An Open Letter to General Motors About my 2006 Chevy Cobalt


Dearest General Motors,

I bought my 2006 Chevy Cobalt in the winter of 2007 with roughly 25,000 miles on it. It now has approximately 117,000 miles on it and, let me say, it’s amazing that it’s still allowed on the road. The engine has performed amazingly well and kept me driving for the past ten years, but the rest of the car has caused me so much frustration that I have fantasized about driving it off a cliff, like in an action movie, watching it explode as it hits the ground.

Over the past ten years Chevy has sent me recall notices for seven different recalls. Seven! That’s an impressive number of recalls. Chevy has to fix these problems at no cost to the owner because they built things so poorly that it is unsafe to drive and they could or have been sued for a lot of money. At one point they attempted to fix one problem by using the exact same parts, leading to, you guessed it, another recall. What leadership! It’s not unusual for cars to have recalls, it is unusual for a car to lose money on the entire line because of recalls. Notice, Chevy no longer makes Cobalts.

To go with this impressive list of recalls, I have my own list of cosmetic and functional problems with my car. As cars age, they usually need work as some things will naturally break down over time. With that in mind, these are the things that have gone wrong with my car: the door actuator broke, meaning the lock slips off its track if the door is opened while locked. You would be amazed how many times you try to open the door without paying attention if it’s locked. This led to my key faub burning out because the only way to get it to work after that is to hit unlock over and over until it catches the sweet spot and unlocks. And the only way to program a new key faub is to take it to a dealership and pay them a lot of money. What a great company strategy! If this wasn’t enough, it is impossible for me to lock or unlock either my driver’s side of passenger side doors with my key. I have no idea why, it just does not work. So I no longer lock my car.

Over the last few years the rear defrost went out because I clean my car occasionally, the spring in my turn signal broke so I have to turn it off by hand each time, the driver’s side window track bent randomly and completely slips off it’s track if the window is rolled all the way down, the physical lock on the driver’s side snapped off at the top, the horn only works when pressed in exactly the right spot, the cruise control works when it decides it wants to, turning the air conditioning on makes the car idle to a point where it almost stalls and the overhead lamp only works with a jiggle to make sure it’s in the right spot.

As I said already, there is a natural amount of wear and tear that happens to cars and none of these things on their own are all that outrageous. It’s the combination of everything that makes me call my car things I would never call a human. The crazy thing is that the car still runs pretty well. The engine is likely the only part of the car that will still work in the next year or so. So, for that I say thank you Chevy. For everything else that is wrong with the car I want to applaud Chevy and General Motors for making one of the worst cars in American history. For all the frustration I have experienced on your behalf I would like to present a trophy of a big, bronze middle finger, because that is what you gave to the country when you released the Chevy Cobalt to the masses.middle finger


Adam Simers


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