— A "Chevy shake" class action lawsuit is a "classic example of overreach," says GM in a motion to dismiss the case that alleges defective driveshafts cause violent shaking and vibrations.
According to the proposed class action, the plaintiff purchased a new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and within a year the truck allegedly started vibrating and shuddering while driving. The plaintiff calls this the "Chevy shake."
The lawsuit says the plaintiff tried to have the truck fixed several times at a Firestone repair shop but they allegedly couldn't fix the problem. He finally took the Silverado to a GM dealership in January 2019 where technicians told him the vibrations came from the brakes, but were within normal limits.
The plaintiff claims GM refused to pay for any repairs because the truck was no longer covered by the warranty.
Lawyers for General Motors took jabs at how the plaintiff claims that just because his truck may have had problems, somehow that must mean multiple models consisting of hundreds of thousands of vehicles must have the same alleged problems.
First, the plaintiff claims in the lawsuit that he and everyone else in the U.S. who purchased or leased a Silverado truck built in the last five years is entitled to free repairs "because every single Silverado allegedly has the same defectively designed driveshaft."
But the plaintiff doesn't stop there because he also claims every 2014-present GMC Sierra, 2015-present Cadillac Escalade, 2015-present Chevrolet Tahoe, 2015-present Chevrolet Suburban and every 2015-present GMC Yukon/Yukon XL also have defective driveshafts.
GM's lawyers told the judge, "This is a bridge too far. Indeed, Plaintiff has not adequately pleaded an individual claim, much less one on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of individuals he purports to represent."
In its motion to dismiss the Chevy Shake lawsuit, lawyers for General Motors told the judge the plaintiff doesn't have standing to make claims on any vehicle other than the 2015 Silverado 1500 he purchased.
GM references other automaker cases where judges ruled the plaintiffs couldn't make claims for models the plaintiffs never owned, something the plaintiff in this case is trying to do.
Attorneys for General Motors also argue an implied warranty claim against the automaker fails because the plaintiff "is not in privity with GM" because the truck was purchased from a dealership.
"It is well-established under Florida law that a purchaser cannot pursue a breach of implied warranty claim against a product manufacturer when he does not purchase the product directly from the manufacturer." - GM's motion to dismiss
Additionally, an implied warranty claim allegedly fails because the plaintiff never provides facts to show the Silverado was not fit for its intended purpose of providing transportation.
Attorneys for GM point to the lawsuit for proof considering the plaintiff says the truck first started shaking no later than September 2016, yet the first time he sought repairs was 19 months later. When that repair allegedly didn't work, the plaintiff waited another three and a half months before returning to Firestone for a realignment and tire rebalancing.
Because that repair also allegedly didn't fix the vibrations, he waited nearly five months before bringing his truck back to Firestone.
"Throughout the entire 27-month period between the time in which Plaintiff claims he first experienced the shaking to the time when Plaintiff first sought repair at an authorized GM repair facility, Plaintiff does not claim that he was unable (or unwilling) to drive his vehicle." - Attorneys for GM
General Motors also told the judge the plaintiff's express warranty claim fails because the warranty clearly excludes coverage for “slight noise, vibrations, or other normal characteristics of the vehicle.”
However, the problem of vibrations is exactly why the plaintiff filed the lawsuit in the first place, and the GM dealership found everything was “within the normal limits of road vibration.”
According to GM's lawyers, the plaintiff has no case in claiming repairs should have been covered under warranty because the Silverado 1500 was outside the 3-year/36,000 mile warranty for bumper-to-bumper coverage.
As for alleged violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), General Motors says the plaintiff doesn't allege he saw any representations made by GM, which is "fatal to his FDUTPA claim."
Lawyers for GM then turn to claims the automaker must have known about alleged vibration problems when the 2015 Silverado was sold. According to the lawsuit, owners filed complaints about the alleged Chevy shake, which means GM knew the trucks were allegedly defective.
But GM told the judge out of 109 complaints, only 24 are dated before the plaintiff purchased the truck.
"Plainly, complaints dated after Plaintiff purchased his truck cannot establish that GM knew of the alleged defect at the time Plaintiff purchased his truck. And of the 24 pre-purchase complaints, only 7 even mention a Silverado."
The lawsuit also alleges GM knew about alleged defects that caused vibrations because dealerships were sent technical service bulletins related to the subject.
However, GM argues a bulletin simply provides instructions to repair shops about how to handle certain customer complaints. According to GM, none of this is an admission that possible problems are related to "defects" in the vehicles.
The Chevy shake class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami - Douglas Weiss, et al., v. General Motors LLC.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from drivers of the GM vehicles named in the vibration lawsuit.