SMITHFIELD, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has discovered the General Motors Corporation (GMC or GM) is recalling about 682,000 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs due to possible windshield wiper failure.
There’s another issue. The company doesn’t have the parts to fix the problem.
Smithfield resident John Wayne Warren has been asking a lot of questions of GMC about this dilemma, and he isn’t happy with the response he’s been getting, so he called 10 On Your Side.
Warren can’t drive his 2015 GMC Terrain in the rain because the wipers don’t work, which presents a serious safety issue.
When Warren turns on his wipers, all you hear from the wiper housing under the hood is a click, click, click … then nothing.
In March, Warren got a GMC Safety Recall notice stating that it is conducting a safety recall.
“Parts to repair your vehicle are not currently available, but when parts are available, your GMC dealer will inspect the wiper module and repair or replace it as necessary,” the recall notice stated. “This service will be performed for you at no charge.”
“That is what I don’t understand. They told me the parts aren’t available and had no clue when they were going to get the parts,” said Warren.
Two weeks after the recall notice came, it so happens Warren’s wipers stopped working. “My fiancé was going down the road in heavy rain, and the wipers stopped working. She had to pull over and wait for the rain to stop.”
“The ball joints in the windshield wiper modules may experience high corrosion and wear that could result in the separation of one or more ball joins from the sockets during wiper operation,” said a recent consumer report regarding the recall. “If a ball joint were to separate, one or both of the windshield wipers could become inoperative.”
GMC also points out that not having wipers increases the risk of crashes.
“It’s a crying shame you have to watch the weather on WAVY-TV 10 to see when you can drive your car,” Warren said.
He’s been back and forth with GMC, calling and emailing and texting and getting their story, but they offer no solutions.
“I reached the end of my rope. I had nowhere else to go.”
No one at GMC’s media relations department would do a Zoom, FaceTime, or phone interview, however 10 On Your Side text messaged with GMC spokesman Daniel Flores.
“The customer should go to the dealer and ask if he qualifies for 6 year/150,000 mile special coverage,” said Flores.
Warren said he had never heard of that.
10 On Your Side pointed him in that direction, but when he went to a dealership and called another to find out if he qualifies, he was clearly told he does not qualify, and his warranty has expired on his 2015 vehicle.
He could pay for the repair on his own, but it is a costly repair (about $1,000) because the wiper mechanism is buried in a hidden away compartment that takes labor to get to and fix.
“If he is not part of special coverage then he will be notified when parts are available for recall repairs,” said Flores.
“This is the same runaround I have been getting. This has been going on for four weeks without windshield wipers on my car,” Warren told 10 On Your Side.
“We have announced the recall, but we are not executing it because we need to have our suppliers build the parts to begin repairs,” stated GMC. “We apologize for any inconvenience. We understand concerns and frustration.”
The bottom line is that GMC has a safety recall and no parts to fix it.
Warren also has an annual car inspection due in August that will certainly fail without the wipers working.
“This is total insanity in my opinion,” Warren said.
If you’ve experienced similar dilemmas, the Better Business Bureau’s auto line is one of many dispute resolution programs helping consumers across the nation resolve auto-related issues.