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· RetroCarGuy530
1,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried to express this point in the "GM Survey" thread that was not appreciated by the site admin(s).

I've created this thread to try and make that point (which I thought was valid within the context of the GM survey thread), but I'll try again (outside of the GM survey thread, which means GM will never read it or hear about it). But anyway....

Do I love the SSR, you bet. I loved it enough to drop $47,000 of my hard earned dollars on it. Did GM get the SSR right, for the most part yes. Did they get several things wrong, unfortunately yes.

If I had to grade the SSR here is how it would go:

A+ Looks
A+ Pride of ownership
A+ Pleasure while driving
A+ Cool factor
A+ Having a hard top convertible
B- Ease of use
C- General features
C- Cargo carrying capability
D+ Reliability

I can appreciate the desire to offer new accessories for the SSR to spiff it up a bit, but my point in the survey thread was that before you can really focus on that level of change, you have to have the basics correct.

Focusing only on how to improve the SSR's accessories is like deciding what kind of holiday decorations to put on your house when the front door won't close, the water heater is leaking on the floor and the furnace won't heat the house. [I think that's what I typed in the other thread ...]

I didn't buy my SSR as an investment. Every new car drops in value as you drive it off of the lot. The thing that really hurt was that GM really didn't care what kind of problems my SSR was experiencing. The local service staff was not trained on the SSR and the "SSR specialist" that was sent out to work on my SSR problems was not a SSR specialist at all. GM refused to let me talk to this "specialist" and the one problem "the specialist" was to have fixed (of the eight on the list) he really didn't fix it since the problem occurred again as I drove it off of the lot.

After three months of complete service department hell with my SSR (mainly since GM would not step up and fix things), I had to get rid of it. I purchased my GM extended service plan and I figured I'd keep the SSR for at least 10 years (at a minimum). I had to get rid of my SSR after 3 months, taking a $13,000 loss. I knew the SSR was overpriced when I purchased it, but I again figured I'd kept it for a very long time so it didn't make a difference, at the time.

Every automobile sold today should be able to perform at minimal level that allows it to be driven to perform its basic job of transportation. My SSR was a daily driver and that means I need it to be out of the service department more time than it's in it. During my 3 months of ownership, my SSR was in 13 times for a wide variety of issues and I can only say that a few of the long list of problems were every addressed successfully.

The thing that really "broke the camel's back" for me was the fact that GM and the local service department REFUSED to fix my SSR's 1st-to-2nd gear extremely harsh shifting problem, even though a TSB existed for the problem. The GM regional rep "never had time" to stop by and confirm and sign off on my SSR tranny problem. The fact that they even needed to do this was upsetting enough since the problem had been reproduced and a TSB was located by the service manager (second service manager since the first one was fired).

GM and the local service department did everything they could to make it harder for me. That's not the way it should work.

GM should pay attention to this kind of input as well and "get the basics" right. It will reduce their warranty costs, the amount of wasted time in the local service departments and it might actually allow people to drive the SSR on a daily basis (what a concept).

· Registered
196 Posts
I must not be critical enough!

Just as mentioned I own a SSR and use it as a daily driver.( Not in the winter).

Having an 03 #201 my car should be the most unreliable due to its early build date

The plant had employee's right out of McDonalds putting them together and only 1

week practice. :eek

Taking this into account the SSR I have has been great. There have been a lot of

little things that needed looking after and this site and a very little help from my

dealer we got them sorted.

My point is that either I am not critical enough or dam lucky. ;)

Or do you think that most of our cars are good daily drivers. :cool

Sorry you had a bad experience but you are in the minority. :grouphug

Scott Doran #201 21,896 Km :seeya

· RetroCarGuy530
1,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

I'm very pleased to hear that you have a SSR that is reliable. That's what you paid for and that's what you should expect.

I know I'm not the only one on this site that has had get rid of their SSR because of the number of problems and lack of knowledge within the local service department to solve the problem and GM would not step up to assist in findng solutions.

A person/company is not/should not be measured on how they behave when things are going well/easy, but how they behave when things go wrong/badly!!

In May 2003, we purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna (VIN 266). The Sienna in general and my particular Sienna has had a number of problems. The first month of ownership the Sienna spent 21 days in the shop. Story sounds the same as my SSR, but the BIG difference being that the local service department manager stepped in and found solutions. There were a few more problems over the next year of ownership (gas tank recall, steering intermediate shaft recall, sliding door latch replacement, dash making tons of popping/noises, rear hatch struts wouldn't work well when cold, power steering hoses could pop off when cold, tranmission shifts harshly). The difference being that Toyota and my local service department worked with me as a team to solve the problems. I actually had more problems with the Sienna than I did with the SSR, but the SSR was spending far more time in the shop and getting ZERO fixed.

The local Chevy service department was also getting tired of trying to fix things and that's when the excuses started to fly out of the mouths. The service manager was fired (partly to do with my complaints to the dealership owner and many other customer complaints). The new service manager promised to work with me. That lasted about two weeks until the excuses started to spew out of his and his employee's mouths (again). GM customer support was totally worthless. They would promise research and callbacks that NEVER took place. The regional GM rep that was to come by and approve a repair to my transmission would never do it (four weeks - no show) even though a TSB (non SSR TSB but a tranmission TSB) exists for the 03/04 style auto tranny stating that a 1st-to-2nd gear harsh shift condition exists and that a valve body needed to be replaced. Prior to the new service manager finding this TSB all they would ever say is "that's the way it is - what do you expect it's a truck".

I purchased my SSR on 6/11/04 and until I traded it in on 9/8/04 it was in the shop 13 times. Virtually every week it was in for numerous issues that would not get resolved or they would get worse after each visit or the "what do you expect" excuse crap would again fly out of their mouths.

Two different dealerships and two different corporations behind them. Similar situations and the end result being that GM didn't care enough or at all, while Toyota and the local Toyota service department did care and we worked together to find solutions.

It was a very sad day when I traded in the SSR. I just loved the concept and when it was out of the shop and I ignored the long list of problems, I could almost enjoy it. I had to be practical about my daily driver and the SSR I had was not viable as a daily driver and any way/shape/form.

Does that mean all SSRs are that bad, I wouldn't want that to be the case for anyone.

GM has proven to me that my purchasing dollars will likely not go in their direction ever again (although I would love to have another SSR that worked correctly).

GM did not measure up very well at all under the stress of supporting their customer (me). :(

· Registered
435 Posts
I, like many, purchased my SSR out of love of cars/trucks. I dreamed of owning an SSR from the outset of its first unveiling, though never thought I would. Well, an opportunity came about, and I own one!

My SSR is a daily driver as I gave up my '04 Trailblazer, my '02 PT Cruiser, and sold my boat to own it! I believe that when you purchase a vehicle like the SSR, in its birthing years, you have to make a commitment if you are in the working class such as most of us. It's like raising a family, you make a commitment to have children, and for those of you who do, you know the problems they present and what you have to do to fix them. Well, I have been lucky so far in that I have had no major issues with my SSR. Oh yes, I have some rattles, squeeks and slight adjustment issues, but I expected some when I bought it. Be realistic, this is only the second year of this vehicle guys! How many years does it take to raise a child and get it right?

I DO NOT think GM is living up to their responsibilities, but neither do I think they are sidestepping issues because they don't want to deal with them. I just think that they don't have all the correct fix it answers for our issues. If you have read the threads here, it shows that the dealerships and their service people are not trained properly for our SSR problems, and I don't feel they can be, as no one but an owner of an SSR has had any experience with them. Years ago as a new father, I knew nothing of raising my kids, so I learned as I went along. While there are basic mechanical, electrical, and similarities in all vehicles, they all have their subtle differences, especially in a concept car brought to life.

Please do not get me wrong here, I am not siding with any one side as I think everyones issues are valid, but believe we all have to be realistic with what we are dealing with, and patient with each other and our issues getting fixed. Even life is not perfect.

Thanks Troy and Marc for this great site where we can voice our opinions.


· RetroCarGuy530
1,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hugh is right, you have to expect some issues with a new production vehicle. I did expect some but I also expected some support from GM. There wasn't any GM support no matter how many phone calls I made, how many times I researched the issues and presented info to the local service department / GM customer service rep, nor when I told GM and the local service department that either the fix the basic power train issues or a buyback was going to be initiated.

The SSR has many components of the Trailblazer EXT in it. That means many of the components of the SSR should be a bit more reliable/real world tested than brand new parts designed from scratch.

I've been rebuilding, restoring and repairing cars/trucks/outboard motors for over 30 years before stepping into my SSR. Did I expect to have some problems, of course I did especially since I had an early 03. As I mentioned above, my 04 Sienna had just put me through a year of problems that would have driven most people to the edge and it didn't because Toyota, my local Toyota service department and I all worked together to identify, isolate and repair the problems.

With regard to my SSR the only person that would work to identify, isolate and repair problems was me. I solved numerous rattle/noise issues on my SSR that would have baffled the local service department to total confusion. The local service manager was impressed when I explained what I had done before bringing the SSR in for work, but I can only do so much.

Even today, my Sienna has a few rattles here and there that kind of drive me a little nuts because a solution cannot be found for them. I've learned to accept them and ignore them.

Did I expect my SSR to be perfect, of course not, nothing in life is perfect. What I did expect is GM to step up and work to solve the major problems with my SSR and they did near nothing to work on anything.

Most responses I receive to my comments are similar in that they state "my ssr has not been that much trouble". That's WONDERFUL. I pray that you don't run into the problems I had with my SSR. My statements are trying to point out that when you do run into problems, it's very likely that GM won't be there to help you through the situation.

Again the measure of a company is best measured when they're under stress. GM would still look wonderful in my eyes if my SSR was trouble free, since I would not have exercised the "repair system" to try and get things resolved. If your measure of how GM handles things is that you've taken your SSR for its oil changes, I don't thing you stressed the GM repair system all that much. My first LOF change went quite well.

All of the vehicles pictured in my Newsweek photo link are first/second year of production vehicles. Were they all perfect, heck no (the 03 Honda Civic Hybrid - darn near perfect!! and talk about new technology for a car!!!!)

The best I can say to anyone that thinks I'm being overcritical, step back for a moment from your SSR experience and look at the situation from my point of view. You might understand my extreme love for the SSR since I worked like crazy to try and get the issues resolved. If your SSR was in the shop EVERY week, and nothing was getting fixed or they refused to fix documented items that have existing TSBs, how would you feel?

If you still don't understand where I'm coming from, then I guess there's nothing I can every say to make you see things from my point of view. That's life I guess. :)

· Premium Member
222 Posts
Sour Grapes

With all the wordiness of it all, Shiftz33 still seems to have lots of attachments about the SSR he has traded.
I been many times discusted with the SSR and I have made my feeling known in the past threads but I can't find any other vehicle that will bring me such pleasure as the SSR so I am keeping mine, almost like the vow I made with my significant other.
There are some things in like you just live with and SSR is that thing for me.
After nearly 1 year of ownership, I still get chills and grin when I walk out to see my SSR.
the Z roadster is a beautiful car and should be happy with it and let go your feeling about the SSR and the GM.
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