Chevrolet Corsica

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

March 2000

Dear Corsica/Beretta Owner:

Thank you for contacting the Center
for Auto Safety (CAS) about your Chevrolet Corsica or Beretta. Introduced
in 1987, the Corsica and its two-door counterpart, the Beretta, never
took and were dropped by GM after the 1996 model year. CAS has received
numerous complaints on engine breakdown, seatbelts,
stalling and/or hesitation, peeling paint,
power steering loss, and automatic transmission

Their pedestrian design, plus poor reliability
doomed them from the start. All but the 1989 Corsica/Beretta made Consumer
Reports' lists of “Used Cars to Avoid.” Defects including
piston knock and valve noise in the
2.0L 4-cylinder engine plague Corsica
and Beretta owners. There have been so many problems with the “Quad 4”
engine on 1987-91 vehicles that GM extended the warranty to 6 years/60,000
miles, waived the $100 deductible and notified owners about defective
head gaskets

The door-mounted “automatic” belt system
on pre-1995 vehicles cannot prevent ejection if the door opens while driving
or in a crash. CAS petitioned NHTSA to recall faulty “automatic”
lap-shoulder belts and door latches
on 5.5 million 1987-90 GM
vehicles including the 1988-90 Corsica/Beretta. NHTSA denied
CAS' petition. CAS also petitioned NHTSA to recall 1990-92 Corsicas for
defective airbags that have killed 4 drivers but again, NHTSA refused.

GM sent bulletins to dealers acknowledging
power steering defects in 1987-88 models, secretly extended
the power steering warranty to 5 years/50,000 miles and has paid for post-warranty
repairs for those owners who complain loudly. An expensive defect on 1987-92
models is peeling paint. At CAS' request, GM agreed to
pay for complete repainting for paint peel and delamination through six
years and unlimited mileage but, in March 1995, GM cut this back to 5

You'll find information on these and other Corsica/Beretta
defects below and what you can do about them
plus a complaint box. Your information
will help us build a strong case against GM on the defects we know about
and help us spot new ones.

We need you to support the Center for Auto Safety in our
fight for consumer rights and against poorly designed and unsafe cars.
Your contribution is tax-deductible
and entitles your to our quarterly newsletter, Lemon Times.
Please submit the membership form along with
your contribution and complaint. If you contribute $35 or more, we will send you the current edition of The Ultimate Car Book, by Jack Gillis.
Every home should have this invaluable consumer guide


Clarence M. Ditlow

Executive Director


GM technical service bulletin (TSB) numbers
are in parentheses.

Temperature gauge reads high 1992-93 (338118); Turn signal inoperative
1991-94 (438104); Temperature gauge fluctuation 1992-94 (478101); A/C
compressor cut-off 1995 & prior (43-12-18A); A/C odor at start-up
1993-96 (53-12-12); ABS light on 1993-95 (53-50-10); Interior lamps inoperative
1994-95 (53-83-13); P/door locks inoperative & reduced rear defogger
performance 1994-96 (63-81-06) Battery rundown & interior lights on
1992-94 (43-81-01B).

Coolant leak – FREE REPAIR for 6 years/60,000 miles 1990-91 Beretta w/2.3L
Quad 4 (91-525A-6A); Coolant loss 1992-94 (33-62-01); Hesitation/sag/”chuggle”
on acceleration 1990-92 (316509); Engine stall, long cranks & deceleration
surge 1990-93 (33-65-06 & 93-291-6E); Oil leak 1993-95 (47-61-35);
No start &/or runs rough 1993-94 (47-65-20); 2.0L-4:
Miss/backfire/hesitation 1987-88 (88-72-6E); Cold start roughness &
stall-out 1987-88 (88-392-6E); Doesn't run cold or hesitates 1988-89 (89-95-6E);
Piston knock 1987-89 (89-242-6A). 2.2L-4:
Hesitation/stall 1994-95 (57-65-24A) & 1990-91 (91-222-6E);
Timing chain noise – replace chain 1992-96 (87-61-21A). 2.8L-V6:
Stalls &/or cold hesitation 1987-88 (88-88-6E); Unstable idle 1987-88
(88-231-6E); Intermittent stall 1988-89 (89-88-6E); Low coolant level
1987-88 (88-151-6B); Insufficient charging 1987-88 (88-128-6D); High accelerator
effort & inoperative cruise control 1987-88 (88-374-6E & 88-407-6E);
3.lL-V6: Cold
engine tick or rattle – replace piston/pin assembly 1994-95 (57-61-24A);
Engine exchange program 1993-94 (33-60-02A); Poor driveability due to
fuel injector deposits 1994-96 (77-63-04A); Oil odor – replace rear main
bearing seal 1990-96 (87-60-02A).

Bumps/rust spots 1994-96 (43-17-01B). For info on peeling paint, see Peeling
Paint Woes

Car leads or pulls,1987-90 (90-304-3B) & 1992-94 (33-32-13 & 92-50-3B);
Steering column “popping,” 1992-93 (33-32-10A); P/S shudder or steering
rack rattle 1992-93 (33-32-12A); Right axle oil seal leaks 1992-94 (477133);
“Crunch” from dash while turning 1991-94 (43-32-11); Intermittent steering
column snap or click on turning 1994-96 (56-32-02A); Front
suspension squawk 1993-96 (73-33-01A).
For more information on P/S loss in 1987-88s, go to GM P/Steering.

Grunt, squawk, or squeak when shifting from “Park” to “Reverse”/”Drive,”
1992-93 (336102A); Transaxle fluid leak 1993-94 (377139); Harsh upshifts
1991-94 (477102); Intermittent loss of “Drive” or erratic shifts 1991-94
(477121), 1995-96 (67-71-64); Grinding &/or growling in “Park” on
incline 1992-95 (10-81-50). Both 440-T4 series automatic over drive [AOD]
& 125-C A/T are prone to failure. For more information, go to GM Transmission

Rear brake “squawk” & ABS cycling 1992-93 (235015); High brake pedal
effort 1992-93 (335010) W/S washer fluid loss &/or washer pump inoperative
1992-93 (238203); “Clicking”/”squeaking” from vehicle front &/or rear
1994-95 (53-35-02); “Knocking” from accessory drive belt tensioner 1993-95
(47-61-36); “Binding” or “popping” front door glass 1988-95 (93-10-09);
ABS indicator light on 1991-96 (63-50-15B, 73-50-26); A/C odor at startup
1993-96 (53-12-12A).


Copies of recalls may be obtained from NHTSA's Technical Reference Division
through the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.

Hood flies-up: 4,884 1987 Both (86V-165); 282,052 1987 Corsica & 1988
Beretta (88V-039); 2,020 1987 Both (87V-062); 290,408 1987-88 Both (91V-135).

1,958 1987 Corsica – Headlight switch (86V-164); 140,661 1992 Both – Brake
stop lamps inoperative (92V-185); 5,000+ 1996 Beretta – Interior lights
turn on unexpectedly (98V-027).

29,951 1989 Both – Front seatbelt latch (89V-034); 642 1989 Both – Seat
movement (89V-087); 722,884 1988-90 Both – Front shoulder belt retractor
(91V-206); 26,464 1990 Both – Owner's manual lacks rear seatbelt information

2,600+ 1989 Both – Fuel tank leak & fire (88V-189); 86,959 1987-88
Beretta – Door hinge (89V-225); 36,364 1991 Both – Steering wheel separates
from column (91V-083); 19,603 1989 Corsica – Spokes separate from wheel
(91V-213); 39 1994 Both – Front control arm separates from suspension

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