San Francisco, CA: General Motors is facing a defect automotive class action lawsuit filed by a group of Corvette owners who allege the company was aware that model years 2006-2014 have excessive valve guide wear that leads to engine failure and repairs.
According to the complaint, there are over 70 claims including violations of the RICO Act, unjust enrichment, negligence and consumer fraud. Specifically, the lawsuit asserts that GM broadly advertised the 7.0 liter V8 engine, used in the Chevrolet Corvette 427 and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 cars from 2006 through 2014, as high quality and durable. However, design and manufacturing defects of the engine make it prone to mechanical failure.
Despite being aware of the defects, the plaintiffs contend that GM has so far refused to issue a recall. "... GM has taken no steps to correct the deficiencies in the subject engine,"the drivers claim. "Despite GM's repeated assurances that the subject engines were performing as designed, the engines fail at a high rate."
According to the lawsuit, the drivers have incurred significant expenses for inspection and repairs of the cars. Even cars with extremely low mileage have shown a high degree of wear.
The lawsuit notes that despite being aware of a number of complaints about the alleged defects, GM insisted that "valve train noise" was an inherent feature of the engine and that they weren't defective.
Further, the lawsuit contends that as a result of the customer complaints, GM developed and implemented an investigation technique known as the "wiggle method," as a way to determine whether the valve guides were out of specification. Using this test, a high proportion of owners or lessees of the affected cars had out of specification valve guides, according to the complaint.
"When GM determined that its adopted test would lead to more repair and investigations than it wished to perform, the test was summarily rejected,"the lawsuit states. "In dealing with multiple complaints concerning the subject engine in the class vehicles, GM acted, at all times, to deflect criticisms, defer investigations and repairs, and minimized the extent of the problems."GM has yet to come up with a solution to the alleged problem, the plaintiffs assert.
The plaintiffs are represented by Andre E Jardini of Knapp Petersen and Clarke. The case is Pilgrim et al. v. General Motors Company LLC, case number 2:15-cv-08047 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.