A lot of GM cars come from the factory with "soft" organic pads simply because they're quiet. It wouldn't be that unusual for them to go out at 20,000 miles. Furthermore, you bought a used car. I can get pads to wear out in 6 miles if I want to. You bought this car with 6000. If you want them to last longer next time, opt for more performance oriented semi-metallic pads. Just be ready for the squeaking and grinding.
As for the rotors, it's getting trendy so to speak to not bother turning rotors anymore. It's also a bit of a liability for any shop that does because if they turn them down below spec, they could have a lawsuit on their hands. Personally I never bother turning rotors unless they're badly scored/pitted, and I never have. And I've never had a brake failure in any of my cars. What GM is doing FINALLY is just good old common sense if you ask me. It saves them labor on a typically pointless procedure, and it saves you money.
Furthermore, the majority of your gripes would have been apparent on 10 minute test drive. Personally I'm not in the habit of plunking down 30 grand without a thorough inspection and test drive. But that's just me.
Finally, I suggest you get a set of tools, a Hayne's shop manual, and a 6-pack of beer. Then get to work replacing your brakes. You'll be out $100, will have a set of tools for next time, and a nice beer buzz to boot. Disk brake pads are easy as pie to replace. It takes me about 15 minutes per wheel.
Personally it sounds like a lot of your gripes are with the dealer more than with the car itself.
I have to agree. My daughter bought a (superior?) preowned" BMW 325i. She had to replace the pads and rotors at 21,000, the alternator and power window motor at 22,000. Trim items have popped off and a second power window motor went at 31,000. I just did the brakes for her (38,000) because the dealer wanted over $1000 to do them again. I bought metallic front and ceramic rear pads. It cost less than $100 and took 2 hours and both pad sets have lifetime warranties. The rotors on bimmers are soft and thin and can't be cut. Sometimes the rotors will make it through 2 sets of pads. The pads are soft organic ones that put out plenty of black dust but is gentler on rotors. They stop well, but don't last very long.
I work for a BMW dealer in New Jersey and I'm glad to see that at least the person who replaced the bimmer brakes seems to know something, and is not just blowing hot air.
As for the person with the Grand Prix, I think a course in auto mechanics is calling you, or a good auto book in auto repair.
I do have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix special edition; my front brakes I replaced at 32k miles, rears are original, brakes are never covered under warranty unless a covered part like a caliper fails, destroying the non covered part, like the rotors or pads.
For your information, the only company that covers brake rotors and pads under warranty is BMW, but if you are complaining about Pontiac brakes and the price to replace them, then I do think you'd complain about buying the BMW in the first place.
I can't fathom having to replace brake pads at 20,000 miles. I've NEVER replaced the pads on any vehicle I've ever owned before 80,000 miles. Are you sure the car really NEEDED them? It's common practice for dealers and repair shops to lie about these kinds of things to get your money. I just checked the pad wear on my 2001 Pontiac Grand Am and at 51,000 miles they are barely half worn down. They'll probably need replacing around 100,000 miles or so. One of my cars (a Dodge) went 240,000 miles before I sold it (still running perfectly) and it had only had two brake jobs in its lifetime. I strongly suspect that 90% of the brake pad replacements done are due to dealer or repair shop fraud.
Your brake problem notwithstanding, if this is the extent of your trouble with this car, you're in a very good shape.
If the problem is just your brakes, then I would suggest that you do not have the dealer work on them.
Discs, pads, drums, and shoes are some of the few parts where decent after-market offerings are superior to the factory spec parts.
Take it to an independent shop or, if you are able to, endeavor to replace the pads and, if necessary, discs by yourself using parts from reputable brake parts manufacturers, such as Raybestos. - Reinhart.
Replacing brakes is absolutely normal and should never be covered in the warranty. The poster probably brakes inproperly.
And for one thing you never do is bring your car to the dealership because most of them just rip you off.
Having had experience (all BAD) with 3 Japanese imports, I can assure you that I would have been absolutely ECSTATIC if the only problem I had was brakes. No car GM has built since the 1930's could be as unreliable as my Imports were!! I'll buy only domestics from now on.
Incidentally, my current GM cars (both with nearly 60,000 miles on them) have NEVER had the original brake pads replaced.