Potential class action lawsuit against GM over intake manifold gasket problem.

Messages
32
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I was listening to the radio earlier and a university marketing professor was talking about the problems GM is having, and it was very interesting. To sum it up... She was discussing how GM was having problems in the 1980s (she actually pointed out that all of the big three were). Mostly these problems were due to quality issues. She then went on to discuss, how GM basically dealt with these issues and was fine during the 1990s, but now seems to have the same problems again. What I found really interesting were three recent problems that she pointed out. Now I should point out that what I am about to write, here is what I was able to recall from the radio from hearing it earlier, so the figures might not be exact, but the general idea should be correct. The first example was where 800,000 pickup trucks had to be recalled, because of weak tailgate support cables (I think that is what they are called). 84 people were injured because of this (if I remember correctly). If I recall correctly as well, she said these were 1999 and/or 2000 models, and GM knew about the problem since 1995. The second example was something to do with windshield wipers, but she didn't go into much detail about it, and I don't really pay attention to this one because it sound trivial to me. The third example that she gave, and the reason that I am posting, was the intake manifold gasket problems with certain GM engines. In terms of all three of the above examples that she pointed out, she said that these aren't expensive things to do properly the first time, and simply avoid problems later down the road. She did admit that she's not an engineer (neither am I for that matter), but she said an intake manifold gasket is a gasket and how much could it possibly cost to do it properly? Now to the point of this post... Near the end of her interview on the radio, she mentioned that a movement is growing (I would imagine in the USA) to file a class action lawsuit against GM over the intake manifold gasket problems with some of their engines. I found that particularly interesting, because we have two GM cars at present and both of them have been great, and we have had GM cars in the past that haven't given us any trouble either. What I am concerned about is this intake manifold gasket issue. The first car is a 1994 Buick LeSable, and as far as I know it doesn't suffer from the intake manifold gasket issue. The second car, however, is a 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and that one I am not so sure about. I have read in some places that it does, and in others that it doesn't. So am I a bit confused about the issue. Will all this bad news about GM stop us from getting another GM car? Honestly I am not sure. Right now I am looking at Honda, and am starting to like what I see. Whereas in the past I wasn't too interested in Japanese cars. The Japanese cars, however, have come a long way in terms of style, so now its a harder choice to make. In any case, no one knows what the future holds.
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
There was a class-action lawsuit against Ford for the TFI-IV ignition module failures. Wouldn't you know, despite having to replace the one my 1988 Mustang GT, I didn't qualify because I replaced it after 100K miles.
 
Messages
6,431
Location
New Braunfels
The only waty to know is by UOA or if obvious coolant loss is taking place. It is the manufactureres lack of concern over these issues that has caused me a once proud GM guy in the late 80's and early 90's to swear them off. Try a Japanese vehicle just beware that you will probably like it more than you expect.
 
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4,478
Location
Southern California
Vasili, if you prefer a cushy, quiet ride, try the new Camry, too, before you peel out your checkbook on a Honda. I'm not anti-Honda - had a '96 and it was the best car I've ever owned. But a friend's Camry has been rock solid reliable and has a very refined ride.
 

Al

Messages
19,248
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Vasuku. The 3.1 and 3.4 will all leak..every one of them. You can count on it like the sun rising and setting. Do a used oil analysis, you'll see.
 
Messages
219
Location
Detroit
I had two GM cars that did this. 1978 Olds cutlass 260 V-8 and a 1997 Yukon. Lucky I do UOA's or I wouldn't have caught the Yukon one. Happens around ~65-70K. Dealer told me my extended warranty would cover this. Later told me a problem with the warranty. $900 later I vowed to never buy a car from them again. Now I drive an Acura TL ('04). Wonderful automobile. The folks at the general think they can get away with whatever they want. Craig
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,958
Location
The Motor City
I don't think a recall will ever be issued for two reasons.... it's not a safety-related issue, plus repairing all these cars would bankrupt the company. One precedent is the enegine wiring harness issue of nearly all Mercedes made between 93-95. They're made of biodegradable wiring insulation that degrades while still in service, causing many spurious shorts. Even though it's been proven to be a problem, Mercedes denies any problem exists, and no recall will be issued for three years of production that would cost up to $1400 per vehicle to repair.
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
Wheras...Ford had the same wiring harness issue with all of the Contour/Mystique made between 95-97. Although they did not issue a recall for it, they did extend the warranty on the wiring harness to 10 years/100,000 miles. I had my 1996 Contour repaired under this warranty.
 

pbm

Messages
8,889
Location
New York
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vasili: To sum it up... Right now I am looking at Honda, and am starting to like what I see. Vasili: I own a Buick with the 3.1 engine which is prone to I/M gasket leaks. So far so good as I approach 70K. I keep a close watch on my coolant reservoir and will probably do a UOA on my next OCI just to be sure. I've also added Barsleaks twice. I bought a new Honda Accord in 01' because of the supposed greatness of Honda. I ended up getting a vehicle that will have automatic tranny problems just as sure as the 3.1 will have I/M problems. A friend has a Honda Odyssey and has had many problems including the A/T. My point is that Honda certainly isn't perfect. However,unlike GM, Honda seems to correct problems in their designs when they become apparent.
 
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3,558
Location
SE Pa
There is so much GM has done wrong over the past twenty years that it's very hard for this writer to have much sympathy for them. For their hard working line employees who always suffer first, yes. There's nothing wrong with the work ethic; they're building fine cars for all the foreign makers who've invaded. But for the upper execs and bean counters who caused this utter disaster, I have no sympathy whatsoever. I've bought their vehicles, along with a good many other American makes. I thought I was bailing them out the last time. Seems they didn't learn the lesson in the '80s. Nothing changed where it mattered - between the corporate ears. Just look at the dash boards on some of them, compared to even a Hyundai. So if we all run out, do our patriotic duty, and buy their cars this time, will they really finally reform themselves? I doubt it. "On a Clear Day, you Can See General Motors". The giant is very sick.
 
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2,837
Location
MO
Is there ANY possibility that the HUGE salaries paid to CEOs and other higher-ups could be part of the problem? Those folks at the top make more in ONE year than the vast majority of American workers earn in a lifetime. If you know that no matter how bad you mess up that ONE year's wages will allow you to live a decent lifestyle for the rest of your life, well..... where IS the incentive the be the best one can be and, resultantly, your firm and its products will be the best possible? Ain't declaring the BIG bucks are the root cause of corporate problems or even a partial cause. Still....... I ponder. Ponder I shall and ponder I do. Yep. Pondering.
 
Messages
20
Location
Central Jersey
Well I swore off GM after my intake manifold gasket disaster. GM offered no help at all (at 36.5k and less than 3 years), which was what really ticked me off. A company doesn't show any interest in taking care of customers (with a known defect) does not deserve my future consideration.
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
You have to wonder how short sighted the people at GM really are. The manifold problem would have cost just a few $$ to fix at the time of manufacture. Instead, GM pocketed that cash and pushed what would become a $500-$1000 problem onto their customers. You don't have to be very bright to see what that might do to customer loyalty.
 

pbm

Messages
8,889
Location
New York
quote:
Originally posted by jsharp: You have to wonder how short sighted the people at GM really are. The manifold problem would have cost just a few $$ to fix at the time of manufacture. Instead, GM pocketed that cash and pushed what would become a $500-$1000 problem onto their customers. You don't have to be very bright to see what that might do to customer loyalty.
You hit the nail on the head. This, combined with the GM Jobs Bank which pays idle employees, is a recipe for disaster. What's really amazing is that you and I could figure this out but the overpaid GM executives couldn't.
 

Al

Messages
19,248
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by Volvohead: There is so much GM has done wrong over the past twenty years But for the upper execs and bean counters who caused this utter disaster, I have no sympathy whatsoever. Seems they didn't learn the lesson in the '80s. So if we all run out, do our patriotic duty, and buy their cars this time, will they really finally reform themselves?
Ahmen
 
Messages
7,778
Location
Oklahoma
Ford have similar issues with the 5.4l blowing out sparkplugs. Proper fix would be to replace all the heads....ain't going to happen by Ford. Honda has had some AT problems in the 98-01 years. But, they have stepped up to the plate and offered a free extended factory warranty up to 100K on those transmissions. Camry....yeah, take a chance of first year production models and you just may find sludge in your engine. Plus, the Camry looks like a dog.
 
Messages
171
Location
MS
quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: Honda has had some AT problems in the 98-01 years. But, they have stepped up to the plate and offered a free extended factory warranty up to 100K on those transmissions.
Yep, and as my brother-in-law found out it's a real pain in the A$$ to get honda to honor it.
 
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