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Chevrolet Corvette Wheels Bend and Crack Massachusetts Class Action

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2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Wheels on some models of Chevrolet Corvettes are defective, claims the complaint for this class action. The wheels—that is, the rims—warp, bend, or crack, after which they have to be repaired or replaced. The complaint brings suit against General Motors, LLC, saying that the company knows about the problem but has not solved it or warned consumers about it. 

The class for this action is all individuals in Massachusetts who bought or leased any Chevrolet Corvette Z06, model year 2015 to the present, or Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, model year 2017 to the present.

The complaint claims that “during Car & Driver magazine’s long-term review of a 2017 Chevrolet Corvette GS, three of its wheels bent, and one of them cracked. The repairs and replacement cost $1,119, which GM refused to cover under warranty.”

Plaintiff Alfred Lupis, who lives in Massachusetts, bought his 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport in December 2017. In November 2018, when he had only about 3,000 miles on the car, he felt a vibration and thump while driving, “as if his tires were flat…” He took the car in for repairs, saying that his tires were leaking air. The technicians found that one of the rear wheels was warped and charged him $115 to straighten it.

The complaint quotes from postings at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) website that describe the same problem: 

  • “Noticed a vibration in the car at highway speeds. Took it in … and was told that the wheel was bent. Service manager stated that this was happening to many Corvettes and was due to the stiffness of the tire and the weakness of the factory wheel.”
  • “Both left wheels on my 2017 Grand Sport bent in normal driving over normal roads.”
  • “The second dealership …informed me that all four wheels are bent and cannot balance them properly.”

The Corvette Forum had a similar posting: “…I’ve had one of my own front wheels bend on a brand new Grand Sport. In my situation, there was absolutely no damage, scratch or even a mark anywhere—the wheel just went out of round with less than 1,000 miles on the car.”

GM, however denied that the vehicles had a problem, saying that “a wheel gets bent by a road hazard but the damage is initially undetectable to the driver… Over time fatigue cracks can form…” It refuses to cover the damage under its warranties.

Why is this a problem? The complaint says that “it poses a serious safety concern. Cracked rims can cause the tire to fail and explode while driving, leading to a sudden loss of control at speed and a potential collision.”

The complaint alleges that GM monitors online postings and NHTSA databases and knew or should have known about the defect. It claims that GM concealed the problem from buyers. 

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