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Are auto companies required to make replacement parts available for a minimum amount of time ? Need a drain pan for a 2003 CTS and none can be had and will not be made.

No requirement I know of. Have you tried ebay? A junkyard?

there you go.

Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my memory, I seem to recall an FTC regulation requiring car manufacturers to have parts available for 7 years. Does anyone else recall that time frame, or am I mis-remembering that detail?

Somewhere in my memory I too seem to remember having been told that manufacturers have to produce parts for a set period after discontinuation of product. The term of 20 years seems stuck in my memory.

But I coonfess that I don’t know if it’s true or even where to look to find out.

Back in the 1950’s, my Dad claimed that the time was 10 years. I don’t know if that was true back then or if any time limit exists today. I did hear that the Tecumseh company that made lawn mower engines and refrigeration compressors went out of business last year and that no parts are available for the small engines Tecumseh produced. My son has an Amana refrigerator that is 7 years old and the Tecumseh compressor failed. The service technician was able to substitute a compressor made by a diffeent company. Unfortunately, with automobiles, the part is made specifically for the particular year and model.

The only requirement I know is parts for the emission control system over the 8+ years or so and mileage that it has to be guaranteed.

When the bailout took place, GM and Chrysler had to pledge to the US and Canadian governments that the cars discontinued (Pontiac, Saab, etc.) would have their warranty honored by the GM and Chrysler dealers and warranted parts would be available. The minute the warranty ends, those owners are on their own; it’s already hard for owners of late model Saturns to find specific parts.

Chrysler has a reputation for calling all parts over 10 years “obsolete”, and only the aftermarket suppliers will tend to carry those parts.

Your CTS problem is quite normal; a slow selling car whcih GM likes to forget about is not high on their list.

In my experience, only Volvo and Mercedes try to keep parts available for very old cars.

On the same theme, a Consumer Reports reader had an 8 year old GE wall oven, and could not get a normal wear part since GE had stopped supplying them.

  1. Why do you need a drain pan? If it’s “stripped threads,” you might find it economical to have the threads re-tapped.
  2. An oil drain pan isn’t really a “wear item,” and a used one ought to be acceptable.

Worst case I know of was a Packard Bell laser printer I had many years ago. It cost $400, broke two years after purchase, I brought it to their “authorized repair center”, and the tech there found a broken plastic part. He apologized…the model had been obsoleted and parts were no longer available. I contacted the home office (found through Dunn & Bradstreet), and was told that the tech was correct…parts would not be provided for repair. I wrote a letter telling them that for $400 I did not consider this a disposable product. They sent me a free toner cartridge (for a broken machine) and a $50 credit toward a new $400 laser printer. Of course ink jet printers had just come on the market and were available for about $150 or less.

I called the shop that did the diagnosis, to which I owed $175 at that point. He expressed his frustration with PB’s attitude and said he had other PB printers needing parts that he couldn;t fix either. I offered to give him mine as a parts unit in exchange for what I owed him. He happily agreed. I then went out and bought an ink jet printer.

Packard Bell went bankrupt.

My experience with a multi-purpose Brother fax/printer/scanner was more favorable. When this machine started acting up after 8 years of faithful service, I called the authoized repair dealer and they happily inforned me that there was a recall on it, and they still had the troubled part in stock. The cost of the fix was $0 and I finally sold it for $50 when I bought a Brother multi-purpose laser unit.

It seems Brother cares.

When car companies stop making the parts there are still many in existance, new in the box ( aka ‘new old stock’ ), but they do not hang on to these items,
they sell them all…
To jobber warehouses known as “obsolete houses”.
Most of these work with the dealers and do not sell to the general public so you’ll need to ask your dealer to call the “obsolete house”, like Vintage Parts in Wisconsin .

I wasn’t able to find any regulations regarding a certain minimum time limit an auto manufacturer is required to provide replacement parts for a model it produced. I own a Toyota and I was always able to find Toyota parts at local dealers. A suggestion would be to bind a body shop that has your model or get a more popular car for witch there are always replacement parts.