I Too Got Stuck with Cadillac's Abortion the Catera. I am the Original owner and purchased it NEW and only have 20,654 miles on it, so if I drive it 50 miles a week that's a lot. So please read my story before dismissing my complaint thinking that the car is old, abused or a clunker, it is not! it is a well maintained vehicle that as most would say isn't even broken in yet, which is the only reason I've kept it this long. It more about GM's responsibility to the consumer or should I say lack of and taking responsibility for their mistakes and the product they sell. The Catera was problematic from the moment it rolled off the assembly line until GM ceased production after only 5 years, but left those of us who bought it hanging. I refer to Ripoff report #31441
Since 6/23/09 I have been going from bad to worse. Since purchasing this piece of junk made and priced under the Cadillac label New in the end of the year cycle of the 98's 0n 11/17/98 it has been nothing but a headache. OK so I won't go into all the lesser unimportant problems. In 2001 Just past the lemon law deadline I found the car was rusting from the inside out, OK so 9 months later and in arbitration GM finally decided to repaint the entire car. Ok that's not the worse: I had an extended GM warranty purchased on 11/15/02 at the end of manufacturers warranty, paid a higher premium because it was not purchased earlier. OK so when the warranty ended is not the issue, Every time I brought the car in for maintenance or problems they never found anything wrong. 5 defective battery replacements the 1st 4 years until I got smart and purchased a Sears Battery, console lights sporadically light or don't, Had to replaced Oxygen sensors at a non-dealer because dealer while under warranty claimed there was nothing wrong if the check engine light periodically goes on so I would not be covered under the warranty and I would have to pay for their time if they couldn't find a problem. Car never ran properly and was always sluggish, they stated that's how a 6 cylinder runs that there was no problem. Now my warranty's are over.
Tues Evening 6/23 the check engine light goes on, in 30-45 seconds everything shuts down. I drove a total of 7 miles that day when the engine failed, however at less than a mile of driving I heard a knock and thought I ran over something as all gauges indicated everything was running normal so I continued to my destination. On my return in a server rainstorm with poor visibility on a decline doing 35 mph in a heavily trafficked roadway while attempting to change lanes onto the turning lane a few blocks from my home I lost all power and complete control of the vehicle, just barely avoiding an accident and putting my safety at risk at the spot were the vehicle finally rolled to a stop. Fortunately some time later a police car happened by and diverted traffic around me until the rain let up enough for him to push me off to the side of the road out of harms way until AAA was able to arrive and tow me home. Next day (Wed.) I contact Ocean Cadillac and had AAA tow it to them. They charged me $109 to assess the problem, and then informed me the Timing Belt broke! it will cost another $600 in labor hours just to get to the belt, check the problem and depending what they find additional for any parts needing replacement, Daaaaa! When I got home I called a repair shop who services my other vehicle and he checked the rate book and tells me "If they were going to change the Timing Belt and Pully its only 2.7 hours of labor , so what are they talking about" so I call the service manager he tells me he'll check and call me back. Ok so now he calls me and tells me the Rep miss-quoted what they were going to do. Now it's the Tensioner Pully that failed causing the Timing Belt to snap, to replace the whole set is $699 + labor and suggested I invest another $150 to change the Coolant Pump as it's showing signs of leakage, at the same time because it's in the same part of the engine as the Pully and Belts thus saving me additional labor costs later on. Grand total of $1207 + tax. "BUT" depending on what happens after they replace the Tensioner Pully & Timing Belt their might be additional cost if the car still will not start, but he doesn't think so. OK so I tell him to go ahead. The next morning I then decide to return to Ocean to get a copy of the work order containing the costs as they never even gave me a copy of the initial work order I signed, They reluctantly gave it to me stating that the original work order is never given to the customer, only a completed bill after the work is performed, I insisted I wanted a copy of what I signed and the work that was going to be performed, Which in fact notes the recall campaing # 02041 on it that the completed bill does not show, Deliberately hidden from the customers view or knowledge.
That evening I decided to Goggle the problem to see what it is I am paying for, HELLLLLLO! What do I find but a Major RECALL back in 9/2002 on the Tensioner Pully failer causing the Timing Belt to snap!!!!!! & the replacement of the Coolant Pump, Campaign # 02041. I was never notified or advised of this recall. They never told me anything every time I brought the car in for service. I only have only 20,654 miles on the car when it failed, it's my 2nd vehicle and I use it locally for shopping. Normal replacement for a Timing Belt is 70,000 - 100,000 miles. I called GM on Friday 6/25 they confirm there is an Open Recall on my car for those parts, and asks me to hold while she contact's the dealer, when she returned stated the dealer was unaware there was a Recall for my vehicle. This was false, that initial work order for $109 stat's it.
After Customer Care contacts The Service Mgr he called me back and tells me I'm not covered under the recall and do I want the good news or the bad first!!! they replaced the Tensioner Pully & Timing Belt and the car still will not start, some of the valves appear to be damaged from when the belt snapped (again a know condition when the tensioner fails and the belt brakes, multi bulletins released stating the Tensioner Pully and Timing Belt may have to be replaced several times to avoid destruction of the engine reference TBS # 10112002), and that it will cost me another $200 to lube the engine referred to as a wet & dry test and try to un-stick the valves (stage 2 of the evaluation of damage) BUT the good news is that the Coolant Pump is covered under the recall! So that will save me about $100 from $1207+tax. So I'm getting the Stage 2 evaluation charge for free! I spent the entire day Friday on the phone with the dealer & GM regarding the failure of the recalled parts & the damage caused to the engine which a Special Policy Bulletin # 02018 was issued in Nov of 2002 stating GM will repair any damaged caused by the failer of the Tensioner Pully and Belt for 7 years or 100,000 miles that now GM will not honor, even thought it is a know defect and those parts were recalled 7 years ago while I was still covered under the warranty's and or it failed within the 7 years from the time of the issuance of the of that Special Policy Bulletin.
So NOW for the Worse of the Worse, The dealer called me back later Friday afternoon lube did not resolve the issue and car will not start, no pressure going to 1/2 the valves, the engine is severely damaged and will cost me $6300 to repair (stage 3). What do I want to do????? Pay for the service, parts & labor already performed and take the car back as is, or spend the $6300 to get it running. Hellllo the car is only worth $4000-5000 running. He knew before hand replacing those parts was never going to repair the vehicle but proceeded to let me believe they would at a cost of $1146.71 for Pully's & Belts + labor that I should not have had to pay for in the first place. This is the last straw!!
I had it towed back to my home, contacted Customer Care numerous times their not interested, they will not transfer me to anyone else, there is no other contact # to speak to anyone higher up, as far as they are concerned pay or junk it. GM has never taken responsibility for any of the problems I've incurred since owning this Vehicle even when it was under warranty. This is a known Defect of this vehicle and they said nothing, hoping and waiting if the part should fail after my warranties were over. The only reason it took so long to fail was my low mileage use. Their now claiming the parts in my car were not part of the recall as they came from a different manufacture and were of a newer issue. This is simply not true as there are multi bulletins after the older one's were replaced. The failure is in the Pully System and or leading to the belt's destruction which GM knows is a mechanical failure and those parts are defective and would continue to fail on the Catera's if not corrected and it did. I don't care how old my vehicle is the Tensioner Pully & Timming Belt would never have failed at 20,654 miles unless it was defective. This is an outrage for GM to charge me for recalled parts knowing full well that would never repair the vehicle. GM should be liable for those RECALLED parts as well as the damage caused by those defective parts and all costs associated to repair my vehicle!!! Stated in the Special Policy Bulletin's & Operation Description as it is clearly marked Campaing #02041 OPEN for my vehicle.
Lastly, I just want to say, it is no wonder why GM has had to file Bankruptcy. How many GM Loyalty Owners do you think are coming back after spending $36,000+ for vehicles with a life expectancy of only a few years. Then having to spend thousands more for defect's they won't covered. And now were paying a 3 X with our tax dollars in bailouts for salaries & bonuses for selling defective products and sticking it to the consumer. This will be my last Caddy or any GM I will ever buy if GM continues to refuse to repair this abortion they stuck me with, I will sell my beloved Vette and opt for any other Lux vehicle on the market.
No Longer a Loyal Customer
sunny isles Beach, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Cadillac