Monday, 23 December 2019 15:03

GM Customers Rage as Automaker Struggles With Strike-Related Parts Delay

Written by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
The damage to Ben Baby's Buick Enclave after rear-ending a vehicle on a Dallas freeway Oct. 4, 2019. The damage to Ben Baby's Buick Enclave after rear-ending a vehicle on a Dallas freeway Oct. 4, 2019. Ben Baby


Finally, his insurer agreed to total the Enclave so Baby can purchase another vehicle rather than continue to wait for GM parts. Baby has not decided what new vehicle he will buy, but it will not be a GM brand, he said.


"I'm totally upset. I paid almost $55,000 for this Enclave as a new car," said Baby. "GM should make sure parts are available if something happens. They didn't know a strike would happen, but they should offer some customer care, provide a loaner car or something."


Customer Service


Maryland resident Benny Tucker, 41, has been without his 2016 Cadillac Escalade since Oct. 17, the day he was involved in an accident in Westminster, MD, that caused $18,000 in damage to his front end. It also set off the air bags, destroying the dashboard. 


He had owned the Escalade for four weeks at that time.


The repair parts for the exterior damage did not arrive from GM until Dec. 5, said Tucker. But GM told his dealer it had to use an outside vendor to make the limited-production dashboard, Tucker said.


"That dealer said it’ll be at least four months," said Tucker. "They didn’t have a production date and then it takes three to four weeks to ship it, then it has to be installed."


He cannot drive the SUV because the dashboard will hold the air bags, so it's a safety feature, said Tucker. 


"What’s upsetting to me is my $855 a month car payment — all my payments have been made on my Escalade while it's been in the body shop," said Tucker. "I paid $50,000 for this, and they can’t get a part for it. I can’t even get somebody on the phone to give me a date. That’s all I want. I’m in limbo. It’s terrible customer service on their part.”


GM's Emergency Status


It's been nearly eight weeks since the UAW's 40-day nationwide strike ended. Most parts remain affected in some way, including collision and powertrain, because GM was not producing them during the strike, Cain said.