Warranty Woes Summary - 4 years/70,000 km of ownership (a lot of visits above and well beyond regular servicing requirements, which equate to loss of work time, inconvenience etc, etc), Some of these problems took a lot of time, as in several visits, to work out.
You can translate "erratic idle and stalling" and "clunk/squeak in steering" to be among just some of the contributing factors here.
- Numerous panel and paint faults evident on delivery - fixed (not completely, but Holden refused further coverage) requiring no less than 3 visits to panel beaters - all this before the 1000km service!!.
- Every external door/window trim replaced twice - they never sit right and warp (snapping holding clips) under moderate heat (mid 30 degrees).
- 3 IAC motors. Dangerous design fault - often stalling during gear changes (a dead car halfway through a roundabout with oncoming traffic is no fun at all) - as noted in other Vectra responses here, it will require regular replacement for the entire life of the vehicle.
- 3 intermediate steering shaft and valve bodies (and several return visits to re-align the steering wheel after each replacement part) - Another design fault? Most likely.
- 2 crank angle sensors (engine dead in middle of 80kph traffic anyone? Again, no fun!!!)
- 3 demister vents replaced (internal front windscreen) - never fixed satisfactorily - *load* cracking noises anytime a temperature change is directed there (i.e. heat or AC) - and when not actually replaced, it has been adjusted and repacked with various vibration deadening materials on almost every visit over four years of ownership from new!
- 2 door light switches replaced (and two flat batteries as a result).
- 2 door light covers 'fell off' - reglued.
- Heater switch (in engine bay) failure.
- Various internal rattles and squeaks.
- Internal rear view mirror replaced (wouldn't sit in position, very loose).
- Erratic power window faults (never tracked down... happened infrequently and righted itself).
- Power door locks failure (small actuator) - unable to use driver's door for two weeks - was charged for this one (out of warranty) - but has been noted as a common warranty failure elsewhere.
- Loud rattle from engine bay under acceleration (initially thought to be drive train or suspension related) - after many many visits (and me thinking the car could blow up at any moment) it ended up being internal engine problem associated with the notorious cam belt design fault. I had to have the cam belt, the tensioner, 3 pulley assemblies and the water pump (damaged by the pulley failure) replaced. After much annoyed phone calls to Holden Australia (armed with some research from online resources like this (carsurvey) and www.consumer.org.nz) - Holden agreed to pay for the parts, but I still had to pay for labour (out of warranty).
- Air conditioning has developed a foul smell each summer for the past two years - began under warranty, but Holden maintain that it is normal (not normal on any other car I have owned) and that the AC requires a deodorising treatment each yearly cycle... at $100 a pop. Have since been advised it is another design fault, the AC is designed for Europe and our humidity/heat combo causes nasties to 'grow' in the AC system. The deodorising basically does an antibacterial wash of the system.
I have just disposed of my 1999 Vectra CD sedan - it was the biggest piece of crap I have ever owned!!! And although Holden (via my dealer, who was excellent) had mostly covered everything that went wrong under warranty, it is now 12 months out of warranty, and some of the things people have listed here as design or otherwise warrantable problems are starting to happen and cost me money - so apart from spending so much time at my dealer (and knowing all the mechanics on a first name basis), I also have to contend with Holden refusing to acknowledge that recurring design faults are the same as the ones they fixed under warranty for other owners, and I am now being charged a fortune in repair costs.
The number of 3+ year old Vectras appearing on used car lots is amazing! I took a bit of a loss by trading it to a dealer (on a nice new, non-Holden, Japanese made car), but given all the faults I have endured, I couldn't bring myself to sell it privately... at least the new owner will get a 12 month used car warranty.
I'm sure I've forgotten something else (in the faults listing) - but I'd had enough... Never ever a Vectra again, and never ever a Holden (have you read the Holden Commodore section on www.carsurvey.org???)
I recommend you read this website (www.carsurvey.org) before buying any car, new or used.