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Your Beef: Saturn Vue’s transmission repair used reconditioned parts

Nowhere on the reader’s invoice or in the initial agreement with GM to share repair costs 50:50 did it mention using reconditioned parts.

Published September 7, 2012
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Q: Our 2003 Saturn Vue developed transmission issues in December 2010 at 147,918 km.

We elected to do a 50:50 cost share with GM to have the transmission replaced, costing us $2,681.

The invoice states the warranty on Goodwrench automatic transmissions is three years or 80,000 km.

At two years and 49,839 km into that warranty, we contacted GM Canada for help.

By that time, we’d spent $270 at a garage and $1,740 at the dealer on subsequent transmission repairs.

GM Canada then advised that a reconditioned transmission had been installed, with only a three-month or 6,500-km warranty.

Nowhere on our invoice did it indicate “reconditioned transmission.”

Also, nowhere in GM’s letter is any statement about using a reconditioned transmission for customers accessing the 50:50 cost share offer.

We were offered 25-per-cent compensation off our most recent repair costs, as a credit towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle. We declined.

We are attempting to work with GM to resolve the transmission warranty issue with our (inoperable) Saturn Vue, to no avail.

A: GM advised that it can’t speak about this case directly due to privacy concerns but did note it is standard industry practice to use OEM or OEM-approved parts, which may include parts reconditioned to OEM standards.

Update from our reader:

After Your Beef intervened, GM Canada offered a “mutually agreeable financial settlement,” with a non-disclosure clause as to the amount, which was accepted.

Q: I bought a 1999 BMW R1100S motorcycle, with 32,000 km, south of the border earlier this year.

To have it plated in Ontario, the Registrar of Imported Vehicles requires a “recall clearance” from the manufacturer. This is simply a letter sent electronically to RIV to confirm that the vehicle has no outstanding recalls.

BMW Canada charges $500 plus tax to send that letter — which is more than 10 per cent of what I paid for the bike.

Several other manufactures advise they don’t charge anything for the recall letter.

BMW Canada says the letter fee is to discourage Canadians from shopping for a BMW vehicle in the United States.

Can you help?

A: BMW Canada did not reply to our inquiry. However, our reader reports much action behind the scenes after we inquired on his behalf.

Update from our reader:

I managed to get a clearance from RIV to inspect and certify my BMW motorcycle. I then asked the dealership to cancel the request from BMW Canada for a recall clearance letter and to issue a refund.

BMW Canada subsequently contacted RIV and gave them the recall clearance for my motorcycle. They also agreed to give me a full refund.

This generous offer is not all that generous as I had already got the clearance from RIV without the help of BMW Canada.

Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.

 

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