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GM Transmissions Cause Sudden Acceleration, Late Stopping Class Action

2019 Cadillac ATS

The complaint for this class action alleges that General Motors, LLC (GM) puts defective transmissions in some of its vehicles. The complaint claims that GM knew the transmissions were defective as far back as 2014, but that it has no way to fix them and simply denies that the vehicles have problems.

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons or entities in the US (including its territories and the District of Columbia) who bought or leased one of the vehicles at issue. The complaint also proposes similar state classes for Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, for persons or entities in those states who bought or leased one of the vehicles at issue.

The vehicles at issue are the following, with GM Hydra-Matic 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions:

  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro 
  • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade 
  • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV 
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS 
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS-V 
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS 
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS-V 
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CT6 
  • 2015-2019 GMC Sierra 
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon 
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon XL 
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon 

These vehicles, the complaint says, may shudder, jerk, suddenly accelerate, fail to accelerate, fail to downshift, or delay stopping, causing danger to both the passengers in the car and others on the road around them.

The complaint alleges that the transmissions have internal issues, including possibly defective torque converters: “The defective transmissions suffer from excessive friction between components, which grinds off transmission parts and results in the circulation of metal shavings throughout the transmissions’ hydraulic systems. These circulating metal shavings cause further damage that impairs … proper functioning…”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recorded numerous complaints about these vehicles, the complaint says. Some of them claim that GM or service personnel told them that the problems they were experiencing were “normal.”

The complaint claims that that is because GM’s service bulletins, including June 2016’s PIP5405, “explicitly told GM dealers and service technicians that, despite numerous complaints related to ‘surging’ or ‘unexpected acceleration,’ the vehicles were ‘operating as [d]esigned’ and, futher, that if the problem was found to be widespread it ‘should be considered a “normal” characteristic of the vehicle.’”

However, the complaint says, trade publications have joined vehicle owners in complaining about the performance of these transmissions.

Even so, GM has seemingly not found a fix for them. The complaint says the company has tried to deal with the problem with expensive repairs that are “ineffective, consisting of patchwork software updates, parts replacements, and other insufficient procedures.” These do not fix the problems, the complaint says, but GM has not issued a recall. It continues to sell vehicles with these problems, and the customers who buy them continue to bring the vehicles in for repairs that will not work. 

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