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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well folks, they stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park. I have just been informed that my warrantee will not be voided after all. After discussions at higher levels they decided to rescind what was apparently a lower level decision. Thank you Cadillac! You have justified my decision to buy American. And a special thank you to Cheryl Zerbe of Cadillac Customer Service. You have been absolutely wonderful throughout this whole ordeal. And Cadillac - I promise - I will not abuse the car.
pob :cheers




THE FOLLOWING GRIPE IS DECLARED VOID! BUT BE AWARE OF THE ISSUE BEFORE YOU DRIVE YOUR CAR ON A RACE TRACK - - -
To those of you who may be contemplating buying an XLR. Read this first so you know what kind of company you will be dealing with. My XLR has less than 9000 miles on it. There have been some steering issues (see thread in the Technical Discussion section) and now there is a transmission problem. The steering problem first surfaced while I was taking a high performance driving course. It happened a second time when the car was being driven at the track at a "track days" event. This is not racing. It is enjoying the car without worrying about traffic citations. I have been up front with Cadillac about this. I have now been informed that, because this vehicle was driven on a race track, the power train warrantee is being voided. Period. Thank you Cadillac for stepping up to the plate and standing behind this vehicle.
 

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Seems to me, unless the warranty specifically says "race track voids warranty," I don't see how thay can do that. Try climbing the corporate ladder until you get someone who understands and can take care of the problem.
 

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Who informed you of this? Was this the dealer or Cadillac direct? It seems to me that they "could" have grounds to not warrant the vehicle, but to be in the best interest for good-will as a customer they should fix the issues. Please keep us informed as to the outcome... as Cadillac owners I think we should hear how they treat customers.
 

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Fairly typical these days. I've had quite a bit of experience with Ford's SVT program. You buy an SVT product such as the 2003-2004 SVT Cobra (supercharged; 390 horses from the factory) and race it at a Ford sponsored SVTOA track event. The place will be crawling with Ford employees who are race specialists, there to see that you wring out every bit of performance from your car. Everything is hunky dory until you break something. Ford then voids your warranty. Take a peek at the owners complaints on the svtperformance.com website/forum.

Really sorry to hear of your problems, however we should all learn the lesson - never, ever, under no circumstances should you admit to racing or participating in any event that can be used to void your warranty. manufacturers are quickly seizing any opportunity to save money on warranty issues.
 

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Competition Driving or Racing An Issue

It is not my position to pass judgement in any way, shape or form, but the 2004 XLR warranty book is very clear on the above subject. If you look at your warranty book on page 6 it clearly states that damage caused by "Misuse of the vehicle such as driving over curbs, overloading, racing, or other competition" would not be covered.

www.Cadillac-XLR.com

Thank You
Allen
 

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Mr XLR said:
It is not my position to pass judgement in any way, shape or form, but the 2004 XLR warranty book is very clear on the above subject. If you look at your warranty book on page 6 it clearly states that damage caused by "Misuse of the vehicle such as driving over curbs, overloading, racing, or other competition" would not be covered.

www.Cadillac-XLR.com

Thank You
Allen

I guess we were misled by those photos of you and Matt Robertson with helmets in hand at the Phoenix Raceway. Or maybe it was those hypnotizing moments as we watched an XLR put through its paces on the Nurburgring. Or the new spy photos of what is supposed to be an XLR-V running about in full race trim. Or the fact I just watched Team Cadillac running at Laguna Seca this past Sunday.

http://www.teamcadillac.com/
 

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mswaim said:
I guess we were misled by those photos of you and Matt Robertson with helmets in hand at the Phoenix Raceway. Or maybe it was those hypnotizing moments as we watched an XLR put through its paces on the Nurburgring. Or the new spy photos of what is supposed to be an XLR-V running about in full race trim. Or the fact I just watched Team Cadillac running at Laguna Seca this past Sunday.

http://www.teamcadillac.com/

That's right, build, market, and sell us a high proformance vehicle,
......and then consider 'racing' it the same 'misuse' as 'driving over curbs'
:lol :smash :glol :crazy
 

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Competition Driving or Racing An Issue

As you know any type of product is tested prior to it's introduction, you will always push it to it's limits. Regardless if it is a cake mixer or an automobile. That way once the product is released the mfg. of that product knows where the limits need to be set.

Regarding the phoenix Raceway or the Dallas Motor Speedway, there were strict guidelines that we were required by the track to wear head gear, we always were with a professional driver and lastly we were not allowed to exceed 70 mph even on the oval at Phoenix. We were told even then that various items of the XLR such as the tires are not designed for track driving.

I have had many people talk to me about performance schools & driving on tracks. I always say the same thing to them, be careful, dont act stupid on a course and remember any component that should fail due to the driving will negate the warranty.

I look at it this way, if you have a question on your taxes, you contact your accountant. If you have a medical question, you contact your doctor. When you have a legal question, you contact your lawyer. Lastly when you have a question regarding your XLR, you should have the same type of relationship with your XLR specialist.

www.Cadillac-XLR.com

Thank you
Allen
 

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Conundrum: Ethics

pob said:
My XLR has less than 9000 miles on it. There have been some steering issues (see thread in the Technical Discussion section) and now there is a transmission problem. The steering problem first surfaced while I was taking a high performance driving course. It happened a second time when the car was being driven at the track at a "track days" event. This is not racing. It is enjoying the car without worrying about traffic citations. ... because this vehicle was driven on a race track, the power train warrantee is being voided.
Thanks, pob, for this very important post. Likely, the same warranty disclaimer spills over to the C6 'vette as well. The question in my mind is "where are the edges of the warranty envelope?" :confused

Obviously, a manufacturer's warranty would exclude "racing". Surely we can all agree on that. :yesnod Just as obvious, if I scoot away from a traffic light while "rat racing" on Westheimer a little faster than an M5, the manufacturer is not going to void my warranty. :nodno

So where does a 'track days" event fit in this picture? If the car is made to go a maximum speed of 155 mph, does driving at that speed constitute abuse? Is it more abusive to do it in the controlled environment of a track, or on a lonely stretch of I-10 in New Mexico? :confused :confused :confused

Guys, I don't have a clue. :confused Perhaps if you feel strongly enough about it, this is an issue that needs to go to court. I suspect there are hundreds of car clubs (especially Corvette Clubs) with whom you will find tenacious allies. :boxing There may even be legal precedents about this set already. I'm going to dig around a little and see what I can find, but it may take a while.

Or maybe when something breaks you shouldn't tell the service advisor what you've been doing? :nono Sometimes discretion is the better part of warranty claims.
 

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Exactly my point. As I said before, never, under any curcumstances admit to operating the car for any purpose other than to drive to the grocery store and perhaps to church.

And if you are going to do a burnout, for God's sake wipe the rubber debris from the wheel wells before going in for service................... :cheers
 

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Medical Insurance analogy

Some of the points here are valid, and compare to similar issues in the medical insurance field.

First - Exhaust all avenues for redress within the compliance or complaint structure of the company (in this case - Cadillac). This may involed engagement of a lawyer specialized in this type fo case.

(Several high profile medical insurance cases determined by the Supreme Copurt have held that the patient had many other avenues to gain the care/coverage at the local and state level and should have availed themselves of those opportunities.)

Second - If this fails, then filing suit against the company in an attempt to have a court "interpret" the contract, in this case, a warranty. There is probably a significant amount of case law on this topic (I would think), since you are probably not the first to come across this. It may,. however, require a lawyer to resaearch the precedence.

(It would seem to me that the only leeway here is in the intepretation of "racing" in the warranty. If the warranty does not actually define what is meant by "racing" then there is wiggle room. If there is an addendum or glossary elsewhere that does define it, then that would be a very well writeen contract. If it is not, as is common in many many contracts, then this is a poorly written contract and open to courtroom assault - you have to keep the contract lawyers busy, right?. Most of the dicussion on this string has dealt with the interpretation of the word "racing", since it does seem a common exclusion ocross manufactureres).

Just as health insureres don't make money from paying for procedures that are ecluded in their policies, I doubt that Cadillac (or Chevy or Ford) wants to cross the streshold of paying for repairs on cars used for racing. That said, a suit might permit a court to define "racing" for all of us to know, and for all of the manufacturers to put in thier definitions.

A Doc who sounds like a lawyer in this entry, but I'm not. Just been their, done that.
 

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The other thing to do is to read your warranty booklet - specifically there is a section which describes the agreed-to method of redress for a warranty issue. If I remember the XLR warranty properly, the owner agrees to arbitration in the event of an issue. You might pursue that line...

Andy
 

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Eyedoc said:
(It would seem to me that the only leeway here is in the intepretation of "racing" in the warranty. If the warranty does not actually define what is meant by "racing" then there is wiggle room. .
:iagree

My take completely. "Racing" inplies competition against something, another car or your own time, for instance. If you did neither, it wasn't racing. It was going fast in a controlled environment, a track.

Webster's New World defines racing as "...a competition of speed..." If you weren't competing, you weren't racing. So if you were being timed or there was someone else in a win/lose situation, you were racing. Simply going fast on a track, is not racing.

IMHO anyway.
 

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This forum rocks!

Eyedoc is exactly right. Warranty IS insurance. Cadillac knows approximately how many warranty issues they will have based on a certain population of vehicles. They can calculate the cost of those projected claims and divide the cost up over the entire vehicle population. The warranty becomes just one more cost component.

I saw a special about Corvette clubs on satellite a couple of weeks ago. Probably one of the reasons I recently bought the red '94 C4 last weekend. It looked so cool. The special was about the Lone Star Corvette club and their annual March event at the Texas International Speedway in Dallas-Ft. Worth. It is billed as the largest gathering of Corvettes in the world. It is a "track day" where you can pay a fee and go run your 'vette (and for '05 maybe your XLR) around a NASCAR 2 mile oval. The kid in me wants to do that in the worst way.

But I guess I'm really just an old fart, becase I see other potential risks in running at a track day event:

1) Did you finance your $76,000 XLR? If so, you are required by the lienholder to have collision insurance. The minute you roll onto that track its gone. If your lienholder finds out you are driving without insurance, they can repossess your car.

2) If you have an accident, repair is at your cost period. Total it and you're just out the money. No possible recourse.

3) mswaim talks about those Mustang events. Perhaps he's heard about the following. Apparently, Ford has been using the onboard computer's memory to check up on its customer's driving habits. Apparently, the pony car has a memory is "discoverable" and "downloadable", wherein drivers who exceed RPM's or certain speeds can void their manufacturer's warranty.

Regarding a defense strategy of "I didn't know"... well it doesn't work at all.

Did the sponsor of the track day event have you sign a "hold harmless indemnification"? Of course they did. You might want to read it to see if they warned you about voided warranty. If not, you may have legal redress avenues against them.
 

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Just how tight are these track opperators
with the manufacturers anyway? :skep
Could they be selling their customer rosters,
complete with....hmmmm....license plates, vin #s,
drivers license....days/hours of use....lap times..... :rolleyes

My brother (with his new CTS-V) has been trying to get me
down to the local track ,but I'm thinkin' not :nono
 

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You should know that all vechiles since 2001 have memory that can be recalled for the last few minutes before certian events happen. One example I know of is where a Pontiac was in an accident. The "black box" recorded the last 30 seconds up till the time the air bags deployed. The investigators retrieved the computer and used it to prove the driver was speeding and prosecuted him.

As for track situataions, think about this. All of our XLR have the Northstar system wether you want it or not. NOTHING keeps GM from tracking us all the time. The GPS is so accurate that it would be easy to spot someone on a track turning laps. I have GPS in the vans in my service fleet. That system sends me an email whenever certian events happen like the van goes over a certian speed or goes outside a certian area. It also tracks miles driven to alert us as to when routine maintence is needed. So, if GM was concerned about racing, they have everything they need to track us already! They can even tell you your lap times!!!
 

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aviator said:
Eyedoc is exactly right. Warranty IS insurance. Cadillac knows approximately how many warranty issues they will have based on a certain population of vehicles. They can calculate the cost of those projected claims and divide the cost up over the entire vehicle population. The warranty becomes just one more cost component.

I saw a special about Corvette clubs on satellite a couple of weeks ago. Probably one of the reasons I recently bought the red '94 C4 last weekend. It looked so cool. The special was about the Lone Star Corvette club and their annual March event at the Texas International Speedway in Dallas-Ft. Worth. It is billed as the largest gathering of Corvettes in the world. It is a "track day" where you can pay a fee and go run your 'vette (and for '05 maybe your XLR) around a NASCAR 2 mile oval. The kid in me wants to do that in the worst way.

But I guess I'm really just an old fart, becase I see other potential risks in running at a track day event:

1) Did you finance your $76,000 XLR? If so, you are required by the lienholder to have collision insurance. The minute you roll onto that track its gone. If your lienholder finds out you are driving without insurance, they can repossess your car.

2) If you have an accident, repair is at your cost period. Total it and you're just out the money. No possible recourse.

3) mswaim talks about those Mustang events. Perhaps he's heard about the following. Apparently, Ford has been using the onboard computer's memory to check up on its customer's driving habits. Apparently, the pony car has a memory is "discoverable" and "downloadable", wherein drivers who exceed RPM's or certain speeds can void their manufacturer's warranty.

Regarding a defense strategy of "I didn't know"... well it doesn't work at all.

Did the sponsor of the track day event have you sign a "hold harmless indemnification"? Of course they did. You might want to read it to see if they warned you about voided warranty. If not, you may have legal redress avenues against them.
There is a verified story floating around on the Ford forums about a guy who attended a Ford sponsored SVTOA track event. He and his car appeared on the cover of the next issue of SVTOA magazine along with a short story of the events he participated in. A few months later he took his Cobra in for service and to have the dealer take a look at an oil leak, later ID'ed as a leaky rear main seal. One of the mechanics happened to have a copy of the SVTOA magazine with the cover picture/story. Needless to say once this tidbit of information worked its way up the chain, Ford voided his warranty. he is now locked in arbitration, attempting to force Ford to prove the oil leak is the result of participating in that particular SVTOA sponsored event.

Never admit to driving anywhere but to the grocery store and church. I am aware of the fact most new cars have retrievable memory, which can be used to examine driving habits, however the memory is not that extensive....yet. There is a move afoot to make the memory retrievable via radio signal. Big Brother, Big Government. Do a search, you will find plenty of data on efforts to develop a new generation of on-board computers capable of transmitting data on emissions output and other real-time data.
 

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They type of systems you are talking about are already available and have been used on over-the-road trucks for a long time. If they wanted it bad enough, the technology already exists. I have this in my fleet of service vans already. Basically, anything the computer tracks can be sent to a central station via a cellular data or satellite system. It is very easy to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the comments. And keep them coming. I do intend to pursue this up the corporate ladder and will keep the forum informed of my progress or lack there of. Regarding "admittance of guilt", I am an honest guy and never considered attempting to keep my track experience a secret. To be honest, I was more than a little curious to see what Cadillac's stance would be, considering all the noise they have been making about competing with the Germans. An no, I wouldn't expect the Germans to warrant their products on the race track either, but then I wouldn't expect their cars to break so readily either (and I am indeed surprised at just how fragile the XLR seems to be. I was not driving the car that hard either time when it broke.) Concerning the computer tracking of driver actions issue, this is a hot topic in legal and legislative circles these days. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. One final comment. I did not finance the car, and I don't have the huevos to drive it close enough to the limit to risk a major accident on the track, so I am not concerned about the insurance issue.
Thanks again for the responses -
pob
 
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