General Motors named in class action lawsuit over defective air conditioner in vehicles

The complaint alleges that the air conditioning unit sold in certain GM vehicles is defective resulting in system failure during normal, everyday use. According to the complaint, two defects in the system cause refrigerant to leak out. The absence of refrigerant prevents the evaporator from becoming cold, causing the system to blow hot air into the car’s passenger compartment and, in some cases, causing other parts of the system to fail.

The first defective component is the line leading from the compressor to the condenser. This line consists primarily of an aluminum tube connected to a rubber hose. On information and belief, this line can fail in two ways. First, the aluminum tube can become disconnected from the rubber hose, creating an opening in the line that can allow refrigerant to escape. Second, the aluminum tube itself has a material defect that can allow the tube to rupture, also allowing refrigerant to escape.

The second defective component in the air conditioning system of the Class Vehicles is the condenser itself. On information and belief, the original condenser has a material defect that renders it unable to withstand the day-to-day normal operation of Class Vehicles. On information and belief this defect is most likely due to: (i) the use of an inadequate material to build the condenser, (ii) the use of an insufficient amount of material in the manufacture of the condenser and/or (iii) inadequate weld.

 

The Vehicles involved in this case include:

Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, model years 2015 to date;

Chevrolet Suburban, model years 2015 to date;

GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, model years 2015 to date;

Chevrolet Tahoe, model years 2015 to date;

GMC Sierra 1500, model years 2014 to date;

GMC Sierra Heavy Duty, model years 2015/2016;

Chevrolet Silverado 1500, model years 2014 to date; and

Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty, model years 2015/2016

COMPLAINT

General Motors named in class action lawsuit over defect in 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox vehicles which leads to excess oil consumption

 

 

 

GM designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, sold, and leased Model Year 2010- 2017 Chevrolet Equinox vehicles with 2.4-liter engines (“Class Vehicles” or “Vehicles”) to Plaintiff and Class Members.

As alleged, prior to 2010, GM knew that the Class Vehicles contained one or more design and/or manufacturing defects, including, but not limited to, defects contained in the Class Vehicles’ engines that cause them to be unable to properly utilize the engine oil and, in fact, to improperly burn off and/or consume abnormally high amounts of oil (the “Oil Consumption Defect.”)

The Oil Consumption Defect is a safety concern because it prevents the engine from maintaining the proper level of engine oil, causing excessive oil consumption that cannot be reasonably anticipated or predicted. Therefore, the Oil Consumption Defect is unreasonably dangerous because it can cause engine failure while the Class Vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving conditions or speeds, exposing the Class Vehicle drivers, their passengers, and others who share the road with them to serious risks of accidents and injury.

Because the Oil Consumption Defect can cause the Class Vehicles to consume unacceptably high amounts of engine oil, the rate of oil consumption for some Class Vehicles can be as high as one quart of oil per 1,000 miles driven. The Oil Consumption Defect thus requires the addition of substantial amounts of oil between scheduled oil changes and can even result in engine damage. As a result of the Oil Consumption Defect, its potential safety hazards, and GM’s refusal to acknowledge and fix the problem, many consumers have resorted to purchasing an extra supply of oil and carrying it with them at all times when driving.

The complaint claims GM knew of and concealed the existence of the Oil Consumption Defect contained in every Class Vehicle, along with the attendant dangerous safety problems and associated costs, from Plaintiff and Class Members at the time they purchased or leased their Class Vehicles and thereafter. GM’s concealment caused Plaintiffs and Class Members to experience the Oil Consumption Defect throughout the life of the Class Vehicles, which includes use within the warranty period.

Despite notice of the Oil Consumption Defect from various internal sources, GM has not recalled the Class Vehicles to repair the defect, has not offered all of its customers a suitable repair or replacement free of charge, and has not offered to reimburse all Class Vehicle owners and leaseholders who incurred costs relating to the defect, including, but not limited to, costs related to inspections, diagnosis, repairs, and unreasonably frequent oil changes/additions between scheduled oil changes.

As a result of their reliance on GM’s omissions and/or affirmative misrepresentations, owners and/or lessees of the Class Vehicles have suffered ascertainable losses of money, property, and/or of value of their Class Vehicles.

Complaint

General Motors recalls 2009-2010 Chevrolet Impala vehicles over issues with front passenger seat

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General Motors is recalling certain model year 2009-2010 Chevrolet Impala vehicles manufactured April 25, 2008 through February 16, 2010. The front passenger seat frame may contact and damage the wires of the passenger presence sensor module.

If the wires are damaged, the passenger presence sensory system may fail to recognize that the passenger seat is occupied, disabling the air bag. Damage may also cause the air bag fuse to short resulting in a loss of all air bags and seat belt pretensions. Both conditions increase the risk of injury during a crash.

289,254 units are affected by the recall.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will double wrap the wires with anti-abrasion tape and replace damaged wires as necessary, free of charge.

General Motors recalls 2011-2013 Volt vehicles over potential buildup of carbon monoxide

General Motors is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Volt vehicles manufactured August 25, 2010, to June 26, 2013. If the driver exits the vehicle without turning off the electrical system, the battery may drain low enough that the gasoline engine will automatically start itself to recharge the electric battery.

If the engine runs for an extended period of time in an enclosed space, there may be a buildup of carbon monoxide, increasing the risk of personal injury.

Approximately 50,236  vehicles are impacted by the recall

GM will notify owners, and dealers will update the engine management software to limit the time that the stationary vehicle can be left in the ON position, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Toyota, Ford and General Motors named in class action over defect that allows vehicles on board computers to be hacked.

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According to the complaint, Defendants failed consumers in all of these areas when they sold or leased vehicles that are susceptible to computer hacking and are therefore unsafe. Because Defendants failed to ensure the basic electronic security of their vehicles, anyone can hack into them, take control of the basic functions of the vehicle, and thereby endanger the safety of the driver and others.

Defendants’ vehicles contain more than 35 separate electronic control units (ECUs), connected through a controller area network (“CAN” or “CAN bus”). Vehicle functionality and safety depend on the functions of these small computers, the most essential of which is how they communicate with one another.

The ECUs communicate by sending each other “CAN packets,” digital messages containing small amounts of data. But if an outside source, such as a hacker, were able to send CAN packets to ECUs on a vehicle’s CAN bus, the hacker could take control of such basic functions of the vehicle as braking, steering, and acceleration – and the driver of the vehicle would not be able to regain control.

As alleged, Defendants have known, their CAN bus-equipped vehicles for years have been (and currently are) susceptible to hacking, and their ECUs cannot detect and stop hacker attacks on the CAN buses. For this reason, Defendants’ vehicles are not secure, and are therefore not safe.

Yet, Defendants have charged a substantial premium for their CAN bus-equipped vehicles since their rollout. These defective vehicles are worth far less than are similar non-defective vehicles, and far less than the defect-free vehicles the Plaintiffs and the other Class members bargained for and thought they had received.

As a result of Defendants’ unfair, deceptive, and/or fraudulent business practices, and their failure to disclose the highly material fact that their vehicles were susceptible to hacking and neither secure nor safe, owners and/or lessees of Defendants’ CAN bus-equipped vehicles have suffered losses in money and/or property. Had Plaintiffs and the other Class members known of the defects at the time they purchased or leased their vehicles, they would not have purchased or leased those vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicles than they did.

The class includes a variety of vehicles manufactured by Toyota, GM and Ford.  Toyota manufactures and sells vehicles under the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion names (the “Toyota Vehicles”); Ford manufactures and sells vehicles under the Ford, Lincoln, and (until 2011) Mercury names (the “Ford Vehicles”); GM manufactures and sells vehicles under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC names, and (until 2009) under the Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn names (the “GM Vehicles”). The CAN buses in all Toyota Vehicles, Ford Vehicles, and GM Vehicles are essentially identical in that they are all susceptible to hacking and thus suffer from the same defect. For purposes of this Complaint, all CAN bus-equipped vehicles are referred to collectively as the “Class Vehicles” or “Defective Vehicles.”

General Motors recalls Chevy Malibu vehicles over sudden loss in electric power steering

General Motors is recalling certain model year 2006-2007 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx vehicles manufactured April 1, 2006, to June 30, 2006, and 2006-2007 Pontiac G6 vehicles manufactured April 18, 2006, to June 30, 2006. In the affected vehicles, there may be a sudden loss of electric power steering assist that could occur at any time while driving.

If power steering assist is lost, greater driver effort would be required to steer the vehicle at low speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

Approximately 69,633 vehicles are affected by the recall

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the torque sensor assembly, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

General Motors recalls 2014 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles due to danger of complete loss of brake vacuum assist

General Motors is recalling certain model year 2014 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles manufactured June 12, 2013, through May 2, 2014, and equipped with a 2.5L engine with the auto stop/start option. The affected vehicles may experience a complete loss of brake vacuum assist, disabling the hydraulic boost assist. As such, these vehicles do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 135, “Light Vehicle Brake Systems.”

If the hydraulic boost assist is disabled, slowing or stopping the vehicle will require additional brake pedal effort and a lengthened stopping distance. Both of these effects increase the risk of a crash.

GM estimates that 140,067 vehicles may be affected.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will update the electronic brake control module software, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin around May 30, 2014.

General Motors recalls 2013 Cadillac SRX over lag in acceleration

General Motors is recalling certain model year 2013 Cadillac SRX vehicles manufactured May 29, 2012, through June 26, 2013, and equipped with 3.6L engines. In the affected vehicles, in certain driving situations, there may be a three to four second lag in acceleration due to the transmission control module (TCM) programming.

A three to four second lag in acceleration may increase the risk of crash.

Approximately 50,571 vehicles are affected by the recall.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the transmission control module, free of charge.

General Motors named in class action lawsuits over design defect in ignition switches of millions of GM vehicles

Numerous class action complaints have been filed naming General Motors and its part supplier, Delphi, for concealing a dangerous defect in the design of the ignition switches installed in millions of GM vehicles.

According to the complaint, GM’s defective Delphi-manufactured ignition switches have several common switch points, including the “run” (or “on”), “off,” and “acc” (for “accessory”) positions. In the “run” or “on” position, the vehicle’s engine is running and its electrical systems have been activated. In the “acc” position, the engine is turned off but electrical power is generally still supplied only to the vehicle’s entertainment system. In the “off” position, both the vehicle’s engine and electrical systems are turned off.

The defective ignition switches were improperly positioned and prone to becoming loose, thus allowing an inadvertent switch from the “run”/“on” position to either “acc” or “off” during normal operation of the affected vehicles, causing a loss of power to the vehicle’s engine or its electrical systems or both while the vehicle is being driven. Failure of the electrical systems would compromise the vehicle’s power-assisted steering, anti-lock brakes, and safety-airbag systems, putting the vehicle’s drivers and passengers in grave danger.

The ignition switch defect can occur during normal operation of the affected vehicles with catastrophic results such as loss of engine power, loss of power steering, loss of anti-lock braking, and/or loss of the safety airbag system.

As alleged, despite learning of the potential for engine failure and/or loss of steering, braking, and/or airbag functionality as a result of defectively designed ignition switches, GM, for more than 10 years, took no steps to protect or even inform its consumers of the defect or its associated risks.

The complaint alleges that GM failed to disclose the ignition switch defects even after it had become aware that such defects were causing serious and often fatal accidents. To date, GM has recalled nearly 2.6 million vehicles and has linked 13 deaths to the defectively designed ignition switches manufactured by Delphi.

Class: All persons in the United States who own or lease at least one of the following vehicles (collectively referred to herein as the “Vehicles”): 2003-2007 Saturn Ion; 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt; 2007-2010 Pontiac G5; 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR; 2006 -2010 Pontiac Solstice; and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky.

GM recalls 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, and 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles for defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system

General Motors is  recalling 619,122 model year 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles. It is also recalling an additional 748,024 model year 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR and Pontiac Solstice vehicles and 2003-2007 Saturn Ion vehicles and 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles. In these models, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.

This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring.

On March 27, 2014, GM notified the agency that the defective ignition switches may have been used as service replacement parts on other vehicles, and as a result GM will also be recalling certain model year 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Sky, and Pontiac G5 and Solstice, and 2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR vehicles.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the ignition switch, free of charge. An interim notification was issued to owners of 2007 and earlier models on March 10, 2014, informing them of the safety defect. Owners of 2008 and later vehicles will be mailed an interim letter on April 21, 2014. All affected owners will receive another letter once parts are available.