Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Another Well-Deserved Recall Black Eye For GM

It's this kind of stuff that really frustrates me as a GM fan:

WASHINGTON -- For the second time in just over a year, General Motors Corp. is facing the possibility of recalling millions of pickups to fix an allegedly faulty tailgate cable.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had documented nearly 13,000 consumer complaints and warranty claims for Chevrolet Silverado, Sierra, S-10 and Sonoma pickup trucks -- models not covered by a previous tailgate cable recall in March 2004.

My '96 truck has those same cables, and guess what - the plastic sheathing has cracked and is exposing a corroded cable in several places. The recall last year for this problem only covered the last couple of years of GM pickups, despite the fact that this same design has been used since the GMT400 introduction 17 years ago. And this second recall would only cover trucks back to '98, leaving at least a decade's worth of vehicles unrepaired and thus likely to trigger a third recall for the same problem.

Owners of mid-'90s GM trucks will recall that the same thing happened over the last few years with defective wiper motors. That one went multiple rounds before my truck's problems were addressed, and by that time, I'd already fixed the problem with a trip to AutoZone (this, after my wipers decided to completely die during a springtime downpour).

If GM wants to get their recall problem under control and - even more importantly - fix their PR problems, they've got to stop playing games like this. It looks bad in the media, it irritates customers, and it really makes me question their commitment to safety and corporate responsibility.

They did the recall on my 2001, giving me poorly-made, unequal-length cables each proudly displaying little paper adhesive tags that said "Made in China". I raised very polite but still holy hell with Chevrolet customer service. Unequal lenght for heaven sake!
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