LIFT GATE failure to open

Discussion in 'Chevy Trailblazer Forum (GMC Envoy)' started by damiantote, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. damiantote

    damiantote New Member

    I am just today beginning my path to have this problem corrected. I will post updates as to how my situation is handled. If anyone else begins to experience the same problem, PLEASE post to this topic. As of now, there is no recall posted for this.

    The problem: the rear tailgate will NOT fully open. Basically what is happening is that the top plastic piece (which has the third brake light built in) is out of alingment and pushes against the hinges when attempting to raise the gate (either the full gate or just the glass). There is a HUGE gap now between the roof and the upper plastic piece - big enough that when the door is closed I can fit my entire hand between what is supposed to be the seal.

    The problem began while I was out of town and have not yet been able to get to my local CHEVY dealership. I did take the truck to a GMC dealership, where I was told that 1) they have had several ENVOYs come in with the same problem and it is a problem with the hinge, 2) DON"T OPEN the gate until I get it fixed at my CHEVY dealership, and 3) the repair has required the entire replace ment of the rear glass and complete upper lift-gate assembly and hinges. Additionally - forcing to open the gate could cause the entire upper plastic to shatter. (Note: I already have a small chip in the plastic from where it contacted the hinge.)

    My truck, while less than 2-years old already has 47,000 miles on it and I am out of my std 3/36 warranty. I am HOPING that GM considers this a RECALL. Anyone experiencing, or has experienced this problem, please post to this topic.

    Thank You
  2. damiantote

    damiantote New Member

    LIFT GATE FAILURE - disappointing first response

    Today I was finally able to take my Trailbalzer to my local Chevy dealer (not open on Saturday or Sunday).

    The basic problem is that the PLASTIC connectors on the 3rd brake light trim piece that attach to the lift gate hinges had detached from the hinge pin. There are four (4) of these connections (two on each hinge). In addition to the connectors detaching from the hinge pin (one on each hinge), the other two plastic clips detached from the brake light trim piece.

    When the hinge connectors detached, this caused the entire trim piece to drop down and back from the lift gate glass mounts. By moving back, the trim piece was now positioned such that when the gate is opened, the trim piece collides with the roof of the truck and stops the gate from opening more than a few inches. The first time this happened (as I'm not used to slowly and gently raising the lfit gate) the trim piece cracked when it hit the roof.

    My local CHEVY dealership stated that 1) my truck 2-years old but with 47,000 miles is out of warranty and 2) they would reattach the two remaining connectors so that I can actually open the door and charge me $80 for the labor.

    My extended warranty company considers the failure to be "cosmetic trim" and will not cover the repair or replacement. Even though this piece of "cosmetic trim" cause the lift gate to be inoperable, they will still not cover it under my warranty.

    General Motors Corporation will also not admit to any liability, nor are they even willing to research whether other Trailbazer/Envoy owners have been experiencing the same problem. (Note: the mechanic at the GMC dealership in NJ told me that they have had to fix several Envoys lately with the same problem.) General Motors also stated that they felt that it was "weather or temperature related" and that the piece is "only made of plastic" and (paraphrasing) that with 47,000 miles on the vehicle I should not expect the pastic peices to last forever. General Motors did offer to send me a voucher for a free oil change.

    Neither the dealership mechanics, nor General Motors seem to think that this failure is any big problem, nor is it their responsibility to investigate it. Additionally, they somehow think that now that it has been reattached (albeit with only 50% of its orignal design connectors) that the repair should resolve my probem. No mention on either part has been made regarding the damage to the piece when it cracked - other than saying its cheap plastic and what else would I expect (paraphrasing).

    I will now have to pursue the matter with General Motors directly in writing.

    If you are experiencing this problem too, 1) PLEASE post to this site and 2) feel free to contact me to provide support when your dealer tells you its only cosmetic.
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    The point to fight over all other points is the "cosmetic trim" issue. Latches and hinges are not a trim component. Most states have laws that cover the necessity of doors staying closed and being able to open, a lift gate might be a little bit different though.

    In fact, in Washington state I know you can't pass inspection if you can't open/close a door properly on the vehicle.

    Id fight the extended warranty over this, they might cave if you make enough noise.
  4. ScarabEpic22

    ScarabEpic22 New Member

    Really? Didnt know that about Washington, thats where I live. Hmm, will remember that. Thanks.
  5. nickg

    nickg New Member


    I have been looking for someone with the same problem. My trim piece is partly off but still opens. Also the rear glass opens randomly. I am still under warranty, but had one dealer tell me it was due to damage. It is getting looked at by another dealer now. What is my best plan of attack to get GM to take care of this problem?
  6. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    You can always call GM directly, I think there is a link on their website. There should be information in your warranty book as well, they have an arbitration process that you can go through that doesn't cost you anything either.
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

  8. stevewhite

    stevewhite New Member

    my rear lift gate would not open all the way

    I have a 2003 trailblazer ext LT
    I am happy because I temporarily fixed the problem but there is a design flaw in the molding so I know it will lift off the hinges again.
    1. Molding sticks out too much at sides allowing wind to get under and pull it away from hinges.
    2. Pastic C shaped parts that fit over hinge need to have a clip to hold them on because wind pulls them away and the plastic molding becomes a wind brake. The C design is a good design but it is backwards, the resistance of wind should be pushing the clips into the hinge not pulling them away.
    3. If anyone says the problem is you damaged the hinges which is causing the problem they are mistaken because when the clips slip off the hinges and the molding acts like a wind brake it is also bending your hinges that are glued to the rear window. I know this because I had to bend them down into their proper position. I don't recommend this though because the glass might break or the hinge might separate from the window.
    The dealer I go to said they have replaced a few of these tailgate moldings. I asked for some new tape to secure it back to the glass and so far so good. I also recomend people regularly tighten the bolts holding the molding to the glass. A locking washer wouldn't hurt either.
  9. Sandy72526

    Sandy72526 New Member

    The phone # for the Chevrolet Division of GMC Customer Assistance Center is 1-800-222-1020. Personally, I'd tell them that you have seen that it is a common problem on your vehicle year and ask them what they are doing about it.
  10. kytj

    kytj New Member

    lift gate

    Has anyone had any luck getting Chevy/GMC to pay for the repairs out of warrantee? When I finally figured out why I was getting a loud rattle from the rear of my truck at high speeds (trim piece shaking up a storm) I had 40004 miles. The body shop guy said it was from the snow! Who actually removes snow from the top of their truck?????

    My husband is livid that I haven't called & pitched a fit yet. I was hoping for some advice for dealing with chevy.

    What worked?

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