Detroit, MI: General Motors Co. is facing a nationwide consumer fraud class action lawsuit filed in California federal court alleging the automaker promoted two types of pickup trucks that don't live up to their advertised towing capacity.
According to the complaint, filed by Richard Quintero who drives a GMC Sierra, at the end of 2014 the auto maker alerted owners of 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Series and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup trucks across the country that GM had miscalculated the trucks' towing capacities and that the actual amount they could tow was about 2,000 pounds less than advertised.
"Had plaintiff and class members known the 2014 GMC Sierra' and the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado' actual towing capability at the time of purchase, and the safety hazard posed by towing loads in excess of a vehicle' capacity, they would not have bought the class vehicles or would have paid much less for them,"Quintero states in the complaint.
Quintero accuses GM of breach of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation and of violating California consumer protection laws and seeks to represent all owners and lessees of the two truck models.
Quintero states in the complaint that he visited his local GMC dealership in California during the summer of 2013, originally intending to buy a 2013 Sierra. However, the complaint notes, after learning about the purportedly superior towing capacity of the 2014 model, Quintero purchased the newer, more expensive truck.
The complaint notes that Quintero owned a 5,000 pound trailer, which he used to haul a 1,000 pound golf cart. But, after seeing GM advertisements that said his new truck could haul 8,800 pounds, he decided to upgrade and bought a new 6,700 pound trailer to haul the cart.
After he bought the trailer, Quintero got the letter from GM telling him his truck could only pull 6,700 pounds, not enough capacity to tow the new trailer with the golf cart inside, the complaint states.
"This towing capacity reduction followed uniform and pervasive representations to the contrary from defendant to plaintiff and class members,"Quintero states. "Prior to GM' precipitous recalculation, GM expressly and repeatedly touted the towing capacity of class vehicles, and its representatives confirmed that towing capacity is a material, and often dispositive, consideration for pickup truck consumers."
Quintero is represented by Raymond P. Boucher and Maria L. Weitz of Boucher LLP, John A. Yanchunis, Marcio W. Valladares and Patrick A. Barthle II of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, and Paul R. Kiesel, Jeffrey A. Koncius and Mariana Aroditis of Kiesel Law LLP. The case is Quintero v. General Motors Company et al., case number 5:15-cv-02530, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.