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Old 12-02-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Camaro team's response to concern about Transmission Output Shaft Failure

We bring you a message from Mr. John Fitzpatrick (aka Fbodfather 2.0) regarding the community's concern about potential output shaft failure:
Quote:
I understand over the recent Thanksgiving holiday, the Camaro output shaft topic heated up. We understand the members' passion and concern for this issue as it involves a major powertrain component. Rest assured, everyone on the Camaro team takes these issues very seriously, but there is some confusion regarding this matter that we would like to try to clear up.

As many of the members know, we started to receive warranty claim reports in June of this year regarding output shaft failures on Camaro SS models with manual transmissions. When we noticed a spike in claims, a review was initiated to determine the root cause for the failure. This review is common practice for us, and usually takes a number weeks to complete. Since we did not immediately know the root cause, we did slow the shipments of Camaro SS models from Oshawa for a couple of weeks until the review was completed.


At the end of the review, we concluded the probability of a customer experiencing an output shaft failure under normal driving conditions are very low (or - if you are into engineer speak, "below tolerance"). In fact, even in the most extreme driving condition, the probability of failure does not significantly change.


Ideally, we would like to say that there is no chance a failure under any driving condition will occur. We know this is not possible since every car - regardless of manufacturer - has some probability of a part failing. In the case of Camaro, we believe the probability is very low. We have such confidence in the low probability that we back it up by providing the industry best's powertrain warranty - 100,000 miles or 5 years, which includes roadside assistance and courtesy transportation. If the powertrain part fails due to a defect in our workmanship or material, we'll correct the issue regardless of the number of owners a particular Camaro may have during that period.


Hopefully this will provide a little more insight from our perspective on this topic.


Sincerely,

John Fitzpatrick
Marketing Manager - Chevy Performance Cars
Additional info:
Quote:
C5.com: What is considered "normal" and "extreme" driving conditions?
John F.: I would think "normal" is pretty self evident...If you are competitively racing the car, that would be considered "extreme" driving.

C5.com: What happens if I modify my car and it breaks?
John F.:
Hopefully, customers are using GM Parts for their modifications. If they are, these parts are also covered by warranty. Each case needs to be reviewed on its own merit to determine whether the warranty would cover a failure. If the failure is directly traced to the modification, then the warranty would not cover the issue.

Thank you, John.

And "Thank you" to everyone who's raised concern on this relatively confusing topic.

So here's the ground rules, folks:

  • Don't troll. I'm well aware a few of you will not be satisfied with this response...that's your prerogative, but please don't post repetitive negative messages.
  • I've closed all the other M6/output shaft threads. I'd like the tail-end of this topic to be concentrated in here.
  • Feel free to ask questions you're still unclear about. They care about their customers, and Camaro5 is the perfect place to ask your questions surrounding this issue. BUT; Try to do so in a respectful manner, and please understand you may not get an answer.

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:56 PM   #2
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Thanks John

and thanks Dragon for putting this to rest... or at least trying to!
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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Nice statement...but really doesn't clear anything up. Makes it sound like there was no defective part. If that's the case, there will be even more paranoia about failing transmissions because it effects all of us, not just a certain vin range.

Aftermarket tailshafts anyone???
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Seems pretty straight forward to me. If it breaks GM will fix it. As it should be. Chances are your not gonna break.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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either way i just hope it doesnt snap
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
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Very cool of him keep us informed... There's is always a weakest link in every chain... guess we have found it in the LS3.

Doesn't sound like it will be a problem to get it fixed under warranty. The one I know of that was fixed under warranty had race track rubber stuck all over the tires. Still got fixed under warranty...
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:14 PM   #7
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Dragoneye, thank you for posting this up.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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thanks
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #9
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Dees this mean ,if I beat the hell out of it while it's under warranty they will fix it, or do I have to drive it like I'm going to sunday school?
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolman View Post
Dees this mean ,if I beat the hell out of it while it's under warranty they will fix it, or do I have to drive it like I'm going to sunday school?
John says after review, the probability of failure is very low -- even during performance driving. And they will cover any failures as outlined in the Powertrain Warranty:

http://www.gm.com/experience/warrant....html?page=faq

Just bear in mind that there is a difference between performance driving...and abuse. Try to refrain from those redline clutch-dumps....
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:55 PM   #11
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Thanks for the post.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:00 PM   #12
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Thank you for the info
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:05 PM   #13
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This is why we have warranties. My original stance was that the issue could be dangerous, but it is clear that GM has done thorough enough testing to certify that this part will probably not fail. GM made the right call on this. The did the legwork of researching the problem and came to the conclusion that it probably will not fail. If it does, GM has the market's best warranty, and that should make people feel comfortable.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackinBlackSS/RS View Post
Seems pretty straight forward to me. If it breaks GM will fix it. As it should be. Chances are your not gonna break.
True but what it boils down to is GM is banking that we will mod our cars within the 5 year/100k miles period (which is highly likely to happen) so at that point, if we break the shaft, the power is on their side to deny the warranty claim. GM loses nothing with this current approach and decision on this issue.
Nice statement but I call it

That's my .02 cents
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:12 PM   #15
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A message from Mr. John Fitzpatrick (aka Fbodfather 2.0):

Thanks for commenting. We appreciate it.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
John says after review, the probability of failure is very low -- even during performance driving. And they will cover any failures as outlined in the Powertrain Warranty:

http://www.gm.com/experience/warrant....html?page=faq

Just bear in mind that there is a difference between performance driving...and abuse. Try to refrain from those redline clutch-dumps....
That's why it's not even a thought in my mind. I have a great car, with a great warranty, with a great dealership to keep me running.

Thank's for the input.
On a side note just to show how well gm cars and trucks hold up. My wifes uncle has a 1997 chevy truck that just turned over 500,000miles on the factory motor, trans and drive train. He just turn it over to his son and bought himself a new chevy. I wouldn't worry guys.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffrcobra_65 View Post
True but what it boils down to is GM is banking that we will mod our cars within the 5 year/100k miles period (which is highly likely to happen) so at that point, if we break the shaft, the power is on their side to deny the warranty claim. GM loses nothing with this current approach and decision on this issue.
Nice statement but I call it

That's my .02 cents
FWIW.

For the situation you describe, they could deny you (assuming the mods directly affect the tranny) whether you had output shaft break or a shifter fork fail.

My point is if your mod directly affects a given component you run the risk of getting a warranty claim denied no matter what...

It sounds to me like GM isn't looking for a way out of fixing it. And if, for some reason, they don't want to fix your car, I'll bet this quote from John will help your case.

In my opinion this is kind of a get out of jail free card for output shaft failures..... Kinda...
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:29 PM   #18
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Thanks Dragon for working this and thanks John for the response. I'm sure some people won't be satisfied with the answer but it's what I was looking for. Let's just hope that the amount breaking remains within spec and this isn't a bigger problem afterall.

My only suggestion/gripe... this should've been posted on their own back in August or whenever they figured out that there wasn't a problem afterall. Be proactive!

And as someone pointed out above, it looks like the output shaft is probably the "weakest link" in the Camaro. Good to know especially for people looking to do upgrades!
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCF w00t View Post
Thanks Dragon for working this and thanks John for the response. I'm sure some people won't be satisfied with the answer but it's what I was looking for. Let's just hope that the amount breaking remains within spec and this isn't a bigger problem afterall.

My only suggestion/gripe... this should've been posted on their own back in August or whenever they figured out that there wasn't a problem afterall. Be proactive!

And as someone pointed out above, it looks like the output shaft is probably the "weakest link" in the Camaro. Good to know especially for people looking to do upgrades!
Maybe the silver lining is that there is a very small number of truly "bad" tranny's and moving forward we can mod and drive with confidence...

Hence the below tollerance comment by John... Just thinking out loud.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #20
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Thank You John. Nice to see that GM will stand by the Camaro.

Just remember, if you MODIFY the car it should NOT be covered. GM has zero control over the millions of ways cars can be modified. Who is to say what's an "acceptable" modification and what isn't.

If you leave it stock, it will be covered. If you choose to modify it, then there is a cost risk associated with doing that.

Think what would happen if aircraft manufacturers decided to "modify" their jets... The FAA would have a cow. Couldn't even imagine the lawsuits.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:41 PM   #21
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Thanks for the response, reaffirms my faith in GM
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffrcobra_65 View Post
True but what it boils down to is GM is banking that we will mod our cars within the 5 year/100k miles period (which is highly likely to happen) so at that point, if we break the shaft, the power is on their side to deny the warranty claim. GM loses nothing with this current approach and decision on this issue.
Nice statement but I call it

That's my .02 cents
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:47 PM   #23
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Not sure how much more John could have said. And I give him credit coming on this forum and saying what he did. I'm not sure how many other executives at his level in a major corporation would have the guts to do so.

Maybe this is the new GM.

He said the engineers identified a potential problem, did their analysis and said the problems if they occured would be covered under warrantee. Although I'm not a metallurgical engineer my understanding is that in these types of situations if it hasn't failed earlier on in the product life due to a manufacturing defect, it is unlikely to do so later on. Of course there are always exceptions. The main exception is continued abuse. And almost no stock product is going to be able to withstand continued abuse.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackinBlackSS/RS View Post
Seems pretty straight forward to me. If it breaks GM will fix it. As it should be. Chances are your not gonna break.
I agree sounds good to me.

It seems that there was a mixed batch that had a low (maybe one or two out of 100) group of defective shafts. Its just not worth a recall when its not a true safety issue (we have not yet heard of one snapping on the highway at 55mph, or "just driving along"), replacing all those transmissions would cost billions when there is a very remote possibility of it actually breaking.

IMO its unreasonable to expect otherwise, this response is fine....
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTAHVIT View Post
FWIW.

For the situation you describe, they could deny you (assuming the mods directly affect the tranny) whether you had output shaft break or a shifter fork fail.

My point is if your mod directly affects a given component you run the risk of getting a warranty claim denied no matter what...

It sounds to me like GM isn't looking for a way out of fixing it. And if, for some reason, they don't want to fix your car, I'll bet this quote from John will help your case.

In my opinion this is kind of a get out of jail free card for output shaft failures..... Kinda...
Mod wisdom.

Not too worried. I slapped the Maggie on and I am pretty much on my own.
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