Update: Electrical and\or Flickering Light Issues

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by bjgriswold, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. bjgriswold

    bjgriswold Guest

    I have been working on this "known" issue for some time with my
    dealership in Santa Rosa, CA. I own a 2001 L300.

    I was experiencing only flickering headlights and dashboard lights in
    the beginning, just before my 36K mile warranty ended. I notified the
    dealership and requested a fix. They gave me the corporate line -
    "This is a known problem and there is no fix. This is not a safety

    Yikes. I think this is what Firestone said about their tires.

    The problem worsened to the point where I could reproduce it at will
    by moving the windows up and down, or putting any kind of load on the
    system. It even got to the point where my sound system would cut out
    for 1-2 seconds as I turn up my heat, roll up my windows, etc.

    My dealership recommended that I speak with Tennessee and let them
    know my dissatisfaction with the car and the electrical issues. They
    felt that I could somehow make an impact by talking with corporate CS.
    I foolishly believed them.

    What a waste of time!

    could care less about the consumer. They (specifically someone name
    Shawndra) basically told me to get lost. I told her that I would take
    my business to another non-Saturn, non-GM car company and she did not
    care. I have spent over $60K on this line of autos and I will
    definitely not do that again.

    Anyway, I was so livid after the Tennessee phone call, I contact my
    dealership and demanded to escalate the problem to the next level of

    The short story: the area service manager took a ride with me and I
    demonstrated my problems. He decided to remove the battery cables,
    clean them, etc. He reseated the cables and VOILA, I have had no
    problems since.

    YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THEIR PRODUCTS. The dealerships seem to care a
    little bit more, but they spout the company line without applying a
    little independent, analytical thinking. I had talked about this
    problem for months before anyone actually proposed a fix. Doh!

    I believe this electrical problem constitutes a safety issue. The
    flickering of lights (headlights and dashboard) causes the driver to
    become distracted while driving at night. To believe otherwise, is
    negligence. Ultimately, someone will pay a price for this "known
    issue" and Saturn will pay too.
    bjgriswold, Dec 18, 2003
  2. ....sad you've had to go through all of this. Makes me wonder what kind of
    battle the dealer has had with corporate over the issue - did the dealer say
    it would reoccur X miles later?

    This might be a good indicator to look at another automaker the next time
    you're buying. The 04 Saturn's were rated a little behind the times (my
    paraphrase) in a new car buying guide I was browsing through recently.

    The VUE with the Honda V6 does sound neat - then again the Honda Element or
    CRV sound interesting too. I don't know what I'd buy in the car/suv market
    today. Hey, I still like the new Bug.
    Jonnie Santos, Dec 19, 2003
  3. bjgriswold

    Steve Guest

    First, I'm sorry about the aggravation to which you were subjected,
    happy that your service dealer was able to resolve it, and an admirer of
    your persistence. :)
    Second (to be picky), I believe you meant to write "They could *not*
    care less about the consumer," assuming you meant to convey that they do
    not care at all. If they could care less, than they must care at least
    some! :)
    Third, I presume you meant to write "*Based on my experience, I conclude
    had a recent experience with Spring Hill (Tennessee) that was much, much
    different. I submitted my problem to them via their web site. Fortunately
    for me, my inquiry was not picked up by Shawndra, but rather by Carolyn, who
    sent me an e-mail expressing sympathy and promising to forward my request on
    to an area manager at Spring Hill. The area manager contacted me in less
    than 24 hours (as Carolyn said he would) and made what I consider to be a
    reasonable offer to resolve the problem (for more details, search the
    newsgroup for posts by me -- there are not many and they all deal with this
    particular problem).
    Note to other readers of this newsgroup: I caution you to take with a
    small grain of salt claims such as "THE SATURN CORPORATION DOES NOT GIVE A
    SHIT ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS" or "Saturn is wonderful." YMMV (Your Mileage May
    - Steve Turetzky
    Steve, Dec 19, 2003
  4. Although it took several months of complaining to Saturn of Burlington, VT,
    my identical issue was finally resolved by replacing the alternator. But it
    certainly was like butting my head against the wall with Saturn. Three times
    I asked for a corporate contact to discuss the symptoms and I was never
    given a contact. Two other times I emailed Saturn Corp. and my emails were
    unanswered. I was told it was normal until I finally drove it in one evening
    with all of the lights pulsating and they could not deny it. After they saw
    it, they contacted corporate and a week later they authorized a new
    alternator. It has been 3 months so far with no problems. Unfortunately, I
    spent over 8 hours on the road between my house and the dealer an hour away,
    and 8 more hours in the waiting room waiting for service/repairs on this
    single issue, which could have been resolved the first trip if they hadn't
    dragged their feet. What is 16 hours of MY time worth?? A lot more than an

    Dana Rohleder
    2002 LW300
    Dana Rohleder, Dec 19, 2003
  5. bjgriswold

    Ken Knapp Guest

    There is a post on www.saturnfans.com that describes a very similar issue.
    It's in the L-series forum. The lady who posted is heading to arbitration
    over it. I wonder if her problem would be solved the same way as yours?

    Ken Knapp, Dec 20, 2003
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