GM lawsuit no issue in Kingman

Dispute developing over old, new versions of company, warranty work

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Michael Bartholomew works on a vehicle Friday at the Findlay Automotive Center on Stockton Hill Road at Kino.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Michael Bartholomew works on a vehicle Friday at the Findlay Automotive Center on Stockton Hill Road at Kino.

KINGMAN - This national issue has yet to take root locally - and it may not.

A Pennsylvania woman demanding GM fix a suspension problem in 400,000 Chevy Impalas manufactured in 2007 and 2008 filed a lawsuit seeking class action status against the General Motors Co. in late June. She is alleging a breach of warranty.

Reuters reported GM seeks dismissal of the case because it feels it is not responsible for design flaw repairs predating the "Old GM's" bankruptcy and federal bailout.

Benjamin Jeffers, a GM lawyer, told Reuters "New GM's warranty obligations for vehicles sold by Old GM are limited to the express terms and conditions in the Old GM written warranties on a going-forward basis. New GM did not assume responsibility for Old GM's design choices, conduct or alleged breaches of liability under the warranty."

Reuters also reported that GM thinks the woman is essentially suing the wrong company.

When the federal government took control of GM in 2009, President Barack Obama promised, "If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired just like always. Your warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it has ever been. Because starting today, the United States will stand behind your warranty."

The local GM dealer is the Cliff Findlay Automotive Center. It's owned by the Findlay Automotive Group, which has 22 dealerships in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Idaho that sell several makes of vehicles, including Chevrolet and Cadillac.

The Group's Chief Financial Officer, Tyler Corder, said the Findlay Automotive Center as well as the other Findlay GM dealers honor all the warranties GM, the manufacturer, approves.

The warranty comes from the manufacturer, which reimburses dealerships for warranty work, he said.

Though the issue with the Impalas hasn't come up at Findlay dealerships yet, Corder said he thinks something can be worked out between the customer and the dealership if it does, such as possibly doing repair work for the cost of parts.

Corder said all GM warranties have been honored by Findlay dealerships since "Old GM's" bankruptcy. He thinks the Impala warranties not being honored are particular to the case and the alleged design issues.

Now that the issue is being talked about locally, Corder joked that it wouldn't surprise him if someone brings in an Impala with suspension issues in the next couple days.