Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Rant About General Motors

I read once that we experience time inverse to our metabolic rate. When you're a kid, with a high metabolism, time seems to stretch forever: Santa will never arrive, summers seem without end. When we're middle-aged, on the other hand, with a slowed metabolism, we can blink and a week has passed. I realized this morning though that time seems to pass so quickly once we become adults simply because more and more of it gets sucked into the vacuum of frustrating stupidity. But two hours dealing with General Motors will do that to a person.

The driver's window on my Saab has a recurring problem. When you close it using the "one touch" button it taps the top, then goes a quarter of the way down. In order to get it to close you have to simultaneously press the child lock button while you hold the window button, an operation that takes two hands. I first experienced this problem a year after purchasing the car. While it was under warranty the dealer "fixed" the sensor with a "software patch" five times. This was last "fixed" last March, and is broken again.

Now that the car is no longer under warranty, Saab has put out a "service bulletin" noting that software patches probably don't work and that what's needed is a new window motor. Duh. So I called demanding that I get a new motor for that window, since this is a recurring problem that has existed since the day I purchased the car. After an hour with the customer care rep, it was decided that I "probably" have a case, but that a dealer needs to provide an official diagnosis to Saab USA (since I'm not under warranty I've been dealing with a mechanic, not the dealer). OK, except I have to pay for the diagnosis.

Another hour of my life was wasted with my arguing that if the diagnosis is in fact that this is the recurring problem that my service records indicate it is I should not have to pay for said diagnosis. If it turns out to be a different problem, fine, I'll pay, but I should not have to pay up front and then hope for some kind of refund. No dice. If I want to have a $35,000 car with a functioning window I also have to fork over $67/hour for a diagnosis to prove that the window has a well-recorded recurring problem.

I have just lost another half hour of my life composing this rant. Sure, my metabolic rate's gradual decline might be hastening the passing of days, but mornings spent like this also play a part. Also, note to Detroit: it's things like this that lead Americans to buy Japanese cars.

1 comment:

tunsie said...

If they gave me a 35k car,I will not take it.Do i buy a laptop and put it outside in the winter cold and summer heat?well that is what you r doing with a car that has a computer in it.I just bought a second car.it drives like a new one ,handles well in the ice.the seats r comfortable.the back seats never had a passenger in it.I won't tell you what I paid.but I like my new 1984 car a lot.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie