This Guy's 2015 GMC Canyon Caught Fire And He's Had No Luck With GM

We know from the multitudes of complaints to the federal government that sometimes older GM pickup trucks catch fire. But what happens when a newer GM truck catches fire? What’s it like dealing with the company? We didn’t have an immolated truck to find out, but one reader did. And it wasn’t good.

Greg is a reader with a 2015 GMC Canyon that went completely up in flames about a week ago, and ever since he’s been trying to get in touch with GM over the incident. For what it’s worth, we reached out to GM on Greg’s behalf and got this response:

Safety is a priority for GMC, and we take all feedback seriously. We have not yet looked at the vehicle so we have no way to comment on what caused the fire.

Disappointing, I know, but that’s how it is for now. In the meantime, read Greg’s story below, and maybe keep that in mind next time you see a bit of orange and yellow and smoke billowing around you.

How Not To Treat Your Customers: GM Edition

So here I am, recent college grad, was lucky enough to get a good job in the field I had been working so hard to get into right after college. I saved up some money so I could use it to purchase something that I always wanted and what I thought was the best truck on the market: A 2015 GMC Canyon. I sold my NB Miata, the most enjoyable car I ever owned, and traded in my Mazda 3 that got me through college. It was bittersweet getting rid of those cars, cars that never let me down.

I felt safe, or so I thought in this brand new truck. So much technology for a geek like myself. I thought to myself, hey, GM really built a winner here. I got complements on it just about every day, it was odd being stopped in the parking lot being asked questions about. I even talked a friend into buying a 2015 Colorado. I felt proud to own it.

I took it on vacation, visit family, and just drove around with pride. In the 3 months I owned it I racked up about 9500 miles. One day, about a week ago on my day off, I decide to go look at a house. First a truck, and now a house? My life is pretty good, or so I thought. I noticed smoke coming from under the hood. Oh no, my brand new truck..... So I immediately pull over and turn it off. As I open the hood I am greeted with smoke and the start of flames. The smell. I will never be able to not think of this moment if I smell it again. The smell of overheating electronics, with an added smell of burning plastic will forever make me gag. I immediately shut the hood and run towards the tree line.

Advertisement

As I am calling 911, the fire gets stronger and stronger. What if I had kids in the car? What if I decided to bring my dog? As the fire grows I feel even more helpless. First it was the battery exploding, then the tires, it was all so loud. I just filled it up yesterday, what if it gets to the gas tank? Oh s**t. About 20 to 30 minutes later, the fire department arrives (seriously, I have a new respect for firefighters now) and puts out the flames. As I walk to the truck I notice these streams of aluminum coming from whats left of the hood. Damn, that has a intense fire. The firemen get to inspecting the truck and notice that the alternator bracket looks like the T-1000 Terminator after they throw him into the molten metal at the end of Terminator 2. Whats left of the alternator looks like a steampunk birds nest. The firemen seem to think this is where the fire started. I guess I will take their word for it, they have seen more than I have.

Advertisement

My iPad, prescription sunglasses (I’m photosensitive, so they were really needed) and breifcase are all for the most part ash. At least i’m alive. Fill out the paperwork for insurance, get into a rental car the same day (thanks Geico and Enterprise!) even though it was a Chevy Malibu. I reach out to GM about the issue. No response. My friends had a brilliant idea: resort to social media. Monday I posted a picture and a short description of what happened on their Facebook page. Within an hour a rep got a hold of me and she said she would have someone call me. I get a call from this representative later in the day that said “Well since you turned it into insurance, we cannot help you.” Uh, what else was I supposed to do? Then I got to thinking about it and asked if they would at least help to cover my down payment and/or deductible? “No”. Okay......

Advertisement

For a company that brags about how good they are to their customers (at least on their commercials) I was not seeing it. If the vehicle was a few years old and this happened, yeah i’d be pissed but I wouldn’t seek compensation from GM. A truck that is 3 months old with less than 10k miles? If I ran GM i’d make sure my customer was back on the road within a week. A few thousand dollars for a multi-billion dollar company should be nothing to satisfy and keep a potential lifelong customer.

Advertisement

What if the problem was fixable? If the truck survived and was fixed under the bumper to bumper warranty? I wouldn’t have to pay a dime. It burns itself down? Pay your own $500 deductible and we will not help you get back on the road, “too bad for you.” How is that right?

So as of now thats that. My friends and myself are outraged at how I’ve been treated. Hell, A drunk driver hits a new miata and Mazda, not having to, decides to give them a brand new one. My truck burns to the ground and I get a “Not our problem” from GM. Im out almost $5000, and i’m going to have to find a replacement vehicle, pay my $500 deductible for a manufacturer defect, and replace my $600-$700 prescription sunglasses that make me see the road in the mornings and afternoons. Also my iPad, but luckily I have a recovery of that.

So the ball is in your court GM.

**Update**

I talked to the manager of the place I bought the truck from, he spoke to his district rep and so on, and the dealership is all for helping me. They told me to call the GM rep back. To add, this is the same rep mentioned above and the same one that called me this morning stating “have your lawyer call me.” So he says that my case is being escalated (to what level, I do not know) and a field engineer will inspect the truck. I guess at the very least we will get an idea of what started the fire.

Advertisement

**UPDATE 2**

It has come to my attention that some racist posts were found in my post history. I am mixed race myself so I have dealt with racism all my life. I do not share the views of the person that posted them. I am not happy he thinks this way, but he is allowed to feel this way, whether I like it or not. I let him borrow my laptop on occasion, the longest stint a few months ago when his broke. I don’t think of logging out of Chrome because he is a Firefox person. Yes those texts were fast, but on hangouts if you text within a minute, they don’t post a timestamp. I thought that would be proof enough from our conversation, but I guess not. All my friends are sickened someone would make these allegations because they know the type of person I am. So I really don’t know what else I can do to prove that I’m not racist. It was my mistake to let him borrow my laptop and not logging out of my account, so I’m not letting him come forward (plus he’s a minor). There’s no need getting someone else singled out in this. That’s the Gods honest truth.

Now onto the truck. GM contacted me 3 times today, one lady with claims, the first guy again, and a lady in product satisfaction. Both the lady and product satisfaction took down the same information again. The first lady seems to be able to help me with my personal items, so that will be nice.

Advertisement

The NHTSA contacted me also. The guy agreed with my concerns and told me about another Canyon fire (its in the NHTSA database) and was deeply concerned by GMs lack of action. Now, I realize it’s only been a week, but in that week, according to insurance, I would be on my way and settled (hence why I wanted to get the ball rolling). So I may have been anxious about it, but for my consciences sake, I didn’t want it to be swept under the rug.

As of right now I can’t say anything bad about GM, they are doing their jobs. I’m glad things are finally falling into place. Also glad the NHTSA is getting involved. I hope they find out the cause of this fire to rest my mind.

God bless everyone, until next time.