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Auto parts shortage continues to drive Canadians to frustration

Canadian drivers continue to complain about the ongoing shortage of auto parts that has resulted in them going nowhere fast.

Bob Cumming is on five months of driving a rental provided by General Motors. He told Global News his 2017 GMC truck ended up with a blown engine back in Oct. 2022 and it has yet to be fixed.

“It’s getting frustrating,” he said.

Cumming has contacted the automaker and his local dealership numerous times but said no one has been able to help him. They’ve also not been able to help his wife, whose car is at her dealership waiting for a fix.

“It went in just after New Year’s to a dealership in Calgary for a howling in the rear end,” he added. “Her rear differential is gone and again, no parts available.”

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“GM told me it’s supply problems. It’s a supply issue.”

Wayne Pelletier told Global News Ford Canada is giving him the same runaround after his 2016 F-150 truck conked out.

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“About two weeks ago my check engine light came on. It was a problem with the intake manifold,” he said.

He was told it needed to be replaced, but said he too was advised there was no part available — not even an aftermarket or a used one.

“(Ford) basically told me that they don’t have any parts anywhere across Canada. They’ve called numerous Ford dealerships and nobody has any parts that they’re willing to give up,” he added. “They all want to keep their own parts.”

Using the family’s extra vehicle as he doesn’t qualify for a rental, Pelletier said he’s now been told it could take anywhere between three and six months to get his vehicle back.

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“His suggestion was to take the truck home, park it and disconnect the battery. So, I’m stuck with a truck that just sits there.”

Woes supply chain

Supply chain experts have told Global News in the past that supply chain challenges began at the start of the pandemic. Many automakers cut production and in turn, so did other manufacturers who supply them with parts.

When demand picked up again, supply just couldn’t keep up.

Cumming said that was not an excuse for not providing a service that he’s entitled to under warranty. He added it also does not make sense to crank out new vehicles while loyal customers are waiting for their existing ones to be fixed.

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“I think they should be looking after their existing customer base before they start going out and getting new customers.”

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Pelletier said no one has been looking after him.

“They’re not offering to buy anybody out. My vehicle is totally paid for, so to them there’s no loss.”

The waits have also cost Cumming and Pelletier in other ways. Both have recently bought travel trailers they now can’t use without a truck.

“We’re paying $500 a month for a travel trailer, another $100 and change for storage,” Cumming pointed out. “And we haven’t had any opportunities to even think about booking campsites in Alberta this year.”

But he admits he’s not the only one paying the price for no parts.

“GM has paid $8,000 so far,” he said. “If it goes for another six to seven months – they could be $20-$25,000 that they’re paying for my rental.”

On Tuesday, GM Canada said the challenges they’re facing aren’t unique to the industry.

“Like many other industries, the automotive sector is facing multiple supply-chain issues and while the situation is improving, there are instances of extended wait time for some replacement parts,” GM Canada spokesperson Jennifer Wright said in an email.

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“GM is working to expedite the replacement parts and will continue to update the customer and the dealer to complete the repairs as soon as possible.”

Ford Canada also confirmed on Tuesday they are looking into the delays affecting Pelletier.

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