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.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Learning of Other Complaints:
For $20-40, you can get a computer printout of complaints &/or service
bulletins from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Include make, model & year as the more specific the request, the less
expensive the printout. Write Technical Reference Division, NHTSA, 400
7th St SW, Washington DC 20590 & allow 3 weeks for delivery. To access
complaint summaries for particular makes, models & years, visit NHTSA’s
Internet website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Technical Service Bulletins
GM publishes TSBs to help dealers diagnose & repair problems on vehicles.
Some dealers will let you view TSBs. You can access TSB summaries via
NHTSA’s Website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
NHTSA’s Technical Information Services, which can be contacted through
NHTSA’s Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, can also send a
particular TSB once you identify it from NHTSA’s Website or its computer
printout. ALLDATA provides free access to TSB summaries & sells copies
of TSBs listed on its Website. You can also buy them from HELM, Inc. Call
800-782-4356 for ordering information. For your use, we have listed some
of the more comprehensive TSBs on your vehicle. Check the above sources
for other TSBs.
Recalls & Investigations:
Call NHTSA’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-DASH-2-DOT
(in Washington DC 202-366-0123) or visit NHTSA’s website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Small Claims Court:
Go to small claims for advice on
using small claims court to recover repair & other expenses. The Lemon
Book (Moyer-Bell 1990) by Ralph Nader has an entire chapter
on small claims court strategy, a state-by-state index & a chapter
on your legal rights to help you better argue your case in court. You
can order the book for $17.50 from CAS Publications.
If you have to sue GM over a lemon, go to CAS-Lawyers
for a list of attorneys specializing in lemon law.
Call the appropriate division’s customer service phone number to register
a complaint or check recall information. Buick 800.521.7300;
Cadillac 800.458.8006; Chevrolet 800.222.1020; GMC 800.462.8782; Oldsmobile
800.442.6537; Pontiac 800.762.2737; Saturn 800.533.6000.
Better Business Bureau
(BBB) Arbitration: GM contracts with BBB to arbitrate
requests for reimbursement of repairs, a GM "buy-back" of your vehicle,
or both. The vehicle must be within the Bumper-to-Bumper warranty. BBB
can order a buy-back through 2 years or 24,000 miles. You may reject the
arbitrator’s decision if it’s a bad one and file a lemon lawsuit. If you
do accept it, GM must abide by it. BBB states that the arbitration hearing
should occur within 40 days of the request date. Call your local BBB or
800.955.5100 for arbitration hearing request forms. For detailed advice,
the Lemon Book has a whole chapter on arbitration.
CAS does not recommend using BBB arbitration because it will not award
taxes, finance fees, GM Card earnings or rebates and will deduct a offset
Secret Warranty Disclosure
Four states (CA, CT, VA & WI) have laws requiring automakers to disclose
any secret warranties on their cars. Contact your state attorney general
for information or to support such laws. Little Secrets of
the Auto Industry (Moyer-Bell 1994) by CAS is devoted to
secret warranties, how to find them & use them. Little
Secrets is available for $17.50 from CAS
Supporting GM Recall
Efforts: Help us force the government to protect consumers
by writing your Senators and Representative in Congress, urging them to
contact NHTSA & the Federal Trade Commission on your defects in your
GM vehicle. Your local library has names of your representatives; write
them c/o US Senate (or House), Washington DC 20510 (or 20515). Find and/or
e-mail them at www.house.gov/writerep/
Support CAS’ Efforts:
File a complaint with CAS which will be
used to pressure GM to take responsibility for defects in its vehicles.
Become a CAS member by making a tax-deductible
contribution to help us in our fight on your behalf against GM and the
other auto giants.