The 2 biggest problems that hurt GM's image are:
1. Union workers; my 2010 Cobalt I just got recently seems to have been poorly assembled (Monday or Friday car), but for the price I got it for I won't complain too much.
2. Is the dealerships; there are far more bad than good...
The Aveo is not American made - it is little more than a re-badged Daewoo engineered and built in Korea.
That said, there are better cars for the money, and the way you have been treated by GM's dealerships is nothing short of deplorable.
See, this is why GM continues to build junk cars. People accept them as long as they don't cost too much. I wouldn't pay any price for a poorly built vehicle, which is why I stick to imports and never have complaints like this!
2008 Pontiac Wave bought new off the lot. Both belts shredded at 77,000 Kms. Heavy engine damage, dealer says not our problem. I put a used engine in it from a 2006, now I have a flashing engine light. Very frustrated, very high payments, and still no support from anyone...
Just a quick point on the issue of the shifter being stuck in park. Sometimes (though not always), this is caused by the brake light switch (which sits behind the brake pedal) breaking or otherwise failing. This makes sense: the car is not designed to shift out of park unless the brakes are engaged to keep you from suddenly rolling away. If the switch is broken, the car doesn't know you're pressing the brakes.
The good news is that this is an easy fix. I bought the switch for my '05 Aveo5 from a dealer (dealer-only part) for about 15 CAD. Installing it requires some creativity to get your head and hands behind the brake pedal, but it's just a case of unhooking a wiring harness, unscrewing the old one, then installing the new one in the reverse order.
Just a tip: if this switch is the culprit to your shifter problem, usually you can tell because your brake lights won't come on when you press the pedal (or will be intermittent, etc). Again, I don't think this always happens, but if you notice the lights aren't coming on, you know what the problem is.
Best advice I can give an owner is to make maintenance a priority. Make sure you follow maintenance advice to the letter, and try to think of other checks you can do to try to head off more costly repairs later on. Transmissions on this car have spotted reputations. Have the Automatic Transmission Fluid checked, and maybe flushed. I know that when I checked mine it was looking a little too brownish-black for my liking. Not smelling burnt, which is good. Point is, try to spend money on the car BEFORE it breaks down, and you might save some in the long time.
I almost like to compare this car to Lada Nivas. These cars were hated by a lot of people I know because they weren't reliable, made funny noises, and had timing failures. However, that car had a timing chain that needed to be adjusted every 6k miles (10k km). Adjusting it took about 5 minutes. If you didn't know, you could be out an engine. Economy cars are very rarely maintenance free. I'm not going to try to tell you Daewoo makes superb vehicles, but I hope something I've written here might help someone down the road.
Sorry for the walls of text.
Definitely true. I considered a new Aveo when I bought My used 2005 Toyota Echo in 2007. They cost about the same, but I know I made the right choice. I've had no problems at all. It's a great little car. Luckily, it wasn't affected by any recent Toyota safety blunders.
I want a Toyota Yaris for my next car, but I think I'll be driving my Echo for a long time. The dealership was OK, but I've never had to go back for any repairs at over 110 000 KMs. I read that Chevrolet is calling its new upgraded Aveo, 'Sonic.' They claim it's because people can't pronounce the name 'Aveo.' That's laughable. They just want people to forget the poor quality that comes to mind associated with 'Aveo.'
If there is oil in/around spark plugs, chances are your valve cover gasket needs to be replaced. Common problem with Aveos, when you overfill it with oil.
That's why they went bankrupt. I don't believe they have changed since then. They are a failed company, and should have faded away after their bankruptcy.