— A Chevy Equinox piston rings lawsuit has survived a motion to dismiss, but the judge says the suit won't move forward as a nationwide class-action.
The Equinox piston rings lawsuit includes 2010-2017 Chevrolet SUVs equipped with 2.4-liter engines. Five named plaintiffs allege General Motors misled customers about the defects and dealers refused to repair the SUVs under warranty.
GM allegedly failed to adequately test the piston rings and failed to warn customers about oil consumption issues that left drivers stranded on the highways. The plaintiffs claim the piston rings allow excessive oil consumption that burns up the engines.
The piston rings are allegedly too thin to “maintain sufficient tension to seal oil in the crank case" and the "spray jets overload and foul piston rings by spraying oil onto the piston skirt and cylinder wall, causing further loss of oil seal."
According to the lawsuit, the crankcase ventilation system vacuums oil “from the valve train into the intake system," and the oil life monitoring systems allegedly do nothing to prevent engine damage. The monitoring system “gauges engine conditions, revolutions, and temperature, to calculate the expected deterioration in oil quality and [when an oil change is due.]”
But the plaintiffs argue the systems do nothing to tell drivers of the real oil levels, further causing oil loss and engine damage. However, the vehicles do have oil pressure gauges used to warn of low oil levels, but the plaintiffs claim the gauges don't warn when the oil pressure is low enough to cause engine damage.
This allegedly causes the SUVs to suffer engine damage while the vehicles are moving at highway speeds. In addition, the lawsuit alleges spending a fortune on oil doesn't remove the damage caused by carbon buildup.
General Motors told the judge the California plaintiffs lacked standing to bring a nationwide lawsuit that represents all Equinox customers, and the judge agreed. In addition, GM argues express warranty claims fail because the warranties do not cover design defects alleged by the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs also allegedly didn't request repairs during the warranty periods.
GM says the plaintiffs have not pled a “materials and workmanship” defect that would be covered by the new vehicle limited warranty, and the judge agreed. According to the ruling, allegations made by the plaintiffs describe design problems which are not covered by the warranties.
GM also told the judge the plaintiffs do not allege that a single engine has ever caught fire or shut down because of piston ring and oil consumption problems. Additionally, the automaker says there is no safety hazard because drivers are warned they should check the oil levels when the oil pressure light activates.
According to the ruling, express warranty claims are dismissed with leave to amend because the plaintiffs don't allege facts that plausibly suggest their SUVs suffered from manufacturing defects of workmanship or materials.
The judge also dismissed express warranty claims of three of the five named plaintiffs, but with leave to amend the lawsuit.
Other claims dismissed include “failure of essential purpose” warranty claims along with California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law claims. However, the judge gave the plaintiffs the right to amend their claims if they choose.
Alleged violations of implied warranty claims are dismissed for for all five plaintiffs, but the judge ruled two plaintiffs may amend their claims.
The Chevrolet Equinox piston rings lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - James Andrews and Ryan Hindsman, et al., v. General Motors LLC.
CarComplaints.com has Chevy Equinox complaints about piston rings and oil consumption: