Getting pontiac vibe parts

pontiac
vibe

#1

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A AIRBAG SENSOR. We were hit over two months ago and GM can not find a right impact sensor part number 19184916. GM claims none are available anyplace in country and they can not tell when one may be available. I have gone though half dozen individuals at GM with no end in sight. I am currently trying to work with someone in the GM executive office named Greg Cafferata (313-667-7153). The Vibe has a Toyota twin called the Matrix and the Toyota part number is 89173-09510 and at least 24 of them are available with in 60 mile of the body shop. For six weeks I have been asking about the Toyota part and the body shop will not use it unless someone at GM confirms in writing it is the same part. GM does not know if it is the same and for 6 plus weeks refused to consider the idea and would even look into the compatibility issue. They were at times quite rude and bluntly stated that would never happen. One of them hung up on me. They have softened a little on the idea of the Toyota part but still no end in sight. I continue to pay for and insure a car my wife has not seen in over two months and have no idea when I will have the car back. Help!!!


#2

Sign a waiver stating you don’t care about the air-bag function and get your car back. Buy one of the Toyota sensors and have someone install it. These people are all afraid of being lawyered to death should the system fail in the next wreck…You may never get the “correct” GM part.


#3

It’s not always the dealer’s fault if a part can’t be procured. Sometimes they’re simply not available and are on back-order. Many electronic parts are procured from other countries and this can lead to problems like this. Thank the World Economy for this.
Back-order means it may be a week, month, year, or never before one could be located. This happens with every car maker so GM is not alone.

The reason they are not going to substitute something is because this is a sue-happy country and car makers routinely get sued for far less than this.
They substitute something, a wreck occurs 2 weeks later in which there is a bag malfunction, and many people will be sitting in a law office a few hours later signing papers to get the suit started.

My feeling is that if you think they were rude and hung up on you is that the rudeness could have been a 2 way street. I can understand frustration over things like this but you have to look at it from their perspective also.

Has the body shop considered the possibility of getting one from a salvage yard? Preferably from a vehicle with a trashed engine or transmission and no collision involved?


#4

I’m sure they are as leery of a used part as they would be of the Matrix part. Probably moreso. That’s one reason why vehicles with popped air bags get “totalled” so often. NEW parts are expensive and used ones open a shop up to all kinds of liability.


#5

The car is a 2009 was only 9 weeks old with 3,000 miles when we were hit so I should not have to settle for a used part and/or sign any waiver. I do not think I am being unreasonable. They are required by law to have these parts available.


#6

I’m afraid I have no answer for why they cannot come up with this part but will say that I have seen parts procurement problems with other makes of vehicles.
(Asian/European car tech, not a GM guy)

While I still support the idea of GM not wanting to use a part off of something else (twins or not, many parts are not interchangeable) about all I can suggest is that you could try telling this GM guy to come up with something (how he does it is his problem) or you’re going to fire off a letter to the Feds and the state AG’s consumer protection people and you’re going to mention him by name.

Just a comment here and I don’t know if this would apply or not. Some years ago on a Subaru I ran into a parts problem with a manual transmission. Repeated orders of the part (correct part number verified) only produced an incorrect part to the tune of this happening about 4 times in a row.
Finally the Subaru factory parts rep got involved and after 3-4 hours he was stumped also.

Come to find out that the part (produced overseas) had gone through a production change at the factory and while all of the books/numbers in the U.S. were correct the part was not. The factory had forgotten to show the superceded part number in the latest publications.
Finally, it was figured out and parts (the correct ones) were shipped by air that day and the car was repaired by the end of the week.

Just wondering if these sensors are produced overseas and may exist here in droves; just not under the part number?
Long shot, but things like this do happen.


#7

It’s no surprise GM can’t find the part since GM doesn’t build the Vibe. The Vibe is built by New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) as are the Tacoma, and Corolla, in California. The Matrix is actually built by Toyota, in Ontario. All air bag components are identical and it’s a shame you have been put through this hassle.


#8

I thought they were both built in the sme plant in California as a joint venture with Toyota and GM. GM pulled out of the deal and Toyota shut the plant down just recently idleing about 5000 people. Maybe they moved it to Ontario then. At any rate go get the part and bring it to the shop where they can compare the two. Should be evident. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself.


#9

The body shop will not accept the Toyota part unless GM gives them a written statement that the part are “functionally idential” and GM as of yet has been unwilling or unable to do so.


#10

When GM declared bankruptcy, owners of their past products are pretty much on their own. The “new” GM will have little interest in supplying parts for Pontiac branded orphan vehicles…A used GM part or a new Toyota part will probably be your only options. You are making this more complicated than it has to be…


#11

The fact that 2 parts look identical does not mean they will interchange though. There could very well be internal electronic differences and if so this means that during a future collision the bags may not deploy. That in turn could mean a lawsuit.

A quick read about NUMMI clears the murkiness up a bit. Closed down, no listed phone number, GM pulled out of the venture in 6/09 along with shelving the Pontiac brand, etc, etc. so the OP may be a victim of circumstance here.
Car makers are required to support a brand for 10 years after production (but support does not mean instant parts availability either) but if the company (NUMMI) no longer exists then who does one go after?

I can start to see where the GM guy might be between a rock and a hard place although it’s a shame the OP has to go through something like this.

When I worked for a large multi-line dealer back in the 80s we went through something like this with Fiat. The company took on the Fiat franchise and getting parts was a near impossibility for us. Even obtaining basics like Fiat OEM air/oil filters was near impossible and we often had to use aftermarket items to service the cars. Nothing wrong with AM stuff but it’s normally not done at a dealer and a number of Fiat owners were perturbed (rightfully so) that we could not obtain these items.
However, our hands were tied and no amount of begging, whining, or threats would get us the parts we needed.

(It was bad enough that we actually had 2 brand new Fiats in the shop (different models) on 2 lifts in the back. These brand new cars were used for pirate purposes in which anything needed to keep a customer car going was removed and used. Kind of a shame to see 2 brand new cars being slowly converted to empty shells.)


#12

I think the 10 years is on GM as they were the marketer of the vehicle.


#13

When it comes to the world of big business, lawyers, incorporation setup, etc. nothing is ever simple and clear cut.
Whether GM can be held legally responsible could be debateable and in spite of financial problems GM still has a ton of lawyers ready to debate anything.


#14

Well, I suppose the accident complicates matters, but seems to me that if GM can not supply appropriate parts to repair the airbag system it would fall under lemon law after some amount of time. If you just had an airbag light indicating the same sensor was just bad, they’d have to fix it within some reasonable amount of time. Like I said, they will argue that an accident negates lemon law, but might be worth checking into that.


#15

What is OP doing for a car in the meantime?

Is the car “done” and they’re waiting on the sensor, or have they not even started work until the part comes?

Were it me, I’d get the vehcile off of them, and drive it, knowing that it is as safe as any old vechile I’ve ever owned that lacked airbags. (Of course, this would be illegal, but obviously safer than legally operating a motorcycle, for instance.)

Also, you have to decide for yourself if you’re convinved the airbag sensor assemblies are “functionally equivalent.” If you are convinced, you need to consider if it would be in your own best interest to pay “out-of-pocket” for the sensor and get the car on the road vs. wait however long for GM to play ball…

(Though you’d probably have to have the car TOWED off the GM lot (and to the next parking lot) as the car isn’t legally operable.)


#16

These people are all afraid of being lawyered to death should the system fail in the next wreck…If the bag does not blow in the next impact they very well might be, it is a bad idea.

.You may never get the “correct” GM part… Yes they will but sometimes it is a ridiculous wait. Since there is none in hte system as of now the dealer can put out feelers to see if other dealers have one. If a dealer does it is up to them if they want to part with it.
I am not siding with GM but I am stating some facts. The Toy sensor might not even plug in and then there is the issue of the module not recognizing it even if it does plug in. If it does not the srs lamp will illuminate and the bag will not blow.


#17

Has the body shop considered the possibility of getting one from a salvage yard? Preferably from a vehicle with a trashed engine or transmission and no collision involved?

FYI only…I have never heard of an insurance company allowing a salvaged srs part to be installed on their dime. I guess they are out there but I have not heard of it.


#18

Just as with a warranty, once accident damage comes into the picture, the manufacturer has no responsibility for a defect.