Build Quality and GM Concern for Customers

I have been thinking about getting a vette for a looong time and thought it's finally time. The C6 seems to have fewer build problems than any predecessor and looks great to me. However, the problems with the fly-away
tops, GM's evident slow and sloppy response to the problem, and dubious dealer service make me hesitate to plunk down what for me is a significant part of my savings. There also seems to be a lot of anecdotal problems with the C6. Plus, who knows if GM will even be around in 5 years. I'm sure they could sell off the Corvette brand, but it's still a concern. I'd like to hear from actual C6 owners: have you had problems, how long have you had the car, and if you had any issues, was it all worth it in the end?
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Lots of C6's in our Corvette club. The folks that have them speak highly of the build and quality. I have a C5 and am looking for a C6 with specific options. When I find it (if the price is right), I plan to buy it. No reservations about a C6 here... - Bill

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'However, the problems with the fly-away tops, GM's evident slow and sloppy response to the problem, and dubious dealer service make me hesitate to plunk down what for me is a significant part of my savings. '
REPLY: The roof problem was only for a certain VIN range ; my 06 did not qualify i was told when i took it in . Dont know about Dealer Service as ive never had to take it in. Like anything else, there are good Dealerships and bad ones ; you can find out how their Service Depts ranks with a bit of investigation.
'There also seems to be a lot of anecdotal problems with the C6.'
REPLY: Ive had none. Ive been told by C5 prior owners that their new C6 was a huge jump in quality .
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dave wrote:

My roof is fine but I have seen a few roof problems (2) that were outside the VIN range. You can always order a vert or car with Transparent top if Flying Roof Syndrome bithers you.
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Describe "slow and sloppy" and how it can realistically be handled better.

Tell us about the "anecdotal problems" that you've heard about.

Not from my point of view, if you have a trouble free C5 how do you get a huge jump in quality with a C6? I've said it from the beginning that the C6 is jingle bells added to the C5 technology and should have been called the C5.1. If you are told long enough that it's better it can seem that way, ask Chrysler, they've had a great ad campaign to do that for years. Both the C5 and the C6 are great cars.
By the way do you think the painted trim on the dash is quality or just a half hearted suck up try to add the bling of the ricers to the C6? To me it cheapened the interior.

Good point and like the convertible owners keep telling us there is no other Corvettes, but then I'm happy with the transparent top.
Personally I've had no dealer problems but then I live in a small community and have been on a first name basis for years.
The nimrod that started the fly away roof thread threw out a bunch of failures he couldn't back up with a dealer name. Tells you he was full of crap and like others just wanted to trash the Corvette (C6). Sure there is some adhesive failures due to a curing problem but do you think that GM will allow that to continue just from the expense and liability side, let alone customer satisfaction? We all know the companies are now run by the bean counters and some things go bad on their changes to save a penny and it costs them many more $$$ to get it back under control.
We had a crack pot purchasing agent that changed o-ring suppliers without it being an engineering approved equal. There were tens of thousands mixed into the system before the failures started coming into service. Even by dumping the entire stock of that o-ring and starting over it was nearly a year before the damn things stopped popping up in pumps that had failed. I carried a bag of them with me on every call I made and changed them out just because you never knew if there was a bad one in the 8 the pump used. Cost of the o-ring .008 cents each, he got it for .005 but we used 250,000 a year. His computer printout had a big quantity so he went after it, wrong. It happens far to often when a green employ comes into a new environment and tries to be the big shot of the day.
--
Dad
05 C6 Silver/Red 6spd Z51/20k miles
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From what I've seen and experienced while driving the C6 I've got to agree. I'll hold on to my C5
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If you are within a days drive of Bowling Green , KY .... you may want to take a tour of the Corvette Factory ; i was highly impressed with the assembly of the major body components especially. They have less than a 2% reject rate at the end of the production line.
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Mack wrote:
=== somewhat snipped == GM's evident slow and sloppy response to the problem, and dubious

I think that GM does have concern for its customers. It's a big operation, it has many different configurations, even on 'badge' cars. Yet, I think it does track problems and has good outer-loop Q.A. to the end-user level -- and I base that on over 50 years of buying new cars (some GM, many not). GM is every wag's favorite target for how not to build automobiles and how not to treat customers.
If you have to be "clucked over" don't buy a GM car! If you are a 'fit and finish' nut, take a look at any Cadillac that doesn't come out of Bowling Green or at Buick's new Lucerne -- not perfect but a long shot from where they were 5 years ago. About twice year I get a "how did we do" survey from Buick or GMC on dealer service. When I note my phone number, I get a call. When I fail to send in one of those surveys, I get a phone call. GMC and Buick do check.
When I ride in the back seat of a luxury sedan, I expect that my loafers will not be scratched by the springs under the front seat. GM upholsters those areas. The last 'S' class I rode in had exposed springs. Small detail.
I will not share my stories of Volvo, BMW and Mercedes air conditioning here. (I understand that all three are doing much better than they did 15 years ago.)
Some Corvette problems come from bleeding edge ideas that don't go through production as predicted. (I'd suspect the C6 top is one of those.) Others are just goofs (steering wheel locking). And, as Dad ably pointed out, an expediter in Production Planning & Control can make a "form and fit" or part substitution judgment and create havoc. GM however is not alone and here are two personal happenings:
Story #1: One morning the post person arrived with a letter from Buick. They wanted Mama's car for an inspection. Made the appointment and had it back that evening. It was, "one of the 3.8L's they were looking for." In a narrow VIN range, an assembly error had not properly sealed the intake manifold against coolant intrusion. Job done, fresh oil in the crankcase, new coolant, a free lube job and car wash. Two subsequent inspections by the dealer to make sure the fix was OK. No free loaner car for the day--we were mildly inconvenienced in making two round trips to the dealer (however with a slight wait they would have driven me to the office and picked me up at the end of the day). But, I always enjoy getting in the 'vette and chasing my 'bride' thru traffic -- then taking the rest of the day off--with no car she gets bored and I can help her through the day. Thanks GM! (;-)
Store #2: One evening, about 11:30p.m. my company leased Infiniti 'ratcheted' to a halt on a grade coming out of Palm Springs. Called the Infiniti road service number. Tow truck in about 45 minutes. Tow driver already had delivery instructions for me and for the car. Dropped me at a nice motel where I was met by an Infiniti dealer 'valet.' The car quickly vanished. Room was reserved and pre-paid by Nissan. Was handed complimentary shaving gear and a free Nissan racing 'T' shirt to wear instead of having to stink up the world with a 'second-day' undershirt. (Someone back in Japan understands how U.S. armpits work in the Southwestern desert!) Met during paid-for breakfast the following morning. Nice free loaner car. Drove back to San Diego. Free gas card while I had the loaner. Ten days later I drove to Rancho Mirage and picked up my car. Free lunch, free car wash. Many apologies for my "inconvenience." Chatted with service writer--problem with a "number" of transmissions had been known for almost six months.
Two different approaches to the problem. You pays your money and takes your choice. Infiniti tends to do things with more flourish than does GM.
Which customer comes away with the better experience?
Which customer got the better 'care?'
Who was on top of the problem?
Not getting stranded on the side of a mountain in the black of night....."priceless!"
My conclusion -- none of them are perfect but most are better than Microsoft. If it really matters to have your ass "powerpuffed" while you are waiting for service, plan on spending about $ 10K extra, up front.
MTCW
--
PJ

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