In the middle of September, GM rolled out its ambitious plan to guarantee that buyers would love their GM cars. If not, GM would take the cars back for a full refund.
According to the rules, an unhappy owner could return a car after 30 days of ownership and before 60 days. Now that 30 days has passed since the program launched, how is the General doing on his promise?
Well, pretty good so far! According to autoMedia.com, only one car has been returned. Yup, one.
But there’s a little more to the story. GM has sold about 150,000 vehicles since the program started, but only about 100 folks accepted the guarantee offer. The other 149,900 people took $500 cash instead of the guarantee.
Plus, we’re only just now getting to the point where those 100 people will become eligible to return their cars. The program ends on November 30, so it’ll be interesting to see final numbers come the end of January.
Perhaps the bigger story here, though, is that so few people are taking GM up on its offer. Either customers are already GM fans and sure they’ll love their cars, or they’re just looking for a bargain and figure they’ll like the cars enough that another $500 off the price is worth more than the hassle of trying to bring a car back.
Because it turns out returning a car isn’t like returning a sweater at Walmart. Unhappy buyers can’t just pull up to the dealer, get a refund, and take the bus home. According to the GM web site:
The customer will need to return the vehicle to the original selling/participating dealer. In addition, the customer will need to contact the administrator of the program and submit required documentation. Once the administrator has reviewed and verified the documentation requirement, the customer will be contacted to take the vehicle to the selling dealer to have the vehicle appraised.
Sounds to me like that process leaves a lot of room for “the administrator” to find reasons to not take a car back. But even with a bunch of hoops to jump through, I trust GM will hold up its end of the bargain for those who want to return a car.
If you were buying a GM vehicle, would you want the 60-day guarantee or the $500? I think I’d negotiate both!