable.

The company is excusing themselves from any responsibility in shoddy workmanship just because repairs were not made in the presence of one of their mechanics. I assure you, if I had any idea that there would be such an issue with this situation, I would have gotten work done at a GM dealership. However, as I expressed earlier, our dealership was not helpful or even civil to my husband and I. We had no reason to have further dealing with them.

It was much more comforting to get service from someone whom a trusted friend or relative recommended. I sincerely hope that someone who works for this organization will see that the company is at fault. Something needs to be done to restore some of the confidence that I once had in their vehicle workmanship and the relationships that they maintain with their customers.

I have maintained documentation on each repair that was made on our vehicle over the last 2 years and will make them to available to GM at their request. I have voiced several complaints against SUN Auto through mail surveys and hope that there will be some changes made with personnel at their dealership there in the future. I was told that someone spoke with Mr. Falcone at SUN Auto, but not that any action had been taken to change the way in which they deal with customers.


Heather A. Dobrie


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