— A GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox oil consumption class-action lawsuit alleges the SUVs have been defective since 2010.
Plaintiffs Patrick Sanchez, Mark Stauber, Sally Stauber, Jacob Ross-Demmin and Jennifer Herrington filed the proposed class-action lawsuit about 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain vehicles with EcoTech 2.4-liter engines.
The plaintiffs claim excessive oil consumption causes a long list of problems, including engine misfires, stalls, shutdowns, fouled spark plugs, unexpected power loss and SUVs that jerk.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges the low oil levels cause knocking engines, damaged timing chains and the danger of fire is always there when the engines overheat.
The allegedly faulty engines cause too much oil to enter the combustion chambers, something General Motors has allegedly known about since before 2010. The plaintiffs claim defective piston rings, including both “compression” and “oil” rings, can't handle the high compression ratios of the engines.
The piston rings are allegedly too thin and aren't coated adequately. The lawsuit also says GM used low-tension oil rings that do not maintain sufficient tension to keep oil in the crankcase within specifications.
In the end, the plaintiffs claim the EcoTec 2.4-liter piston rings can't maintain a sufficient seal within the crankcase. The engines also contribute to the oil consumption due to spray jets that spray oil onto the piston skirts and cylinder walls.
This oil spray overloads and fouls the piston rings, sending oil past the piston rings into portions of the engines where oil is not intended to go. The oil either allegedly burns off or accumulates as carbon buildup on the combustion chambers. This supposedly is not common in other engines with wider piston rings.
The lawsuit also alleges the positive crankcase ventilation systems in the engines are defective because the vacuuming process contributes to excessive oil consumption.
Although the SUVs have systems to warn drivers of low oil pressure, the lawsuit alleges the systems don't provide warnings early enough to prevent engine damage.
According to the oil consumption lawsuit, GM created a campaign in February 2012 to reprogram the oil level monitoring systems to reduce the recommended oil service intervals. The plaintiffs claim the automaker developed the program no later than December 2012, and the entire reason for the program was GM's knowledge of oil consumption problems.
The GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox oil consumption class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - Sanchez, et al., v. General Motors LLC.