Date of Incident: June 20,2006
Time of Incident: Approximately 5 PM
Weather Conditions: Dry and Clear
Location of Incident: Wantagh, NY 11793
Description of Car: 2005 Cadillac CTS
General Motors File # : 1-417147712
General Motors Representative: Jose Rodriquez -1-866-790-5600 ext. 11133
Dept. Manager ,Tiffany, Refused to provide direct # or extention
General Motors Address for correspondence: P.O. Box 33169, Detroit MI 48232
I residein Wantagh, NY. This is a twelve house cul-de-sac and therefore a dead end. I was traveling down my block to the circle so that I could park my car in front of my home. I was traveling at a very slow speed. Just as I approached the circle, the car accelerated to a high speed and would not stop when I applied the brake. It was very difficult for me to control the car at this sudden speed and I went up on the sidewalks and curbs of the circle. At some point, at this time unknown to me, the front passenger tire blew out the rim was damaged. I stopped the car by putting it into park.
I went into my home and called Sarant Cadillac in Farmingdale, the dealer I purchased the car from. I was told that the service manager was gone, but to call back in the morning and they would pick up the car and make arrangements for me to have a loaner car. I did call in the AM and at first this was the plan. However, I received a call back shortly thereafter from the Service Manager, Charles DePano, informed me that was not a Cadillac issue, but rather a ?product liability? issue and General Motors would have to be contacted.
I called General Motors and was told that a file had to be opened up and that they would call me in a few days and advise me as to what the plan was for the car. On Friday, I called them again, received the file # and was told that an independent engineer would be out within 10 days to test the car. But they would not approve a loaner car because at this point, they accepted no liability. It was also my responsibility to have the car brought to the dealership. On Thursday, June 29, 2006, the engineer, did go to Sarant and perform tests, none of which involved driving the car. He e-mailed the results to Mr. Rodriquez on June 30. Mr. Rodriquez claimed not to receive these results until July 6, 2006. At this time he told me that he reviewed the results and there was nothing mechanically wrong with the car and the situation must have occurred by my hitting the gas and the brake at the same time. His interpretation of the results was that 1 second before the tire blew out, the gas and the brake were pushed as the same time, causing the car to accelerate and not stop. I told him that the results were exactly what did happen, but that considering where I was and what I was doing there would be no conceivable explanation for me to have done this.
I then started requesting to speak to people with more experience and authority and was told that this was not possible. He said he would e-mail the manager of my concerns and possibly she would contact me. Several days later she did, but nothing changed.
In the meantime, I spoke to Charles DePano and the other service Manager, Billy, but it seems their hands are tied. I also spoke to Jim Flum, the Sales Manager and said if it is the contention of General Motors that there is nothing wrong with the car, then take it back and give me a new one, or better yet, as I don't want another GM car, just let me out of the lease. Once again, no help or suggestions.
Along with being personally terrified to ever drive this car again, I am a Real Estate Agent and take clients in my car and there is no way I can do that under these conditions.
The car is still at the dealer, and Mr. Rodriguez of General Motors has said he doesn't care if I ever pick up the car, or drive the car, but that I am responsible for the car till the end of the term, another 20 payments. As far as he is concerned the case is settled.
Just for the record, in December 2005, the car was at the dealer for approximately 2-3 weeks because all of the lights that indicated a problem with the brakes were malfunctioning. At times they were all on, sometimes one or two were on, sometimes they went off when driving sometimes they stayed on. The service department at first said they could not find what was wrong and then said they had to wait for a part. This was their explanation for the long amount of time they need to keep the car. I didn't question it too closely at the time as they did give me a loaner car for that incident.
The car was never test driven and the explanation of the sudden acceleration is ridiculous if I was try to park and was going at a slow speed.
Wantagh, New York
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