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Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

Posted January 26, 2011 8:00 AM by WadeAbbott

This is part of a multiple-part series. Click here to read part 1 and part 2.

On Oct. 19th, I was surprised to receive a call from the supervisor I had spoken with previously. He told me that my situation was being escalated to a "District Supervisor."

A day later I received a voicemail from a customer service representative. We spent a number of days trading voicemails. I left messages with specific times that I could be reached. I was not called during those times.

Oct. 22nd's voicemail from the GM customer service rep included the following statement:

"Still the resolution is that we won't be able to provide assistance on the diagnostic fee. You know, once the warranty expires [the] customer needs to be responsible. Still you can call me back, but the resolution will remain the same. Well, thank you for your time and interest in GM. You have a nice day. Bye."

Shortly after that voicemail, GM customer service quit returning my calls.

Adding insult to injury, on Nov. 8th I received a call from a third-party company asking me to take a survey about my experience with GM customer service. In particular, they wanted to know about my interaction with the GM customer service rep. Once I told them that I had not spoken with the individual, they said, "whoops." Apparently, they can only conduct the survey when actual interaction (not voicemails) takes place. Go figure.

I wish I had words for how much I despise GM's poor customer service and lack of concern for my family's safety. It's not like seat belts save lives or anything.

If GM were serious about safety, they would have insisted that I get a safety inspection immediately, at their expense, and with minimal inconvenience.

Didn't happen.

At this point, I changed my game plan. I intended to have my mechanic conduct a safety inspection of my vehicle, and I planned to seek reimbursement from GM for the inspection. I figured that it was the least that GM could do for me.

In the end, my mechanic, Auto Solutions in Glenville, NY, did the inspection. An inspection that was far more complete and trustworthy than I would ever expect from a GM dealer. What's more, he did the inspection at zero cost to me. ZERO!

See GM, that's called customer service. You might want to try that sometime.

And now I can officially downgrade my vehicle's status from "death trap" to simply "poorly engineered piece o' junk."

After my experience, I'd probably feel safer in a Toyota with a malfunctioning brake and accelerator.

This post is a consolidation of various posts found on the author's personal blog at thisordinarycitizen.wordpress.com. The author is grateful to CR4 for graciously providing the opportunity to share this story on their website.

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#1

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/26/2011 10:37 PM

Advise them that you are going to make the vehicle safe and that you will invoice them for the repairs and that you expect communication. Do this by registered mail and keep all documents you can advise them of this also. In the registered letter advise them that you are giving a certain amount of time for a reply and make it reasonable like 10 -15 days. No reply get it fixed and send them a bill and mention that it is to be paid or it will go to small claims court. That usually gets them off their (hope they go away attitude.)

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/26/2011 11:30 PM

Roy... sounds like good advice. I lucked out in this case since my mechanic didn't charge me a dime. But I will keep your advice in mind for future reference. Thanks!

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Anonymous Poster
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 7:10 AM

I would write to the chief executive and more senior board members.

That usually tends to get some action.

Also possibly you could always contact the press.

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Anonymous Poster
#4

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 7:57 AM

I'll agree get rid of that piece of GM...

I've got an old 94 Dodge 2nd Gen Cummins diesel truck with 300k and probably won't stop till 500K... still get's 19MPG in an 8000 Lb truck. Yes it's a bit of a Monster....

Tell GM to top that!

P.S. anybody dumb enough to hit that truck gonna get squashed....

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#5

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 10:11 AM

So, tell us how you really feel about GM.

There was a discussion a while ago wherein there are several comments that mirror your view. You may find this an interesting read. The thread title (GM Can Go to Hell) pretty much says it all.

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#6

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 11:57 AM

Hmmm this seems a bit odd. So there was no safety issue or factory defect? why would you expect any manufacturer to pay for something that wasn't wrong? would you have been willing to pay additional fees up front for an extended warranty for peace of mind? did you have some expectation that GM address every technically unskilled persons paranoia for free? Safety is a relative term, to some people, e.g some soccer moms and very fragile men, a vehicle should be as safe as a Abrams tank driving in traffic, but no one wants to pay the cost to own a Abrams tank. I personally do not drive GM products, but find it very disheartening when people expect freebies that aren't actual standardized safety issues. If you have a lemon product there are lemon laws, but based on your previous statements it kind of sounds like this wasn't a lemon but rather you got something of lower quality than you expected, but obviously weren't willing to pay to buy a higher quality product. so willing to only pay for the cheapest thing possible, and no extension on the warranty, then expect it to be gold plated and to receive an extension on the warranty when you discover it wasn't gold plated. I see this all the time where my clients retain the lowest bidder contractors, then then wonder why the contractor isn't willing to do them any little extras on a project, things not explicitly spelled out in the specifications or plans, without a change order. You get what you pay for, with a markup for sales and marketing of course.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 12:12 PM

You get what you pay for i totally agree with but i would expect a seatbelt to be properly fixed in place whatever price i pay for a car!

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 1:30 PM

I thought that in a previous post it was determined that the belt had been properly attached but left unattached during some other serviceing. The belt was attached when the car came off the assembly line. A non-GM mechanice detached it later.

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 8:33 AM

You are absolutely WRONG! He bought a vehicle touted as the top of the line (not cheap), and said in his blog that the seatbelt appeared to have been properly installed at the factory (the wear pattern on the plate, read again!)

He took it to GM licensed practitioner for a repair UNRELATED to the seatbelt, but which required removal of a seat, and, apparently, a seatbelt bracket. The GM CERTIFIED dealer shop then reinstalled it WRONG. Once the shop no longer existed, he couldn't go to the for a safety certification, so he went to the people who certified the shop, trusting (apparently in error on this, but what else is new?) that the certifiers who put their name on the shop would back the shop's work.

I would expect to see them in court, and expect them to pay for every minute of my time wasted on their product. Failing that, I would feel totally vindicated in making them pay in the court of public opinion.

Their shop's work stunk, their attitude stunk, and their service stunk. Why not let them WEAR THE STINK? It fits them.

But they could wash it off, with a reasonable application of the soap of service.

And that noise about "out of warranty" was no more than a dodge to keep GM from having to pay what they owe. But, then again, it IS Government Motors now, isn't it?

Contrast this. I own a 10 year old Honda. The torque converter failed, and Honda, who had spotted the problem before I did (apparently THAT model of torque converter was an issue) had issued a recall. They not only put in a new torque converter (no charge to me), but they assumed that in ALL such failures, the TC had wiped out the trans, so they replaced that, also, at no cost. Oh, did I mention that they specifically DID NOT CARE whether I was the first owner? In fact, I don't know how many owners the car has had. But when I volunteered that, they said they didn't care, it needed fixing, and they were going to fix it.

And this started with Honda America Corporate, who sent me to the nearby Honda shop that I usually work with. And their service manager promised the car in 6 days from parts arrival, which took two days. Two days after that, he called to tell me the car was ready. It was, and we have had a very cordial relationship ever after.

THAT is service. So don't bother exonerating GM for stinking service! And don't be surprised with your attitude when your customers migrate, even offshore.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 9:35 AM

Which is why since 1973 I have only owned one non Japanese car.

I have had a load of German Company cars both in the UK and here.....I don't personally buy them because the guarantee was far too short (1 year, till about 8 years ago when it became 2 years), Japanese cars are usually for 3 years, or more.

"They put their money where their mouth is!"

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 10:26 AM

Wow. Excellent example of good customer service! Always good to hear about companies that go beyond their minimum requirements to make their customers happy. BTW, you are correct. The Relay that I bought was the most expensive vehicle that I've ever purchased, and it was their top of the line version of the vehicle. However, I regret not doing enough research at the time I bought the vehicle. Lesson learned.

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#17
In reply to #13

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 12:17 PM

I thought he indicated he had a Saturn not a Cadillac, which would be the top of the production line for luxury and SUVs for GM, though obviously not the top of production in the market since GM tends to be oriented towards mass production in favor of higher quality (small profit margin per product but lots sold). Obviously, some companies will bite the bullet to break into the market more and gain reputation. when they feel their reputation and size are established they will start cutting back on those type of overhead free services. If there is a recall on a specific part, obviously it doean't matter who owns the vehicle as long as that pat remains on that vehicle. It is however, different if there is no recall on that part, and the problem identified occurred after someone removed and reinstalled the part and the problem is related to that installations. Would you expect the auto manufacturer to be responsible if you went to some service place to have your oil changed and they used water in your crank case instead of oil. No you would expect the service provider to be responsible. If the service provider went out of business, would you then hold the City responsible for providing the water? I would hope not. Even his own mechanic indicated that the vehicle passed safety inspection, there was no safety flaw or defect he identified.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 12:59 PM

"Would you expect the auto manufacturer to be responsible if you went to some service place to have your oil changed and they used water in your crank case instead of oil."

I would if the manufacturer certified the people who put water in my crankcase as competent to change my oil. THEY put THEIR name on the people they licensed to service THEIR product. The city had nothing to do with it, so your analogy doesn't even begin to make sense.

"Even his own mechanic indicated that the vehicle passed safety inspection, there was no safety flaw or defect he identified."

True, but only after he was willing to buy the financial bullet to pay for the test, regardless of the price. And all he asked the manufacturer to pay for was the test. That would have been a fair cost. Especially since the manufacturer only had to give up the cost and profit for that one test.

I think the manufacturer missed a golden opportunity.

As far as your assertion that "Obviously, some companies will bite the bullet to break into the market more and gain reputation. when they feel their reputation and size are established they will start cutting back on those type of overhead free services." all I can say is that Honda America is not just now "breaking into the market". They've been in the American market as cars since 1968, at least, because that's when I saw my first Honda car, a model 600, in California, where I was a Freshman in High School.

Honda doesn't have to offer service in order to "break into a market". They own a huge portion of it already, precisely because they are known for good service.

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#9

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 1:57 PM

First of all...Very glad to hear that this condition was uncovered "without" anybody getting hurt.

I tend to agree with RCE. Not clear to me what you "expect" from GM / Saturn, other than to have them agree to reimburse you some (at that time) unknown charges for a "Safety Inspection".

Points to consider:

  1. Based on both the physical evidence AND your own comments....it appears that the seatbelt WAS properly installed at the factory.
  2. During subsequent service...the seat was apparently removed from the vehicle...and, when reinstalled, was done improperly.

Sounds to me like your real issue is with the service provider who (improperly) re-installed your seat...Yes?

Do you have any info on whether the seatbelt anchor as designed was inadequate?

The info on the Chevy recall is of concern...but there are other points (positive and negative) to consider here, as well.

  • Isn't it true that the Chevy and the Saturn are built in different facilities? Used to be that Saturn had their "own" Assembly Plants, with different process flow / work rules etc. So any installation process failures would have to have been present at both the Chevy and the Saturn plants. Not impossible...but highly unlikely. If these were all built in the same plant / re-badged, it's a different story: to wit... the Chevy recall would therefore have lots more bearing on the Saturn build quality.
  • It's reasonable to assume that the "Cab" Design Team that engineered the Saturn and the same group for the Chevy used the same materials...perhaps even the same actual components...they may actually be the same group of folks. Same for the supplier(s) who sold the goods to both Saturn and Chevy. So any "design" inadequacies or "material failures" found in one could well affect the other.
  • The entire "seat" and / or the "seat belt anchor system" may have been designed by a 3rd party supplier. Very common to do this these days. So while GM would hold responsibility for reviewing the design and ultimately accepting it for their vehicle(s), any design flaws would in this case have been created upstream.
  • Sounds to me as if the "installation process" for the Chevy model was poorly conceived, poorly executed, poorly documented, or some combination of the lot. Also...it's clear that the "Quality Audits" at the Assembly Plant were inadequate / superficial. But again...unless the same Assembly Plant / Line built both the Chevy and the Saturn product, this may well be a false indicator.

I am not now nor have I even been associated with GM or Saturn. Have not owned either companies product that I can recall...at least since the mid-70's. But blaming Saturn / GM for a mistake made by the dealer / mechanic is the equivalent of suing McDonalds' for obesity after consuming Big Mac's and super-sized Value Meals for a decade.

Something in the timeline is unclear to me...did you not operate the vehicle from 11 October (when the incident occurred) until November 8 (or later...whenever it was that you had your mechanic perform said safety inspection)...some 4 weeks?

If this were a vehicle that my kids were operating or being chauffered about in, and I were concerned about any potentially unsafe condition, then it would have been inspected immediately...before they or anybody else were permitted to drive it...both for their safety and for my peace of mind...I'd never forgive myself if they or some innocent bystander were injured while I was engaged in arguing about the cost of an inspection.

Not a defender of GM...and I don't have a dog in this fight, to be sure...but something doesn't add up..

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 2:14 PM

Something to note, as he indicated at the end of his post, he took it in for a safety inspection by his own mechanic and it passed, so what exactly could he hold GM responsible for if the vehicle was deemed safe by his own inspector. It might be a different case if a State agency representative deemed it unsafe and required it to not be operated, and the seat belt was in factory original condition. Seems a bit like he is search for any marginal justification as a basis to obtain money/free-services from GM, since he can not get such from the responsible party. This is a pretty common practice in our society now, look for the deep pockets, even in not responsible, rather than holding those responsible to the fire (or taking the loss when you can not hold those responsible because they were substandard service providers who had the cheapest rates and can not pay or are no longer in business).

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#21
In reply to #10

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 1:28 PM

RCE... just a little clarification. Now that my mechanic has deemed the vehicle "safe," at no charge to me, I am not looking for money/services from GM. But, I'd be happy to chat with GM about the incident if they are interested.

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#11

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/27/2011 9:55 PM

There have been a number of good questions posed in a number of comments. I'll try to address those questions.

I do recognize that it is very unlikely that the defect occurred when the vehicle was manufactured. So, it was most likely caused by the dealership. In normal circumstances, I would have taken it up with the dealer. Unfortunately, once GM closed up shop on their Saturn brand, the dealership disappeared. That's why I went to GM.

When the defect was discovered the vehicle was certainly not under warranty. However, it was under warranty when the defect occurred. Let me be clear. In most cases, I would not expect the corporation to cover the costs. (For example, I've had a rear window wiper motor failure shortly after the warranty expired. I paid those costs.) However, because this is an egregious safety issue, and because it occurred while the vehicle was under warranty, my expectation for good customer service includes covering the costs of a safety inspection.

One of the comments asked if the anchor design was inadequate. That's something that I'd love to know, too. I often wonder why I never noticed that the seat belt wasn't installed properly. Was it noticeable? I just don't know. There was a plastic boot missing from the base of the seat belt, but I never noticed that either. Trust me, I wish I had.

We drastically minimized the use of the vehicle until the safety inspection was completed. Prior to the inspection, I did look at each of the seats. (So did my brother-in-law.) We ensured that the bolts were all tight, that the seat belts anchors were bolted down. I was fairly confident that things were okay, but I wanted a more formal "good to go" before resuming full use of the vehicle. I initially thought GM and I would be able to work something out, but when the communication ceased, I took it into another mechanic.

To me, this ultimately boils down to a customer service issue. Things would've gone much smoother had GM and I been able to keep the lines of communication open.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and even the criticism. It's been a learning experience.

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#22
In reply to #11

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/31/2011 11:49 AM

If you had a safety inspection conducted by your own mechanic and he found nothi8ng wrong, how could it be a egregarious safety issue. Plus again didn't you mention you had it worked on. The owners of the local car sales/repair shops are licensed to use the name, but they are not GM. It really seems like you should be going after the people responsible for the repairs that were unsatisfactory. These repair shops are franchises. It just happens that GM has in their contract the ability to remove a franchises licensure for the name and thus close them as a GM dealership. So who owned the repair shop?

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/31/2011 5:21 PM

I'd say that anytime a seat belt anchor bracket isn't properly bolted in, that qualifies as an egregious safety issue. Yes, my brother-in-law fixed it. And thankfully, no other problems were found. But I would've thought that GM might have had some interest in the problem.

You are correct, I would have preferred to go after the dealership that sold me the vehicle and did the warranty repairs that likely led to the seat belt problem. They no longer exist. Saturn of Albany is gone. So, I went to GM. Seemed like a logical next step to me at the time. As an average consumer, I don't know all the details about GM licensing its name. I don't know the details of their contract with Saturn of Albany. Frankly, if it was a big issue, GM could have spoken with me about that over the phone. They had multiple opportunities to do so. Heck, they can still call me if they care. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Ultimately, the problem is now resolved. I'm not after anybody for any money since my current mechanic took care of the inspection at zero cost to me. That's an example of customer service that went beyond my expectations. He has more than earned my trust.

GM, on the other hand, fell well below my expectations. So, I decided to write about it on my blog. Then the opportunity was presented to me to share it here. To me, it's a discussion of customer service gone poorly. So, GM won't see me as a future customer.

If you disagree with my actions, that's fine. Clearly, I would do some things differently the next time. I've learned quite a bit in the process of sharing my story. But, for the most part, I'd take similar action.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/31/2011 5:34 PM

Well I'M glad you spoke out about it.

Without output like this we would never know most of what's actually happening in the world.

Thanks from me, anyway.

Cheers,

Stu.

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/31/2011 5:47 PM

Thanks Stu. I appreciate the feedback.

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#12

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 8:31 AM

Those cars are as good as unsaleable here in Germany, now I know why.. A few land here from US Servicemen and the like.

But I would still like to thank you (and CR4 Admin) for "Naming Names". Its the only way to get these large corporations to occasionally spend a buck and provide proper customer service. In the end, it helps everyone....

Maybe we could name the present Corporate method as "Customer Disservice!!!"

Perhaps CR4 should have a number of lists for similar products, a sort the "good, the bad and the ugly" of corporations and firms......

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 11:10 AM

Again...you are "naming names" and seeking to hold GM / Saturn liable in the "court of public opinion" for a botched repair done years ago by a service provider who has gone out of business.

Any surprise that businesses are not lining up to open shop in the US any more? It's not just the costs of wages and benefits....but spurious claims like this that drive companies to shift operations to places where this type of vindictive behavior is less common. The legal costs / insurance premiums associated with this type of situation raise the costs for all of us.

  • It's unfortunate that the service technician failed to properly "capture" the seatbelt anchor when re-installing the seat.
  • It's fortunate that this was discovered before anybody was injured.
  • It's bad luck for you, the vehicle owner, that the service provider who employed the technician is no longer in business so that they could rectify their earlier error.

If you had sold the vehicle to the guy next door...and he found this condition 2 years later...would you have immediately volunteered to pay for the repair? ...for an undefined "safety inspection" as well?

Slam GM all you want for their uninspired offerings...for their lousy management and the incestuous relations with their union which led to their bankruptcy...for lousy engineering...for closing Olds, Pontiac, and Saturn...or whatever else is within their span of control...but, while there was certainly the "potential" for great bodily harm as a result of the service technicians error...and while this error "might" be considered negligent, had there been any evidence of a repetitive pattern (vs) a one-off incident...this is a workmanship issue at the service level having nothing to do with either Saturn or GM.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 1:05 PM

"you are "naming names" and seeking to hold GM / Saturn liable in the "court of public opinion" for a botched repair done years ago by a service provider who has gone out of business."

Yep. Naming GM.It was a GM certified service provider. Put MY name on it, and I'd expect to be liable for the quality of it's work. GM should also.

As I've pointed out in every post. As you've not bothered to answer. So, do you stand behind people who you allow to use YOUR name for business gain?

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#25
In reply to #19

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/31/2011 5:46 PM

So you take responsibility for the workmanship of every person you allow to use your name as a reference for a job? And lets assume that person then fails to perform as you indicated in your recommendation, and you terminate your realtionship, do you then take responsibility to mitigate any issues for any of the work he did previously upon yourself.

Lets say you hire some guy in part based on a reference from someone who is reputable and that person fails to perform at the work level advertised for the job. Do you then seek retribution from the person whose name he used and who gave the reference? After all employment is most definitely business and for financial gains.

Lets say he did something really extreme and someone died, and then he was just a little hard to locate, maybe he moved a few doors down the street. Would you then hold the reference liable and prosecute them?

Maybe there is an underlying reason why GM chose that facility, beside just the Saturn aspect, to close (afterall there are still a lot of other GM cars out there). Maybe the choice was between some other delaership that has a better reputation for service and these guys. I am wondering why the owner of the dealership was not approached, but rather the deeper pocket brand name who licensed the dealership was approached instead. Afterall the owner of the dealership was far more directly culpable, I think everyone can agree on that. If i had a piece of lumber cut at a lumber yard, and that cut was then determined to be wrong, I would not approach Georgia Pacific to replace/repair the problem. I would approach the owner of the lumber yard. So what if he was out of business the work was done on his behalf as part of the business transaction with him.

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/01/2011 3:37 AM

Its a bit more difficult to find / contact the former owner of a now defunct dealership than it is to contact GM!

I would not know how to find the former owner!

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/01/2011 10:54 AM

Agreed. And I did try to find out if the dealership existed in a different form or under a new name, but I didn't have much luck. So, I contacted GM.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/01/2011 11:14 AM

And there is the answer, it was a little more complicated to locate the culpable party, so you contacted a deep pockets party that had a business relationship with the culpable party.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/01/2011 5:04 PM

You don't give up easy, do you?

I'm wondering why you have such a problem with his methodology?

Seems straight-cut to me.

In our world of "duty of care",I figured that he needed to know that his vehicle was safe to operate, and that the maker of the vehicle should know the performance of their dealers. First start at the dealers........then......

Seems much like how I would have tackled the situation, and I can't see that he was looking for monetary compensation for the fault. Just have it put right by those who stuffed-up in the first place.

That's how it looked to me, anyway.

Stu.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/01/2011 6:38 PM

As he indicated it was possibly a poor design, that would be relative, but the manufacturer did not mess up the seat belt, rather he had a dealership service the vehicle and they messed it up. So it is straight-cut as you put it, the dealership that serviced the vehicle was at fault and should be culpable. However, as it was apparently too much effort to locate the culpable party, the owner of the dealership, he then sought the manufacturer to try and force a claim based on their desire to protect their reputation. His own mechanic indicated it was safe.

It is very simple, he could not get anything from the guy at fault, so he went looking for the guy with money and a reputation to protect.

FYI the dealership are privately own franchises, they are just licensed to sell the product line, and sometimes employ certified personnel to perform services (they actually buy parts from locate part houses just like other mechanics). I am not sure how this even approaches a professional "Duty of Care", since GM provided no professional sevices that had anything to do with the repairs. Quite simply the only reason for them to get involve would be for public relations and image.

If you MCSE IT person in your office screws up your network, is microsoft responsible to come in and repair it, after all the IT technician is microsoft certified and he presents that microsoft certification label in his resume and other marketing that uses his name. If so then you could also hold every university accountable for the workproduct of every person who ever graduated there. Since they use the universities name for financial gain whenever they apply for a job or are marketing for projects. Can you hold you government accountable when a licensed professional fails on a work product and can not easily be reached or held culpable?

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/02/2011 8:53 AM

So how do you find the former owner of the now defunct dealership?

It is not an easy task. I am a very literate and tech savvy person used to delving through various records to find the answer required and I could not find that information of that I am sure, or at least not without hours / days of working on the problem!

The manufacturer is the logical choice after that and 99.9% of people would contact them! The monitary expense to GM is neglible and the cost of not doing it is large (non-monitary) value!

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/02/2011 2:30 PM

And there you go. First I think there is some misinterpretation between the distiction between logical and rational. At any rate you clarified in your statements, the culpable party was hard to find. Of course anyone with even a relatively limited knowledge of business would realize, all business owners must pay taxes and have associated public records for licensed and such. You can always check quite readily the State incorporation records, county/city business licenses, Property records, etc. as these are all public record easily found. However, that was too much effort apparently, and as indicated you perceive GM as such a deep pocket that they should be willing to pay even if it is anothers responsibility. So basically if someone can afford to pay even if not responsible for anothers plight because someone can associate their name with that plight in some manner, they should pay rather then those directly responsible who might require a few minutes of investigation to locate. This could have a huge implication on subjects like poverty, illegal immigration, drug abuse, welfare, criminal prosecutions....

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/02/2011 7:13 PM

I'm thinking that you may be missing the OP point.

As I read it he went to the 'dealership' which he found was then defunct.

In most cases (99.999999999%) the principals of a Company have a structure in place which protects them from personal responsibility, should that company fail. Bankruptcy. Whatever. As you point out one can find out all the relevant details of the structure but what use it is? There's no where to go, in a corporate responsibility sense. You could go down to the local shopping mall and meet the guy(s) but what ends would that achieve?

Having found the Company failed, then the chain of communication to the original Maker is broken. This is so for whatever reason one should want to contact the Maker.

Conundrum: How to communicate with the Maker?

Solution: Contact directly.

I'm sorry I don't see anything like the scenario you do. No subversiveness. No "hand-out" mentality.

I do believe that one has a duty of care to make the Maker aware of the performance of not only their products but those who make those products available to the public.

And in the case of safety items, reliability items ( essentially safety too) one definitely has a duty of care to ones family and friends who would, either with permission, or without, use those products. And every Court in the land has said so.

Cheers,

Stu.

( business mentor).

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

02/02/2011 8:05 PM

You've hit the nail on the head Stu. Thank you.

I was mystified that GM just wasn't taking the whole situation seriously. If I was the manufacturer, I'd want one of my dealerships to take a look at it. I'd want to take a look at the pictures. I'd want to be absolutely sure that it wasn't a design issue that led to the improper installation. That's a big reason for my desire to share this issue with GM once I learned that the dealership no longer existed. I'd still love to share my experience with the manufacturer if they ever become interested. Since my mechanic, in the end, did the safety inspection at no cost... I could care less about getting money from GM.

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#20
In reply to #16

Re: Saga of the Unsafe Seatbelt – Part 3

01/28/2011 1:18 PM

Respectfully, I've only blogged about this because GM wasn't engaging in two-way communication throughout this whole incident. And it was the "official" GM dealership that went out of business. I'd love to find out exactly what was done to the vehicle leading to this problem. I don't even know for certain that the driver's seat was removed during maintenance, although I strongly suspect that's the case. I'd love to find out if it's a poor design that led to the problem of improper installation. If there is a design problem, I'd love to have GM know about it so it can be permanently addressed.

You do make a great point that it was bad luck that the dealership went out of business. In general I was fairly satisfied with them. Were they still in business, I'm sure that we would've worked something out immediately.

Your point about selling the vehicle to a neighbor... very interesting. I think that I'd feel absolutely awful, especially if someone had been hurt. Would I pay for it? You know, it'd be the neighborly thing to do. Certainly, I'd want to talk the situation over with my neighbor. I'd want to help him/her resolve the situation.

Finally, my actions thus far have nothing to do with taking legal action. (I fully agree with your point that there is far too much ridiculous legal action taken in this country.) I haven't sued anyone over this. The only way that I would even consider doing so would've been in the event of a serious injury or death. I'm not sure that I would even sue in that instance. I've been extremely fortunate... nobody was injured, my current mechanic graciously covered the cost of the inspection, and I've learned so much from this whole situation.

Thanks for the feedback.

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