Problems With GM Certified Warranties

Potential Problems

GM declared bankruptcy on June 1, 2009, and fears abound that certified vehicles will not receive the service covered under their warranty as dealers start closing. Used car advocate website recently showed that these certified pre-owned vehicles will continue to receive work covered under warranty until dealerships close, and said, " ... you may have to drive a little farther but there will still be twice as many GM service centers as Toyota centers."

Saturn owners, have particularly had trouble finding dealerships to service vehicles still under warranty, according to managing editor for the auto section of Consumer Reports Magazine, John Linkov. His blog cited GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson's appearance on CBS Early Show, where he said that GM had no intention of not taking care of its customers.

Warranty Service Awaits

Saturn customers are urged to contact customer service, and Linkov cited a GM public relations officer's comments that GM dealers are turning Saturn owners away but "some may be misinformed," and Saturn owners can still take their vehicles to GM dealers other than Saturn.

The response from GM said that customer service was available, even at Saturn dealers, and that Saturn Customer Assistance Centers in the U.S. or General Motors of Canada Limited could answer questions for customers needing warranty service.

The now bankrupt company that still boasts "the best coverage in America," states on a website FAQ page, "New GM will assume the obligations to support the express warranties issued by GM to its customers."

Government Intervention

There is worry that the recent announcement about government intervention could cause problems for people with warranties. NY Times writer, Christopher Jensen blogged about the new plan that the Obama administration announced to cover new GM vehicles bought in the U.S. or overseas. The solution to ensure that warranties are covered will set up special warranty accounts to be used if the automaker runs out of money, Jensen wrote.

Linkov said there are still more questions than answers about this process.

Vehicle Requirements

Another problem that people may run into is that their used GM vehicles may not meet the requirements in order to hold a certified warranty. According to, those requirements that must be met for a vehicle to be certified.

Vehicles must be a 2003 or newer model. As of Sept. 13, 2008, vehicles were required to have no more than 75,000 miles on them to qualify for certification, according to the site.

Customer Service Contact Information

The following contact information is available for Saturn:
Saturn Information Center (to request literature):
1-800-522-5000 (Saturday hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

Saturn Customer Relations Center (for Saturn owners):

Saturn for persons with disabilities (GM Mobility Center):
1-800-323-9935 The Wall Street Journal reported just before 2000, GM spent about $3.5 billion a year paying dealers for repairs to vehicles that are under warranty in North America. At the end of 2007, the amount for warranty payments was $4.46 billion.

According to a June, 2009, report in USA Today, GM seeks to cut 1,550 dealers, perhaps making it more difficult to find a dealership that can work on your vehicle under warranty.