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Warning about the ATS-V and GM Customer Service

10769 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  cmhurd

I apologize for this being my first post. Honestly, I hate that i am making it. A little history:

As a car enthusiast who hung up my lust for performance cars for many years, I was completely smitten with the 2014 ATS Premium I picked up that year. Obviously not with the performance as it had a 2.0T.. but more with the quality of the car overall, especially the excellent chassis.

When the ATS-V was announced, I knew I had to have one. I waited patiently for my lease to end and for the time to be right to get one of my own. The dealership was and has been excellent the whole way through, and let me borrow one for a week while I waited on mine to arrive.

You can imagine how excited I was when I got the call to come pick it up. After the paperwork was done, I got in to drive away, to find the seat buzzing incessantly and the parking sensor alerting me that I was about to run into something. Also, the HUD was crooked, angled down and to the right about 30 degrees.

Ok, whatever... turn the parking sensors off until I can drop it back off. Turns out a bracket was installed upside down from the factory, and they needed to order a new part, along with a new HUD as apparently the original couldn't be adjusted. So, the car sat at the dealership for a week and I drove a service loaner around until it was ready... I was ok at this point, maybe a touch annoyed, but things happen and I wasn't going to let this ruin my experience.

When I pick it up, I notice the HUD is still crooked. Ugh. Whatever. This concern quickly disappeared when I rolled the windows down and took off from a light at normal, low throttle (about 15-20%) like you will most of the time.

I noticed this chattering/rattling sound between 1900-2200rpm, one that went away once past 2200rpm or with more or less throttle. And let me tell you, it was loud- it really reverberated in tunnels or if there was something to reflect off of. Not the sound you want to hear from a $70K+ automobile.

So I take it back in, they hear it and decide to start the process of diagnosing and fixing the issue. The issue stumps everyone at the dealership, so they call in a regional engineer to look at the car. Over a 3 WEEK process, the regional engineer decides it is the wastegate on the driver side and the entire driver side turbo assembly needs to be replaced. Mind you, I paid a substantial monthly payment during this time... while driving around in a mid-grade ATS service loaner.

After 3 weeks I get the call from the service manager to tell me that the replacement did not resolve the issue. Again, this was after spending roughly the first 4 weeks of my month-long ownership of the car in a service loaner. So, I was exasperated. I then asked if I could just get another car, and they obliged immediately. I feel I need to reiterate how great the dealership has been on this.

I was put in touch with a GM team that handles these issues, where I went through the various hiccups with the car. I also informed them that I would like a refund of my first month's payment as the better part of $800 is a little much to drive a mid-grade ATS around. They agreed and started the process.

Simultaneously, I was put in touch with a buyback agent from GM who would handle what they called a "repurchase" of my vehicle and a swap into a new one. I spoke with her about all my issues, the refund I had requested for my first month's payment, etc. I was given all indications that this would all be worked out and I would be accommodated in the interest of customer experience.

I submitted my build for the new car and started to wait. They gave me back my original ATS-V to drive until the new car arrived. The rattle/chatter seemed to get louder with time... I got to about 2100 miles on that car.

So, the new car arrived last Friday. The HUD is also crooked, again angled down and to the right about 30 degrees. Worse than that, this car has THE SAME RATTLE/CHATTER at the same throttle position and rpm. Yep.

I went back to the dealer last night, and we drove one off the lot to see if it made the same sound. I chose a manual car (mine is auto) to see if it may be transmission related. This car also made the same sound at the same rpm. The sales mgr was flabbergasted.

Now, here's the thing- this does not affect performance. I can't tell if it affects reliability as I haven't owned the car long enough to make that judgement. What it does affect is the perception of quality. I cannot imagine this sound is intended or would be deemed acceptable for a car that is trying to compete with BMW and Mercedes in this segment.

But, despite all this, I was really willing to look past it all as I love the car so much. Perhaps that was a mistake. Actually, it was a mistake.

I responded to a confirmation email that the GM team who was handling my reimbursement for one month, asking if the check had been sent out as they said it would take 4-8 weeks. Today I received a call from that team, and that person informed me that my reimbursement had been rejected, because the team that handled the repurchase had "handled this in the repurchase agreement", and that one of the managers had decided that a reimbursement was not necessary.

I did not receive any discounts to cover that monthly payment on my new vehicle.

I was not included in any discussions with that team around my reimbursement, and had all indications from the other team that it would be honored.

The dealership also expected this to be honored.

THIS was the proverbial straw. $783. The giant corporate entity GM and it's financing wing decided that $783, despite the fact that I spent the better part of my first month in a service loaner, was not something they needed to refund. Forget all the hassle I have been through, and the patience I have shown as my elation became annoyance and now disappointment... forget the fact that I have remained an advocate of Cadillac and the ATS-V through this entire experience... forget the fact that I am a loyal Cadillac customer. $783 is apparently just a little too much for these folks.

I can hardly imagine this is the experience Cadillac envisioned for an ATS-V owner. I wonder how they expect me to remain loyal to the brand after this. Honestly, I've been cool about this. I know it's a first year model. I know things happen. I know that ultimately, humans are assembling these products and mistakes happen. I was cool with all of that! But getting the news that I am not being refunded for a product I was unable to use due to no fault of my own is just bad form, and I think it's something that potential buyers should be aware of.

I emailed them and expressed my disappointment. I told them that I was going to broadcast my experience to the community so that others would be aware, and hopefully come forward if they are having the same issue. I told them that had I known things would have worked out this way, I would have gotten an M4 (bleh).

Again, I hate that this is my first post. I don't want to be a bummer. I also wonder if this is just part of the ATS-V, and I went through all this for nada. I just don't see how this sound can be acceptable. And I just don't see how GM expects me to pay almost $800 to drive a service loaner for a month.

Sorry for the book. I hope someone finds it useful.
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Also, if any other owners have also noticed this issue, please speak up.
Yeah, I can try. It's sort of pointless now. I went digging pretty hard last night, and a technical writer dug up a recent service bulletin that addresses the issue. And by "addresses", I mean that GM has determined it is normal and part of the wastegate's charm. GM invested a good deal into the system and I am guessing it is just too costly to make changes. Perhaps a recall will be in the future, or newer models will be released with a different wastegate. So, yeah. I went through this entire mess for nothing.

I'll try and get a recording of it at some point.

I am now wondering if my refund was refused after the service bulletin was brought to their attention.
This remands me of Cadillac problems with a gen 2 CTS-V supercharger "rattle" that at first GM claimed was normal.
After many customers complaints that it was not acceptable on luxury automobile, GM started changing supercharges and giving extra warranty on the cars.
So if there is enough complaints GM will do the same for ATS-V after it has pissed off and last credibility with it's customers.

Agreed. I'm still pretty upset that they denied my refund after paying a full month's payment to drive their service loaner. Honestly, I can live with the chatter, and I understand that this is a first year model. But I was essentially unable to use the product for 4 weeks, because it was treated as a problem by them. I am assuming here, but to think that they have now decided it is "normal" and that negates the refund they already agreed to give me is bad form.
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