Electrical steering

Tiny
BELFENBEIN
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 SATURN ION
  • 130,000 MILES
I am the unhappy owner of a 2003 Saturn Ion2. As problems have arisen, and I check online, I find our what a peice of debris this car is. Every issue I've been having are apparently common issues, such as my key locking in the ignition and refusing to be removed. My latest debacle is the failure of the electrically assisted steering. It has totally failed. I've checked online and it appears there was a recall, but I was never notified. Now, I'm told my car has too many years/miles for the recall to count. All GM can tell me is to take it to a dealer, pay for the privilege of having them diagnose what I already know, bend over, grab my ankles, and pray that they don't bury me. HELP!
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Sunday, May 19th, 2013 AT 10:12 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
From memory the 2003 isn't covered in the recall the 2004 is I will double check though. So are you looking to fix it yourself?If so they offer a motor kit they used to only offer the whole column. Let me know so I can help you out with your problem? If so I will help you find the motor for a good price. And help guide you thru the best I can.
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Sunday, May 19th, 2013 AT 10:25 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Ahh; another GM trick to avoid taking care of the customer. It reminds me of their rack and pinion disaster in the late '80s. That recall was designed to get the cars out of the 50,000 mile warranty so when the problem occurred again, as they knew it would, the proper and much more expensive repair had to be paid by the customer. GM is one of the top three manufacturers in the world for customer-unfriendly business practices, and this is proof. It's one of many reasons the car owners say "never again" when considering buying a new car.

My experience from working for a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership was just the opposite. First of all, I don't know if this is a Chrysler thing or if it is mandated by one of the way too many government agencies, but any safety-related recall carries a lifetime warranty with no mileage or time limitations. I don't know if that transfers to a different owner. I have a '93 Dodge Dynasty with 4,200 miles and it was recalled for a potential problem with the brake master cylinder. I did the repair before any problem showed up, but if it ever does act up I can go to the dealer and they will repair it again at no charge. That covers the part and labor. It would not cover other parts unrelated to the recall.

There are also emissions-related recalls that also have lifetime warranties on the parts and labor, but there are recalls for customer satisfaction issues. I'm pretty sure those don't have or need a further warranty. Be aware too all manufacturers issue service bulletins to their mechanics. Those just spell out the causes and fixes for common reoccurring problems that can be hard to diagnose. They are meant to save the mechanic time. There is no time or mileage associated with them, they are not a recall, and you won't be notified of a problem. These commonly include things like elusive squeaks, vibrations, and wind noise.

GM is also famous for "secret warranties". Those are things they will pay for if you know about it or the dealer tells you about it. If they think they can get you to pay for the repairs they will let you do that. At the dealership I worked for they knew about any recalls in effect and would do everything possible to get it covered at no cost to the car owner. That breeds long-term brand loyalty which we had a lot of. GM is concerned with short-term profits only. "Take your money now while we have the chance". The imports are also very good at building long-term loyalty.

As far as not being notified, you can't necessarily fault GM for that. I think they use dealer records and possibly DMV records to locate owners. If you owned the car since it was new, GM will know about it. If you bought it used and you read about the recall, you have to take the initiative to call the dealer and set up an appointment to get the work done. If you bring the car in for the problem but don't know about the recall, it's up to the dealer to tell you about it, ... If they want to.
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Sunday, May 19th, 2013 AT 11:15 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The special coverage is for 2004-2007 ions like I thought I looked it up. They are covered up 150,000 miles the 2003 ions didn't have the high failure rate like the 2004 on ions.
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Monday, May 20th, 2013 AT 6:22 PM

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