— A GM diesel lawsuit claims Duramax engines are equipped with emissions defeat devices in 2011-2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.
The original Duramax diesel lawsuit was filed in 2017 by plaintiff Andrei Fenner against General Motors and the Robert Bosch company, then consolidated with another class-action called Carrie Mizell et al. v. General Motors LLC, et al., with the consolidated action titled In Re: Duramax Diesel Litigation.
The consolidated class-action names 13 plaintiffs in 10 states who bought 2011-2016 Silverado 2500/3500 or Sierra 2500/3500 diesel trucks.
According to the GM diesel lawsuit, the automaker marketed the Duramax engines as emitting low emissions while delivery high performance, and engines that offered a “remarkable reduction of diesel emissions” compared to the previous engines.
But the plaintiffs claim emissions tests show the Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 trucks emit levels of nitrogen oxides higher than GM advertised. The emissions are also allegedly higher than government standards.
“The vehicles’ promised power, fuel economy, and efficiency is obtained only by turning off or turning down emissions controls when the software in these vehicles senses they are not in an emissions testing environment.”
The Duramax engines are allegedly equipped with three emissions “defeat devices,” with one device used to allegedly reduce the emission controls when temperatures are above the certification test range of 86°F.
The plaintiffs claim another device illegally reduces emissions controls when temps go below 68°F, and a third defeat device reduces emissions controls after 200-500 seconds of steady speed operation at all temperatures, causing emissions to increase an average of 4.5 times above standards.
According to the plaintiffs, the trucks emit nitrogen oxides between 2.1 and 2.4 times above legal standards, while in some cases emissions levels are allegedly up to 5.8 times higher than standards.
In comparison, defeat devices in Volkswagen vehicles emitted up to 40 times the legal levels of nitrogen oxides.
The Duramax diesel engines allegedly fool test machines by placing the "selective catayltic reduction" (SCR) in front of the "diesel particulate filter (DPF), increasing the engine’s power and fuel efficiency.
However, the lawsuit alleges that placing the SCR in front of the DPF also increases potential emissions, something that required GM to “employ Active Regeneration (burning off collected soot at a high temperature) and other power- and efficiency-sapping exhaust treatment measures.”
This allegedly took away the power and fuel efficiency gains and required the automaker to install the three defeat devices, something the automaker accomplished because of allegedly conspiring with Robert Bosch LLC.
According to the diesel lawsuit, Bosch and General Motors “were active and knowing participants in the scheme to evade U.S. emissions requirements” because of creating and testing the electronic diesel control (EDC17) that "allowed GM to implement the defeat device.”
The plaintiffs claim the Bosch EDC17 also allegedly helped Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and Mercedes to manipulate emissions.
The judge was told Duramax diesel truck owners paid an extra $9,000 for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks compared to gasoline-powered verions.
General Motors told the judge the lawsuit should be dismissed all all 54 counts, including the allegation GM and Bosch violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The remaining 53 counts are based on state fraudulent concealment and consumer protection laws of 43 states.
The lawsuit includes 33 of the state law claims originate from states where no named plaintiff resides.
The judge says General Motors and the plaintiffs reached agreements about some claims that will be dismissed without prejudice and also about certain claims for punitive damages that will be completely removed.
Out of the 54 counts, the judge ruled the lawsuit will proceed but without 14 counts, however, the plaintiffs have indicated they will amend and refile their lawsuit.
The GM diesel lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - Andrei Fenner and Joshua Herman, et al., v. General Motors LLC, et. al., also called In Re: Duramax Diesel Litigation.
The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman, the Miller Law Firm PC, Seeger Weiss, Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales, and Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody, Agnello, P.C.