SMITHFIELD, Va. (WAVY) — The General Motors Corporation is recalling about 682,000 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs due to possible windshield wiper failure. However, GMC doesn’t have the parts to fix the problem.
Virginian John Wayne Warren can’t drive his 2015 GMC Terrain in the rain because the wipers don’t work, and the vehicles are now part of a windshield wiper failure recall. When Warren turns on his wipers, all you hear from the housing under the hood is click, click, click—then nothing.
In March, Warren got a GMC notice stating, “Parts to repair your vehicle are not currently available, but when parts are available, your GMC dealer will inspect the wiper module and repair or replace it as necessary.” The repair or replacement will be done at no charge, the recall notice added.
“That is what I don’t understand,” said Warren. “They told me the parts aren’t available and had no clue when they were going to get the parts.”
Warren’s wipers stopped working two weeks after he received the recall notice. “My fiance was going down the road in heavy rain, and the wipers stopped working,” he said. “She had to pull over and wait for the rain to stop.”
According to a recent consumer report regarding the recall, “The ball joints in the windshield wiper modules may experience high corrosion and wear that could result in the separation of one or more ball joints from the sockets during wiper operation. If a ball joint were to separate, one or both of the windshield wipers could become inoperative.” GMC also points out that not having wipers increases the risk of crashes.
“It’s a crying shame you have to watch the weather on [TV] to see when you can drive your car,” Warren said, adding that he’s been back and forth with GMC——calling emailing, and texting—but they have offered no solutions. “I reached the end of my rope,” he said. “I had nowhere else to go.”
No one at GMC’s media relations department would do a Zoom, FaceTime, or phone interview. However, GMC spokesman Daniel Flores said in a text message: “The customer should go to the dealer and ask if he qualifies for 6 year/150,000 mile special coverage.”
Warren said he had never heard of that, and when he went to a dealership and called another to find out if he qualifies, he was told he does not, and that his warranty has expired on his 2015 vehicle. He could pay for the repair on his own, but it is costly (about $1,000) because the wiper mechanism is buried in a hidden compartment that takes labor to get to and fix.
“If he is not part of special coverage, then he will be notified when parts are available for recall repairs,” said Flores.
“This is the same runaround I have been getting. This has been going on for four weeks without windshield wipers on my car,” Warren told NEWS10’s sister station in Virginia.
GMC stated, “We have announced the recall, but we are not executing it because we need to have our suppliers build the parts to begin repairs. We apologize for any inconvenience. We understand concerns and frustration.”
Warren also has an annual car inspection due in August that he is expected to fail without the wipers working. “This is total insanity in my opinion,” he said.
Consumers with auto-related issues can contact the Better Business Bureau’s auto line, one of many dispute resolution programs.