Renault 5 TurboHey Cool Car Fans,

I have to get some photos up here of my new 2007 Mazda MazdaSpeed6 that I picked up as my daily driver, after selling my 2007 Subaru WRX Limited to a client of mine.  Stay tuned for photos and details on that vehicle.

In the meantime, I had to write a quick article about the craziest PR move I’ve seen in a long time.  General Motors is now going to offer a 60 day money back guarantee.  If you’re not completely satisfied with the purchase of your vehicle they will give you your money back.  I saw this was first reported by the New York Times that General Motors wanted to prove to the world that their vehicles are as good as their competitors.  I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s for real.

Talk about a desperate attempt to get more people behind the wheel of a GM product.  They are calling it a Satisfaction Guaranteed program that is promising to give customers their money back within 60 days, if they’re not completely satisfied with their purchase. The new marketing tool, started running today and will start tomorrow.  I saw the commercials while I was watching football today and it will run from September 14, 2009 through November 30th, 2009.

This is the first time a major automaker has backed their product with a money back guarantee. The new initiative will cover new Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC models.  I’m amazed that they would do something like this because it’s going to cause tremendous problems in the marketplace and for the company because of the fine print, details and limitations.  Come on, everyone knows that you buy a vehicle and you can’t return it for a number of liability reasons.  Cars are simply not designed to buy with money back guarantees because too many things can go wrong depending on the person behind the wheel and I’m going to bet that many people are going to be really unhappy with this deal.

If you don’t believe me, you’ll have to go read the FAQ page and see the details and limitations.

For example, you have to keep the vehicle for at least 30 days, return it within day 31 and day 60 by contacting the administrator of the program for the required paperwork.  You then must have the vehicle appraised and if there is at least $200 in damage you won’t qualify for a refund.  The refund doesn’t include dealer fees, accessories, finance charges and a number of other fees.  You can’t get your trade-in back and you are responsible for any negative equity you may have had on that vehicle.  You can have up to 4,000 miles on the vehicle.  You can’t do this deal if you’re looking for a truck for your business, but only for personal purchases.

This program may be good for some people who are in a strong financial position and just want to drive a GM vehicle for 60 days to see how they like it.  Odds are good they’ll keep it and that’s what GM is banking on with this promotion.  However, you might want to just rent a GM vehicle before you go through this ordeal.  How many people will go through the brain damage of trading their vehicle, getting financed, drive the car for 4,000 miles and then return it because they decided they don’t really like it?  If they decide to and they find out they don’t qualify for this 60 day guarantee for some reason, what’s going to be the PR backlash against GM when dealers start refusing to take back vehicles or not refunding certain fees?

You can read the full details, including the FAQ’s by clicking here.

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John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy