3 On Your Side

Mesa woman 'fired up' over GM recall

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Bryana Hook) (Source: Bryana Hook)
(Source: Bryana Hook) (Source: Bryana Hook)
(Source: Bryana Hook) (Source: Bryana Hook)
(Source: Bryana Hook) (Source: Bryana Hook)
(Source: Bryana Hook) (Source: Bryana Hook)

It seems like we hear about vehicle recalls on a regular basis. But one General Motors recall may have caused a Mesa woman to actually lose her car.

"I cried a lot," Bryana Hook said. "There were a lot of tears."

Hook couldn't believe her eyes as she captured footage of her 2008 Chevy Aveo engulfed in flames as it sat in a parking lot. 

"I was driving my grandfather to a doctor’s appointment," she recalled. "We parked the car in the lot and proceeded to go inside of the building, and a woman came in and told us that there was a yellow car filling with smoke in the parking lot."

The car engulfed in flames was Hook's Aveo. She was able to buy the vehicle because her grandfather gave her $1,000 as a down payment. She financed the rest. 

Less than a year after she bought the Aveo, the car caught fire and was ruled a total loss. 

Hook said the incident left her fuming because GM told her weeks earlier that there was a chance her little Chevy Aveo could catch fire. When it did, she called GM to tell the company what happened. 

"They kind of insinuated that I may have lit my own car on fire," she said.

In a recall notice Hook received just weeks earlier, GM warned Aveo owners that their cars could go up in flames due to a faulty part.  

"Heat generated within the headlamp switch or daytime running lamp (DRL) module, which are both located on or near the left side of the steering column, could melt the headlamp switch or DRL module and cause a fire," the GM recall notice read.  "PARTS ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE."

"It was due to a part being recalled on it and not getting fixed in time." 

Hook's insurance covered the damage by totaling out her car and paying off her car loan. 3 On Your Side has learned that GM then reimbursed Hook's insurance company.

"The daytime running light issue melting can lead to a fire," a company spokesman wrote in an email to 3 Your Side. "Ms. Hook contacted GM about the fire and reached a settlement with her insurance company, which requested GM pay the claim."

But Hook says she's back to square one. She's out a car, but, more importantly ,she is out the $1,000 that her grandpa gave her as a down payment. 

"I’ve recovered nothing," she said.

So what, if anything can Hook do?

3 On Your Side contacted Phoenix consumer protection attorney Hyung Choi

"What Ms. Hook should do is find the contract that she purchased the car with and check and see if she can get any kind of refunds on the extra add-on products that she purchased," he said.

Hook has been dealing with this for nearly a year. Without money for another car, she has to walk to get her groceries and has to walk to the bus stop to get to work. 

"I think it's highly disrespectful to the customers to leave us hanging and waiting for contact," she said. "It's kind of an act of desperation to keep calling every day, wait for this person to get back to you and that person can transfer you here and there; it's frustrating."

General Motors told 3 On Your Side that only 22 percent of the Chevy Aveos affected have been repaired. That means a car fire like Hook’s could happen to other Aveo drivers.

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family
Contact 3 On Your Side