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The Dave Hill Letter

C

Cheater

Guest
I posted this under the Z06 Discussion section of the Corvette forum because it directly affected my car and me. The e-mails I've received since then told me this needs to be posted here. Please read it. This could be the beginning of something very bad. I have been following the thread since yesterday and don't feel your pain. Read it, discuss it and try to determine if there is anything that can be done about. If not feel bad for all of us:

Dear Dave Hill,

Congratulations on the 1,2 finish at La Mans! The Heartbeat of America is truly strong.

After watching many hours of the race on Sunday I couldn’t wait till I could jump into my own super car, strap myself in and roar on down the highway toward winning that checker flag in my mind. But no, I had to wait. Honey-do-stuff you know. The whole day gone. And here I sat with testosterone running down my leg. But it was only going to get worse.

Monday setting at a light in downtown Tempe, Arizona. The MIL, check eng. light, came on and the car had a faint rocking feel to it. Within a short amount of time the light started flashing and the vibration became more pronounced and the car started shaking like hell. Fortunately I was close to home so I headed straight their. At this time my Z06 has only has 4000 miles on it.

First thing I did was connect the ATAP to read codes. Misfiring on 2 & 7 hole. Checked plugs and wires with no improvement. On Wednesday I had it taken to Chapman Chevrolet for service five minutes from my house. I was told that it would be done Monday lat afternoon.

On Friday of that same week a good friend of mine who also has a Z06 started having a terrible knocking sound in her car. I told her that I just took mine to Chapman so she had hers towed their.

I showed up Monday (Day 5) and was told that it wasn’t done yet. But by 3 o'clock we should have something. No calls on Monday so on Tuesday, (Day 6) morning I showed up to see where we were and was told that they were going to have to OPEN her up. They don’t know why it has a dead #7 hole. Obviously not, because they forgot about #2 hole also. Again I was told late this afternoon we should have the answers.

Now on to my friends Z-car. It only has 3700 miles on it and they think it has a spun bearing though they are not sure. But here is the beginning of the story that is going to prove most interesting. She calls to tell me that Mark Harris the Chevrolet Area Manager is voiding her warrantee because it has been used for auto crossing. And Chevrolet knows that it is true because they have been monitoring Internet club sites like NCCC and NASA and been downloading race results that are being posted. He also said it didn’t matter how the car was marketed it states on page 4 of the warrantee paperwork ANY racing will void the total warrantee of the car. On top of that, he said that Chevrolet was going to make and example out of her by starting to enforce the NO RACE RULE. Forget the advertising you put out about the car, forget the news releases to USA Today quoting you say,” a car for the street, show and strip”, and even forget the video that was in my glove compartment that tells me how to set up your car for racing. What I really hear you saying now is “you let the beast out and you are screwed”.

Since I didn’t hear anything on Tuesday and after talking to my friend I was starting to sweat. What if they pull the same thing on me?

On Wednesday (Day 7) I went I went to Chapman only this time I snuck into the top secret service area 51, only to find that I had been lied to. They hadn’t opened it up. Fuel rail covers were off, injectors were partially disconnected and exhaust was lose. There was a tech working on another car that said they stopped working on my car because they got word from outside the dealership. My service rep said that the head of the Corvette platform himself, was dispatching two GM engineers to look at both cars. Is that true Dave?

So now it’s Day 8 and still nothing. No problem being solved, no technicians feverishly working to fix something, no car running and NO HAPPY CUSTOMER. Just a yella Chevy with bird crap all over it.

So what would you do?

I looked up the phone number for a towing company and the local police. Drove down to the dealership and had them put the exhaust back up and load it up on the wagon and put it in my carriage. BROKEN…I don’t know why I thought I might need the police, maybe it was to keep me from taking hostages or killing someone, we’ll never know.

I’m sure my problem will eventually sort itself out but there is a much bigger problem for all of us. Let your mind run free and expound on the No Race Rule, The little Black Box and the GM Police prowling the Internet. Scary ain’t it.

Say it isn’t so Dave…

Sincerely;
Cheater Gone, but not for long.

P.S. Mark Harris called today GM is sending people from the motorcity to look at the cars. will see, at least I have it back.

P.S.S. The car has been taken to the GM Proving Grounds for eval. I'm feeling better about my car but not about the future of Corvetting. Sounds like a need for speed problem to me. Poor poor me.
 

Rob

Site Administrator
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I have to ask a stupid question here. Regardless of what the dealership is telling the owner, if the Corvette Development Platform Engineer is dispatching two engineers to look at the car, what was the point of having the car "extricated" from the dealer's possession??

That makes absolutely no sense to me. If there is an inherent problem with the LS6 (and I am not saying there is), or any other engine for that matter, why would you remove the car when you find out that GM is sending in two engineers to take a look at it? I would think this would help the engineers determine if there truly is an inherent problem thus saving 100s if not thousands of Z06 owners from the same problem.

Am I not interpreting the letter to Dave Hill correctly?

I guess if it was my Corvette, and the dealership told me that GM was going to send in 2 engineers to look at it, hell, I would have popped the hood open for them when they arrived and given them a hand where ever possible to determinine the problem. I guess I'm a little confused here....

If possible, keep us posted on the progress.
 
C

Cheater

Guest
The car was removed from the dealership before GM took action. As stated in the post, it sat there for eight days with nothing but lip service being done. Only after that, did they step up to the plate. They gave me no other options. I'm only a Harley rider on 4 wheels. Cheaters gone.
 
K

kran

Guest
Why did you choose to pack up your vehicle? From your post, it seems as though your friend was being denied service, but not you. Is there a particular reason you would not want to have Chevrolet engineers look at your car? Are there major aftermarket modifications that you did not want

Also, if you are truly planning on sending this letter, you will need to least spell Le Mans correctly to be taken seriously.
 
C

Cheater

Guest
I know that my computer has a problem spelling but you must have a problem reading. So let paraphrase
“On Wednesday (Day 7) I went I went to Chapman only this time I snuck into the top secret service area 51, only to find that I had been lied to. They hadn’t opened it up. Fuel rail covers were off, injectors were partially disconnected and exhaust was lose. There was a tech working on another car that said they stopped working on my car because they got word from outside the dealership. My service rep said that the head of the Corvette platform himself, was dispatching two GM engineers to look at both cars. Is that true Dave?

So now it’s Day 8 and still nothing. No problem being solved, no technicians feverishly working to fix something, no car running and NO HAPPY CUSTOMER. Just a yella Chevy with bird crap all over it.

So what would you do?

I looked up the phone number for a towing company and the local police. Drove down to the dealership and had them put the exhaust back up and load it up on the wagon and put it in my carriage. BROKEN…I don’t know why I thought I might need the police, maybe it was to keep me from taking hostages or killing someone, we’ll never know.

I’m sure my problem will eventually sort itself out but there is a much bigger problem for all of us. Let your mind run free and expound on the No Race Rule, The little Black Box and the GM Police prowling the Internet. Scary ain’t it.

Say it isn’t so Dave…

Sincerely;
Cheater Gone, but not for long.

P.S. Mark Harris called today GM is sending people from the motorcity to look at the cars. will see, at least I have it back.

P.S.S. The car has been taken to the GM Proving Grounds for eval. I'm feeling better about my car but not about the future of Corvetting. Sounds like a need for speed problem to me. Poor poor me.

The reason I took the car was based solely on how Chapman was treading it and their lack of customer management. The engineers at the proving grounds determined that the exhaust valve had made contact with the #7 piston due to a over revving of the eng. I buy that and I also buy that it was “my fault” due to a missed shift.

I have had years of great service at Brown & Brown in Mesa, AZ so I had it taken their to have the head pulled and valve and piston head replaced. They did a great job of taking care of my car and me. I have already formally thanked them and Mark Harris the GM area rep. And sent a follow-up letter to Hill. The car has since been dynode with 343 hp and 347 torq.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
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Messages
8,237
Location
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Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Cheater said:
...but there is a much bigger problem for all of us. Let your mind run free and expound on the No Race Rule, The little Black Box and the GM Police prowling the Internet. Scary ain’t it.

:confused
 
B

BlkZO6

Guest
I've seen this letter before somewhere else. Wasn't it determined that GM wasn't looking for these things and that the wording was the warranty wouldn't cover anything damaged by racing? I'm going by memory here and that's not my strong suit.:w
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
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He also said it didn’t matter how the car was marketed it states on page 4 of the warrantee paperwork ANY racing will void the total warrantee of the car.

That's not what the "2001 Chevrolet Warranty Information" booket says.

On page 8, the "What Is Not Covered" section says: "Damage caused as the result of any of the following is not covered:"

"misuse of the vehicle such as driving over curbs, overloading, racing or other competition."

As for the autocrossing woman with the engine having a spun bearing, the warranty is very clear and the dealer's position is logical. I can't understand the beef, here. Damage due to racing has *never* been covered under warranty by any car company.

That said, what this woman needs to do is have convincing evidence that the engine failure was not due to racing. If she's got that, she should simply tell the dealer or the Chevrolet Branch Manager firmly but politely that it is incorrect in its interpretation of the warranty and to fix the car or she's ready to go to arbritration--end of discussion.

If she *can't* prove the spun bearing was not due to racing; she's got no position in the matter and had better write the check.

As for Cheater--sounds like your car had an unfortunate and unusual problem. While that's certainly not the best situation, it sounds like the dealer is doing the best it can. On day 6 you went to the dealer and they said they'd have to tear down the engine. The next day you went there to find the work hadn't been started yet and the dealer had been told to put the job on-hold pending contact from the factory.

How is that lying?

I'm sorry to hear the car failed but it kinda sounds to me like Cheater is using the Action Center to vent anger along with posting an exaggerated and embelished account of an unfortunate situation with the intent to leverage the opinion of forum (more than one, at that) members against GM.

I'm sorry. I ain't buyin.
 
C

Cheater

Guest
So now it’s Day 8 and still nothing. No problem being solved, no technicians feverishly working to fix something, no car running and NO HAPPY CUSTOMER. Just a yella Chevy with bird crap all over it.

The problem here Hib was never whether "you were buying it" or not. The problem is whether "I bought it." For fifty grand I expect more than parts.

Eight days is 64 hours of work time. God took 6 days. It's still just a Chevy. In EIGHT DAYS, they should have had a handle on.

I think the problem here is that you are just more tolerant than I am. Or mayby, just maybe you get better service. Gone
 
C

C5Phil

Guest
Cheater,

Just curious about the car’s history.

Regards,
C5Phil
 
R

rjsmith

Guest
Cheater said:
The engineers at the proving grounds determined that the exhaust valve had made contact with the #7 piston due to a over revving of the eng. I buy that and I also buy that it was “my fault” due to a missed shift.

I doubt it was a missed upshift. The rev limiter works on upshifts. The rev limiter does not protect the engine when you downshift and grab second gear instead of fourth and let the clutch out at a speed that will take the engine over the redline. There is no way to protect against that (rather common) mistake in any car I am aware of except the Ferrari 355 F1 and 360 F1. The computer controlling the electro-hydraulic clutch in these Ferraris will not allow clutch enagagement if the wheel speed will take the engine over the redline. Instead the computer selects the lowest gear which will allow clutch engagement without over-revving the engine.

I understand your frustration at having the car broken (no matter whose fault it is) and having it sit on the dealer's lot getting a sun tan for 8 days while they figure out what went wrong. And I understand your reluctance to tell them up front that you over-revved the engine (you are not the first 6-speed owner to grab second when they wanted fourth). But it has been my experience that even if you break something due to misuse or negligence, the dealer will fix it under the warranty as long as they feel confident that they can sell the warranty claim to Chevrolet. If they think Chevrolet will balk, they let the Zone rep have a look see. Usually they will tell you when he's coming to look at the car so that you can plead your case during the inspection. But I gotta tell you that showing up with the police and hauling the car away was pushing the envelope vis-a-vis good sense, especially when it wasn't a defect in materials or workmanship that caused the damage. If this wasn't an occasion for diplomacy I don't know what qualifies as such.

The unanswered question here is, after Chevrolet apparently repaired the car under warranty, are you still upset?

One final thought. While I suppose it is possible for Chevrolet to assign people to surf the Internet looking for autocross results in order to "blacklist" the owners whose names are listed in the results, how would they match VIN numbers to the competitors? How can they prove by a preponderence of the evidence that the person listed as competing was driving the car that person purchased? That would be a tough sell even in an arbitration hearing.

Better yet, how would you make a business case to show ROI for staffing such a department. In other words, would funding such an effort cause Chevrolet to save more money in unjustified warranty claims (due to autocrossing only) than they would spend to hire people, pay salries, fund benefits, purchase computers, create an Oracle database to store the results, and pay for a database server to make the data available?

Ray
 

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