Matt Harwood

So my car tried to maim me today

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It is a Steven King theme. You don't like it, it knows  and waits for the proper time and wham.

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When the lawyers call back, how much should I ask for, anyway? Eleventy billion? A Brazilian?


 

 

 

Personally, I'd ask for a Brazilian.  There are a lot of people down there!  

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The trunk lid of my 1937 Buick 80C, and the sharp front corner of my 1954 Cadillac's hood insist on just staying in place, just above eye-level, while I repeatedly turn the corner and walk into them while I'm generally looking the othe way.

The Buick provides a big "THUD", followed by double-vision, while the Cadillac simply draws blood through hair and scalp.

 

GM should have warned me of the sinister actions of vehicles, respectively 82 and 65 years old 😎

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bw10635-gif.103156

 

It sounds like the computerized motor lifts the gate, and the struts hold it open. The mechanism isn't clear from this diagram. But if the struts are compromised an the gate starts to lower, you probably get increasing leverage making it accelerate as it drops.

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I think just about every car I have owned has drawn blood.

Just yesterday I smacked my head on the long hood corner, 46 New Yorker.

I went to run the brush across where I used to have more hair this morning and was reminded.

Tried to take the scab.

030.jpg

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So true Jack... just about every vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, minibike, gokart…).

Maybe we're just accident prone as humans. Obviously not in Matts situation though.

 

Remember the 60s and 70s when smashing a kids hand in the car door seemed mandatory when exiting...? Ahhh the good ole days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jaguars like to slice hands and arms.

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Posted (edited)

So Donita @ Cadillac customer service has told me to f*ck off in no uncertain terms. She claims to have the ability to make decisions about these kinds of situations and her decision is that Cadillac doesn't care if their cars are hurting people.

 

THIS is why GM is going down the tubes. I've been a cheerleader for GM for years, but Audi wouldn't have given me the runaround for three weeks. All I wanted was the car fixed.

 

Now we do lawyers, I guess. I didn't want that, I didn't expect that, but hey, now I'm angry. Known defect + open recall on other products doing this exact thing + injury = you're f*cked, Cadillac.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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GM's cadre of a brazilian over paid lawyers whose only job is to bleed you dry (along with your own highly paid and likely outmatched laywer) might have a different view of who will be taking the internal stimulation........bob

 

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When confronted with a similar situation, I have always found that calmly asking to speak with an individual's supervisor eventually gets you to someone with enough sense to make the right decision. It sometimes requires the patience to speak with several different levels of supervision, but while it can be frustrating, it is generally faster and cheaper than litigation. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, MCHinson said:

When confronted with a similar situation, I have always found that calmly asking to speak with an individual's supervisor eventually gets you to someone with enough sense to make the right decision. It sometimes requires the patience to speak with several different levels of supervision, but while it can be frustrating, it is generally faster and cheaper than litigation. 

 

Sounds good, but a car 9 years old and a minor mishap. Good luck.

I went through the "run around mill" with Ford back in 1978. In know, ancient history, but still.

I bought a new Ford pick up with a 4 speed manual trans. Sometimes, not often, it would grind gears on the up shift from 3 to 4 and when it did the only thing was to stop the truck and start over. Since I could not demonstrate it, at will, the dealer said there was nothing he could or would do.

I went through the whole customer complaint chain of command and was finally told there was nothing they could or would do. I was "officially" blown off.

Now this was back before email and voice mail etc. I started calling the main switch board in Detroit. They actually had live "girls" answering the phone.

I started by asking to speak to Phillip Caldwell, the chairman and CEO. They dutifully put me right through to his office. Of course he was guarded by a phalanx of underlings one of which asked my reason for wanting to speak with "Mr. Caldwell". I explained my problem and was very politely transferred to "consumer affairs". Long story short this went on for many days. I kept notes of who I talked to and who was very politely blowing me off.

After awhile I started explaining my problem to the switch board girls and  I'd ask who they were transferring me to. If I had already been blown off by that person I'd ask if they had any ideas of just who I should talk to, and they'd send me over, and I'd get blown off again.

I finally hit on another tack. I framed my problem as a safety issue, not a maintenance issue. When I did that and explained to the girls that my wife and children almost got in an accident because of it and asked who I could talk to. One of them thoughtfully said "let me see if I can get Mr. McGuigan to pick up, he's a corporate VP in the safety dept."

Sure enough a guy answered with a gruff "McGuigan." I introduced myself and explained Ford had safety issue with their trucks he should know about.

I explained how the truck would mis-shift and have to be stopped. I told him my wife and children were on the entrance way to route 78 and the truck mis-shifted. she had no shoulder to pull over and was nearly rear ended by a semi. Now she was distraught and refuses to drive the truck or allow our children in it. I explained how I had gone through all the steps and been blown off by everyone from the dealer to the head of consumer affairs.

I then explained I had talked to an attorney and while it was beyond his capabilities he could refer me to a good attorney and in light of Ford's recent Pinto fire problems, and cover, up he thought that he might be able to get a court order to penetrate Ford's maintenance records with the possibility of a class action suit.

Mr. McGuigan  said "well how old is the truck" I said "Mr. McGuigan, it's not even a year old. It's still under warrantee."

He simply said "JESUS CHRIST".

He then asked for details and my contact info and bid me good bye.

Several hours later my wife got a phone call from the Ford dealer. He understood there is a problem with our truck and could someone bring it in tomorrow. If that is not possible they will send send someone to pick it up. I took it in the next day and talked to the service manager. He said the necessary repair parts were shipped over night and they were already on hand.

I asked him why the sudden change of heart. He said "we got a call from God."

As a post script I actually was face to face will Phillip Caldwell semi regularly while this was going on. He was on our board of directors and we would send one of our airplanes to Detroit, and the Ford hangar, to pick him up and return him once a month. As the aircraft captain I would always welcome him aboard and from time to time he would come up to the cockpit for a few minutes to chat.

I'm certain if I had had the effrontery to bring the subject of my truck up with him I would have been discharged that day. Some lines you just don't cross..........Bob

 

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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My experience with Audi led me to expect Cadillac to behave the same way. The heated seats in my allroad overheated and burned through the leather seat cover, my trousers, and part of my leg. I've got a nice little 4-inch scar on the back of my left thigh where the heating element cooked me for a few seconds while I brought the car to a stop and jumped out. All I did was go to the dealer and try to order a new seat cover at the parts counter (to install myself--they're just held on with zippers), but the parts guy asked why I needed it. When I told him, it was like a 4-alarm fire and the general manager and the service manager came over and told me to bring the car in and they'd take care of it, which I did and which they did (I actually got two new front seats). Then they gave me gift certificates for a set of tires and free oil changes for as long as I owned the car. It was all more than I wanted, but this was a known problem with the seats in certain cars and all they wanted was to fix my car and make me happy--they obviously didn't want any trouble, legal or otherwise.

 

I understand that my Cadillac is nine years old. I understand that I can't expect perfection or that it shouldn't break. I don't want a hand-out or a pile of money for my injuries (my hand is still marked and still sore). All I wanted was to have my hatch fixed the way every single other GM car's hatch was being fixed--which, it appears, is nothing more than a software update that costs them nothing more than five minutes of a tech's time. That's ALL I wanted. 

 

All I did was ask them for help getting it fixed, starting with finding me a dealer who knew how to do it (I made and kept an appointment with my usual dealer who looked at it and said they weren't sure they could fix it since they'd never worked on a CTS wagon before). Customer service said they would have a supervisor call me within 24 hours, which was 11 days ago. Today they finally called at 5 PM and started the conversation with "Matt [not "Mr. Harwood" which I kind of think is warranted, although I'm not that kind of guy] your car's VIN indicates that you doesn't qualify for any assistance on this repair. If you would like more information please go to your local dealer." And that was when I started getting grumpy. Donita would not give me her last name and would not let me talk to a supervisor who could make a decision, telling me that she was the one who was making the decision and that they would not be repairing the car. When I said I wasn't looking for anything but repairs even though I'd been hurt, she said, "Then you should have your lawyers call our lawyers." That's when I decided Donita and GM could go to hell.  

 

This is a known issue that specifically says in the recall that the hatch can close suddenly and violently, causing injury. That is exactly what happened and it failed in the exact same way the others have failed and I did get hurt. Now before you suggest I'm some kind of crybaby, why not go out to your car with an automatic trunk closer, stick your hand on the sill, and slam it. Then let the automatic pull-down mechanism do its thing, just for good measure, and stand there until someone else comes along to set you free. Report back and let me know how your hand is doing. Here's how my hand looks as of ten minutes ago, almost two weeks later:

 

hand.thumb.jpg.9eb7fd9490515ee5ed71a9df4b6e393b.jpg

 

I expected a luxury car maker with a known problem to deal with it the way another luxury car maker dealt with a known problem that hurt people. This is just like when GM pretended they didn't have a problem with their ignition switches and how many millions of dollars did that cost them? How long did they deny anything was wrong and tell their customers to go shove it? Have they learned nothing at all? And does management at GM really wonder why they can't compete with the rest of the world? Product is one thing, but customer service is what builds a brand. So close, yet so far. That is why they fail.

 

Ultimately, I figure it shouldn't take much more than a standard lawyer letter to get the attention of someone who matters, a few phone calls to collect the details, maybe that photo up there, and their lawyers will recommend they spend the five minutes to fix the goddamned car so I'll go away. It's what they should have done weeks ago.

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It's not reasonable to ask for vehicle repair due to hand injury. If the hand is injured you are owed medical expenses and pain and suffering, plus punitive if there was something like willful neglect.

 

You are owed car repair if it is under warranty, or is manufacturer defect.

 

They are two separate issues.

 

It is a complex system, with a motor to lift, and depends on gas struts to keep it suspended. If I understand the system anyway. And the struts are not meant to last forever, and need replaced at some point. There should be some warning at some point, such as the lid not staying all the way up. And so the car gets taken it to be checked, and you're told the struts are losing pressure and need replaced.

 

So it didn't work this way. Maybe you didn't get warning it need to go for service. Maybe they will accuse you of not taking it in promptly when it first appeared something was wrong..

 

I received $47k for a hand injury. My neighbors bull dogs (two) came out after me when I was jogging. I went to the ER, got stitches. The Animal Control came and took a report and took both dogs. Followup medical showed I had some torn nerves on the back of my hand. Hand functions, but skin on the back lacks sensation. The majority of the settlement is due to some permanent injury, that's what counts by far the most in injury cases.

 

BTW, I don't care what you do, I just felt like putting some thoughts down.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

It's not reasonable to ask for vehicle repair due to hand injury. If the hand is injured you are owed medical expenses and pain and suffering, plus punitive if there was something like willful neglect.

 

You are owed car repair if it is under warranty, or is manufacturer defect.

 

They are two separate issues.

 

It is a complex system, with a motor to lift, and depends on gas struts to keep it suspended. If I understand the system anyway. And the struts are not meant to last forever, and need replaced at some point. There should be some warning at some point, such as the lid not staying all the way up. And so the car gets taken it to be checked, and you're told the struts are losing pressure and need replaced.

 

So it didn't work this way. Maybe you didn't get warning it need to go for service. Maybe they will accuse you of not taking it in promptly when it first appeared something was wrong..

 

I appreciate your thoughts. A recall notice suggests they know there's a defect and are fixing it on other nearly identical cars. I suspect that the only reason the CTS is not on the recall list is because so few exist (fewer than 7000 CTS wagons were built for the entirety of production). I didn't have signs of failure. It worked one day and did not work the next, which is why I suspected it was a computer glitch and not a broken part. It was so random and so abrupt that it was clearly not a part wearing out. The computer had the ability to hold the hatch open because it would stay open for random periods of time, from a few seconds to more than a minute, then it slammed the hatch shut violently. That says software glitch, not broken part.

 

Anyway, I know what you're saying. It seems to me that GM is not admitting anything is wrong and not agreeing to fix anything because that will be an admission of guilt and that opens the door to settlements. I get it. So that's why I guess I'm going to have to use a lawyer to ask them for a settlement like yours instead.

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That was basicly the treatment I got from Ford 's "customer service team" way back in 78, Matt. At one point they connected me with the "head " of regional consumer affairs. I could tell he was younger than me and his sole purpose was to schmooz me into going away. It in itself was insulting. I think part of the reason I was sucessful was Ford was still reeling from the Pinto fuel fires and cover up debacle and my ability to gain the friendship of the "girls" who actually knew the system and plugged me into the right person. You will NEVER get a VP or person with REAL authority to pick up the phone and talk with you by going through "official" channels ........Good luck................Bob

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Posted (edited)

When my 2007 Tahoe LTX started using oil..... General Motors put out a service bulletin saying that the V-8 was supposed to use 1 1/2 quarts of oil between changes. Nope.!!

The problem was the gismo that cut out cylinders to save fuel. The same cylinders cut out / dropped out, time after time, which caused the SAME cylinders to go hot, cold, hot, cold, hot,cold which doesn't work with the rings on an internal combustion engine. 

I was contacted by a group to be part of a class action law suit. I didn't respond.

I'm now the owner of a 2015 Land Cruiser, 2017 Tundra, 2019 4Runner and a 2008 Yaris. They owe me nothing.

I used to and still do work hard for my money. 

I didn't grow up throwing it away.

As they say. Beauty is only skin deep. Ugly is to the bone. No more General Motors vehicles for me.

My Dad loved Fords. Thats why I was a mechanic ALL my life. I was union for 32 years in the pulp and paper industry.

If you want to know about the good, the bad and the ugly. Talk to a person that drives a roll back, (wrecker), in a big city.

Edited by Bill Harmatuk (see edit history)

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On 7/17/2019 at 3:15 PM, oily rag said:

It is a Steven King theme. You don't like it, it knows  and waits for the proper time and wham.

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 9.39.40 PM.png

  • Haha 1

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