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New GMC Delivered with Salt Corrosion. Beware!

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I just purchased a new GMC 2500HD at Allen GMC in Orange County Ca.  A week after delivery I discovered the entire underbody of the truck was covered with dried Road Salt. I did not inspect the underbody prior to purchase because I didn't think I had to. To make things worse GM is well aware of the issue. In April 2018 GM issued Bulletin PI0281G (attached) to Dealers. So GMC builds this beautiful truck, then they take it out in to a storm on roads covered with a corrosive chemical (road salt). They don't bother to wash it off they just ship it out to a Dealer. In my case California. You should know as the temperature increases so does the rate of corrosion. Having grown up in the "salt belt" Wisconsin I know the extreme damage done to vehicles by Road Salt. So GMC in an effort to cover their tracks notifies Dealers of the issue and instead of a discount or compensating customers they just say "that's the way it is. No consideration for damage will be made other than normal warranty coverage" .  To me there is something very wrong with being aware of major corrosion damage to a vehicle and not disclosing that fact to the buyer!  It would be different if they delivered a new vehicle to me and I covered it in salt, but, I didn't get the chance to even get it over the curb the damage was done pre-delivery.  I pursued a vehicle replacement through the dealer and GM Customer Assistance but GM is refusing to replace the vehicle.  Buyer Beware!  Inspect the underbody of your vehicle before purchasing!  I will post an update when I have it but the bottom line is I'm not getting stuck with this corroded junker. I bought a new truck and I expect to get one.   





PI0281G Underbody Corrosion.pdf

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Those areas with the brown surface rust come that way directly from the factory. They are bare metal and are coated with rust when they roll off the assembly line. I'm not saying it's right, just saying they all come that way.

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My truck has dried dripping salt covering the entire underbody. Salt is a catalyst that greatly accelerates corrosion and allows galvanic corrosion to advance.  I am not talking about some surface rust I am talking about advanced galvanic corrosion. You don't see this in California. My 2002 with 250,000 miles looked more like a new truck than this one. Every other truck on the lot looked new except the one I purchased. Buyer Beware!

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this is another new truck from the same dealer.  Do you see any rust?   No.   All the others look like what you would expect a new vehicle to look like. The problem is some idiot decided it was ok to drive brand new vehicles through the salt and not wash it off because most people wont look underneath before they purchase.


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Yeah thats not normal, a little surface rust sure is but not that much deep rust and corrosion. I am in New England and we love to salt the roads and my truck has less rust then that on it. I would imagine it may have been from transporting it on a boat maybe?

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GM knows they are doing it. They issued bulletin PI0281G to dealers last year admitting it.  GM just doesn’t accept any responsibility for it. Click on attachment below the photos to read  PI0281G

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is terrible, I agree I would not want this truck. you should take action. You tried a buyback in writing, and they refused. I would hire a lawyer to send a letter to dealership first, having them send a demand letter does not cost much. Can not hurt if dealership has absolutely refused to take it back. That may move them to do something, some compensation, cleaning, replacing some parts, extended warranty, something other than nothing.....

You can also download small claims forms from OC court, fill out for max claim, and send them to

the dealership manager, naming him, and tell him he has so many days to make you whole or you will file a personal claim against him in small claims. He has to show, no lawyers allowed.


Legal action is always last resort,  but after exhausting the negotiations it often gets them to do something. Try to minimize posting negative comments on the dealer, you have named them,

leave it that for now, can hamper negotiation. 

I have used the filled out small claims forms before, without filing to resolve a issue to satisfaction,

sometimes the idea of appearing in court makes the other party rethink things. Good luck.




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GM doesn't need to clean off the road salt on a pickup before they ship it out primarily because it doesn't get all the road salt and junk on it going from the Assembly line to the staging area where it gets hauled from.  That road salt got on there when it was transported from the factory to the dealer. And even then, it could have sit for a while at different staging locations along the way and could have been hauled on several different trailers.  Even with a fall build date, it could have gotten hauled thru a snow storm or two making its way from the midwest to the west coast.  The transport companies are not under the direct control of GM.  They are contracted.  


It is not GM's responsibility to make good on what was delivered and put in poor condition by the carrier or the dealer.  That is why GM is not taking responsibility for it.  It really wasn't their fault.



So before jumping in GM's case, you might want to yell at the transport company that hauled it and the dealer for not thoroughly cleaning it properly to include the underside.   Those two entities are the target for any course of action.  



Edited by Cowpie
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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow!! My '16 has 60 000 miles on it in southern Ontario where they practically salt and brine the roads even in the summer and my truck doesn't look like that! Maybe there is more to the story that you don't know?? Flood damage or some other corrosive environment  on the train from the factory? Certainly doesn't appear to be just some delivery road salt that caused that- if it was my truck should be practically rotted away by now.  Good luck and keep at them until you're happy.  

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A truck built in Ft Wayne or Flint, MI, the source of the HD trucks left the assembly plant destined for CA by rail in enclosed car carriers. It never was on a truck until it arrived at the rail distribution center in CA.  Whats more, major assembly's like the axles and frames ship from the vendors in open rail cars and sit outside at the assembly plant before they are sequenced into the final assembly plant.  So they are exposed to the elements long before they see the highway. 

There is no way to stop iron and steel from rusting, its the nature of the metal in the environment.   Its not only GM, all manufacturers experience this. 


Ps - If the dealer is near the ocean, that can cause accelerated corrosion, sun and salt air are just as bad if not worse than road salt because the sun's heat increases the pores in the metal.

Edited by elcamino
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Man, I'd be pissed. I'm also in Orange County and all that talk about rust underneath got me checking mine. Whew.

But seeing how this hasn't affected performance or caused any issues, I fear you have no legal recourse. It sucks, I know, but the vehicle could still do another 250,000 miles with the rust.

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