Virginia Man Drives 450 Miles to Take on GM Over Faulty Part David Derringer is nothing if not determined. An owner of General Motors cars for years, the Virginia man wanted the automaker to reimburse him for the cost of a power steering pump that repeatedly failed on his wife's Chevrolet HHR wagon.

The same problematic part had been recalled in Chevrolet's Cobalt compact cars, but not in its HHR models, Derringer told ClickonDetroit.com. Derringer wanted his wife to be safe, so he purchased a new pump and requested a refund. But GM refused to give him his money back.

That led to a challenging exchange with a GM telephone operator when he called to complain, Dillinger said, prompting him Monday to jump in his GMC pickup truck and drive 450 miles from his Virginia home to Detroit to settle the matter with GM officials in person.

"I'm tired of being handled on the phone like, 'You're not going to drive three states away when you're in Virginia.' It's a 'we'll do what we can' kind of attitude, condescending," he said.

After arriving at GM's Renaissance Center headquarters, Derringer was escorted out. But after he contacted a local television station about the matter, GM officials agreed to speak with their disgruntled customer -- and he was given a refund.

"I've had some satisfaction knowing I've done all I can do," Derringer said.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel does get the grease.

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23 Comments

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wllrdter

I have had 3 chevy's- 06 cobalt ss,07 cobalt ss and now HHR... They were all 3 lemon's..There's a rattle in front end which is steering rack and steering columns issues..They fixed the first 2 numerous times and now I'm still dealing with the 3rd piece of junk..It's already been in shop for 60 days and still not fixed...I'm not giving up and they need to make car's without rattle's..Is this a safety issue???? They say NO but if they can't even fix it permanently,How do they know if it's safe if they can't fix it... NO MORE GM'S FOR ME!!!!!!

October 15 2010 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
themanindbox

Bought a 2009 Mustang Which has the fog lights in the front, i was told when the balests melted that it was because i did not buy the replacement bulbs from ford so they would not replace the casing of the light, they then told me, "the color of the bulb caused the issue" yes it is aparent that ford thinks yellow is hotter in color by color and not by wattage. I called the SEMA folks and let them know, as this is against the law, auto manufacturers cannot tell you, you have to buy parts from them, unless they provide the part free of charge. Needless to say ford called me back, seem that i now not only get the fog lights fixed but get free bulbs for as long as i own the car. Note that after 200K miles in my daily driver toyota i have never had to bring it to the dealer for anything. Last american car i buy. I wonder if all the people who bought Caddy's who had the head gasket issues, did the same thing, if a recall would be issued. Seems fitting since mine burned to a crisp because of this..

October 13 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Master Sixkiller

This seems to be the norm when dealing with corporate America and that's why no one is buying from them lousy customer service and the people you talk to don't care weather they help you or not. if I have to punch numbers to talk to someone then I wait till they call me.

October 12 2010 at 5:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kv37

You all know by now you can't trust GM to do the right thing.

October 06 2010 at 4:35 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
philschellenger

put the company out pain kill it already.

October 06 2010 at 1:35 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
krp2

What do you expect from Government Motors?! Just like a government employee. F u if you don't like it. we are the government and you can't do jack about it!! Good for him!! Sometimes little things like that can begin a mountains slide of change!! Man do we need change!!! I'm not talking about that "hope and Change" crap promised by Obama either!

October 06 2010 at 12:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
steve896

Sure, drove pretty darn good without a power steering pump?

October 05 2010 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to steve896's comment
krp2

He didn't drive the defective car. READ the article! It was his wife's car and he drove his truck! Another reason not to buy GM or any product made by a union /government owned and run company!

October 06 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
krp2

He didn't drive the defective car. READ the article! It was his wife's car and he drove his truck! Another reason not to buy GM or any product made by a union /government owned and run company!

October 06 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stiritup030

Gm should have failed back in 08. A shitty condesending company that makes crappy things. Oh wait: Obama: A condesending politician that makes crappy economies

October 05 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vdema26408

Can you imagine that the "new GM" is going to have a public stock offering? Now that thousands of former GM shareholders and many bondholders are described as "speculators" by GMs owner B. Obama and have been screwed into the ground,this GM management must certainly thing that the American consumer is nothing but a "fool" to screw and screw and screw. They have just proven this point by the manner they treated this individual over a failed component. Thanks to the non union auto firms,there is sufficient competition that the new GM is now irrevelant.

October 05 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Hey.... Sssuppp

Most Company customer service centers are in India..... LONG Drive that !!!!

October 05 2010 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply