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Dear Tom and Ray
This letter is to thank you for your column on GM power steering problems. I, too, was having a problem with the steering on my 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier wagon. It was just as you described; it was hard to turn the wheel for the first few minutes when the car was cold. Since the mileage was under 50,000 (49,000+), I took the wagon to the Chevy dealership and told them I wanted the problem fixed for free. They told me that they were unable to fix it free because it was more than five years old. I told them this was unacceptable, at which time I was given the telephone number of the "Customer Assistance Center" in Detroit. A gentleman there said he would start a "case file" based upon the "under 50,000 miles" claim. To make a long story short, after several more conversations, I was told that they would fix it for free. I just wanted to let you know what a valuable service your column provides. Keep up the good work!!
Jean

TOM Well, Jean, we're glad you got your car fixed. GM has said it will fix for free the power steering rack of any GM car less than five years old or with less than 50,000 miles on it.

RAY But fixing any car outside those limits is at the discretion of the company. And even when the company is willing to pay the bill, individual GM dealers may give you a hard time because they make much less profit on warranty work.

TOM You were lucky Jean. You could have gotten the same response my brother gives me when I ask him to pick up the tab at dinner, but you didn't. If anyone else reading today is in the same situation, ask your dealer for the company's toll-free Customer Assistance number and try insisting (nicely). If they won't fix it for free, they might at least offer to pick up some portion of the cost.

RAY By the way, Jean, I'm not sure GM shares your sentiments about the "good work" we've been doing.

TOM Yeah. A couple of "executive types" came by to take us for a ride in one of their new models the other day. We couldn't figure out why there were four of us in the car, but only the two of them had shovels.
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