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Monday, August 6, 2007

Florida Consumer Troubled By Chevy Uplander Defect

Parents of small children often purchase a mini-van specifically for its practicality and many safety features. Florida consumer and mother Elana Collins was greatly distressed when her Chevy Uplander's rear power door unpredictably and continually would pop open while she was driving, her 4 year old seated close to that very door. This story* is what every parent's worst nigtmare.

Imagine buckling your kids into a vehicle and then closing your van door only to have it reopen while you're driving. Chevrolet Uplander owner Elana Collins said it happened to her and she feared for her children's safety.

"To me, this is a big deal," Collins said. "I have my four-year-old sitting next to that door."
She said the rear power door of her 2006 Chevrolet Uplander minivan would pop open on its own. "There is no way to predict when it's going to happen," she said. "[If it] opens on its own at 55 miles an hour, somebody could fall out, debris could come in and hit a child."

The National Highway Traffic Safety administration said it's investigating the situation and confirmed Uplander owners have filed at least at least 12 complaints.

General Motors, which manufactures the van, said it has received no complaints of a door opening while the van is in motion or reports of injuries.

But in 2005, GM did release a routine technical service bulletin that said the 2005 Uplander power doors could malfunction.

And based on the recent complaints, GM launched an internal investigation saying, "We are examining the facts and plan to talk with customers to learn the specifics of their experiences."

According to Collins' account, it happened to her more than a 100 times, including while she was backing out of her driveway. After numerous attempts to get it fixed, she filed a state lemon law complaint and General Motors was ordered to buy back the minivan.

"This is potentially a very serious problem if it's not an abberation that happened to happen to just 12 people in Florida -- anything that involves potentially children," said USA Today automotive expert Jayne O'Donnell. "This is something that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is likely to take very seriously."*

If you are experiencing issues with your Chevy Uplander or other vehicle, get more information on Florida's lemon law and the federal lemon law.

*article from abcnews.go.com, 7/21/07

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