— A GM oil consumption lawsuit has been certified as a class action, but only for General Motors customers in California, North Carolina and Texas.
The GM oil consumption lawsuit was filed in 2016 and alleges the Gen IV Vortec 5300 engines have defects that cause excessive oil consumption that eventually damages the engines in 2010-2014 vehicles.
The class action initially included multiple vehicles nationwide, but the judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2017 and then allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint.
The oil consumption lawsuit alleges the Vortec 5300 engines have piston rings that “do not maintain sufficient tension to keep oil in the crankcase" which allows oil to “burn or accumulate as carbon buildup on the combustion chamber’s surfaces.”
The oil consumption allegedly causes serious safety problems when the engine is starved of oil and oil pressure is lost. The spark plugs are also fouled due to oil in the combustion chamber and may cause the vehicle to break down.
Although class action certification was granted for three states, there are modifications compared to the original lawsuit concerning which models and years are included.
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2011-2014 GMC Sierra
- 2011-2014 GMC Yukon
- 2011-2014 GMC Yukon XL
The original oil consumption lawsuit included the LC9, LMG, LH9 and LMF engines, but the latest version includes the above vehicles if equipped with LC9 engines and manufactured on or after February 10, 2011.
Any vehicle that has already received adequate piston replacement (piston replacement in which the new pistons were not merely new versions of the same defective pistons) is excluded from the class action.
According to the judge, there is enough evidence to show the alleged oil consumption problem is a safety defect within the context of fraudulent omission, implied warranty and consumer protection claims.
In addition, the judge ruled at this stage there is enough evidence to suggest GM failed to properly resolve oil consumption problems.
On the claim of an intent to deceive, the judge ruled the "evidence raises issues of material fact regarding fraudulent intent; a reasonable jury could find in Plaintiffs’ favor on this issue."
The judge seemed to have issues with claims the automaker concealed defects by saying the allegations against the automaker do little more than use the word conceal, but without any specific affirmative acts of concealment. However, at this stage the judge must view evidence in the "light most favorable" to the plaintiffs.
Finally, the judge ruled a "reasonable jury could conclude that the evidence before the Court supports the conclusion that the alleged Oil Consumption Defect constitutes a safety defect and that GM actively concealed information about the defect."
The GM oil consumption lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Monteville Sloan, et al., v. General Motors LLC.
CarComplaints.com has complaints about the vehicles named in the GM oil consumption lawsuit.