To Whom it May Concern:
Dec. 11 exitinbg a parking lot onto an outer road along Interstate 270 in St. Louis, MO. We had traveled 1/10 th of a mile, shifted from 1st to 2nd gear on a curve when the steering locked up. I slammed on the brakes and could smell the rubber burning. The car began excellerating at this time. My wife and I, she was passenger, were on a curve when we began to leave the road headed for a large
concrete drainage ditch about 6ft.in diameter with my wife side of the car aiming directly for her head. We hit a bump which verred our auto toward the driveway of Enterprise Leasing Co. And up over the drive into the curb on the other side hard and blew out 3 tires and took us airborne and spun us 360* and then landed on the other side of the drive with the trunk of the car down in the ditch and the nose of the car in the air with a 45* angle approximately. We landed pointed in the opposite direction from which we were driving. Terror was in both our eyes and we could not get out of the auto fast enough but assistance had to arrive to help us out of the vehicle.
We contacted several people after this incident, GM, FTC, NHTSA, Attorney General of MO, Mr. Paul Ellis/ESIS for GM and Mr. Christian Swanson GM Corporate Executive. To save time here I will list all contact numbers at the end of this complaint.
After we filed our complaints and recieved no satisfaction we pursued other avenues. An EAA engineer was assigned to us and we spoke at great length on the phone. Half the conversation was focused on the motion prior to the crash. He "asked did we make any stops or turns prior to the crash." We stopped 3 times and made 4 turns within about a 50-75 foot distance. The 2nd stop was to fasten seatbelt The last stop preceded a left turn onto the outer road of the highway. According to this EAA engineer, Mr Chuck Fisher, Who said he had no connection to GM, yet was hired and paid by GM to examine our vehicle. This did not add up. He said that these stops and turns played an extremely important role in this crash. Documentation from GM, ODI, and NHTSA clearly state voltage problems playing key role. Our vehicle history we supplied to all those we filed our complaints with, was listed voltage battery problems throughout the life of the vehicle. Every 6-7 days the car needed a jump if it had not been started. CHEVUSA came to our home several times to jump our Vet.
The recall 43256 for GM clearly states that ECL failure causes steering to lock and a crash occurs without warning. Whenever the power supply is interrupted and low voltage occurs.
GM's fix was to either replace part on auto trans. And reprogram. And replace on manual transmission. When the ECL was removed from the automatics the problem was resolved permanently. But when left in place repeat incidents occured. GM's 04060A stated that approximately 121,000 autos involved since July. We became a statistic as well but fell on deaf ears. We lost our steering, auto excellerated upon braking. Our air bags did not deploy. So many failures with one vehicle we were blessed that neither of us were seriously injured. Our Corvette was totalled, the frame was bent, was much body damage, 3 tires blown, no brakes, no airbags.
We were and have been treated with little respect. We wanted our car replaced, that's all. We asked for nothing else. But years have passed now with no satisfaction. Our Vet had only 35,000 miles on it.
It was in mint condition prior to this. Canary yellow with a black convertible top. There was not a place we traveled that we did not get a compliment of it! I know that we are just one of millions that buy autos but 36 other 2003 Corvette owners had this happen to them and they were rewimbursed with eith a car or price paid for the car less any reasonable depreciation by General Motors Corp. For their crashes due to a locked steering column. Are we not entitled to this as Americans and consumers?
Complaint FTC #25068104, NHTSA #10297619-brief #10297708
EAA Engineer Chuck Fisher will supply phone numbers on request.
He confirmed, the manufacturer, General Motors hired him.