Good morning. I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Automotive. Today I’m here to talk about some recall issues we’ve seen come in.
We perform diagnostic services for every Denver vehicle that comes through our doors. This allows us to get an unbiased look at the vehicle’s condition and prepare you, the owner, for what you may be looking at. The other benefit of doing this is that it allows us to see what could be going on before any dollar is spent by either party and get help us get you pointed in the right direction.
We actually have the fuel tank here on the ground, because we removed it for our own inspection. This tank sits under the floorboard of the vehicle under the rear driver’s side. When GM produced this tank, it was a brand new vehicle for them. They were using the same motor and the same transmission and putting it in a different body. They used a new manufacturer for the fuel tank, and that fuel tank was made into a dual-baffle design from the new manufacturer. Meaning there were two types of plastic that both had different thermodynamic properties. They contract and expand at different rates. As a detriment, on the fuel tank itself, we can actually see this juncture where they sealed the two different portions of the tank together. They took the inner diaphragm, pressed it to the outer, and then melted this seam around it.
Now, the vehicle came in and it was leaking fuel around this seam. We were suspect of the fuel filler hose. We replaced it just for good measure — a 5-minute repair — just so we could confirm what was wrong with the vehicle. That’s when we saw that the seam itself was actually ruptured and leaking gasoline onto the ground of the garage.
We started looking into it from a manufacturing standpoint. A vehicle leaking like this should not be on the road. It’s a safety concern for all parties: the manufacturer, the repair service, and the owner. We found that GM issued a recall in 2008 for this 2002 Buick Rendezvous. They specifically cited the numbers between a 2S5 and a 2S6 series number. Our serial number on this car happens to fall right in the middle of that category.
When we pulled up that service specification from GM, it actually showed an exact photo of this exact leak coming from this exact part on the vehicle tank. At that point, we notified the owner and let them know about the service letter they should’ve received 8 years ago from the manufacturer, especially since the owner of this vehicle is the original owner of this vehicle. The owner never received the notice, so we contacted them and then we contacted our local General Motors dealership.
Unfortunately for us, the local GM dealership wasn’t so keen on paying for this repair. We contacted their service department and said we were an independent repair facility, that we have the VIN number of the car we have in service and were wondering if this recall has been performed on this VIN number. At that point, GM told us they didn’t perform recall work on anything that’s older than 10 years old and that the recall expired in 2012 and there was nothing they could do. They were absolutely thrilled to quote us for a $2,000 replacement plastic fuel tank. When I asked about their inventory they said they had 168 of these plastic fuel tanks at the local warehouse here in Denver, Colorado.
We were not so happy with that solution at our auto repair shop in Denver. We notified our owner of what the local dealership was doing and we got in touch with General Motors of North America. We received the same stalemate. General Motors told us that they refuse to warranty this item.
We asked GM North America: ‘You’re telling us that we have only one option — To tell the customer they need to buy a new $2,000 fuel tank in their vehicle that’s leaking fuel in their garage directly below the bedroom they sleep in every night.’
They hung up.
General Motors, we need your help. We know you’re watching this video. We’ve contacted our owner, the state attorney general, the National Highway Safety Administration, and now we’re going direct to you. We need you to understand that these types of problems, spell BIG problems for the entire industry. When a company refuses to honor a warranty, let alone recall, on their own product, they give the whole industry a bad reputation.
Part of our mission here at Saul’s Automotive is to raise that bar. We could’ve called the owner and said, ‘You need to find $2,000 to pay for a new fuel tank, General Motors won’t help you, we’re sorry.’ General Motors, you need to deal with this. You need to deal with the fact that this owner purchased the vehicle brand new, spent their savings to purchase an American-made vehicle from you, and as a result, their dedication to you is not being rewarded. Our owner has already said he will never purchase a General Motors vehicle again if this isn’t dealt with, and to be honest, I don’t blame him. I’ve been a hardcore General Motors fan my whole life. It’s what I’ve owned and driven for the past 12 years. At the same time, I take the safety of myself and those around me very seriously.