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Troubleshooters: Local woman with SUV issues

READ MORE: Troubleshooters: Local woman with SUV issues
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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


lightning damage

I bet the insurance company has a rider where they do not cover lightning damage, being it is an act of God... I guess the big question is was there a lightning Storm in the area at the time? If not case closed..


How many times have any of you brought your car in for a warranty issuse and the dealership say they could not determine the issue? Then it draws out, warranty runs out and then oh its a problem and they dont want to cover it because the owner did properly document bringing it in. I believe that warranty is a crock. I also believe that insurance is a crock. They all want to get rich quick and forget what they are suppose to be doing and taking care of in the first place. Lisa go get an attorney and make who ever is responsible pay that attorney fees.

I completely

I completely sounds to me as though both the dealership and the insurance company is trying to get out of it. It doesn't surprise me either. You can't blame them for trying to put the blame on the other, but if it's a malfunction with the vehicle they need to take responsibility and own up. If it isn't, they should be able to provide documentation to the insurance company and they should pay without hesitation. That documentation should also be able to be provided in a timely manner


What broke the windshield?? The airbag or lightning? Wouldn't she have noticed the lightning ? This sounds light someone trying to pass the buck.....either way car insurance should cover it. I have never heard of a car going completely haywire like this. But, I did know a guy who got his tooth knocked out when his airbag went off in his face, he was parked w/o the engine running and eating lunch.

A few weeks?

It didn't take them a few weeks to come up with the determination that she was hit by lightning. Why should it take a few weeks to put that in writing? What's more... if she was hit by lightning, dontcha think that would have been rather obvious to her when it happened?

This another example of why GM is in trouble....

Sorry no fault customer service by GM is a big reason for their problems. Like many others, I have been a victim...........

Prime example!!!

This is yet another prime example of how nobody takes responsibility for their products and sevices anymore. Consumers have to pay, pay and pay, yet one problem and the vendors throw their hands up, "NOT ME, NOT MY FAULT!!" It is rare to see any company truly stand behind their product or service these days. They have their hands out, rubbing their greedy little fingers to collect the money and that's where the buck stops. There is absolutely no reason that GM shouldn't be able to provide this lady with a statement of the engineers findings. If they truly had a finding and saw evidence, 10 minutes to type a letter and a few seconds to fax it are all that is required. Now, if that letter IS ever sent by GM, I'm willing to bet that Nationwide will say, "Oh...lightening? Well, that's an act of God, our insurance doesn't cover that!". Read the fine print, right? Thanks GM and Thank you Nationwide for showing your true colors! This is the kind of business Americans try to avoid, you just made it a little easier for us all!!!


Why would you think Nationwide would ask for a statement that it was lightning damage only to turn around and then claim they won't cover that? And despite this backwards logic, let's say they do. Well if the policy doesn't cover it and this is spelled out in black and white on the policy that the car owner should have read before purchasing, then this is somehow Nationwide's fault? And you think anyone else is different?

It's one or the other...

Based on your comment saying that I used "backward logic...", it is apparent that either/or: You have never filed a claim with an insurance agency and haven't a clue as to what you are talking about, or you are an insurance agent (readily apparent by your suggestion to READ your policy and it's fine print closely) were not here after hurrican Fran to witness how some of the insurance comanies screwed their customers to the wall after they had payed for so many years and were believed to be covered.


Sounds to me like Lisa needs to get a new insurance company. I think that GM can tell if the vehicle is a warranty problem or if it were an act of God. If she pays for insurance, Nationwide needs to give it up and quit screwing their customers.

Backwards logic

Nationwide saw no evidence of lightning damage. As far as they are concerned, it's a warranty problem. They did ask for a statement from GM documenting why they think the problem is caused by lightning, so OBVIOUSLY they are still open-minded on the problem. GM is waffling by dragging that out, yet somehow you people want to blame this all on the insurance carrier? How do yo know GM isn't the one who made the error, or trying to save themselves a 20k repair bill on a lemon? Sheesh!

u pay for insurance and pay

u pay for insurance and pay it should be covered under comp and then if the insurance co thanks thay have a case take it to gm in court. this lady is paid for full coverage. better yet lets cut the ceo of nationwide by a small 20k with his million dollar income plus perks would he miss it.

Insurance-----Why do we even have it????

We pay all of this money for nice cars with excellent safety features and insurance to cover those vehicles and stuff like this happens! It is unbelievable that insurance companies can deny claims on vehicles that are suppose to be covered. We pay our payments on time and still don't get anything for it. This should be against the law! Good luck Lisa in your battle and I hope that you get some kind of answer soon!

Drop Nationwide...we did

Drop Nationwide...we did after a leak behind our shower stall damaged the dry wall. I called in the claim and was asked "when did it happen?". My response was "as best I can tell a week ago or less". The secretary said "if it had just happened they would cover it". In other words a week was too late. It took at least a week to show through the dry wall. We dropped Nationwide like a hot Tamale!!! She should do the same!


You took the word of a SECRETARY? LOL! Next time, talk to a claims adjuster.

I was right!!

It's obvious "Guest of the Week". You ARE in the insurance business. You are trying to defend a reputation that is already apparent.

Pfffft.... LOL!

Yeah... if you say I am, then that must mean I am, eh? Maybe I just enjoy pointing out how foolish people are. Surely you don't believe one has to work in the insurance industry to know the difference between a secretary and a claims adjuster? And I'm not defending anyone. Just pointing out how ridiculous it is to expect one party to pay for damages that the other party is responsible for. You sure as heck wouldn't do it out of the goodness of your heart. At least the insurance company is ASKING for a copy of GM's analysis. Why would they do that if they weren't open-minded to the possibility that they are wrong? Unfortunately, this may well boil down to a difference of opinion on the matter and filing suit may be the only option. Democracy and Capitalism... gotta love it.