Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Saturn heard from on Day 71

At 2:12 PM EDT, Saturn was heard from for the first time in over a month, and for the first time since Ms. Lajdziak received my letter of May 23, 2007. It seems the June 21, 2007 letter to Mr. LaNeve (GM North America's Vice President for Sales, Service and Marketing) had some effect in reopening the channels of communication.

A "Sheronda" called from the Saturn Customer Assistance Center in Tennessee, from 931-486-0012, although she would not identify any number other than the main queue number. Saturn acknowledged the open NHTSA investigation (ODI # EA06009). She claimed that the type of response given is unlike Saturn, and maintained that Saturn was on the forefront of taking care of issues or recall campaigns when the need arises. Obviously not, or else there would not be hundreds, if not thousands, of other2001 L-series owners facing the same problem.

I was told a new review of the case would begin, and promised an answer by 5pm Central Standard Time tomorrow, June 28, 2007. I was asked what I thought was "fair" - my reply was quite simply that Saturn needs to pay 100% of the cost, and issue a recall. Saturn knew about the timing chain problems in the 2001 L series before we purchased our vehicle on June 23, 2001. They most assuredly knew about the problems during the entire warranty and extended warranty periods. The 2003 service bulletin acknowledging the change in design was during that period, yet at no time while the vehicle was Serviced by a Saturn retailer (both Saturn of Fairfax and Saturn of Manassas, for the entire vehicle life) was the timing chain ever inspected or the design change implemented.

The Timing chain should have lasted well beyond 200,000 miles, well beyond the scheduled maintenance to replace it at 90,000 miles. It failed at 84,700. Entirely unacceptable.

We are 10 weeks and a day without the use of the L200. The loss use by the amount of the prior loan payment for that time would be $1000. ($400 per month x 2.5 months)

She did "apologize for the delay", and took pains to note that the car was outside of all warranties - true but irrelevant in light of Saturn's negligence in the matter. Had Saturn done due diligence from the start on the timing chain problem, it would have been fixed under warranty for myself and most others. The only reasonable course of action is for Saturn to issue a recall for the timing chain problems, and make it right for every Saturn owner who was forced to pay out of their own pocket for such repairs.

So the question looms - will Saturn and GM do the right thing? Or will they force the hand to further action?


Maranda said...

I just want you to know my timing chain became loose this past 2 weeks. While in the care of the dealer the chain broke and caused engine damage. Of course I flipped out and told them they were going to fix it. I was not totally aware of the complaints and issues until today. Saturn Corporate has agreed to pay 75% of the repair costs and I will pay about $500 in labor. I was dealing with a guy by the name of Drake at Saturn Corporate if you want to hunt him down and see what you can get out of him.

I wish you luck int his mess and I will be writing the NHTSA about this. I have contacted the BBB and I am debating on calling a a local TV station who has a consumer reporter.

Julie Ganonn said...

My 2001 LW 200 engine seized last week due to the timing chain snapping. I was told via phone that I would be receiving a letter from GM on a recall for this problem as my 2.2/4 cylinder engine and VIN fall within the stats. Needless to say it has been severely inconvenient for me especially around the holiday season. I hope they cover the new engine cost on this recall as the chain is what caused the engine to seize and not restart. They quoted $8,000 for anew motor. This stinks.

Anonymous said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Home Theater, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

The Morin Family Blog said...

Thanks for voicing your disgust with this company - I am in the process of pursuing a faulty engine in my 2003 Saturn Ion with only 43,000 miles on it... If you have any contact information that was helpful to you in your attempts, please contact me @

Thank you,


Ron said...

So, did you get a new engine or not? Why bother to blog this for so long and then just drop off the f'ing map?

W. Lawrence said...

See my recent problem with Saturn here:

American car-- Never again!