This is one of several recent class actions brought against General Motors for the use of Bosch’s CP4 fuel pumps in diesel vehicles. The complaint alleges that the CP4 cannot work properly with American diesel fuel, which does not provide enough lubrication. The result is eventual failures requiring the replacement of the fuel system.
Two classes have been proposed for this action. The California Class is all persons who bought or leased a class vehicle in California. The Texas Class is all persons who bought or leased a class vehicle in Texas.
The vehicles at issue include 2011 to 2016 model year Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 heavy duty pickup trucks equipped with 6.6-liter, V-8, turbocharged, Duramax engines.
The complaint begins by pointing out the reliability expected of diesel trucks in the US. “Whereas gasoline powered engines might reliably last for up to 200,000 miles, diesel engines typically run well beyond 500,000 miles.” However, the complaint claims that GM diesel vehicles do not meet this expectation because of the use of a European fuel pump that cannot cope with American diesel fuel.
The Bosch CP4 fuel pump was supposed to save money; the complaint says it uses less fuel by exerting higher fuel pressures. But it was designed by a European company, Bosch, to work with European diesel fuel. Lower-sulfur formulas for American fuel means less lubricity to the pump.
The complaint claims that this causes additional wear and tear on the pump and injectors and creates metal shavings. The metal shavings then travel throughout the fuel system, which requires eventual replacement of the system, costing around $10,000. In some instances, the repairs required may be even more expensive. Flushing the system does not work, the complaint says; the only solution is replacement of the entire system.
Even worse, when the fuel pump fails, it can lead to “abrupt vehicle stalling at high speeds” which is a serious safety hazard to anyone in or around the vehicle. The complaint quotes a number of such incidents posted at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
GM has been using the CP4 since 2011, and the complaint claims that it has long known about the problems with it, and not just from the postings at the NHTSA.
The complaint says that in 2011, when GM first began using the fuel pumps in vehicles, the NHTSA was investigating failing high-pressure fuel pumps in certain Audi and Volkswagen vehicles. As part of the investigation, it asked other makers, including GM, about their own vehicles and high-pressure fuel-pump failures. The complaint alleges that GM’s figures showed a significant rise over failures in previous years, before the use of the CP4.
GM also knows about the defect through warranty claims, the complaint says, as well as through customer complaints and its own testing.