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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Volt - bad review has been updated - good news!

----- See updates on page 3 --------


My Volt review four months in. Let me start by saying that I really enjoy the car, and I love the idea of a primarily electric vehicle. I think that the propulsion system is really without competition in the current market. The plug in Prius is too small to be considered a competitor in my mind, however I admit I know next to nothing about the Ford Fusion plug-in. I like the car, I think it’s fun to drive, and I think all the driver controls are rather intuitive and well designed. And next to the Fusion, and of course second to the Tesla I think it is the best looking plug in car on the market. All of that being said I am starting to remember why I swore off GM products prior to buying this car.

Leasing the Volt was a decision that was born of impulse. But once I researched it, my wife and I decided the car made sense for me and my commuting habits. I can’t complain about the drive style, and battery. I am actually impressed, and in sport mode it is pure fun to drive. Here however are my complaints. Most of these have to do with my dealer and service department. But quite frankly unless a review is posted in every corner of the internet, there is no way they will ever improve.

When shopping I selected Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix Arizona. The reason is that the other Chevrolet dealers in the area are owned by a “mega-dealer conglomerate” and is notorious for being sleazy and underhanded. I quickly got hooked up with a team of two sales guys. Eric and Leon, let me digress here for a second. It pains me to write negative things about Courtesy Chevrolet, and it is purely because of these guys. Everything, and I do mean everything I asked of these guys they did, and they right off made it clear that they don’t play the typical car sales reindeer games. It seems as if they lived and died by the GM post sales surveys, and I would believe it.

But thats where the positive stopped. The car was quickly picked out and a lease agreement reached. We went to finance which was pretty typical, after denying the tire warranty down payment time came. We paid the bulk of from out checking account. However $600 we were taking from the sale of my previous vehicle. We had a cashiers check made out to us for the sale price, but had to cash it and get the money to the dealer. We offered to pay the money upfront from our savings account. But the finance manager we were dealing with said there was no pressure and we could leave a check they would hold for two weeks, and in the mean time we could swing by and pay the remaining balance or let them cash the check. Ok, no pressure and they are flexible, I am ok with that. We decide to take advantage of their offer and write the check, and fill out the “hold check form” and we are out the door of the finance office. Afterwards we get to the Volt, and the new car introduction lady gives me a rundown of features, and sets me up on OnStar and promptly kicks me to the curb. After leaving the dealer’s lot I notice the battery is completely flat, and the gas tank is empty. Full disclosure, I did not expect a charged battery as I had the car the night before, and there wasn’t enough time to charge it during my visit. But as I received the car with an empty tank the night before, and put 3 gallons in to get me through the night and following day, I kind of expected the customary first full tank of fuel. Hell I expected the car to be clean, but I didn’t get that either. Knowing I would be back to pay the balance of my down payment, I didn’t turn around. And quite frankly I had things to do.





That night I get home and for the first time I actually open and close the hatch back to put stuff in my car. I close it, get in and drive away, the idiot light on the dash tells me my hatch is open. I get out close it again, and the light is still on. I adjust the rubber stoppers, no love. In order to get the hatch completely latched it has to be closed with such force it causes the rear suspension to dip. I am not amused. I come to this forum and learn it is a known issue. I call my sales guy Leon who tells me to come in and drop it off, so my wife and I go down, we pay the balance on our down payment with cash (as we prefer to not wait on checks to clear if we can avoid it), drop off the car and express my irritation with the un-fueled, and dirty car. Also I address the poor panel fit where the front bumper plastic meets the fender. The corner of the plastic panel is popped out, and can be pushed back in, but then instantly pops loose. Leon tells me that service will fix the hatch, fix the bumper, charge overnight while it’s in their possession, and fuel the car like they were supposed to yesterday. They will even wash it. Leon tells me he is off the next day, when the car will be worked on, but when they call and say it’s finished, I am to call his cell phone, and he will call the service manager and tell them what needs to be done before I take the car home. I am very appreciative of Leon allowing me to call him on his day off, he didn’t have to do that, I already bought the car, it’s not like he was going to make any more money on the deal.

I get the call from service, I call Leon, he calls the service department, the next day (soonest I was available to pick up the car) I arrive, the service desk tosses me the keys and a work receipt and then I get in the car that the lot attendant ran through a wash and dried with a muddy towel, I get in, and the battery is 100% dead and the car is now out of fuel as well. I am vibrating I am so mad, I leave the service department and immediately drive around the front and ask for a manager. After waiting for roughly 45 minutes a manager comes out and I explain my frustrations, I then pull out my service receipt and realize they did nothing to address or investigate the poor panel fit on the front of the car. He offers a fuel gift card and an apology, the card will be available in 2 days. Through the encounter the bumper issue somehow got forgotten. I leave figuring I will never deal with these guys again.

A week or so later I remember the fuel card, I call to follow up, and it is not there, and I am told that there is no way that manager would have offered it in the first place. At this point, I am thinking it’s a tank of gas, and 9 gallons at that. It’s not worth the time to follow up on it, crap service is crap service, just let it go. This is until I check my bank account and discover they cashed my hold check a week after I paid the balance of my down payment. I call the finance department, and by the time I noticed it was a Friday evening, I knew there was little time to waste before this issue had to wait for the weekend. I was told that the finance department would call me in 30 minutes, they were all busy at the moment. Now I know what your saying, if you need your $600 that bad maybe you shouldn’t have leased a new, and honestly expensive car. And your correct. However after leasing the car, there happened to be a health emergency in the family and the money would have been loaned to them to help cover the medical expense of an extended family member who was currently in the middle of a bankruptcy. So yes I could have made it a week, but they couldn’t and it was my freaking money anyway, and I wanted it. An hour and a half goes by and I hear nothing from the finance department.

I call my other sales guy Eric and he is livid. I tell him everything and he tells me he is going to follow up on it. I hear him ask the person I initially spoke to what he did to solve the issue. I heard the guy say that he didn’t rush because it was a Friday and “not that big of a deal” and he would might tell someone later. He basically admitted that he planned on doing nothing as it was not his problem all within my earshot (His name is Kelly if GM ever reads this). Eric did what he could, but the money wouldn’t be available until Tuesday. I go in, pick up the cash, the gas card, and the manager meets us with Eric. He asks if everything was resolved to our satisfaction. No, it wasn’t, not even close. I still have a bad bumper, your service guys never touched, and I shouldn’t have to make 7 trips to the dealer in 8 days just to buy a new car. But I felt that if I went into detail, or let my wife respond it would be very much less than civil. I simply laugh, thank Eric for being proactive, and leave.

Another constant frustration has been the OnStar Remote Link system. Initially it worked about 30% of the time. OnStar has been responsive on this forum and on Twitter. I have been serviced quite well by them, but even after app updates and other interventions at best I am getting a 60% success rate. Quite frankly it is still unacceptable, but I don’t think there is anything that can be done about that short of some serious network capacity increase on their end. And I just don’t have enough time to call them when I experience a failure.

A few months after purchase, one of the sun shade clips broke, minor deal, but warranty none the less. I call a service advisor at Courtesy Chevrolet (yes, first mistake) but he seems genuinely concerned. He wasn’t sure what part I was talking about so I sent him a photo via e-mail. He calls me back a few minutes later and said he identified the part and it will be in in two days, he will call me back to let me know when to come in. Three days later I get another call, the part was ordered incorrectly, it will be two more days, he will call again. I am disappointed, but at least he is communicating with me, and it’s a non-critical function, so I am not too upset. Another week passes, and I hear nothing, I e-mail him, no response, Roughly a month after the initial call I get my Volt advisor Ryan involved, and he finds out there is no record of the part being ordered. I give him dates and times of e-mails and calls, contact info, etc. He can’t find anything. I try another Chevy dealer, give them the info, and get the same line, “the part will be tomorrow we will call you”. Another week goes by, then another, at this time I have to leave town for a funeral, so I don’t follow up for obvious reasons. I finally gave up on Chevy service departments and contacted a Cadillac dealership that I heard positive reviews from. Within 48 hours the part was in and replaced. I honestly don’t see what was so hard about this. I ask about my still warped bumper, and am told a bracket is broken, the car needs to go into the body shop for warranty work. So they order the part.

Why am I writing this? It is a long, but honest series of events that prospective buyers should know about. Granted most of this is my dealer, but how can they have been consistently that bad after the sale? Yes, the car is a great concept, and day to day is great. But if you think GM has learned from it’s pre-government bail out ways, you may be wrong. The lack of quality control at the factory is amazing. There is now way that the car should have left with the bumper that way, or the stupidly sharp corners near the brake lights, that will slice you hand open when you clean the window. Another example of amazingly poor panel fit. The half baked performance of the OnStar services can not be taken care of with customer support, no matter how good it is. The dealer and service network is still grossly inadequate. And my personal opinion is it will not get better unless people start complaining about it. I mean a Bankruptcy didn’t even wake them up

All of that being said, I love my Volt, I just wish it was made by another company. Maybe it wouldn’t take four months to get warranty work completed. Even if the problems were present since the day of delivery.



Update from page 3 added here:

So to follow up to my story.

Jason who posted here contacted me rather quickly after being alerted to this post. His initial reaction was a sincere apology. The sales guy Eric also called me and my wife when he heard about what happened. Eric was aware of some of our issues at the beginning, and did what he could at the time, however most of these issues were out of his hands. As it turns out, both the initial manager and service advisor I dealt with at the time have since been separated from the company due to other issues unrelated to my post. This says quite a bit for this dealership, as every other employee I talked to has been with them for 10+ years. I am going to go out on a limb and say this is unusual for the auto industry, and extremely unusual for Phoenix. There is another company who owns the vast majority of dealerships in this area who seem to recycle the same people from location to location, and from my personal experiences, and the general consensus of everyone I know who has ever bought a car, they are wretched. Quite frankly put, if people stay around here this long they must be good at what they do, which is sell cars, and they survive on making sure people are happy. I can't see a family owned dealership retaining crap for that long while they are trying to stand out against the big guy. That is initially why I was so confused about my experience there.

-Anyway, moving on....

As it turns out this post initiated a few meetings from the owners down to the receptionist that sits in the front of the showroom. Literally the whole dealership was involved in analyzing their system and how these things could have happened. Here’s what I was expecting from my initial post.... Nothing. I did not expect a single phone call, or reply. I honestly did not expect to hear anything. I figured that these guys were just like the others and didn't really care after they had made the sale. When Jason posted on this forum my jaw freaking dropped….hard. I certainly did not expect a top to bottom analyzation of the operation of the dealership to occur, with near instant follow up from their sales director and owners.

Jason calls and arranges a time for me to come in and look at the car. I drive down there and a "loaner" Volt is waiting for me in the service bay. I don't mean loaner as in a car that they send out with people using their service department. It was a new Volt off the lot with 3 miles on the clock. Nice touch. The service department manager, and a service advisor were out there to meet me and go over the car. We toured the vehicle and I pointed out the concerns I had. They took the car in and began their work. Jason also introduced me to part of the ownership family. I was impressed, I don't think I have actually been in a dealership where the owner was even in the same city, let alone building.

Overall this is the list of issues that existed with the car.
1) Front bumper on driver side does not meet the fender.
2) Driver side tail light not fitted remotely close to the surface of the glass. (whatever UAW worker who was responsible for the left side of my car was seriously not paying attention).
3) Rear window tint had a haze that looked like a streak caught between the tint and the glass.
All of these problems existed at the time of delivery. But some were hard to notice at the time. For instance I thought the tinting issue was just dirt, and I kept cleaning it and was trying to figure out if I just kept missing that spot. Which was difficult because it was most easily visible through the rear view mirror.

The next day I got a phone call from Tracine the service advisor with an update on the progress. The tail light issue was addressed and fixed. The parts were good, they just weren't fit properly. The bracket secures the front bumper was ordered and on the way. All is good.

The next day Tracine calls again and says the car is in the detail shop getting the rear window tint replaced. The haze was between the glass and the film, which is good because it was one of those things that would have driven me insane if I had to try to find that spot and clean it while looking at the window with the hatch closed through the rear view mirror.

I left class, went home and picked my wife up and drove down there. I met Jason inside while I was waiting for Eric and he took me out to the service bay. Eric met us and we went over the vehicle post repairs. They fixed all of the issues I had pointed out and even noticed a dent in the hood behind the latch and pulled it out. The car was immaculately detailed and quite frankly cleaner than the day I picked it up. Eric and I went inside with Tracine to get the paperwork from the cashier and Jason was speaking with my wife. The two of them talked for probably a little over an hour about the car and the situation. Eric, Tracine, and I spoke for a while about their dealership and service department. Jason then told me that the owners wanted to order a Volt accessory for the car. Afterwards Eric and I talked for quite a while about various things, but also about how concerned the dealership was about their feedback. I come to find out that Eric’s younger brother moved out to the valley and started working at the dealership. He came over and we met him. Eric took the opportunity to explain to his brother how important following up with the customer after the sale is.

About two hours later we drove home with the Volt. The process was efficient and went rather smoothly, if we wanted to we could have been in and out in ten minutes. We spent so much time there was because everyone we dealt with was legitimately concerned with our experience and very conversational. Plus Eric genuinely likes people and actually talks with you, instead of the small talk before, and after you are filling out paperwork. I think that he is the first person in car sales that has actually been a real “person”. For instance he now knows he should look up the band Streetlight Manifesto, and I know I should look up the band Rebolution.

I am extremely impressed with the response I got from this dealership. It was above and beyond what I have ever expected, and probably the best customer service I have ever received. Last week I would have never stepped foot back in Courtesy Chevrolet, and more than likely never looked at another GM product. I wasn’t even going to use the three years of free oil changes that their customers get with a new vehicle. I was that disappointed. But, due to the speed and magnitude of their response my opinion has completely changed. When this lease is up I will most likely get my next car from Courtesy Chevrolet.
 

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That stinks! My experience was not that bad, but not great either. I figured this would be the case. I did not expect GM to give me the same level of service I got with Acura. And I was absolutely right about that! So when I get frustrated, I remember what I knew I was getting in to when I went GM. Like you, I wish the car was another brand! However, it is what it is, and I do love the car! So far, no regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Honestly, Even with how much I do enjoy this vehicle, I am almost wishing I could turn it in, get my down payment back, and just go with another company. My level of disgust with Chevrolet is quite considerable, but I love the car. It really is a love hate relationship. But the frustrating thing is, not only do I write a check every month for the car, but they our even using my (our) money that I rather they wouldn't have in order to operate. I mean if you get bailed out, at least learn from it. Thats the frustrating part.
 

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That dealer did Chevy no favors for sure.

My experience with Bachman Chevy in Louisville KY was the exact opposite. The salesman, Lee Hysinger, was respectful of my time and very knowledgeable about the Volt. The one time I've had service done, (rotate tires) was quick, efficient, and again very customer focused.

I'd recommend Bachman to anyone.

It's all about the dealer. Maybe Tesla has it right.
 

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Honestly, Even with how much I do enjoy this vehicle, I am almost wishing I could turn it in, get my down payment back, and just go with another company. My level of disgust with Chevrolet is quite considerable, but I love the car. It really is a love hate relationship. But the frustrating thing is, not only do I write a check every month for the car, but they our even using my (our) money that I rather they wouldn't have in order to operate. I mean if you get bailed out, at least learn from it. Thats the frustrating part.
I feel for you but every enthusiast car forum out there today has these same "buyer/dealer frustration stories"- from Audi to Porsche to BMW- we will all have a similar experience one day no matter what brand we drive.
 

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That sucks about your experience. Seems like it is mostly a dealer problem as opposed to a GM/Chevy problem (except for the Onstar issue). I hope you blasted that dealership in the survey GM sent you.
 

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Bad service department, shoddy setup. Really not much to do with GM. A couple of issues with bumper fitting and hatch. You only have two dealerships to work with in your area? I'd be hunting for a good service shop.
 

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For me GM is a company that makes great cars. But the dealer franchises are often terrible and give GM a bad name. There are a few good dealers out there but the rest make them all look bad. I'm not sure what GM can do to address this.
 

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Original comments removed after seeing dealer response below. Kudo's to Jason @ Courtesy Chevrolet for responding, I wish both parties well.
 
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mace85,

I read your comments with great concern, that we had dropped the ball in so many areas. I appreciate the feedback that Eric and Leon did a good job, but I agree that the entire Courtesy Chevrolet team needs to meet and exceed your expectations. The fact that we did not, is not acceptable. I personally would appreciate your contacting me at the dealership so I can address the areas you mention, and get them fixed.

I thank you for pointing our that Courtesy is not the ""mega dealer conglomerate” and is notorious for being sleazy and underhanded". We are family owned and operated since 1955 and our success has been through happy Courtesy Customers. Our number one aim is to retain our happy customers, hence reasons why we offer the three years or free oil changes with your purchase.

In addition or online reputation illustrates that we have many happy customers. Our aim is to make you one of these happy customers. Please do call me at the dealership and the entire Courtesy team is here to help you get these issues fixed.

Regards

Jason Church
Sales Director
 

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Sorry, to hear about your problems, sounds like they will be addressed. We bought our Volt from a New Jersey dealership, and have been very satisfied with the service at the local dealer now King Chevrolet in Longmont, Co. Wish they had been allowed to sell the Volt when it first came out, but things have worked well for us.
 

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I'm encouraged to see your dealer respond here. Please keep us informed.

My experience with the selling dealer was not 100% perfect (a $10 dealer "mistake" on confirmed pricing), but my battery was 90% charged, the gas tank filled, and the car was clean excepting some slight windshield smearing.

My experience with my servicing dealer has been above and beyond (a realigned passenger airbag cover that was off 1/8", the passenger side front bumper/fender matchup, the free battery tunnel upgrade, some parts I ordered, new tires mounted). They did what they said in a timely manner without a hitch. Very friendly as well. The plastic bumper fit seems to be a materials issue. Plastic expands/contracts differently than steel and it has less rigidity). Perahsp AZ heat aggravates it, but GM could improve that I think. Mine was off by 1/8 inch. More felt than seen.

There is now way that the car should have left with the bumper that way, or the stupidly sharp corners near the brake lights, that will slice you hand open when you clean the window. Another example of amazingly poor panel fit..
I was a bit confused by the hand slicing sharp corner you referred to near the rear tail lights. I have nothing like this. Could you post a picture?

As far as closing the hatch, like the front hood, it's meant to be dropped not pushed closed. I'm not sure which method you used to close yours.

I can say that the vast majority of new car issues do get resolved, though sometimes parts delays can be encountered. I'm sorry your experience was not as smooth as mine, but my car has really been a gem from day one and two years on, it still is.

Finding a good servicing dealer should not be so hard, but in some areas it is. This is one reason Tesla is fighting against the dealer model. Unfortunately, there are plenty of dealers from all the brands that continue to give Tesla ammunition.
 

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Getting past your unfortunate experience(s) with your current dealer, the feeling of driving a truly great car will become stronger with each day you are behind the wheel. Guaranteed! I love my Volt!
 

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I don't know for sure, but I believe that the OnStar Remote Link app requires connection with wifi in order to work. Also, your Volt must also be within a cell phone signal area. I have found that if those two criteria are met, the app works. I don't think that the app will revert to 3G (or 4G) if it cannot pick up a wifi signal. At least, that has been my experience so far.
I have no problem using RemoteLink on cell data, as long as the signal is good - either on android or on iOS.
 
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Onstar Remote App-

So many times the actions (and in-actions) of a dealer cause an owner of an otherwise great car to feel like he has dog poop on the sole of his shoe. I was surprised that the director of sales bothered to respond on this topic because, in my view, the actions of the worker bees reflect the attitude of management. In my view, management, including the owner (family owned), does not believe in meeting or exceeding the customer's expectations. To use an ancient saying, a fish stinks from the head. I would seriously consider traveling many miles for the very infrequent servicing[…]


I don't know for sure, but I believe that the OnStar Remote Link app requires connection with wifi in order to work. Also, your Volt must also be within a cell phone signal area. I have found that if those two criteria are met, the app works. I don't think that the app will revert to 3G (or 4G) if it cannot pick up a wifi signal. At least, that has been my experience so far.

Getting past your unfortunate experience(s) with your current dealer, the feeling of driving a truly great car will become stronger with each day you are behind the wheel. Guaranteed! I love my Volt!

The OnStar Remote Link App is cell based. Celluar Wireless Network for Driod and iPhone/iPad Portable devices.

ps. To the IT Sales Manager at Courtesy Chevrolet- Well done Mr. Church!

Best-

Thomas J. Thias

Sundance Chevrolet Inc.

517-622-6081

Twitter- @AmazingChevVolt
 

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What caught my eye here was "Courtesy Chevrolet" from which I purchased my very first new car (1970 Camaro) when I was a teenager in El Paso. I wonder if they are related.

And this is one of the several reasons I hope to develop my new website "www.AskMeAboutMyVolt.com" - not for the purpose of me making a dime off the website, but a possible way for potential buyers to connect with actual folks who own a Volt.

Not all sales experiences are bad ones, and in fact my buying experience at my dealership was positive with the salesman, I just am at a loss why my dealership isn't doing more to promote this incredible car. When I was looking at Volts originally, my dealership here in Central Texas was nearly hiding the one or two they had, back in the south pasture where a casual "tourist" never would bother to explore.

In regard to your bumper and finish and fit issues, I want to be on record that I loathe UAW. I am not anti-union, it's just that this union has a particularly vile, disgusting and dark history when "Quality was job none"... and fit and finish is a UAW problem, not an issue with the Volt. I think UAW is getting fat and lazy again. Do an internet search for "UAW sabotage" and see the dirty laundry associated with these scoundrels from the 70s and 80s. (And at that time. executive management on the corporate side was asleep at the wheel too, so the blame is spread around quite a bit...)
Sorry for my rant, but I have old baggage on some crappy GM products I bought and my parents were burdened with as well.

That being said, my 2012 Volt (probably the least pampered Volt on the planet) is still flawless after nearly 17,000 miles. I got lucky, the UAW must have been in a good mood when mine was on the assembly line.

Good luck to you. It seems you have a lot of "Volt Fellowship" out there in Phoenix. And God forbid, if you got a BLACK Volt in Phoenix, you need to have your head examined (as I do) but contact me anyway so I can send you my black magnetic bumper stickers.
 

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My level of disgust with Chevrolet is quite considerable, but I love the car. It really is a love hate relationship.
The problem is that state laws and state legislators make sure that you have to go through dealers, and it's really the dealer you're complaining about. That can be good or bad. Chevrolet does have levers to pull but the truth is unless you allow the manufacturer to sell directly it cannot control the buying experience. Also note that GM wanted to close many more under performing dealers during the bankruptcy but Congress didn't allow it to do that. It directed tax dollars to well connected businesses. A missed opportunity IMO.

I think the fact your dealer responded here is very positive. Your experience may be the exception that proves the rule. You'll find out.

I did not expect GM to give me the same level of service I got with Acura. And I was absolutely right about that!
The last two Acura dealers I went to offered totally different customer experiences. One was great. One completely sucked. Funny and odd thing is ... same ownership! How that was possible is beyond me. (We're talking several data points over several years, confirmed by the finance person who processed the paperwork when we bought our last Acura).

FWIW the Chevy dealer, so far, has been better than the better Acura dealer. It's different because the Chevy dealer is much larger, but everything is much better run from the appointment to the check-in down to the waiting room which has comfortable seating, self serve tea/coffee/etc, and TVs.

Very large quality differences.
 

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Got to admit though, Courtesy does have one of the best signs in Arizona. I'm glad to see that they responded to this thread and am interested to see if they stand behind their words and make things right for mace85.

I wish someone in Hamtramck would add "check and adjust hatch closure" to the finishing checklist on the production line-- so many 2013's (including mine) have reported hatch closing issues. It seems that would be a relatively easy and inexpensive thing to correct in Michigan.
 

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I have no problem using RemoteLink on cell data, as long as the signal is good - either on android or on iOS.
Well, I'm not an expert by any means in using my smart phone (android 8^), but yesterday, when I couldn't make a connection with OnStar, I finally got a message that said there was no wifi signal. Perhaps my smart phone needed a stronger signal for 3G use. At least, that is what I am now surmising. It is random and I use the app infrequently when I am out and about.

I can't use it at home because of a total lack of cell phone signal from any of the providers. I have to use a femtocell in the house in order to use my smart phone. But the service provider is not Verizon and OnStar uses Verizon, so no communication with the femtocell 8^(

I guess some more experimentation by me is in order. Sorry that I gave erroneous info.
 

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Thank goodness your nightmare seems to be an exception. I was treated well at my Garden Grove, CA dealer, there were no finance hassles and by my choice I drove out two days after doing the deal. This was in Oct. last year and I have not needed to return yet. I don't use most of the electronic stuff that seems to generate most of the complaints, so maybe that's why I am so content. And the quality of my car--fit and finish--is superb. How can two cars made in the same place draw such diverse comments? Beats me.
 
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