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Old 11th April 2011, 20:32   #1
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Default Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Folks,

This evening when returning from office in my friend's new beat, I was subjected to the shock of my life. He was doing 30 kmph in a relatively low traffic infested zone after 2 kms from office. Suddenly I heard a huge thud! The car was pulled to the right massively and hit the median, which was luckily there. Then the rear was pulled to the left and the vehicle tilted 90 degrees, all the while scrapping in the median with the front bumper.

It came to halt blocking the road. When I got down to inspect, I found the front right wheel has turned 90 degrees and got jammed in the wheel well. The root cause? The ball joint was CUT!

This car is 8700 kms and 5 months old!

Will post the pics tomorrow. We have informed the Insurance agency and the local dealer (Sundaram Motors). Now the vehicle is being towed to the showroom. I was startled due to this accident since it is a relatively new vehicle. Imagined what it could have been when I was doing 120 kmph in the same car this morning

Guys my friend wants to escalate this seriously with GM. Please advise me how to take this case up.
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Old 11th April 2011, 21:36   #2
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Default re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Thank god, both of you are safe.

As for the escalation, GM would just say it is an one-off incidence. Anyway as it is within warranty, you have nothing to worry.
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Old 12th April 2011, 09:04   #3
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Default re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangarx View Post
Guys my friend wants to escalate this seriously with GM. Please advise me how to take this case up.
This incident was really serious, I'll suggest that first you ask your friend get all the repairs done under warranty. That in itself means the dealer has accepted that the failure was because of manufacturing/ component fault in the vehilce and this will provide a good platform from where your friend can escalate. Thereafter, if he wants I'll provide contact of a Program Manager level person in GM.

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Originally Posted by cuboid View Post
As for the escalation, GM would just say it is an one-off incidence. Anyway as it is within warranty, you have nothing to worry.
Even though it may be one-off case, GM can not simply ignore given its criticality.

Last edited by AutoNoob : 12th April 2011 at 09:06.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:50   #4
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Default re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
This incident was really serious, I'll suggest that first you ask your friend get all the repairs done under warranty. That in itself means the dealer has accepted that the failure was because of manufacturing/ component fault in the vehilce and this will provide a good platform from where your friend can escalate. Thereafter, if he wants I'll provide contact of a Program Manager level person in GM.


Even though it may be one-off case, GM can not simply ignore given its criticality.
Yes, the repair is set to be claimed under warranty. We have written a strong mail to GM as well. Now the car is waiting at the showroom for the Insurance surveyor's visit. Just in case..
I do not know how to paste the pictures here. Attaching as a file. It is the not ball joint that has failed actually.
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Old 12th April 2011, 11:50   #5
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Default re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

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Originally Posted by rangarx View Post
It is the not ball joint that has failed actually.
Yes, its the suspension ball joint (it also acts as steering pivot) that has failed, but this is first time I have seen a ball stud coming out completely. Also, as per the design guidelines of a ball joint, the stud pull out force is much higher that the usual loads experienced during driving.

I may assume the root cause of this failure is the rubber boot cut and consequently the ingress of dirt and slush in the ball joint resulted in wear. But failure of this extent was not at all imagined/ considered by me in past.

Had you or your friend noticed any noise or wobble from this wheel prior to the failure. As this kind of failure is ought to give a indication in terms of handling, noise etc.

Also, I could notice the Lower Control Arm bent, is this the normal shape or has it bent due to failure ? I should check on my Beat.

By the way, your friend covered 8700 kms in just 5 months ?? Why hadn't he opted for a diesel car ?

Last edited by AutoNoob : 12th April 2011 at 11:52.
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Old 12th April 2011, 12:55   #6
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Default re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

No. He never experienced any sound / handling issues prior to this accident. I was also driving this car occasionally, hence I can confirm there was no indication for this kind of failure, not even a slight noise or rattle.

The arm bent is due to the impact during the accident. Not original design.

Yes I had been suggesting him to go diesel from day 1 of his proposal but he was so attracted towards Beat, which did not have the choice of Diesel.
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Old 12th April 2011, 18:03   #7
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

This is indeed a very serious matter. Brakes, suspension and steering are highly critical for safety. Let us know what you find out from them.
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Old 12th April 2011, 21:37   #8
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Wow! you had a lucky escape. All Beat owners or for that matter GM owners get your cars checked. I have had a left strut rubber cover worn out right from day 1 which was intruding into the engine bay which was the root cause of the left pulling for the past 1.5 years. The GM service guys at Nikhil auto had absolutely no idea of what was causing the problem till i went and diagnosed the problem outside.
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Old 12th April 2011, 22:01   #9
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
Wow! you had a lucky escape. All Beat owners or for that matter GM owners get your cars checked. I have had a left strut rubber cover worn out right from day 1 which was intruding into the engine bay which was the root cause of the left pulling for the past 1.5 years. The GM service guys at Nikhil auto had absolutely no idea of what was causing the problem till i went and diagnosed the problem outside.
SPARKled, Surprising considering the rejuvenated service drive at GM outlets!
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Old 12th April 2011, 22:07   #10
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Lower arm ball joint is cut, rather popped out! Man this is serious, good that you have documented with pictures. Try to escalate and get it covered under warranty itself.
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Old 13th April 2011, 13:03   #11
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Yes, the escalation is done to GM. So far the response is not up to the mark. We have written to CAC (Customer Assistance Center) of GM. Got two responses that they understand the issue and working on the root cause.

Yesterday the south India sales head of GM has visited the dealership and looked at the vehicle. He wrote a separate note to my friend's e mail id that they'd come back with the report today. But we doubt since it is holiday in TN today and tomorrow, we could get the feedback only on Friday.

Meanwhile my friend had requested for a spare car for his commute till they hand the vehicle over back to him. NO response to that at all.

My friend is waiting.
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Old 13th April 2011, 14:11   #12
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Very lucky that this happened at a low speed and I think GM should face some kind of hefty penalty, if this was indeed a manufacturing error. Such a component failure can lead to a disaster!

OT: Would the repairs of the damaged non-suspension parts (bumper/fender) be FOC as they're caused due to manufacturing defect?
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Old 13th April 2011, 15:27   #13
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Shocking! I'm just glad that no one was seriously injured (or worse) in this accident. I've heard of unreliable cars, but as Mpower posted, the brakes / steering / suspension are critical to safety. And they rarely fail! Manufacturers usually over-engineer these three functions, because failure can lead to complete loss of vehicle control (as it happened with your friend's Beat).

Can you please share the exact month of manufacture of this Beat? I know we have a lot of Beat owners on the forum and, if their car is from the same batch, they could carry out the necessary precautions. At the minimum, a checkup. At best, preventive part replacement.

Do keep us updated on how this matter progresses.
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Old 13th April 2011, 17:43   #14
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Very lucky that this happened at a low speed and I think GM should face some kind of hefty penalty, if this was indeed a manufacturing error. Such a component failure can lead to a disaster!

OT: Would the repairs of the damaged non-suspension parts (bumper/fender) be FOC as they're caused due to manufacturing defect?
LOG: We are really pissed off with the lukewarm response from the dealer and the GM official. Only mails are coming back to our mails saying we assure our best services always; we are investigating the root cause, blah blah blah.

Unfortunately in TN today and tomorrow are closed. When we call up GM also we get the same reply. But an insider from showroom informed that the South sales head of GM had visited the workshop yesterday and they almost concluded the root cause.

Regarding FOC, they plan to have the ball joint alone to be replaced FOC and plan to divert the rest of the damages towards the insurance folks. We are firm to fight for this to be totally under warranty. Will keep posting here the updates.
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Old 13th April 2011, 17:50   #15
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Default Re: Front Suspension failure in Chevy Beat!

Can you please share the exact month of manufacture of this Beat? I know we have a lot of Beat owners on the forum and, if their car is from the same batch, they could carry out the necessary precautions. At the minimum, a checkup. At best, preventive part replacement.

GTO,
Thats the exact reason why I created this thread. Here are the details.

Month of Manufacture - October 2010.
Chassis number - MA6BF482KAT032701

Beat owners, please do a check. Just in case.
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