Guidelines for Returning Parts to the Warranty Parts Center

The GM Warranty Parts Center (WPC) requests the return of parts replaced at dealerships in order to better understand and help resolve product concerns. Returned parts are analyzed by Brand Quality, Engineering, Suppliers, Production Plant, Assembly Plant and Quality Management personnel to help quickly identify the issue, determine the root cause, and implement a correction.

Before returning parts to GM, dealerships should keep several preparation and shipping considerations in mind regarding the type of part being shipped (hazmat/dangerous goods), proper packaging, and required documentation. (Fig. 15)


Fig. 15


Some common automotive hazardous material examples include items such as air bags, seat belt pretensioners, brake boosters, compressed gas shocks and lifts, batteries (including lithium ion and lithium metal batteries), paint, adhesives, solvents, hazardous waste, and any part that comes in contact with flammable liquid (i.e. fuel).

For example, if a fuel line received from the parts warehouse is considered new and unused, it is not considered a hazmat material. However, if the same part has been installed in a vehicle and has been in contact with fuel, it is now considered a hazardous material and should be shipped under the 49 CFR Hazardous Material Regulations and shipped accordingly.

TIP: Do not ship high voltage lithium ion batteries to the WPC. The GM Battery Service Center provides return instructions with each lithium ion battery section shipment. Refer to Bulletin #18-NA-236 for return instructions. If a special parts return request comes from the WPC, follow the instructions for where to return the battery provided at the time of the request.

When printing out the WPC shipping label, the label might indicate that it is not hazardous, which is based on a new or unused part. (Fig. 16) Any part that comes in contact with flammable liquid (i.e. fuel) is considered a hazardous material.


Fig. 16


Shipping Non-Hazmat/Non-Dangerous Goods

When shipping non-hazardous/non-dangerous goods to the WPC:

  • When it is feasible, it is highly recommended the parts be returned in their original packaging.
  • Properly protect and package all returned parts in original Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) packaging so they are not damaged when received at the WPC. All parts should be returned to the WPC in original packaging. For example, with an engine assembly, the pallet and cardboard box are both necessary. Dealerships will be debited for failure to return in a crate/box/container.
  • Only use boxes without hazardous material marking and labeling to return Non-hazardous material parts. Incorrect usage of these boxes can cause delay in receiving at the WPC, and may result in the transaction being debited.
  • Parts containing or soaked by fluids, such as oil, must be thoroughly drained, wiped clean and placed in an appropriate packing container and securely packaged to prevent leakage or contamination. Transfer all caps and plugs from the new part to the replaced part before shipping. If parts are received at the WPC with fluids such as oil or fuel, the part will not be accepted as Received and the transaction will be debited.
  • Dealerships will be fully debited for the entire warranty claim each and every time there is a violation of Hazardous Material/Dangerous Goods Transportation legislation.
  • Transactions will be debited if the requested core parts are not returned to the WPC.


Guidelines for Returning Parts

Follow these guidelines when packaging and returning parts:

  • Clearly mark or circle with a paint pen the area of concern on the part, such as a leak, crack, premature wear or defect. The area of defect should be clearly marked and not defaced so it is easily identified.
  • The request being made is for the actual failed part; do not send a similar or new part.
  • Do not remove any pieces from the part being sent back.
  • Tag parts in an area that will not damage the part being sent back. For example, do not wrap a metal tag wire around wiper blade inserts, apply tape around door seals, or stick moldings together.
  • All parts related to the repair procedure covered by the labor operation on the part return request should be returned together. For example, a transaction for labor operation T5603, replace 8 injectors, would result in 8 injectors returned under one part return request.
  • All parts related to the specific labor operation being requested should be bundled together and shipped in one box.
  • Do not send multiple requests in the same box.
  • Ship each individual request in a separate box with its unique Global Warranty Management (GWM) shipping label affixed on the top of the box and on one outward facing side.
  • Include inside the package the GWM parts return shipping label, job card with technician comments, and other related documentation to allow parts to be successfully routed and analyzed.
  • The dealership should highlight the transaction number and place the folded documentation in the plastic packing bag with the highlighted transaction number facing outward. This process will assist the WPC in handling and crediting the dealership for returning the part in a timely manner. The bag containing all documentation must be securely attached to the appropriate part.
  • Whenever possible, the container from the new/replacement part should be used for the return of the failed part. All previous labeling on the box should be removed or covered prior to re-use.
  • Use only clean, dry boxes to return parts. Be sure to package parts to avoid damage during shipping. Parts must not be shipped loose. It is important that parts arrive at the WPC in the same condition that they were in when removed from the vehicle.


Analyzing Product Issues

Brand Quality Managers and engineers inspect the returned components for quality issues. A dealership feedback and debit will be issued if, during their inspections: they find:

  • The part/component was not defective:
  • Not all parts or documents (Cost Comparison for any assembly replacement from dealers required to contact the PQC, completed shop copy of job cards, diagnostic information, etc.) were returned.
  • The job card did not contain the Complaint, Cause, and Correction information as required to substantiate the repair. Vague comments such as, “broken”, or “customer satisfaction”, are not acceptable.
  • The shop copy of the job card did not contain all proper documentation.


Job Card, or repair order, information is critical to analyzing product issues. The more detail that is included, the better the results. Where applicable, the job card should include:

  • Accurate and detailed information regarding the customer complaint.
  • All dealer technician comments regarding the root cause of failure with document ID numbers, test results, diagnostic trouble codes, TAC case number, assembly serial numbers, measurements, etc.
  • Any characteristics or symptoms of the fault that were observed.
  • Operating conditions that were observed when the fault occurred such as: Scan Tool Data Snapshot information, weather, temperature and altitude.
  • Attach Scan Tool Data Printout / Snapshot, diagnostic worksheets and all substantiating service documents with the Job Card that is returned with the part. Also include the TAC and/or PQC case numbers.
  • Any required documents, such as diagnostic worksheets, etc.).


For additional information, refer to the latest version of Bulletin #99-00-89-019.


– Thanks to Mark Gordon and Mark Kevnick

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