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Central Coast Woman deals car problems, contacts Message Max for help

Chevy Equinox

SEASIDE, Calif. (KION) -- Things are moving in the right direction after a local woman messaged Max after having a traumatizing experience with an SUV she bought nearly a year ago that she says just kept falling apart.

"Sometimes it's really hard to turn the car off," says Dawn Cowan.

Dawn Cowan bought her 2019 Chevy Equinox last March at a car dealership in Seaside.

"I'll shut if off. I'll hit the button and it won't turn off," says Cowan.

Her radio started flickering and resetting and part of her dashboard started to become disconnected.

"Look nothing's happening," Cowan says as she taps the touchscreen radio console.

She says she's taken the car in for service five or six times, but the problems were never fully resolved.

The car dealership declined to comment on this story, but said on the phone that if it's a problem with the vehicle, they need to contact general motors.

"I feel like nobody cares what's happening to me. I feel like I'm just a number to them. like they don't give a crap about one person who's having these problems because they're such a big corporation," says Cowan.

I contacted General Motors and Shad Balch with Chevrolet Communications send me statement saying:

"After checking with our field team it appears the customer's original issue has been resolved, as well as a few additional requests the customer had."

"It is a relevant case and we do see a lot of it," says Steve McFarland, the CEO of the Better Business Bureau. He also says it's something he's actually seen for years in many industries and he has some advice.

Steve McFarland, the CEO of the Better Business Bureau, says it's something he's actually seen for years in many industries. He has some advice.

"Post about it. post to the blogs. Go to the BBB. File a complaint. Get it known out there to where this provider will kind of go 'oh crap I better stop doing this or I'm not going to get any business, especially from females,'" says McFarland.

We reached out the Better Business Bureau. Also, after repeated calls and e-mails to General Motors, some progress has been made.
GM finally approved Dawn for three options: a repurchase buyback, a trade-up for another vehicle, or a replacement of the same vehicle.

We want to do the repurchase buy back actually, we do. But, we have to get it down to zero. Like I don't want to owe anything," says Cowan.

Right now, Dawn is working with General Motors on the repurchase buyback.

Central Coast / Monterey / Monterey County / News
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Max Tarlton

Max Tarlton is a morning anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.



  1. Great story. I must say, the very fact that the dealership, ANY car dealership tells a customer that the customer has to personally contact the manufacturer, is OUTRAGEOUS. General manager or dealership owner needs to be rebuked for it. Mostly the dealership owner. It is THEIR responsibility to contact the manufacturer. Kudos to those who advocated for this lady!

    1. This happened to me in 1987 with a Renault/AMC. Once you get at certain stage in a complaint, it does get handed off to the maker of the vehicle. If the vehicle qualifies for the Song-Beverly Act, you contact the MFR and try to get the problem resolved. If the MFR’s response is not to your liking you can take the problem to the BBB for arbitration. In my case, the MFR offered me 750 dollars to settle the issue, which just happened to be the exact amount the MFR has to pay the BBB for the arbitration fee. (Or at least that was the amount in 1987) And since the MFR has to pay the BBB, then the BBB is going to side with the MFR that just paid them 750 dollars. But even though I lost, it did feel good to watch the look on their faces as I proceeded to tell them how dirty and corrupt the BBB really is. And then it was over, I lost. But I learned a lot about how the process works. Remember it’s the Better Business Bureau, not the Better Consumer Protection Bureau. I suppose there are probably some good benefits to the BBB, but not the part that involves the MFR paying them a lot of money to rule against the consumer.

  2. @Frankie
    You owned a Renault/AMC ?
    Renault AMC? Two of the worst car brands to ever be made?
    Especially Renault. remember the Dauphine? Ubiquitous in the 60’s. Ever see one now? Ever see anyone on Velocity channels restore one? LOL. They all rusted into a pile of iron oxide powder by 1970. Worst car ever made. You owned a Renault/AMC? Were you doing a LOT of drugs then? 🙂

    1. @Jalbert, I owned an AMC Pacer and I went to trade it in, but only AMC/Renault would give me a decent trade in value. I admit I did like the car as it sit on the show room, candy apple red, 5 speed stick. But, I will say this. That experience was so bad, I have never bought a new car since. I might buy a decent used car where someone else had to deal with the “as soon as you drive it off the lot depreciation” or other problems. Granted I have never been a keep up with the Jones kind of guy so owning new makes no never mind. I figure…let someone else do the beta testing and suffer the new car depreciation. I suppose it all carries a certain amount of risk, how many miles, how good was the car when it wasn’t old…stuff like that. But most time I just spin the wheel and see what happens.

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