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Buying & Leasing a Car

What GM’s Bankruptcy Means to Consumers

The company's troubles won't affect drivers too much in the short term, but car owners should expect to encounter service obstacles down the road.

General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 1 but will continue to do business during the restructuring—and hopes to emerge as a stronger, new GM within 60 to 90 days. “The remarkable thing about all of this is how unremarkable this will be for the typical consumer,” says Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “It will be pretty seamless.”


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Expect to encounter some obstacles down the road, however. Here’s what GM car owners concerned about their service, warranties and loans need to know:

Service on your GM car

General Motors will continue to operate during the restructuring, and remaining GM dealers will still service GM vehicles—including Pontiac and other brands that may cease production—and honor GM warranties. Parts for all makes should remain available for a while.


“There are a lot of these cars on the road, and suppliers will continue to make the parts,” says Patrick Olsen, editor in chief of “But over the years, the availability will decline as the number of these cars on the road declines.”

If your local dealer closes, you may need to travel much farther for your service. Olsen expects some former GM dealers to stay open as independent dealers who may continue to do servicing, but it’s important to find out whether they’re certified to do warranty work.

Warranties on your GM car

General Motors will continue to honor its warranties, a request it made to the bankruptcy court. And the U.S. Treasury Department has offered to back GM’s restructuring Web page or call 866-405-4005.