Flint, Michigan
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Complaint On Behalf Of Bradley Johnson - Bradjohnson008@gmail.com

In early 2010 my wife and I bought a new 2011 Chevrolet Equinox as we were expecting our first child and wanted to have a car we could depend on and have space for our family to grow. We have always bought GM vehicles because both of our fathers worked in GM as well as my grandparents so we have stayed loyal to the brand… up until this vehicle.

When we first bought this vehicle we noticed it was shifting weird and often would shift very hard from first to second gear, and second to third gear. We immediately called Hank Graff Chevrolet in Davison, Michigan and they said it’s just how the engine in that car shifts and the “eco button” also makes it shift this way which is part of the design, and not to worry. At this point we were a little concerned, but took them at their word since they should know how this vehicle operates.

We continued with this issue and commented on it daily as we drove until the car began to shift even harder to the point of our head’s pushing back as if we had a sports car and just hit the gas from a stop light, and experienced the kick-back. Also, when this issue became more problematic we would also approach a stop light and when waiting for the light to turn green you would hear a loud knocking noise in the rear as if someone was under our vehicle hitting the cargo underbody with a hammer.

We brought our car to the dealership and they were very short and rude with us and pretty much said it is normal and we are exaggerating the issue. They ended up reprogramming the computer and changing the timing chain which seemed like some serious repairs for a brand new car and issues that we were apparently overstating.

After several days of repairs we picked the Equinox back up and it was fine for a day or two then the hard shifting and knocking noise came back. Additionally, now when we go in reverse the Equinox also sounds like a diesel engine and it hops slightly with a VERY loud rattling noise. We called the dealership and let them know but it’s hard to bring it in for repairs on a weekly basis with a full-time job and a child to cart around. After several weeks we get a chance to bring the car in again and they do minimal recall work and nothing major saying they can’t reproduce the issue even through it was hardly test drove at that point.

Our day-to-day continues with a growing concern and frustration with our vehicle, but we continue on as if the issues will work themselves out because we don’t have time to keep bringing in this terribly unreliable vehicle. We end up going to get an oil change a few days later and all the techs’ are looking at our “new vehicle” with a lot of concern and notify us our transmission is leaking and how unusual it is for a car with this low of mileage and this new to already be leaking transmission fluid. With this information we have lost all hope in this car and expect very little to no support from the dealership or the “customer service” that we have been given from calling GM themselves.

We are now outside of our warranty and still dealing with the same issues we have had since day 1 with this car because the dealership can’t find out why all of these issues are happening and the GM “customer service” has given us no options on how to move forward other than “pay for an extended warranty” because they know this car is bad, but won’t help to rectify the situation they have put us in.

We just picked our 2011 Equinox back up from the dealership AGAIN today and they had to replace the Cam Shaft Actuators because “the timing was off which is causing the engine to run incorrectly”. This is the second time these parts have been replaced on this vehicle.

GM “Customer Service” has been contacted again and they were wanting to put all blame on the dealership without owning up to the issue that it’s the GM car that’s the issue, not the dealership that has to support the inferior product we have come to expect from GM. At this point we are waiting for a call back from GM about giving us “buy back assistance”. However, after googling about this car and the multiple issues a lot of people have faced with it, it looks like they are going to offer on average $1,500-$2,000 toward a new GM car so I can extend my payments out even further. The dealership has offered a trade-in value that is lower than the amount we owe on this vehicle.

The end result of us taking weeks of our lives, frustration, patience, and staying loyal to a brand is ending with GM essentially telling us “tough luck we sold you a defective car, but here is less money than you owe on your car to get a new one and start a new loan”. At this point I have told all of my GM -loyal family about this issue and they have all backed me and said they will never buy a GM vehicle even though they have retired from the company. It seems they are trying to rectify there image and become a more reliable brand, but it’s individual cases like this that will be the driving force to the end of an American brand.

Repair Recap:

February 2011 – 7,099 miles - Complaint of jerkiness while shifting. Weird shifting.

Action taken – Seat belt recall, nothing done concerning our complaint except charge us for an oil change.

November 2011 – 17,683 miles - Further shifting issues and chugs while driving. Loud ratting and grinding from under hood by engine. Knocking in back. Slow to *** from a stop. Has stalled 2 times driving.

Action taken – Reprogrammed engine control module. Said they couldn’t duplicate the rest.

April 2012 – 22,365 miles - Stalled more times. Knocking in engine and rattling. Still shifts incorrectly. Sputters and stalls while driving. Transmission leak.

Action taken – Replaced Cam Shaft Intake Actuator. Installed new insulator on fuel pump.

November 2012 – 31,530 miles - Vehicle shakes hard while driving and shifting. Service Engine light has started to come on. Has stalled more and still shifts hard. Transmission leak.

Action taken – Replaced High Pressure Fuel Pump.

June 2013 – 39,705 miles – Grinding when starting up. Bounces and loud while reversing. Lacks power accelerating and hard shifting. Idles rough when starting and at stop lights or idling. Transmission leak.

Action taken – Cam Shaft timing replacement. Reprogrammed ECM. Charged us for another unnecessary oil change.

May 2014 – 53,160 miles – Jumps and lurches while shifting between gears still. Still rattling and loud noises while driving and starting car. Stalls intermittently and RPM’s go very low without reason. Knocking still happening under the hood.

Action taken – Replaced Front Wheel Drive Shaft Seal. Replaced water pump. Repaired Balance Shaft Chain. On the phone was told they were replacing the cam shaft actuators again but I don’t see it on my detailed repair sheet?

Reason of review: Damaged or defective.

Monetary Loss: $25000.

Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.

  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevrolet Issues
  • 2011 Equinox
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Same issues, took a hit and traded it in on a Subaru. Praying for the people that buy that car.