Mad As Hell, Not Gonna Take It

By Cindy McNicholl

Virginia (WDIV) - A man drove from Virginia to Michigan on Monday because he said he's got a bone to pick with leaders at General Motors Corp.

David Derringer said he has been a GM car owner for years, but it was after a challenging conversation with a GM phone operator that he took his dedication to a new level.

"I'm tired of being handled on the phone like, 'You're not going to drive three states away when you're in Virginia.' It's a 'we'll do what we can' kind of attitude, condescending," he said.

Derringer said his complaint with the company started when the power steering pump on his wife's 2007 Chevrolet HHR kept failing.

"It didn't matter if it was on a harsh curve or if you were on a straight away, whether the roads were wet or dry. You know when it went out, it didn't go back on and you weren't always in a safe place to turn off the key," he said.

Derringer said the same part in the Chevrolet Cobalt was recalled, but not the HHR.

"While it does have the same steering motor as the Cobalt, it is tuned differently and performs differently. The number of warranty claims were about half as many as for the Cobalt ... we explained the results of our investigation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the agency was satisfied with out explanation and did not ask GM to take further action," GM said in a statement.

Derringer said despite what GM said, he wanted his wife to be safe.

So, he went out and bought a new steering pump for his wife's car and requested a refund from GM.

When he got the runaround on the phone, Derringer said he packed up his GMC pickup truck and made
the more than 450-mile drive to talk to GM officials in person.

He was removed from GM's headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit when he first arrived, but was able to speak with GM officials after Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV.

He was granted a refund.

"I've had some satisfaction knowing I've done all I can do," Derringer said.

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