2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi from North America - Comments

15th May 2005, 10:21

I also had to replace the intermediate steering column (even was forced to pay for it while it was still under warranty). The authorized dealer/repair shop said it wore out due to lack of lubrication when it was installed at the factory. He said the warranty would only allow them to take it all apart, then add lube. I asked if that would fix the problem or did it had significant wear. I was told it would only stop future wear and the problem (and now really loose handling) would be permanent.

Not wanting to have a performance car that can't stay in it's own lane, I paid the bill for new parts. When the car was returned, it was as good as new. That lasted a couple months until the same problem returned. I was ticked.

Upon returning the car, I was informed that there was a recall (I believe that was the term) and it would be replaced again with new parts for free. I asked if it shouldn't have been free the first time seeing how it was under warranty and they said no. The warranty must be PRE-Approved. Regardless of the situation, if I didn't first get written approval, it was too bad. A follow up complaint letter confirmed their united stance on that.

It has been over a year since the warranty work was performed and the car has remained wonderful. I must say that the outcome of the repair softens the sting of being ripped off. However, their lack of honor and making me feel tricked lets me know this is my last Pontiac contract I'll ever establish.

10th Oct 2005, 13:59

We own a 2001 Bonneville and have also had problems with the rack and pinion. So far, it has been replaced twice, and is now making the same noise again. We also had to replace the manifold and the fan motor. We are not pleased with our Bonneville.

27th Jan 2006, 05:34

I owned a 2001 Bonneville from 16k to 191k miles (lots of them). The steering problem does require lubrication of the steering shaft every 30-40k. This is the only unusual regular maintenance I had on this vehicle. Would highly recommend it and actually just bought an 2002 Bonneville with 25k and plan to run it to nearly 200k also. Don't let the dealer talk you into replacing the steering shaft (I fell for this once). It just needs lubrication.

1st Mar 2006, 18:18

I have owned my 2004 Bonneville for about 18 months. At 29000 miles it developed the same steering problems, noise, as those listed above. I absolutely love the car and really hated to think there was anything seriously wrong with it. The dealership replaced the rack & pinion and the noise went away!!! Well at 33400 the problem was back.. This time the dealership said all it needed was to be greased every time I brought it in for servicing. Greasing it did the job... No more noise!! He said GM has told all dealers to take care of the problem.. I was told they would take care of it even after my warranty is up. Can't be happier.

8th Mar 2006, 15:02

I had a 2000 Bonneville SSEI which I loved and then traded for a 2003. The ’03 has been a great car too, except that in the last 4 or 5 months I began feeling the same feedback in the steering that others have talked about. I mentioned it at a regular service and was told that the intermediate steering shaft needed to be replaced with a newly designed part, but that parts were on a “national backorder.” I was told a couple weeks later that GM determined the new part was not resolving the problem and that GM had instructed service centers to simply lube it. That would resolve the problem for about 40,000 miles, after which it would be required again.

The lube was done, and the result was extremely sloppy handling, feeling like an out of balance tire or out of alignment front end. The shop re-inspected it and also said the steering fluid was low. After that, steering was slightly improved, but still poor. I was then told it was a tire balance problem, and all tires were rotated and balanced. The problem remains and it will be going back to the shop in a couple days.

One of the great aspects of this car was the precise feeling of its handling. That is now totally absent and the car feels borderline unsafe – although I am told it’s not a safety issue.

Sadly, after owning GM cars for over 45 years, I’m afraid I see either Japanese or German manufacturers in my future.

11th Oct 2006, 15:35

Yup! Me too! I have a 2003 Bonneville SSEi. It's a sweet car except the steering issue. We took it in to the dealer for the clunking and grinding when the steering wheel is turned. They said that the steering shaft had to be changed. I was annoyed! They offered to repair it for free. Less annoyed now! We also learned that it had been changed once before (the car was a demo) while the dealership owned it. There is something systemically wrong with this part. I had problems with the moon roof as well, but it seems to have been a problem associated with the assembly line, cross threaded bolts and loose hardware. Love the car!

20th Oct 2006, 13:30

I got my 2000 Bonneville in November of '99, so I got to experience several issues (trunk leak/rear windows/headlight short... in addition to this intermediate shaft issue. I took this to the dealership and they said it needed a new part and they'd get back to me, which they never did. I've delayed calling them back due to the poor service I've had from day one from this dealer. I'm going to give them another chance to see what they tell me since lubricating has never been done. Glad this info. was out here!!

26th Oct 2006, 07:53

I have a 2003 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi that I purchased in March 2006, it was a fleet vehicle with regular maintenance every 2 months (I have the supporting maintenance records). Recently, I noticed that the steering wheel vibrates madly when braking at speeds in excess of 60mph. I absolutely, positively love this car, but am concerned with the steering wheel vibration during braking from higher speeds. Any ideas what this could be?

11th Dec 2006, 07:40

We have a 200 Bonneville SSEI and bought it used from Carmax. They refused to give us the service history upon buying it, but a friend in Pontiac obtained it for me after multiple rack and pinion swaps (3 so far, another soon) and 2 intermediate steering shafts.

Now the driver window fails to move, so we are taking it back in for all to be fixed. Also, bought it with 4" of water in the trunk. Found it about 2 weeks after I bought it. Trunk seal was fixed.

Also had a seat warmer go out on driver seat. Great driving car, just lots of little hassles. Should I get rid of it before warranty expires? Seems like it...

20th Apr 2007, 13:42

I have a 01 ssei. so far nothing with the steering, but do find the shaking real bad when I try to stop at higher speeds. after I bought the car a lot of things went wrong. heater seats, brakes little stuff. don't beat it up!!! a new catalytic converter went for 2000$. so be prepared!