In this Troubleshooters report, a local woman is without the use of her SUV, following a bizarre electrical malfunction. Lisa Stone was driving her new Tahoe down the highway, when everything went haywire. Engineers said it appears lightning caused about $20,000 in electrical damage to her SUV, but her insurance carrier won't cover her claim. "All of a sudden, going about 50 miles an hour, airbags go off. Front airbags go off and then all the side airbags go off. We were locked in the vehicle, we could not unlock the doors,” said Stone. It caused quite a scare, but Lisa Stone and her passengers safely made it to the side of the road after her Tahoe's electrical system malfunctioned this summer. The car was towed to the dealership, where engineers flown in by General Motors determined it had been struck by lightning. GM instructed Lisa to file a claim with Nationwide, her insurance provider. Lisa did, but Nationwide denied the claim after the adjuster said he could not find any evidence of lightning damage. Nationwide told Lisa it was a warranty issue she needs to take up with General Motors. That was two months ago. "Here I am stuck, still making payments, still paying insurance and nobody is trying to help," Stone said. Lisa filed a complaint with the Department of Insurance, but Nationwide is standing by it's denial, saying GM has yet to provide any documentation indicating the damage was caused by a lightning strike. After getting a call from WWAY and the attorney general's office, GM representatives finally agreed to put their analysis in writing, but they said it might take a few weeks. Wilmington attorney, Griff Anderson, said, "It's a very difficult thing because you have 2 billion dollar corporations who can absorb these kind of time delays, and they have vast resources for attorneys, legal departments, and you have a woman who needs a vehicle." Anderson added that Lisa may need to get a lawyer to get this resolved. "One would hope that an attorney could get involved in a way that would not cost her too much money, and those costs would ultimately be borne by the party whether it's GM or the insurance company, who is responsible, who should have already paid this claim," said Anderson. Lisa is paying for a $40,000 Tahoe that does not work, plus $80 a month in insurance premiums to Nationwide. She would prefer not to have to spend any more money to retain a lawyer, but unless GM provides documentation sometime soon to satisfy her insurance provider, she may not have a choice. WWAY will continue to follow this, and let you know what happens.
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