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It’s Not Me, It’s You

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My Owner Has "Trust Issues"

My Owner Has “Trust Issues”

Note: Today marks the 6 year birthday of this blog

Unfortunately, I have a sad story to tell of a long relationship that ended badly. I had to end a relationship recently that dates back to the 1970’s. It had been very wobbly over the past several years and finally came to an end in June. I am so happy I finally realized that I would be better if the relationship was over.

I had to end my love affair with General Motors. I gave and gave over the years and was rewarded in return. In the past several years I was no longer receiving love back and was being hurt repeatedly – and they didn’t seem to care. So I ended it.

Before I describe the end let me take you back to the good old days. I loved the cars they made and they were good! I first fell in love as a youth with the late 60’s muscle cars. The Corvette, Camaro, Malibu, Cutlass and even the four door Impala was sweet back in the day. I had a real crush on the ‘69 Camaro Z-28. I had no time for the silly Chrysler products and their hemi engines or Ford except maybe the Mustang. Who can forget the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen? I have had a lot of GM cars over the years and my first new car I bought was a 1992 Chevy Cavalier. I tricked it out (as much as one could to a 4 cylinder economy car) with pinstripes and multiple “Bow Tie” decals. That car served me well and I went on to drive two S-10 pickup trucks and a Saturn and a 2009 Malibu.

The 2009 Malibu was what soured the relationship. It was without a doubt a lemon. It had so many problems that I can only list a few. The worst were the 6 times I replaced the automatic door locks, the two times I had to replace suspension parts that wore out incredibly fast and both remote key fobs that broke simply because the delicate soldering on the battery hold down clip broke. This also happened on the Saturn as well. It also had many “check engine” light problems that required a trip in to the shop for repairs so I could pass my emissions test. The final straw was the catalytic converter and two variable valve timing sensors that needed replaced.

I also have a 2008 Saturn and a 2011 Cruze in my stable and they are also junk. They have all had at least 3 recalls each and that is probably an underestimate.  I had to replace the thermostat in the Cruze and it was over $300 due to the modular design.

I grew up near a GM production facility and learned to appreciate the impact that it had on the local economy and was a hold out against buying imports for years despite the rave reviews they received for reliability. My brothers have a repair shop and as much as they hated to say it they have told me and their customers that Honda and Toyota were light years ahead of the American products for reliability.

In June I finally woke up and stopped taking the abuse that I was receiving and I bought a Honda. I still don’t feel right about it but time will tell if it was the right decision. I was probably foolish for sticking with GM so long but I finally made the change. If you are a business owner, don’t expect the same kind of customer loyalty that I gave GM. I urge all small business owners not to get complacent with your customers. Take action BEFORE a problem gets to this point. I hope you learn from this and one last warning; I can ever imagine going back to GM. Can you afford the type of reaction from a former customer? I doubt it.

Have a great week.


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