Chevy Tahoe Problems

Since I started this blog a few days ago, I’ve seen traffic spike from nothing to over 100 visitors daily. Too bad I haven’t had the time to finish it. ( I still have a day job.) I’ve read some of the comments on the other blogs regarding my posts and I want to thank everyone who visited my site.

My intention for setting this up was not to bash GM or teach everyone to take advantage of lemon law. The premise behind the lemon law is – “You are made whole but not unjustly enriched.”. The law is great for new car owners that are served with a lemon, but it is far from perfect and is subject to abuse by car companies. My ordeal has not ended but as of today, I can tell you that if you buy a new car thinking the lemon law will protect you, and the car you are buying is $35,000 and up, you will be better served buying preowned.

I did not decide to invoke my lemon law rights just because I have made the cut and was eligible. Actually, if I had a chance to complete my posts you will see that my vehicle has been in the shop 6x within 2 months for the same defect. I’ve had to spend on hotel bills for 6 people and cancel a vacation with my family during winter break because I did not have a tow vehicle. During that time, my Tahoe was towed to the shop 3x. You have no idea how helpless you can feel when you are out and stranded with your entire family. (A tow truck only sits 2.)

Having a vehicle quit on you once or twice is annoying. 4 to 6 times is absolutely infuriating. Having a vehicle stall is one thing. Losing brakes is another. It is not like losing vacuum assist. This one felt more like stepping on frozen butter. So imagine yourself in a brand new Tahoe and you’ve lost brakes twice and towed 3x. All within 60 days.

For those of you who left comments in The Truth About Cars, here’s my take:

jaje :
February 25th, 2009 at 10:03 am
I can’t tell you how many times that friends and family have written a letter to Honda or Toyota about a problem even post warranty and to see them actually address it. My aunt’s ‘88 Accord was rusting badly (200k miles in Chicago) and she wrote a letter to them about how much she loved the car but couldn’t afford a new one. They sent a letter back to her to bring it in to the dealer – gave her a free rental car and returned her car 2 weeks later completely repaired and repainted at no charge (even replaced a worn seat cover). Now most of her friends own a Honda from that small effort of good will.

I could not agree with you more. I think my Chevy sales rep is one of the best I have met. The last dealership I used was also a pleasure. But as far as I’m concerned, I think it is GM that destroys any goodwill built up by their dealers. I was expecting to be floored. Instead, I hit the floor when I passed out. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Lexus.

Bridge2far :
February 25th, 2009 at 10:15 am
“Several are also losing braking on a regular basis.”
I checked with a GMC service department. There are no known concerns/complaints with the Hybrids regarding brakes. I suspect this is heresay. Or carefully placed misinformation.

I think there are not a lot of GM Hybrids out there based on the huge availability of 2008 models on top of 2009 models. You need a Certified Hybrid Tech to work on these so there are not a lot of dealers that have experience on them yet. As I add more info, you will see scanned images of my invoices. There’s your proof. Also you need to remember that the burden of proof is with the customer and in most cases the techs are flying blind unless they get an error code. The era of mechanics that come with “THE FORCE” are gone.

galaxygreymx5 :
February 25th, 2009 at 12:27 pm
And finally, if GM is potentially having major teething problems on a relatively “conventional” hybrid setup, what does that say about the supposed savior of GM, the Volt? New, unproven batteries in a new chassis with a new engine with new software, all glued together in a very rushed fashion to avoid financial and media catastrophe. The GMT900 hybrids were very basic developments compared to what’s going on with this thing, so if these problems are real that’s not good news.

If GM wants to succeed with the Chevy Volt, they need to take care of every hybrid customer they have. Which is not a lot by my estimates.

The remarkable thing is that the buyback customer wants ANOTHER one, because he likes the car so much. I think that’s very important to take note of, so that readers understand that even if GM makes world-class cars that please customers with their performance, the peripheral issues facing the company may be enough to erode market share (and tax dollars) even faster.

Yes. I loved the Tahoe. It is quieter that my RX when the cheap toolbox interior is not rattling. Overall, it tows great. I get about 17.5mpg when towing and you hardly feel it is behind you. I did consider a replacement Tahoe. GM is offering me the 2009. It just did not make economic sense to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade to a 2009 model when my Tahoe is about 5 months old. I’m being made to spend this amount just because the Lemon Law mandated a usage fee that puts me almost at 0.50/mile. Like rubbing salt in my wound. Last week I gave up. I just want my money back. I’ve seen posts from 2009 Tahoe owners with the same issues so why should I spend to get the same thing?

KixStart :
February 25th, 2009 at 12:55 pm
Now I understand the $.50/mile issue. Use a Lemon Law proceeding to ream the customer. Brilliant.

KixStart: Everyone I talked to agrees with you. Even an ex-GM Dealer Service Manager. With GM putting both hands in our pockets for BAILOUT MONEY, you’d think they would do anything to keep the customers they have. I bought my Tahoe in the end of Aug 2008. The problems started at 5300 miles, end of December. Now they want to charge me close to 0.50/mile for usage plus transportation fees if I choose a vehicle that is more than 200 miles away. What ever happened to – “Just Give the Customer What He Bought and Paid For?” Now that my vehicle is at 7200 miles, they cap their offer at 7500 miles. Basically like putting a gun to my head. They are just ungrateful and totally unworthy of bailout. I’m writing my congressman tomorrow.

Since I got tired of their tactics, I filed my case with the BBB. So now they say I have to follow Lemon Law rules and pay the entire mileage used. Even the hundreds of miles spent going to and from the dealership and the road tests they did. Doesn’t pay to act in good faith with a car company.

For a company that has both hands in our pocket asking for BAILOUT MONEY, I thought they would make me whole. It is time companies in the US grow a conscience. Especially those asking for taxpayer money.

For all its worth, this feels like they have one hand extended asking for my tax money, another hand at the back with a dagger waiting to stab me.

7 Responses

  1. Maybe you should look at Small Claims Court. Not to get the whole vehicle dealt with (value too high) but to recover the “cost” of the mileage. Sue for some reasonable portion of the fee, they might decide it’s below the radar and you might get a summary judgement.

    Now, it could be that the Lemon Law proceeding requires you to set aside all other means of redress, in which case… well, we already know what creek you’re up.

    You have my sympathy. As you say, though, the Lemon Law looks ill suited to redress for expensive cars. I’ll write my rep today. It won’t help you but maybe we can help the next guy.

  2. I LOVE my 2008 Tahoe, never ever a problem, gas milage is ok for an SUV..but yes u do get spoiled by Lexus and Infinity Dealer, absolutely! Even the employees act different,,does $ do this to people? The service men are really nice..working with what they have at Samuel Chev dealer in Houston,Tx. Hate the
    “stuffy,plain, germ/bacteria” vaccum room we get herded into called Waiting Room..yuck!

  3. speaking of lemons, i think my kids have just bought a hummdinger… on Feb 20, 2010 they bought a 2008 Chevy Tahoe with 30,000 miles. Thought it was nice, added $3000, in wheels and tires, put on a GPS, Dual DVD players, etc. They have had it into the shop now three times, each time they say they can not find the problem. The Tahoe has quit on them 4 times, locks go up and down, lights flash off and on while driving, often comes to a complete stop. Yesterday it would only drive 20 mph, imagine my grandchildren riding in this pice of junk car to MS from OK. They leave again Sat, I pray for GMC sake that they do not have anymore trouble. I went into Danny Beck’s dealership where the kids bought their car to better understand what they are trying to say, none of it makes any since. They have no rentals and no loaners. They said they found 10 problems that went off when they last checked it, but are unable to diagnose it as of yet, so they are still driving around in this piece of crap. I am a nervous wreck. I made him gie me a copy of what he hand wrote on the service record, but had to throw a fit for a copy, he refused to give it to me!! What ever happened to your Tahoe?

  4. This was a Excellent blog post, I will be sure to save this post in my Diigo account. Have a awesome day.

  5. I have tried out the new chevy tahoe at the Dealership. I found the rear end to be loose. I would be driving down the road with the salesman in the right seat and turn the wheel back and forth and the back end would sway back and forth and 70. The ford expedition did not do that. It was tight. I want to pull a trailer and I do not think that I can stand the rear end to sway all the time. It did not feel like it was going to spin out on my right away but I do not know what it would do with a trailer on the back end in the rain and I turn to avoid something. That would be very disasterous. Tell me if you found it.

  6. I have a 2009 piece of crap chevrolet Tahoe. Been at the dealer several times, 25,000 miles on it. Starte is staying engaged while it runs, rough starting when it starts up, kind of grumbles and chokes lol. They finally changed the starter or at least said they did. I have a GM rep working with me with the local dealer, he calls me a lot but the day after they put the starter in it kept grinding again. Now they have had it for a week again, and are going to put a data recorder in it….I’m getting furious…so they claim they heard it grins, so they put a starter on it, now they have had it a week and now no grinding hmmmmm is the dealer actually checking it ?

  7. I own a 2008 Tahoe Hybrid that I purchased in August 2008, a premium vehicle by anyone’s standard. It has about 60,000 miles on it.

    Earlier this week, I started the vehicle and drove a few hundred feet at which point the powered assistance to the braking system stopped working. Fortunately, I was going very slow, on flat ground, and was able to stop the car safely and without incident. However, if this had happened a few seconds later, I would have been going 40+ mph down a hill and the story would surely be quite different.

    Once I’d stopped the car it was still running and a light on the dashboard came on indicating “Service Traction Control.” The emergency brake light lit up as well, however the emergency brake was not engaged, nor had it been. I was able to put the car in reverse and drive it carefully back into the driveway using the unassisted brake pedal. All other systems seemed to be in working order.
    I called for a tow truck and when it arrived the car would not start due to lowered battery life, as it did start when the driver jumped it. The lights were not quite as bright as normal before the jumpstart. He drove it onto the flatbed. When we arrived at Hawthorne Chevy, the car once again would not start – at this point it appeared dimmer than it had in my driveway. I explained the events to Steve, the service rep. who checked me in at around 10am. I received a call at the end of the day saying that they had not figured out what the problem was yet and that the car would be there overnight. The next day, Steve called again to say that I needed a new battery and they could not diagnose any additional problems until the battery was replace at a cost of $288. I approved. A few hours later, Steve called again to say the car was done — that the new battery seemed to solve the problem and that the car had passed the diagnostic tests and inspection of the brake system.

    When I picked the car up, Steve was no longer there. I asked to speak with a service manager or technician who could explain the situation to me in more detail. Another service rep. appeared who listened to my explanation and reviewed the repairs made. He said that with all the electrical systems in car nowadays, it’s conceivable that the low battery was truly the causal factor in my situation. When I asked about how it was possible the car had enough ‘juice’ to start then seconds later not enough juice to drive the brake system (while all other systems seemed ok), the response was more vague and along the lines of, ‘that’s just the way it works with these systems.’

    I pushed a little further and suggested that perhaps Chevy would want to be made aware of a brake failure resulting from a depleted battery, but was not given any indication that this would be done.

    My primary question and concern is probably obvious: Is it possible that the explanation I received is accurate?
    Can I have enough battery life to start a car and propel it down the road, then the first evidence of depleted battery life will be the loss of the power-assisted brakes?

    It would seem to be a design flaw at the very least. Power steering, the radio, lights, hybrid power, etc. all worked fine. The brakes are arguably more important than any of those features.

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