: 2007 Escalade - Family Trip From Hell

03-28-08, 08:58 PM
Hello Everyone.

I pop in and out of this forum from time to time when I have questions or concerns...so I thought I would share this disaster of a story with you all and see what feedback I get.

My family has driven Cadillac's for the last 25 years and my wife and I are on our 4th one - a 2007 Escalade (No comment on our experiences with them...there have been issues with EVERY SINGLE Cadillac). We took our 2 kids (3 and 5 years old) to Florida for Easter break last week with this vehicle (the 3rd time it would have been there and back since we've owned it). Well, we left Michigan in the evening and were moving along just fine, when things started to get sketchy in Tennessee. Accelerating through the mountains, I could feel what would equate to an upset stomach in the engine...a sort of gurgling. Not long, just 2 or 3 seconds...again, only when accelerating. Well, we get into the Knoxville area around 4:00am and I wake my wife up and we switched seats (on an exit ramp). We get back on the freeway and I see the check engine light on, which was not on before. So we pull back off because my wife thinks maybe she pushed something she shouldn't have. We are on an exit ramp and she puts it in park, and then in drive, and then she tries to accelerate and we're moving VERY slowly, but the tachometer is way too high for the crawling that we were doing. So we pull off the ramp into a parking lot and that's when it was over...we dropped the transmission! With approximately 24,000 miles on it...GONE! So, here we are at 4:00am with 2 kids in the truck, and NO CLUE as to where the hell we are.

We called Roadside Service and they tell us that we are within our warranty, so they can come and get us. Ok, what about the 2 kids? After some back and forth, we find out that there is a dealership 2 miles up the road. So we manage to jiggle the shifter back and forth and somehow get drive engaged...by now, it's 4:30am and nobody is on the road, so we made a break for it and made it! Now we sit until they open at around 7:00/7:30am. We get the write up and try and get things moving as quickly as possible...vacation still awaits us! They gave us an Escalade to use in the area to go grab some breakfast. But we could not take that vehicle past state lines. So they finally inform us that the whole transmission would need to be replaced. They get us a rental from Enterprise...a STRIPPED down Envoy with an 1/8 tank full of gas. No nav, dvd, sat radio - and CLOTH seats that wreaked of smoke with burn holes in them...but it was a non-smoking vehicle - go figure that one out! By now it's 12:30pm, and we had to unload our stuff from our vehicle into this P.O.S. and get the hell out of there.

So we make it to Florida, and get on the horn with Cadillac Customer Service. What a COMPLETE waste of time. I cannot believe how nobody gave a rats ass about our situation. For an almost $70k truck, I was sickened by the treatment we got from the roadside, to the dealer, and now finally through Cadillac themselves...we might as well have been driving a Malibu. They gave us our case number....whoopideedooo! And promised they would call back - that NEVER happened. We were forced to call and scream and complain...again, nobody gave a damn. It took the dealership 3 days before they even ordered the parts because they were busy...um, if I'm not mistaken, WE were the first ones in their lot on Thursday morning. And we had to be back in Michigan the following Thursday. We told them we wanted it fixed on Wednesday so that we could roll in the next morning when they open and get our truck back and get the hell out of there. At no point did Cadillac Customer Service ever offer any type of replacement vehicle from a dealership in Florida or anything. Again, nobody cares!

Well, we finally called in a couple favors from people high up enough that could rattle some cages. And it was purely out of frustration that we paid what we paid for that truck expecting the best and we got treated like the worst. I fully understand the cat and mouse games between GM and the dealerships...each of them blaming the other. GM blames the dealers for their poor customer service, and the dealerships blame GM for building subpar vehicles. And who pays for it? That's right, us, the customers. They are more concerned with keeping their shareholders happy than their customers.

So, the truck got fixed. We picked it up and made it home. Finally getting some half-ass decent treatment...ONLY after the top of the top of Cadillac got involved. So why did it have to go that high up before we were mildly taken care of? Now Cadillac customer service is calling to talk about reimbursement for us. How the hell do you quantify the shitty treatment we got? How do you even discuss this with these people that could give a damn?

So, given this drama, if some of you could even imagine yourselves in this situation, or perhaps have already been through it, what would you go after? Is some monthly payment credit enough? My wife is in an Escalade because we wanted a top of the line "American made" SUV with all the amenities and safety features for long road trips...and we can more than afford the monthly payment. So it's not a matter of monthly payment assistance. They will not understand the FEELING of being stranded in the middle of the night with 2 small kids and not knowing what the hell to do...and then coming to the realization that they DO NOT CARE. There is a human emotion that is absent within Cadillac and their customer service.

Sorry for the long ass story, but this appears to be my only form of consolation and therapy...because Cadillac sure could give 2 shits.

Frustrated and Disappointed in Michigan,

03-28-08, 09:33 PM
Oh Bob, what an absolute nightmare. I'm sorry for your bad luck with the vehicle. I have a small child and can appreciate how helpless that must have made you feel.

As Cadillac's customer service goes, so goes customer service with almost every other high end product you buy nowdays. I can't think of a single time I've dealt with (any) customer service in the past years that I have felt totally satisfied, especially without going over the "small guy's" heads to the top tier people. At some points I've even had to contact companies' corporate lawyer offices to get some kind of satisfaction.

At first I ask myself if I've become pussified and believe I'm entitled to better things because of my socioeconomic status. But then I tell myself I have a reasonable expectation of a higher level of service when I pay a premium price for a "superior" luxury line product. I think you are entitled to those expectations too.

I believe you are entitled to be reimbursed for your rental car, and it's not unreasonable to expect them to kick off a monthly payment for your troubles. But I don't believe you are entitled to pain and suffering for your inconvenience. That's just my opinion though.

Thanks for signing up and sharing your story.

03-29-08, 12:26 AM

Thanks for the response...your line

"I have a reasonable expectation of a higher level of service when I pay a premium price for a "superior" luxury line product"

is PERFECT! Just because we work hard and live properly, does not make one pussified!

They have already covered the rental car...believe me, I would've burned that place to the ground had they even mentioned us having to submit our rental expenses at a later date.

But am I completely out of line to expect that we should have gotten an equal replacement? I understand that the dealerships are completely independent of eachother, as well as GM, but you would think that Cadillac would step up and make things right. Or is this such a rare case, that they don't have a solution, or not even bother to come up with one?

We have never owned anything other than GM/Cadillac, so it's hard for me to say that Mercedes or BMW would do anything different...maybe they would, I just don't have that experience.

Again, how do you quantify the inconvenience and bullshit that they put you through? My kids were great about it, as they are on every road trip...they just thought it was part of the trip! I cannot even begin to count our blessings on ending up in such a good area, versus some shady town that would leave my family and I as a headline...regardless if the damn thing ran or not. The main thing is that we were safe and not stuck in the mountains. All that set aside, after 24k miles, should this have happened...probably not.

Thanks again for your response. I hope to see some more good feedback from such a strong forum.


03-29-08, 12:59 AM
Glad to hear everything ended well, all things considered.
I wouldn't say you're out of line expecting an equal replacement but the fact is you're at the mercy of the Rental service.
If the Rental service did have something better but you didn't insist on something better, it's hard to say if they would have given one to you.
They should have but, it's a crap shoot when you get a Rental to use while your vehicle is in the dealer for any reason.
I've used Rentals at times while having service done ... one time it's a Cadillac and another time it's not.
Again, it depends on the Rental service and what they have at the time you need one.
We should expect more and get more,.. if it was a perfect world I think we would. But, That's another story.
As far as what GM offers you for your time and trouble, I would take as much as possible. They advertise how they offer everthing for you in time of trouble and they should do what they advertise.
Good luck.

03-29-08, 01:36 AM
So the commercial from Onstar are BS!!! Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Hope that the costumer service in California is going to be better...just got a 08 escalade 2 days ago.

03-29-08, 08:41 AM
Problems on the road always suck for sure, we have had our two 07's all over the country, back and forth from PA to MT probably 20 times and PA to upstate NY weekly without issue. Did blow an engine in a month old Escalade which GM replaced the truck, and although it could have been a disaster, GM treated us great, could not have asked for anything else they could have done to fix the problem, never been treated better by Mercedes or BMW, thought it would be a pain, it was pleasure. There is nothing about supplying an equal car/truck for a rental, when I had my engine problem they delivered to me a brand new STS and a Tahoe with 1000 miles on it, but that was more my dealership doing that than GM. :)

03-29-08, 09:18 AM
But am I completely out of line to expect that we should have gotten an equal replacement? I understand that the dealerships are completely independent of eachother, as well as GM, but you would think that Cadillac would step up and make things right. Or is this such a rare case, that they don't have a solution, or not even bother to come up with one?


I don't suspect your situation is unique or rare. IMO a dealership of luxury line vehicles should be ready to provide a comparable courtesy vehicle for its customers, not a rental. Again, customer service seems to always be outsourced and "somebody else's problem" nowdays. I find few exceptions to that rule. To get good service after the sale you almost have to personally know someone or have family working in service. I am always pleasantly surprised when I do find quality CS and show those companies absolute customer loyalty when I find them.

03-29-08, 11:42 AM
Sorry to hear about your situation, and I can sympathize with you on Cadillac Customer Service. They are completely useless.

Now, as a resident of East Tennessee, may I ask which dealer handled your situation because if you were sent to the one I think you were sent, then that was your entire problem. They are notorious for horrible customer service.

03-29-08, 01:35 PM

The dealer was Rodgers Cadillac. The first gentleman we met at around 6:00am that opened the lots and buildings was extremely nice and accomodating which made me feel like we were in the right place. It was when 7:00am rolled around that I knew we were S.O.L. This nice gentleman went in to tell the guys about our problem when they started showing up...since we were sitting right in front of the service bay doors, it was VERY hard to miss us. Well, don't we sit there till almost 7:30am while they ate their breakfast and shot the shit and looked on the internet. I understand that there were no mechanics in yet, but the ticket writer's could at least let us pull in and start the process. Chalk it up to good ol' boy southern mentality, or to plain old fashioned I don't care about you or your problems mentality...not quite sure which one.

And after repeatedly asking for updates and not getting them, I would call because I felt VERY uneasy about the fact that we were there on a Thursday morning, and they had not torn apart or ordered parts until Monday afternoon to be overnighted for Tuesday morning...the response I got was, "well, maybe you should just enjoy your vacation and let me worry about your vehicle." Okay, I cannot enjoy squat because you are stressing me out. We had to close one of our business' down for a week, while I was able to work remotely for my business, but we HAD to be back and open on Friday...so that meant we had to be home sometime Thursday night.

We also went through the task of quoting a new vehicle off of their lot thinking that we would just leave that broke down piece of crap there, and we would buy a new one from them...we could roll-in the next two payments and take advantage of the 6-month pull ahead. I was not expecting to spring for a new vehicle on a trip, but hey, if it meant getting back on the road and in a new vehicle...why not. Well, doesn't this joker come back to us with a 39-month lease (we got into a 27-month lease with our current one) and about $200 more a month than we are already paying! What an *******! We got this one when there were NO incentives out...we got it in the first model year production - right when GM is recouping the capitalization of their tooling costs...so there is NO wiggle room anywhere. Apparently they sure weren't hurting for business...but from the look of that inventory - OUCH! So, I didn't even bother trying to haggle with this fool...he obviously didn't want our business. But don't tell me that this vehicle has gotten MORE expensive since it came out.

Only after we sent a few emails to those that do care and can make things happen, did we receive some better service. We actually got a phone call from Mrs. Rodgers while she was on vacation...and she couldn't have been more pleasant and apologetic. She even had a chocolate basket waiting for us when we made it back to her dealership to get our truck. Which was nice. But that was about it. And the person way up in Cadillac that was helping us had worked the Southeast region for Cadillac and knew Mrs. Rodgers personally and said that if Mrs. Rodgers had been there when we were there, she would have done anything and everything for us. Which is so nice to hear, but that's where the concern stopped...with the owner. As business owners, my wife and I press upon our employees that they are en extension of us...and they need to treat it like their own...if not, there's the door and don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

Well, I guess that's probably enough of my ranting for today! This forum is just awesome...all these good hearted owners putting up with subpar bullshit. After reading many of the posts, I'm seeing some common issues with ours that I had overlooked...the wind noise on the front passenger door has been a nag since we got it...door alignment issues. Well, that's good to know - you pay almost $70k for a truck and they cannot hang the bloody doors right! Body structure issues...nice. Oh, and our factory chrome 22's...yeah, the chrome has been peeling off and compromising the seal between the rim and tire causing air leaks. And guess who couldn't fix it and didn't care? Our local dealerships in Michigan, Serra Cadillac and Crestview Cadillac...that's right, we went to 2 dealerships. Guess who fixed it? Not a Cadillac dealership...the good folks at Belle Tire. The usual mentality of there not being a recall, so they don't need to do anything about it. There is probably TSB's out on some of these nagging issues that are plaguing people, but nobody will do anything about it until it becomes a recall.

I could go on with more issues with this damn truck, but I have to run the kiddies to soccer now...

Take care all and thanks for reading and responding...let's hope we can all make it through the aggravation...


03-29-08, 05:13 PM
I'm really feel for you Bob, and I sincerely mean that. Rodgers used to be the standard by which all other Cadillac dealers were judged, but the last 20 years they have really sunk to new lows. Rodgers has been a family owned business for over 100 years, and their tag-line is "Oldest Automobile Dealer in the Southland", but the younger generation had just about run the dealership into the ground, and if Mrs. Rodgers hadn't come out of retirement, Rodgers might have been taken over by another dealer and/or closed, who knows but things didn't look good for them.

Your situation is exactly what goes on everyday with them, and why they are still losing customers....THEY JUST DON"T CARE. When you go to buy the car, their attitude is--there's the car, the price is on the window, let us know when you'll pick it up. And when you go in for service the attitude is--you want us to fix a problem...wait a minute, you have a problem...well what do you think we're here for...it's certainly not to fix your car, that's your responsibility.

I could say alot more but I'll leave things there and let you know that the other Cadillac dealer here in town is the complete opposite, and I can assure you they would've treated you right from the start, and you would've left the dealer in an Escalade because its their policy to not let you out in anything but a Cadillac. When they've run out of loaners I've had to wait for Enterprise to find a Cadillac and the one time Enterprise was out of Cadillacs, they took my cell and called me the minute the located a Cadillac and brought it to me. I didn't see the need since the Buick Lucerne is very similar to my DTS, but the Enterprise man said they would get in serious trouble if the dealer found out I wasn't in a Cadillac.

03-29-08, 06:23 PM
As a proud employee of a Cadillac Dealership I am sorry to hear the trouble you had. BUT in the world of big business and the almighty dollar you are correct, sometimes the little man isn't equated into the problem. The dealership should have been on top of your car the minute the tech's rolled in and should have had the parts ordered that afternoon IF they found the problem. Where I work, In-Transit customers are always pushed to the front of the line even if it will be a week before they are back, get the car fixed, test driven, and Quality Checked ASAP so JUST IN CASE there is another problem it can be handled immediately and hopefully before you are ready for your vehicle. Heads would have rolled at where I work for holding out like that. As far as the rental car, dealerships have to provide their own insurance for loaners and from what I understand, the insurance companies only insure vehicles in the state of which the dealership is located so they couldn't do much there, and then like said above, you were at the mercy of the rental car company. As far the wheel corroding, that should be handled someway, I know we can take care of those problems, it does not usually involve replacement of the wheel unless it is beyond repair, or if they wheel is starting to flake. I hate you hear about how things were handled, it just goes to show that this world is going to shit, and what really chaps me most is that GM and dealerships make the few good employees or dealerships look like complete fools because we get catorgized with the idiots. It makes me want to change careers because of the judgement we get. I hope things take a turn for the better for you.

03-30-08, 12:51 AM
I have a 07 which is just turning 50K miles it is my first cadi and so far it has been a good experience except for the wind noise (Which mine seems to be better than most).

All I can say is be glad you were not driving a Range Rover. You were treated like a king compaired to the way we have been at the land rover dealership.

As we had a similar case as your with our Range Rove while under factor waranty!

03-30-08, 01:53 AM
A while back, I opined that the Escalade was a great car in the "semi-luxury" category. Several people took exception to that comment, insisting that it is a full-on luxury vehicle. My point was that if I could afford one, it must not be a luxury car. The GM service horror stories that we are hearing serve to confirm my original proposition. GM's refusal to fix this !%@#!*&$! wind noise problem is admissible evidence, gentlemen...

03-30-08, 02:10 AM
sorry to read about your experince with cadillac iam in a battle with the wind noise so far the dealer says everything is in factory specs i have a case filled with gm and the bbb like everybody has been stating this wind noise is not exceptable i will be hearing from gm wed. they are supposed to have a decision buy back or not i will keep everybody posted

03-30-08, 05:44 PM
I hate it when my expectation of good service gets busted, too. I deliver excellent service to my customers as I am sure you do and naturally we expect the same in return especially when we think we are paying for it.

It is amazing how just a little extra effort and customer care at the expense of a little time and courtesy would have made your experience so much different. GM paid big bucks for your transmission and car rental but your experience was poisoned due to the lack of a few extra bucks worth of customer care from the dealer.

My Canon plotter went down, took a couple of weeks for the contact service tech to come out. Couldn't fix it, was told to tell me it had to be shipped back to Japan for diagnosis since it was a brand new problem. What?! The guy felt sorry for me so he told me to call Canon customer service and complain, which I did. I had to fight my way up the chain 2 levels before they finally agreed that it was unacceptable for me to be shut down for the 4-6 weeks it would take to fix the problem. They finally agreed to send me a new plotter, and then it took a week for the replacement order to make its way through their distribution chain before it was actually shipped. It seems like you have to fight for proper service with some of these big companies. They'll take care of you, but only if you bitch loud enough or don't accept the low level solution that they first offer.

It's a great plotter but I was sorely disappointed in what it took for them to make good on their warranty.

I really like my truck and I am hoping I don't have my ownership experience tainted by subpar service like what happened to you. On the other hand: Stuff happens. It got fixed. Tomorrow's another day.

03-30-08, 10:49 PM
I'm curious as to WHY the original transmission went out at only 20k miles.
Did the trans overheat ??

03-31-08, 08:50 AM
not every part is perfect. sometimes thats the way the cookie crumbles. i understand the feeling of something breaking on a 70k vehicle, but unfortunately everything is suspectible to not being perfect.

04-02-08, 09:57 AM

I just want to thank everyone for their feedback...I'm glad to see that I'm not crazy and asking for too much!

Well, yesterday (Tuesday), a mere short 5 days from getting a "new" transmission installed...I noticed a very unusual sound when my wife started her truck in the garage in the morning. It started nice and normal and then it took on a mind of its own. Some unusual reving and mis-timing of some sorts. She drove my son to school (max speed of 40mph for about 500yards, everything else 25mph) and she said it wouldn't shift into the next gear until the rpm's got too high. Anything from 1st to 3rd gear was laborous according to her. And since she has been the one driving this thing since Sept 2006, she's got a damn good feeling of how it used to run.

Well, off to our favorite dealership in Rochester, MI...Crestview Cadillac. I say our favorite because, and I'll only reference our brilliant experiences with them on THIS vehicle and not other Caddies, they've turned us away with our chrome peeling off the factory rims causing air leaks saying there was nothing they could do...and then our DVD player was intermittently transmitting the signal to the rear screen, again a factory installed option, and they said there was nothing they could do about it and that we had to reach back with the remote control and try and stop and start it instead of using the touchscreen in the front. Now THAT'S what I call QUALITY SERVICE! I want to bite these people! Sorry for the sidetrack...well the problem does not seem to be identifiable to them. My guess is it stopped acting weird. They said she could leave it, but they did not have any vehicles to give her since the appointment customers took all of their loaners. And then Enterprise apparently didn't have anything either. So they swept her out the door with a vehicle that is having transmission issues without a second thought. So she said, "What, I just go out there and wait for it to break down and then call for a tow?" It was their typical attitude of, "Well, there's nothing we can do for you" - end of story...get your shit and get out!

I really want to do bad things to these people! Why is it that all the *******s end up in the service industry? I know that is not a fair statement. We have had exceptional service at times from different industries - sure as HELL not from Cadillac, Cadillac CS, or their dealer network!

So, back up the Cadillac food chain we go. Someone please give me strength! And I think that is part of the problem. I'm sure some of you, as have my wife and I, just said screw it and stopped fighting because it comes to a point when you realize that it's not really worth your time anymore. You're not getting anywhere, you're getting upset because you're arguing with someone on the phone whose job it is NOT to service you and keep you as a happy and loyal customer, but to not give you JACKSHIT! It would probably be easier for me to go back to school and spend however many years I need to spend to become a certified mechanic so that I can service/repair my own damn vehicle and know that it's being done right! One of our lovely experiences with Serra Cadillac in Romeo, MI resulted from a simple oil change. My wife is traveling down a snowy freeway after leaving Serra, and her dashboard lights up like a christmas tree and she has no all-wheel drive, power steering...again at a high rate of speed on the freeway. So she gets off the freeway and turns around to head straight back there. She calls them in the meantime and starts to raise hell with the service manager. His response was that it was definitely not the result of anything THEY did, but it was probably BAD KARMA! Are you F-ing kidding me? When she told me this I almost drove up there to turn this ******* inside out myself. But he's dealing with a woman, so he/the dealerships can just act a fool. Well, don't they pop the hood and see that a wiring harness was pulled out and not put back...I think they said something about replacing the oil filter and pulling it out for more room...whatever...just put the sonofabitch BACK! Oh, and the best part of it all...NO APOLOGY! So sad...

That's all for now...will hopefully keep you posted on these fun and exciting times with Cadillac...dickheads...

04-02-08, 10:19 AM
When our Tahoe needed repair, the dealer paid for the rental, but we got a dodge neon at Enterprise. It was a good laugh, tooling around in that crappy little car. We just reminded ourselves that this would show how fortunate we were to have a Tahoe LTZ. When my wife's lexus needed repair, they gave us a lexus! They even let us take it home for a few days, out of state! Lexus definitely treats you like a king. Great service! I wish my Escalade was built as well as my wife's lexus. That lexus is flawless. Quiet cabin. Tight steering. Strong brakes. Smooth and powerful. Total luxury. It even has a 6 speed tranny that is smooth as silk. You almost can't feel the shifts unless you pay attention to the gear position display in the DIC. Unlike my Escalade that has "normal" hard shifting. I can see where Cadillac failed on push button starting and the headlight controls. Lexus has different headlight settings. Off - Auto - On. This allows you to not flash the HID's everytime you start the vehicle. On off firing of the HID shortens its life. Cadillac, look at how Lexus offers a step up in luxury and learn something.

04-02-08, 10:33 AM
I forgot to mention, the only reason the Lexus has ever been in the shop is because my wife slid into a curb last winter, broke a rim and damaged the hub. I bought a replacement rim on ebay and took it to the local toyota dealer for the hub noise. They said, they are not a Lexus dealer and can't service it, but it looks like nothing is wrong, so just tell Lexus the hub started acting up. When I called Lexus roadside and made arrangements with my Lexus dealer the Service Manager said, the hub just stared making noise? I said yes. No problems. No questions asked. No trying to get out of the repair. No bullshit excuses. They replaced the hub under warranty and gave us the Lexus loaner. Next time your in a 2007 IS250, feel the dash. Its a sort of soft rubberlike compound. Makes the Escalade dash feel cheap. I wish the Escalade was made by Lexus.

04-02-08, 11:22 AM
I just took my Range Rover in for the 8th time for service, it only has 10k miles on it, and they would not give me a loaner, they said they were all out of cars :banghead:, so I ask the salesman if I could take an 08' for a test drive, I will return it when my RR is ready for pickup, many ways to get around the dealership problems ;) I got to drive to blown up engine Escalade while I was waiting for my new truck last year, I almost did not want to give it up, it ran so good, nothing worse than having something repaired and it's not done right. :(

04-02-08, 01:28 PM

Well the didn't want the other cheek to become jealous. :dummy: The gloves must come off now...give'em hell and good luck. I don't say I would blame you when your next vehicle is Lexus, Infinity, or Lincoln. What a shame. :nono:

Thank you for updating the thread too.