GM's Return Policy Includes a Number of Hurdles


When GM unveiled its new program allowing new-vehicle owners to return cars they’re not satisfied with, you had to figure the deal would have some fine print attached.

It turns out the fine print makes returning a car a lot more trouble than it’s probably worth, especially if your complaint is something like tachometer placement or highway noise.

Let’s tally all the hurdles.

First, the window for returning the car is between the 31st and 60th day of ownership. If you have minor gripes after driving the car home, GM wants to give you a month to get over those. Second, while you don’t have to cite a reason for returning the car, it can’t have more than $200 of damage on it.

GM says this is to protect itself from customers returning mangled cars, but $200 of damage can occur from a ding or nick in the paint. Keep in mind that GM will determine what counts as damage on the vehicle. Also, the car can have no more than 4,000 miles on it, leased vehicles are not covered and only one return is allowed per household.

Furthermore, GM will only refund the vehicle’s price and its sales tax. Don’t expect to get back the fees paid for the title or registration, which can account for several hundred dollars. Money paid for accessories sold by the dealer like paint or rust protection also won’t be refunded, and if you return your new car, don’t expect to get your old one back.

There is also no refund for owners who die.

GM insured its reimbursements through Cynosure Financial, and it’s clearly betting that most of its customers won’t take advantage of the money-back guarantee. To ensure this, it’s even offering customers a $500 rebate on their purchase if they waive the return policy.

Given the fine print, it seems like it’s a better deal to just decide on the car you want and take the discount.

The program runs through Nov. 30.

GM’s Return Policy May Not Be Worth the Hassle (Associate Press)

By Stephen Markley | September 28, 2009 | Comments (16)



Its a scam,pure and simple.GM wants to appear as if they are financially sound and ever so confident about their vehicles,but the program was little to no reality to it.Once again,its smoke in mirrors.Imagine an unsatisfied GM buyer trying to bring a car back,and the dealer saying no way due to scratches or road that going to build buyer loyalty? No,it will backfire and that buyer will sell the car at a loss and go Toyota,and never look back.


I would hasten to mention that you'll need a lawyer to get GM to make good on any warranty so I'm really laughing at this rouse!

Good luck suckers!


Destined to doom.

It's like Hyundai's Assurance plan - only 100% more failworthy. And it really isn't assuring.

Troy S.

I think the money back program is a decent idea. The only problem I have is buying from a company that was bailed out. It simply doesn't assure me of a good product if they can't do well enough to keep their doors open without public assistance. When will we get that money back?

I bet if you try to return it, they have someone key the car out in the parking lot, then go out to check it and say "Whoops, that's over $200 in damage. Sorry." Given the other tricks dealers employ, this wouldn't surprise me in the least.

* *

Dave Wuss

This is more of the typical GM marketing hype. The real joke is that not all GM dealers are participating. In the end it's just a stupid and desperate idea.


People are rarely dissatisfied with ANY new car purchase in the first 60 days or 4,000 miles.

When the GM car is 2 or 3 years old with ~30,000 miles and it rattles, squeaks and moans and the steering is loose and has been in for several warranty issues and they refuse to provide loaners and give you the same headaches as if you bought a problematic used car .... compared to most imports that are still tight and solid and have better customer service.

THAT's when most people wouldn't think twice about dumping most GM cars.


These actually don't sound that restrictive, and are pretty much what you reported on before (except the $200 damage limit). Just treat the car as you would any other new car for the first two months, and if you don't like it, return it.
The non-refund of fees does kind of suck, as they can be non-trivial, but just lowers the value of the offer, doesn't eliminate it.
Still, I think long term test drives would be a better idea.

Original sheth

Another non story. If you dont like this deal go buy a car with NO money back guarantee. Complaining about the fine print when competitors offer nothing comparable is ridiculous. You are better off with the deal and its reasonable stipulations than you are buying something with no guarantee at all. If you remove the restrictions there would be no incentive for people not to buy cars for 59 days just to get a full refund. Let's use our brains here.

All the people who commented above better check out the fine print on Hyundai's warranty if they take issue with restrictions and conditions.


I read that one hundred and fifty GM dealers opted out of the program. That right there tells you what they think of it's value. It seams like nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

Dave Wuss

Where's that chick who played the Ho that helped wreak havoc on Acorn? This is clearly another opportunity for her. What I wouldn't give to see a videotape of someone trying to return a car to a GM dealership. I can only imagine how they would react.

I read in the WSJ that GM ran this program in Europe with the Vauxhall brand and 4.2% of the cars were returned in a six month period. That sounds pretty good.


Treat it like there is no deal to begin with and just stay away from GM. Lets use our brains here.


I have to laugh at the idiot who wrote this article and those believing it. I have owned several GM vehicles and they have ALWAYS covered any problem Ive had which were minor. Unlike foreign co's who when you pull into the drive the first thing out oftheir mouth is if you damaged it then you are going to pay not us! As for Gm not taking cars back under guarantee. I had a friend who bought a GM vehicle and lost her job. She took it back only for that reason. They charged her NOTHING and no "hurdles" to jump. I dont blame them making someone pay a couple of hundred bucks for damage or clean up. To lie like this shows poor taste on writers part! Keep driving those foreign cars..They will kill you! And as for ford and chrysler.. I might push my onstar button for you as I pass you sitting on the side of the road! Lol


I have had 2 siverado pickups both 2014 double cabs 4x4 first one had a vibration GM could not find/fix 2nd one just stopped running at 4600 miles today is day 19 the pickup has been in the shop. I HAVE TOLD GM I WANT MY MONEY BACK EVERYDAY. I LIVE IN CLARE MICHIGAN AND WOULD NEVER EVER BUY GM AGAIN THEY ARE TOTAL JUNK. 42% MADE IN USA WHAT A JOKE.

Alejandro Ramos

I bought a set of carpet for my Suburban but the third row seat carpet is useless so I decided to return it and because I discarded the box I was unable to return it. I have the invoice with the part # . I think this is a policy which goes against good customers that trust GM and the old times treatment!!!! Thanks any way , I see that Amazon gives better service.

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