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Old 13th July 2011, 19:57   #1
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Default Too many problems with my new Chevrolet Optra Magnum

Hello Everyone

Instead of writing what happened, I thought I'll paste the email which I sent to GM today which covers the entire story and also the reply I got. Here it is

Hello Sir/Madam

I bought a brand new Optra Magnum LT Diesel from Soham Motors, Aurangabad, Maharashtra on 24th June 2011. 16 days after that they had to open my brand new cars gear box to fix the speedometer problem. Here is everything in detail from day 1. Wednesday, 22nd June 2011, I went to see and do a small pre delivery inspection of my new car. Soham Motors had already done their pre delivery inspection. Everything was fine except there was a rusted part under the hood, few marks on the front, rear bumper and also on the inside of driver side door. The works manager told me that he will try to remove the rust and all the marks. After my small test drive the kilometer reading was 12.

I took the delivery of the car on Friday, 24th June 2011 and on this day the kilometer reading was 24. The rusted part under the hood as well as marks on the inside of the driver side door was still there. I wasnít bothered about the marks on the inside of the door. I was a bit concerned about the rusted part under the hood. When asked they said we tried to remove but it wonít go and it wonít affect the vehicle. So I didnít bother much and took the delivery.

I dropped my parents and went to my friends place to show the car. When I tried starting it wouldnít start. I thought it might be low on diesel so we put 4 liters and tried it again it still didnít start. The distance between this place and the showroom is not more than 7 kms. So I was sure that this isnít a low diesel problem because they told me there is enough diesel in it and I have put 4 liters more. I called Soham Motors and they sent a team which included their works manager as well. The mechanic did something under the hood and was checking something with ECU scanner. They asked me to get 5 more liters of diesel which I did and then the car started. This was very humiliating experience and I cant forget it even if I want to. The video of this embarrassing experience is available here youtube.com/watch?XXXXXXXX Donít worry, this video is unlisted and only those with the link can see it.

Friday, 8th July 2011 just 14 days after the new car delivery, I was traveling from Aurangabad to Pune and stopped for refreshments in Ahmadnagar. When I started towards Pune again. I saw that the speedometer is not working. So I stopped the car on the sides and started it again after 2 mins, the speedometer still didnt work. Few minutes after that we noticed that the AC is not working. The blower was working but the AC was not cooling. We stopped again for few mins and started the car again and the AC started working, but as soon as we crossed 100 kmph speed the cooling would switch off again and the blower will work. I had to travel without AC on a rainy day from Ahmadnagar to Pune with my friends on a brand new 14 day old car. We couldnít even open the windows for cool air because it was raining. The engine lights popped up after that and the car has not even done 500 kms. What sort of vehicle did General Motors provide me? I called Soham Motors and told them about it and wanted phone numbers of Chevrolet workshops in Pune. They gave me many numbers but none of them were working. I tried all the numbers for 2 hours but none of them answered. This was another embarrassing experience with this new Optra Magnum. I came back to Aurangabad on Saturday, 9th July 2011 and gave the vehicle to Soham Motors.

I was reading few car forums on my phone to find a solution to the AC problem and many of them mentioned about faulty thermostat switch on Optra Magnum and not to my surprise the Soham Motors mechanic told me the same thing, they will have to replace the thermostat switch, one of the service advisors told me that this happens due to ice formation in the AC circuit as the thermostat does not cut off and the AC will function as soon as the ice melts. Is this the quality of your cars? For the speedometer which I mistakenly thought will be a small problem the mechanic told me that one of the sensors is not working and thatís also why the engine light is coming on. I stayed there and wanted to take the car home when it was done. 3 hours after waiting, they told me its not the sensor but its some ring above the gearbox which has lost its threading and is rotating freely and thatís why its not able to provide inputs to the sensor and they have to change it. Not to my surprise they did not have that part available with them and told me it will arrive on Monday, 11th July 2011. I specifically asked them about the gearbox and they told me its to be fitted above the gearbox so they will carefully bring it down and put the ring and put the gearbox back in. I was shocked to hear this since it was a brand new car. But I decided to deal with my bad luck and also the quality of Chevrolet vehicles, so I gave them a go. They told me they will fix all the problems and give the car back the next day Tuesday, 12th July 2011 around 3 pm.

I went there around 5 pm to get the car and it was not fixed yet. But that was just a tiny problem, The biggest mistake they did was open the gearbox. I was not informed that they were going to open the gearbox. They told me the ring has to be put above the gearbox and not inside it. This was really shocking to see everything open on a brand new car. I decided to talk with the owner of the showroom and after lots of talking and assurances from their end. I decided to let them work on my brand new car. I also had a talk with Mr Shah over phone, he is one of the employees of General Motors who handles such issues, that is what I was told. He told me that he can give a written assurance that the vehicle will not have any problems in the future. But that was not what I was looking for after paying 10.5 lacs and getting such a humiliating experience. Iím attaching some of the pictures which is proof for the entire embarrassing 3 weeks with General Motors Chevrolet Optra Magnum LT Diesel.

Now here is what I want, since the gearbox was opened without my knowledge. I want a written assurance from General Motors that if any problem related to the gearbox occurs in my car within 6 months from now. I will be given a brand new gearbox. If you cannot give me a written assurance for this extended period then I advice you to give me a brand new gearbox right now and get over it, so that General Motors doesnít have to deal with it for another 6 months. The vehicle is still with Soham Motors and Iíve refused to take the vehicle back unless I get a written assurance. If this is not provided to me, then Iíll publish the pictures and videos in the newspapers, auto magazines, internet car forums, social community websites and wherever possible for all the public to read. If that doesnít help then Iíll go to the consumer court.

Thanks
Sreeji

This was their reply ---------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Sreeji Nair,

This is in reference to your email to us concerning your Chevrolet Optra.

We have gone through the contents of your e-mail and understand your concern, since the matter needs to be investigated in regard to your feedback, our enfranchised
dealership M/s Sohamm Motors, Aurangabad is being requested for assistance & clarification on the matter.

we are advising Service Manager of M/s Sohamm Motors to provide you necessary possible assistance in the matter.

Also, we are requesting our Zonal Aftersales Manager (West) to personally monitor your case and provide the necessary assistance as may required by the dealer.

We thank you for writing into us and giving us the opportunity to be of assistance.

Warm Regards

ManMohan Bhasker
Customer Assistance Center
Chevrolet Sales India, Gurgaon
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:11   #2
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

sreejinair,

this is a shocking experience! I can imagine what you went through when showing a brand new car to your friends and it breaks down in front of them! And the car being taken apart when it's still new!

The car sold to you must be a lemon - seeing so many faults with a brand new car.

I was under the impression that Chevrolet vehicles were very reliable - especially with their warranty/maintenance packages!

don't just get a assurance for only the gearbox - get it for the entire car and that too for 1 year or more. (How long is the car's warranty?)

Hope GM resolves this amicably

Last edited by Games Goblin : 13th July 2011 at 20:13.
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:14   #3
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

Hi, sorry to hear this mate.

I Think you must also request chevy to take the car back to the plant and re test every post production test's.

After every car is made in the plant, the manufacturer is supposed to do testing(engines, gear box etc in tested post assembly too).

I think you must demand for your car to be transported back to the plant in the trucks which get the new cars, Chevy must re check the entire car and return it back, as simple as that! This is failure from chevy's end more than the Dealer.

Drive Safe!
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:15   #4
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

Gosh!

A very unpleasant experience Sreeji. Sorry to hear about the situation you face. GM has worked hard to improve their A$$ reputation. Hope they will do what is needed to make you happy as a customer.

It may be a good idea to look for emails of the top management and send them personalized emails narrating your experience. Very often the not-so-senior chaps don't have the authority to take biggish decisions to replace parts etc. And the senior ones get to know of it very late or not at all. Trying to talk to the top management (if it works out) should also help.

I have been in love with this car and have been hoping to own one. Now I may have to rethink a bit.

From what I gather, they would be concerned about getting bad publicity. Newspapers, especially.

Wishing you all the best in getting this sorted out.

PS: It is almost disgusting to read this, especially after how I have been asking almost anyone and everyone in this price bracket to TD an Optra.

Last edited by Poitive : 13th July 2011 at 20:19.
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:16   #5
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejinair View Post
Hello Everyone

Instead of writing what happened, I thought I'll paste the email which I sent to GM today which covers the entire story and also the reply I got. Here it is
A Very unfortunate incident indeed. Frankly, while we have no control over what goes wrong in a vehicle and when, what is frustrating is the fact that it seems that service centre seems to be hiding the true cause of problem and what started as a supposedly minor problem has burgeoned into a major part replacement and repair.

Company and service centre owe you an answer and their e-mail reply is just preposterous. GM ought to take your matter far more seriously.
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:24   #6
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This is ver unfortunate. Really wish you all the luck to get all the issues resolved soon. I was also seriously considering of buying the Optra Magnum but incidents like these worries me. Please keep us posted on the updates on response from your dealer and how things proceed.
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:25   #7
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

The warranty is for 2 years or 50K kms whichever comes first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Games Goblin View Post
sreejinair,

this is a shocking experience! I can imagine what you went through when showing a brand new car to your friends and it breaks down in front of them! And the car being taken apart when it's still new!

The car sold to you must be a lemon - seeing so many faults with a brand new car.

I was under the impression that Chevrolet vehicles were very reliable - especially with their warranty/maintenance packages!

don't just get a assurance for only the gearbox - get it for the entire car and that too for 1 year or more. (How long is the car's warranty?)

Hope GM resolves this amicably
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejinair View Post
I bought a brand new Optra Magnum LT Diesel from Soham Motors, Aurangabad, Maharashtra on 24th June 2011.
Sreeji, did you check the date of manufacture of the car based on the papers and the VIN (chassis) number? AFAIK, the date the dealer gets the car is there on record.

Is it possible that it was an old car lying with them for a while in their yard?
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:31   #9
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

Yes, I checked the data of manufacture before taking the delivery and its Feb 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Sreeji, did you check the date of manufacture of the car based on the papers and the VIN (chassis) number? AFAIK, the date the dealer gets the car is there on record.

Is it possible that it was an old car lying with them for a while in their yard?
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejinair View Post
Yes, I checked the data of manufacture before taking the delivery and its Feb 2011
It is strange how most cars have that BB (representing Feb 2011) in the VIN number off late. A member (Torquedo) seems to have done some research on this. He was talking about a plate on a door, which has a different number at the relevant place in the VIN, which possibly may be when the car was put together.

Anyway, even Fed 2011 is not really old. Hope GM does something really positive for you, to put a smile on you.
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:44   #11
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Hi Sreeji,

This is a very unfortunate incident and I'm sure what you've got is a lemon. This is not much heard of in a product from the chevvy stables.

But the quick reply from chevvy gives one some positive vibes and also a hope that they will act on this. Meanwhile have you thought of checking the date of manufacture and other details using VIN? This might prove handy as you mentioned rust on a brand new vehicle.

Hoping all issues will be solved and the car be restored to what it is supposed to be!
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Old 13th July 2011, 20:44   #12
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejinair View Post
Hello Everyone
Instead of writing what happened, I thought I'll paste the email which I sent to GM today which covers the entire story and also the reply I got.
My sympathies with you sreeji. I am sure they will try and resolve the issue or else you have the media options available to target them.At a time when GM's market share is increasing, they will dread adverse publicity. The loss caused to GM then will amount to (10.5 L X n ).
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Old 13th July 2011, 22:03   #13
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum Disaster

Hi Sreeji,

Sorry to hear this about your new car. I too have just purchased an Optra and I would really hate for something like this to happen. Rarely get to hear such major issues with GM vehicles - they are normally pretty solid! Hope yours is a one off case!

The top guys at GM will definitely help resolve your issues - just ensure that you go as high as possible - they will help you much better and much faster.

Also, while you are at it, get the rust issues also escalated, in a composed manner, without getting worked up. You should be able to get all these issues resolved soon.

The mails from the GM management do sound positive, so do take advantage and build up a relationship without being over aggressive. This relationship will be useful to you (and us as well ) in the long run!

$hit happens, flush it and move ahead! All the best with your car and hope the journey ahead is smoother!

EDIT---------

Discussed this with a couple of friends from GM and VW. They say that all the other issues are unfortunate. But the engine starting issue is a low diesel issue and cannot be attributed to the car. It's better to have a decent quantity of fuel in your vehicle and ensure that the gauge is atleast at or above the Empty mark.

Will try and forward this to someone at GM.

Last edited by keyur : 13th July 2011 at 22:14.
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Old 13th July 2011, 22:24   #14
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Sreeji,

Sorry to hear the happenings. I fervently wish that everything will be alright and they ill not only successfully repair your car but also replace the gear box for you.

It must have been an ordeal for you to experience such a shock instead of the the sweet ownership of such a supposedly comfortable car. I fully sympathise with you.Please don't lose heart-this stage will be over.

I had been recommending Optra Magnum to many-impressed with the Ownership reviews-well,don't know what to say!!

I wish you well,mate. I am sure this story will have a happy ending.

Brgds,charthom.
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Old 13th July 2011, 22:33   #15
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I agree with you, it is definitely one of the best vehicles in that price range. But there has be more than one unsatisfactory experiences with General Motors. I have not shared my Opel Corsa story with the same dealer in this thread yet. Will do that in some other thread or here if required later. Thank you for all your support.

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Sreeji,

Sorry to hear the happenings. I fervently wish that everything will be alright and they ill not only successfully repair your car but also replace the gear box for you.

It must have been an ordeal for you to experience such a shock instead of the the sweet ownership of such a supposedly comfortable car. I fully sympathise with you.Please don't lose heart-this stage will be over.

I had been recommending Optra Magnum to many-impressed with the Ownership reviews-well,don't know what to say!!

I wish you well,mate. I am sure this story will have a happy ending.

Brgds,charthom.
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