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Old 15th February 2010, 11:01   #16
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Default Horrible Rusting in my 3.5 Yr old Optra Base Elite 1.6

Hi All,

Havent been on this forum for a while after I bought my Chevy Optra 1.6 Base Elite nearly 4 years ago. Then I would log in to share the excitement with other new car owners. Now sadly I report to you all, the sad state of body work/ paint job/ on the part of GM India on my optra.

I have attached a series of pictures for your viewing. The worst is the Left Rear Passenger Door above the door handle. That part of the door looks absolutely shocking. Pls note that this corrosion started like a bump and looks like this in 6 months.
I see a similar pattern emerging on the other three doors as well. Small bumps/ surface irregularties underneath the paint showing that rust is beginning to develop.

And it seems that its not an isolated incident. My parents Optra 1.6 on investigation also seems to be developing these patterns on the door.

I then took the car to Sundaram Motors ( GM ) in Chennai with both the optra's and met with the deputy manager who happens to be sickly sweet saying " This is really bad and we should take this up with GM " .

I politely ask him how this could happen. He was about to start off with some story but my expression must have warned him not to bark up that tree cause he promptly ordered the vehicles to be driven around to the back somewhere to enable him to make a report. This was supposedly going to be sent to GM.

I waited patiently for two weeks with usual follow up calls while my optra continued to self destruct in my garage. He would claim that the report was sent and GM was acting on it. Then it would be GM asking for a history on the vechile. Me being a person who likes to beleive " beleived" the story. 3 weeks later my patients was wearing thin like the paint job on my car and one or two stern SMS later, called me up with the final verdict. Now this is a teaser.
Sir, I am happy to inform you that GM has agreed to replace all the doors for you considering the amount of rust. For a minute I was like thankful the effort and time paid off till he dropped a hiroshima on my head.

" you will have to bear 60 % of the cost and GM will bear the rest 40 %".

I nearly gagged and i asked him how much this works out to. He nonchalantly says " 42 K from your end, 24 K from GM."

I closed the chapter with GM after expressing my profound displeasure on the outcome. Enclosing the excel sheet which I received from him.

I now would like to get the car done up at a local garage. I ask all of you
first, have you have similar experiences with your GM vechicle.

Should I report this to all the auto magazines ( AutoCar, Auto Bild ) etc. I also want to send a report of this to all the senior people at GM and hopefully to Mr. Karl Sylm just so that I know I have done my bit.

Pictures by lemon_head_2010 - Photobucket
Attached Thumbnails
Rust in 3 doors Under warranty in optra-estimation-tn07ah7167-chevrolet-optra.jpg  

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Old 15th February 2010, 12:11   #17
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Holy Crap!!!!!!

this is shocking man. the doors are literally ready to fall apart.

did your car have any accident repairs that wet bad or is it this way since you got the car?

also what kind of environment is your car parked in?
that can make a big difference in the way the metal or paint reacts so may be worth looking at.
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Old 15th February 2010, 15:55   #18
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That is some serious rust formations on your Optra, Lemon. Modern cars should not rust like this and this is a huge oversight on GM's part. Recently, my friend's Aveo UV-A too developed rust issues on the doors but he got it replaced under warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon View Post
" you will have to bear 60 % of the cost and GM will bear the rest 40 %".
This, in my view is not fair, since you are a big GM customer, having bought two GM vehicles. If your cars are under warranty then no doubt GM must replace all the doors on their expense. Even if the cars warranty period are over I still feel they must replace the rusted parts at their cost as such an incident should not be happening in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon View Post
I closed the chapter with GM after expressing my profound displeasure on the outcome
Please don't give up the issue with GM. Convey your problem to the higher levels of management at GM, if you haven't already done so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon View Post
I now would like to get the car done up at a local garage. I ask all of you first, have you have similar experiences with your GM vechicle.

Should I report this to all the auto magazines ( AutoCar, Auto Bild ) etc. I also want to send a report of this to all the senior people at GM and hopefully to Mr. Karl Sylm just so that I know I have done my bit.
If you do not get results Even after escalating the matter, it is a good idea to go public with this issue and you've already taken a big step by posting here. I believe Auto Car has a grievance redressal section, but I think it's open only to subscribers- not sure. Check on other auto mags as well. You can also file a case at the consumer court, if GM does not budge.

As for repairing your car at another garage, I would advise you to wait. If ultimately GM agrees to do the work at their cost, I think that is better. You can ask BHPians in Chennai about garages who specialize in this sort of work.

All the best.
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Old 15th February 2010, 18:37   #19
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The photos look very bad. So much rusting on a 4 year old vehicle is not acceptable. Was there any tinkering done to the doors earlier because the photos show too much rusting in these areas.

Which part of Chennai do you live in?
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Old 15th February 2010, 18:44   #20
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This sucks. Why does the front LHS door cost more than the front RHS door? And the back door cost only half as the front? Do you live near the beach by any chance?
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Old 15th February 2010, 19:02   #21
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@Gilead - Yes , I live in Thiruvanmiyur...but I wont accept this as a reason for this extensive rusting. No other car in my apartment block with cars older than mine have any rust at all let alone being this bad.

@Lucifer & Mas - Nope. I havent done any tinkering work on my car.Its absolutely stock.

BTW - this rusting has affected the door open lever on the rear door already.

To be honest...this is the worst rusting I have ever seen. Only feel bad that it happens to be on mine.
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