Lawsuit alleges Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu and Buick Verano steering wheels lock on straight highways.

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Lawsuit alleges Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu and Buick Verano steering wheels lock on straight highways.

— A Chevy Cruze, Chevy Malibu and Buick Verano steering system lawsuit alleges the steering wheels lock while driving. The proposed class-action lawsuit focuses on the 2011-2014 Chevy Cruze, Chevy Malibu and Buick Verano.

Plaintiff Briana Mendoza filed the lawsuit after alleging the steering wheel locked on her Chevrolet Cruze. Mendoza claims the electronic power steering can lock the steering wheel when the car is traveling on a straight highway. The plaintiff says a driver must use extreme pressure to turn the wheel, which can cause the driver to suddenly turn the wheel too far, creating a safety hazard.

General Motors has previously said the stuck steering wheels aren't considered a safety hazard, but the automaker did tell its dealers how to tackle the problem if customers complained.

In a technical service bulletin sent to dealerships, GM said installing a software update would fix the problem. However, only customers who brought in their vehicles would get the update.

Mendoza says if GM would have cared about its customers, a recall on the cars would have been ordered long ago.

The lawsuit alleges when GM tells owners that dealerships will repair the cars, dealers use defective parts to make the repairs. If repairs were made while the vehicle was under warranty, the defective parts will cause the steering problems again after the warranty expired.

The plaintiff says GM concealed the alleged steering defect to keep from admitting the vehicles are less than valued. In addition, by not admitting the alleged defects, consumers would continue buying the vehicles and keep paying for repairs.

The lawsuit accuses GM of violating California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

The Chevy Cruz, Chevy Malibu and Buick Verano locked steering wheel lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California - Briana Mendoza v. General Motors LLC et al.

The plaintiff is represented by Kirtland & Packard LLP.

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