In 2003, I put a$2500 down payment on a 2002 GrandAm SE. Although, I wanted a different car, I was forced to take what I could get at the time because my credit score was 50 points too low for the particular car of my choice. I made my payments for two years even after my workhours were cut.
In December of 2004, I had an oil change, filters, etc. Then, in January, my oil and coolant light begin to constantly come on. I checked and added as required, but couldnt figure out why the oil light was still coming on when the oil stick registered as 'full. I took the car to a mechanic and he said I needed an intake manifold gasket as the factory gasket was only silicone and could not withstand too much heat especially during winter time.
Anyway, after careful research, I found out that for several years this particular model car had the same problem. Of course, since it was not a safety issue, the manufacturer did not recall the cars, but was aware of the problems. Figuring that was the reason Drive was trying to unload these cars, I went ahead and paid $500 to the repair shop for the repair. My warranty did not cover such repairs.
Approximately 2 months later, everything on the engine and computer went haywire. First the CD player stopped working and the panel where the CD player/radio/clock would get extremely hot. So, I just stopped using the radio altogether. Then, the dome light would come on and go off on it's own. I still havent figured that one out. The heater core started leaking, and ultimately without any warning, the engine just stopped as I was driving on a major highway. That was on March 5, 2005. No warning light, no 'service engine soon' light, NOTHING! Of course, this was not covered by the warranty either.
When I contacted Drive to work out something, they said to send in another payment. I had sent one in already and when they checked, it had just been posted that very day. But, they still wanted me to send in another payment which would have been two payments in one month. This was not necessary since I wasnt behind in my payments. The cost of replacing the engine was $2500. I asked to extend my payments for another 6months so that I could repair the car and pick up payments the month after the repair. The man continued to insist that I send in another payment and then discuss arrangements. He stated that the company would pay half the cost and I could pay the other half. Sounded too good to be true!! I just agreed and hung up the phone.
No, I did not send in an additional payment and I did no get the car repaired. I called Drive Financial and told them where to pick up the car. That was in March, 2005. Drive Financial did not pick up the car until May, 2005! A week ago,February 28, 2008, I was served notice that Drive Financial is suing me for the loan and the car. As far as I'm concerned, this is the old "bait & switch" . Drive Financial knew of the problems these cars were having and decided to finance them for individuals with credit problems passing on the problems and costs to the unsuspecting public. IF ANYONE STARTS A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST THIS COMPANY, PLEASE INCLUDE ME IN IT!