• Dec 4, 2009
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS - Click above for a high-res image gallery

Back in July, we first told you about a serious driveline issue that was cropping up in Chevrolet's new-for-2010 Camaro. In specific, output shafts were failing on V8 manual transmission SS models, a malady that was generally tied to hard launches or use of the car's launch control system. The problem eventually resulted in General Motors conducting some warranty repairs and briefly issuing a factory hold of the SS while it fixed the problem, and as far as we knew, that was that.

That was the last we heard of the issue until AB reader Billie informed us that talks regarding output shaft failure were once again heating up over at the owner discussion forums of Camaro5.com – so much so that GM's own John Fitzpatrick, the marketing manager of Chevrolet's performance cars, chimed in with a statement on behalf of the automaker, the text of which you can read after the break.

Basically, Fitzpatrick says that after a review of the issue, GM is confident that failure rates "under normal driving conditions are very low... even in the most extreme driving condition, the probability of failure does not significantly change." In any case, Fitzpatrick assures that GM will continue to stand behind their five-year/100,000 mile warranty coverage.

For the most part, it seems like Fitzpatrick's comments have assuaged the concerned parties on Camaro5 (there are definitely still a few disgruntled folks), but if nothing else, it's nice to see another example of an automaker wading into the internet fray to directly address customer issues.



Photos Copyright ©2009 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source, Camaro5.com]

STATEMENT:

I understand over the recent Thanksgiving holiday, the Camaro output shaft topic heated up. We understand the members' passion and concern for this issue as it involves a major powertrain component. Rest assured, everyone on the Camaro team takes these issues very seriously, but there is some confusion regarding this matter that we would like to try to clear up.

As many of the members know, we started to receive warranty claim reports in June of this year regarding output shaft failures on Camaro SS models with manual transmissions. When we noticed a spike in claims, a review was initiated to determine the root cause for the failure. This review is common practice for us, and usually takes a number weeks to complete. Since we did not immediately know the root cause, we did slow the shipments of Camaro SS models from Oshawa for a couple of weeks until the review was completed.


At the end of the review, we concluded the probability of a customer experiencing an output shaft failure under normal driving conditions are very low (or - if you are into engineer speak, "below tolerance"). In fact, even in the most extreme driving condition, the probability of failure does not significantly change.


Ideally, we would like to say that there is no chance a failure under any driving condition will occur. We know this is not possible since every car - regardless of manufacturer - has some probability of a part failing. In the case of Camaro, we believe the probability is very low. We have such confidence in the low probability that we back it up by providing the industry best's powertrain warranty - 100,000 miles or 5 years, which includes roadside assistance and courtesy transportation. If the powertrain part fails due to a defect in our workmanship or material, we'll correct the issue regardless of the number of owners a particular Camaro may have during that period.


Hopefully this will provide a little more insight from our perspective on this topic.


Sincerely,


John Fitzpatrick
Marketing Manager - Chevy Performance Cars


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everyone really needs to lighten up. Due to public demand they rushed the product to production so they obviously didn't have nearly enough time work out flaws in its design (specifically its interior), ergonomics, reliability, etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gm should have never dropped the Camaro in the first place, but that's a whole different story. But by rushed, do you mean taking 5 years to do what, at the end of the day, wasn't much different than a rebody of a Holden as a rush? Think about how much has happened in the world since you first saw a Camaro prototype. We are not taling about a turbine powered flying car here...just a basic update of a formula that's been around since the late 60s. Jeez, GM even had the future of the Camaro HANDED to them when around 2000 all of the 'Pro Touring' cars started showing up. Guys were spending $100k in parts on a Chevelle to make it corner well and drive like a modern car. Every red blooded American male who saw a Pro Touring car wanted one, and it took GM 9 YEARS to build ONE. By now there should be a Chevelle, there should have been a GTO that looked like a GTO and not a friggin Cavalier....

        I could go on and on but bottom line is GM just sucks...and it's so sad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Didn't this car take almost 5 years to go from concept to production, based on a car platform that has been in production for some years now?

        Rushed, my rear end. Oh, wait, no... it is Camaro's rear end... and driveline.

        If the transmission input and output shaft should be engineered to have a significant margin between even extreme usage and their breaking thresholds. This isn't their first time around the block.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It amazes me how fast everyone is to dump on GM on this, calling it a design issue etc. Anyone ever think for a second that maybe it's a vendor issue?
      Beyond that, while I like that corporate guys are watching the internet forums, and in this particular case they issued a statement via an enthusiast forum, the actual statement basically said that they noticed a spike in warranty claims, did an investigation, and concluded that the issue is not the car. This sounds to me like just another corporate type stating the normal corporate line. We understand your concerns but, we believe our car is performing as designed...blah, blah, blah.
      Probably is. Probably find the issue is being caused by some seriously over the top Camaro fans beating on the car WAY more than they should. Or maybe it's just dorks who always wanted a performance car but, never had one. Now they have one and have no clue how to drive it. To them, beating on it is driving it normally.
      Who knows?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fitzpatrick and his team deserve a lot of credit for the way they are handling this. For those familiar with the book Cluetrain Manifesto, these guys seem to get it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am willing to bet that the very existence of a feature called "launch control" is encouraging Camaro owners to test said system more than they perhaps otherwise would.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice gesture.
      • 5 Years Ago
      His engineer speak is right in that it is probably below tolerance. However, that tolerance is for known failure mechanisms (ie. fatigue, manufacturing defect, etc)
      It could very well be that these shafts are failing for reasons they did not account for.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1

        Their math worked because they missed a variable.
        Lar7789789
        • 5 Years Ago
        That may be true, but this is one of the many reasons why I have never owned......nor will I ever any GM car.

        I mean, its great that the 2010 Camaro has a huge LS3 V8 putting out 426 hp, but who gives a flying f*ck how much horsepower it has, or how fast the Camaro is if its going break down and have all kinds of mechanical issues.

        And the car is still in its infancy, I mean, wait another year or two, when people start to put 100,000 miles on the car, what's going to break down between now and then.

        Especially after GM's bankruptcy, this really doesn't put them in a good light.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like they changed the body of the car but still kept the same problems. I had to change the tranny twice on my 1995 Z28 in less than 100k miles and I'm not a very agressive driver. I never do burn outs, I do some quick take offs but nothing a pony car shouldn't be able to handle. This is the reason I will keep away from GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They are backing it up, with a better warranty than Ford even. The problem didnt seem significant to even call for a recall. I dont see the big deal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Greg Aryous
      6:59PM (12/04/2009)
      Same ole GM BS! Hiding behind corp PR BS instead of fixing the problem, just make up some lame excuses... same ole GM, nothing has changed!

      If you want a performance car that is meant to take it, buy one from a manufacturer that stands behind its product - buy a Ford Mustang GT and do burn-outs all day long with confidence, thanks to its solid rear axle no less!!!

      ------------------------------

      Yea well at least GM is quick to make fixes and under warranty when it is clear the punks on that forum at abusing the cars and should have their warranty ripped up and licenses revoked for reckless driving rather then the jap crap that is killing Americans.

      SAN DIEGO Dec 4th — A San Diego County sheriff's report says a customer complained of gas-pedal problems with a dealer's loaner Lexus three days before the same car ! ! accelerated out of control and killed a California Highway Patrol officer and three family members.

      The report obtained Friday by the San Diego Union-Tribune says the man told a receptionist at the El Cajon dealership that the gas pedal on the Lexus was sticking,
      the same problem that led to the deadly crash three days later on Aug. 28 !

      The man told investigators he was worried and emphasized the problem.

      The crash killed 45-year-old Officer Mark Saylor, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law and led to a massive recall of several Lexus and Toyota models.

      • 5 Years Ago
      So much for New GM being different from Old GM still making transmissions do they even have quality control?
        matthew
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ray:
        No need for quality control? That's interesting sentiment. I think they should make sure that the transmissions they get from their supplier work properly, don't you?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you know how many transmission problems Honda has? Tons. They should be considering some sort of quick-release set-up to cut down on warranty labor costs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you idiots even read? TREMEC makes the six speeds, Chevrolet buys them and puts them in the cars. They have no need to do Quality control on that transmission, it's not their problem or a defect of their cars that is causing it. Goddamn, you people who can't/don't read are multiplying at an alarming rate!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Same ole GM BS! Hiding behind corp PR BS instead of fixing the problem, just make up some lame excuses... same ole GM, nothing has changed!

      If you want a performance car that is meant to take it, buy one from a manufacturer that stands behind its product - buy a Ford Mustang GT and do burn-outs all day long with confidence, thanks to its solid rear axle no less!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look closer at the Camaro message board.... There are IRS failures as well.

        With the girth (er... weight) of the Camaro and its impressive power ratings, the drivetrain has to be designed for abuse. Period. You can't expect people to buy your 400+hp vehicle and not expect abuse from time to time. They would've opted for the v6 if they weren't concerned with power...

        Same thing (soft of) happened to Ford when they released the 390hp cobras-- drivetrain failures left and right. It will be interesting to see if the 2011, what with the 400+hp it will have, can handle aggressive driving. The lighter weight and LRA should take a bit of the stress off of the trans, but who knows.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The transmission output shaft is what's failing, not the rear diff. I don't think the output shaft has anything special to do with IRS, so the live axle in the Mustang isn't really making a difference unless it's to allow lower traction so that burnouts don't put as much strain on the drivetrain...
        • 5 Years Ago
        As well, isn't the problem with the Tremec 6 speed transmission?? GM isn't building the transmission, they are simply sourcing it.

        And this is the same transmission used in the viper, challenger, corvette, MUSTANG GT500, etc, etc, just with different gear packages.

        So, s*%$ happens.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Never ever ever ever ever buy a car that has been redesigned and is in its first model year. There is no way to predict what will go wrong during mass production and real world conditions. All of these types of problems are commonplace in a first year vehicle. People will jump up and down about Japanese makes on this forum, but many Japanese makes have been produced overseas for several years so they have ironed out these problems before the American Press and Consumer Reports can jump on them.

      The Camaro should be built to accept a reasonable bit of abuse. However, automakers have turned their backs on enthusiasts very quickly once they start to monitor the warranty claims. The classic example was Mitsubishi trolling the SCCA site and voiding the warranties of all those who participated. And then there was Subaru who gave out free SCCA memberships with WRXs and then would void their warranties when they came in with mechanical problems.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Now those are some messed up stories. It's amazing to see what people will do to screw someone else out of their money.
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