General Motors is answering questions and complaints from some customers who said the air conditioner in their vehicles had broken down – just as they got out of the warranty period.
It’s an issue Brent LaPointe had been dealing with for months when he spoke with NBC 6 Responds – the A/C of his 2015 GMC Sierra just stopped working.
“It started blowing hot air,” he said. “We work hard for our money and we expect the A/C to last a lot longer than 43,000 miles.”
That story shared by many owners of affected GM full size models, including 2014 and ’15 Tahoes, Yukons and Silverados just a couple of years old.
“It was actually a hose that had cracked” said Mark Kuffel of Illinois who spoke to NBC Chicago.
Kuffel and his family discovered their A/C was shot, after returning home from vacation – bad news followed by worse.
“To get it fixed would be 10 to 12 weeks for the part to come in,” said Kuffel.
Auto mechanic Cesar Vega posted a demo about the problem on YouTube.
“I’ve replaced four or five, tomorrow I have a 2016 – same problem,” Vega said. “They really need to get these fixed, maybe issue a recall.”
That idea was echoed by some of the dozens of unhappy GM owners who in recent weeks reported their A/C failures to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Scores more also spoke out online, saying they had waited several weeks, but couldn’t get the needed parts. Others faced estimates ranging from $1,100 to more than $4,000. Some said they were afraid to put kids and pets in their own vehicles.
Angry vehicle owners even started a Facebook page to share updates.
GM acknowledged the parts were backordered, creating the backlog of hot drivers. When asked if it planned to issue a recall, the company said it had “resolved the issue with our supply base … doubled the number of parts produced each week” and fulfilled the backordered parts.
LaPointe, meanwhile, did not buy an extended warranty, so he’ll likely have to pay for the repairs himself. But he doesn’t think he should have to.
“Absolutely not fair,” he said. “Not for someone who spent 45,000 on a brand new vehicle and they feel like it’s the purchase of their lifetime.”
Brent said he had contacted GM and was waiting to hear back.
GM told NBC 6 Responds they handle customers who are out of warranty on a case-by-case basis.
The Kuffels, meanwhile, ended up paying $700 for their repair. GM has now agreed to relook at their case.