Santa Clara, CA: General Motors Co, (GM) is facing a defective automotive class action lawsuit brought by Cadillac owners in the US who allege the car maker knew about a sunroof defect in its 2010-2013 Cadillac SRXs that lets water leak into the interior but refused to cover it under the vehicles’ warranties. According to the proposed lawsuit, some 222,000 Cadillac SUV owners are affected.
Filed by lead plaintiff Kelley Gaines, the complaint alleges that affected vehicles were either designed or built with defective sunroof seals or drains that enable water from the exterior of the vehicles to enter the passenger area, damaging carpets and interior components including wiring.
The complaint also states that GM redesigned or corrected the defect on all SRX models after 2013, thus raising a reasonable suggestion that there was a defective with its 2010-2013 models.
“According to defendant’s documents and records as early as August 2013 and during the original express warranty period, defendant identified the nature and cause of the leaking sunroof defect in the class vehicles and the recommended repair and/or correction,” the lawsuit states. Further, Gaines claims that even though GM was aware of the alleged defect, she and others similarly situated, were still required to fix the problem at their own expense.
According to the complaint, GM issued a bulletin in August 2013 referring to a water leak in the affected mid-size SUVs. That bulletin allegedly stated that some customers may complain of a leak in the driver or front passenger floor area or find the front carpet wet. The bulletin went on to state that the most common causes of the water ingress are spaces in the sunroof sealant, partially connected or partially sealed sunroof drain hose components or improperly placed or sized drain hoses, according to the complaint.
The class vehicles came with a four-year, 50,000-mile limited warranty that covered the entirety of the vehicles, and that were registered in the US or Canada. Additionally, the 2011-2013 models also came with “Cadillac Shield,” which the company advertised as “the most comprehensive suite of owner benefits by any luxury automotive brand in the world,” the lawsuit states. According to Gaines, by not covering the alleged defect under those programs, GM violated its own warranties.
The lawsuit states that in 2010, Gaines bought a new 2010 SRX. She discovered the leaking sunroof defect in late February 2017, after finding her floorboard carpet was soaking wet. Both sunroof drain tubes were replaced after a mechanic found that the right front sunroof drain hose was loose and the drain wasn’t seated properly, according to the complaint.
Gaines seeks to represent a class that involves anyone who bought or leased a GM Cadillac 2010-2013 SRX with a defective sunroof.
Gaines is represented by Robert A. Waller Jr. of the Law Office of Robert A. Waller Jr. and by Patricia L. Zlaket of Zlaket Law Offices APC.
The case is Gaines v. General Motors Co. et al., case number 3:17-cv-01351, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.