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Manufacturer Badge Misconceptions

All auto manufacturers have a "badge"to recognize who the manufacturer is. Ford has the blue oval, Chevrolet has the bow tie, etc... So some consumers will buy an automobile based on the manufacturer because they have become trusting in the product over years of use. I have done this myself with General Motors products. Here is where the problem sets in. Cars built today have a lot of computers and control units in them that talk back and forth to each other. Technicians need a special computer to be able to read what is being said from one control unit to another. Those special computers are the manufacturers specific computers used in dealerships or a universal computer sold by companies like Snap On, OTC, and others. When we see the badge on the car that tells us what computer to grab to be able to diagnose problems or program software into the cars computers. I just recently rand into a problem with a Saturn. Saturn was manufactured by General Motors before going out of business. The general motors Tech2 computer was used to diagnose and program these vehicles. Saturn decided to offer the Astra model that carried the Saturn badge but was controlled by German engineered computer systems. You could not do anything to this car electronically until you downloaded the special programming to the Tech2. Once that was done the platform that the program ran on was quite different than regular Tech2 software. I tried to call the technical assistance hot line for GM but they could not help me with any of my questions. I then called a few Saturn techs and they laughed and said good luck...."it is an Opal with a Saturn badge on it". So no matter if you are a consumer or a technician you were fooled by the badge of the vehicle which lead to hours and hours of time spent to learn this system to be able to service it. I do not believe it is fair for me to eat the billable hours trying to service this car. I also do not believe it is fair for the customer to have to pay for all the hours of time spent trying to fix this vehicle either. I recommended to send it to a GM dealer and they said they did already and the dealer said they could not do anything for them. I then split the difference of time spent on the vehicle with the customer and proceeded to fix the car that the GM dealer said they could not. 
     In closing I would like to remind you that just because the badge says a certain thing it does not mean it is that under the hood! Do your research before purchasing a vehicle so you are sure you are getting what you think.

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