— A GM cracked dash lawsuit alleges owners can spend thousands of dollars to replace cracked dashboards and instrument panels the automaker should have recalled.
The proposed class-action dashboard lawsuit includes the following trucks and SUVs built after July 11, 2009, on the GMT900 platform:
- 2009-2014 Cadillac Escalade
- 2009-2014 GMC Yukon
- 2009-2014 GMC Sierra
- 2009-2014 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2009-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2009-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2009-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
Multiple lead plaintiffs claim GM has spent years concealing the defective dashboards and the dangers the cracks pose, especially related to the airbag systems.
General Motors allegedly tells consumers the damage is merely cosmetic, but the plaintiffs claim in addition to safety hazards, the damaged dashboards and instrument panels cause a loss of value of the vehicles.
According to the lawsuit, an owner may spend more than $2,000 to replace the dashboard, and even when the vehicles were under warranty, owners still got stuck with the bills because GM allegedly refused to pay.
Plaintiff James Smith owns a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ and in July 2017, Smith noticed a crack to the left of the instrument cluster. Then in September he noticed a crack near the passenger-side frontal airbag when the truck had about 90,000 miles.
The plaintiff claims he contacted the automaker through its Facebook page and was referred to a dealership for an inspection of the truck. Smith alleges he was told the dash repairs would cost about $1,000.
Smith says he wouldn't have purchased the truck, or wouldn't have paid what he did, if GM would have told him the dash was going to crack.
The lawsuit alleges cracks in a dashboard occur in the steering column cowling and passenger airbag area, but having the dash replaced by a dealer does no good because the same allegedly defective design is installed.
The plaintiffs say GM formerly used a multi-piece dashboard design that didn't crack, but then moved to one-piece dashboards in the 2007-2014 models named in the lawsuit. Owners say the automaker switched back to the multi-piece dashboards in 2015 and owners stopped complaining.
The plaintiffs say the cracks interfere with the deployment of both frontal airbags in a crash and cause the dashboards to splinter and injure occupants.
"The cracks appear on the corners of the airbag in the dash or over the instrument panel. We have all contacted GM and most have had no luck. The majority of us are told that the dash is not covered under warranty or the repair price for the replacement is done on a case by case basis. Most of us are told that it depends on age of vehicle, mileage and service history at our dealership. Our issue with this is the safety matter. If we are to be involved in an accident, these broken dash pieces can go flying at you on impact." - 2011 Chevy Suburban owner
The plaintiffs say General Motors has refused to issue a recall to fix the dashboards and continues to force customers to pay for the damage.
The GM cracked dash lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - Smith et al. v. General Motors, LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, PC, Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody, Agnello, P.C., Seeger Weiss LLP, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP.