Motion to dismiss filed by GM argues the plaintiffs never define the alleged transmission defect.

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GM Transmission Lawsuit Doesn't Hold Up, Says Automaker
Motion to dismiss filed by GM argues the plaintiffs never define the alleged transmission defect.

— A GM transmission lawsuit alleges multiple Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC models shake, jerk, shift hard, clunk and hesitate due to the 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions.

But in a motion to dismiss lawsuit, attorneys for General Motors say that while the plaintiffs allege "hundreds of thousands" GM vehicles suffer from dozens of different subjective transmission problems, the plaintiffs never define the alleged transmission defect.

The GM transmission lawsuit seeks class action certification for owners and lessees of the following vehicles.

  • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS-V
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CT6
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS-V
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2015-2019 GMC Sierra
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2015-2017 GMC Yukon Denali
  • 2015-2017 GMC Yukon Denali XL
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon

According to the plaintiffs, drivers report a feeling as if they are hit by other vehicles because the transmissions shift so violently. The lawsuit alleges the problem comes from either the transmissions or torque converters.

The plaintiffs argue the gears and hydraulic systems fail, and friction on the surfaces cause metal shavings to travel through the transmissions.

Technical service bulletins (TSBs) have been sent to dealers since 2015 to warn dealerships about customers who complain about their 8-speed transmissions. The GM lawsuit alleges the bulletins and other bulletins prove the automaker has known about the transmissions since at least 2015.

In addition, even with all the various repairs advised in the bulletins, the transmission lawsuit alleges none of the repairs truly fix the problems.

Since the automaker allegedly knows about the 8-speed transmission problems, the plaintiffs say GM had a duty to warn customers and potential customers about the defects.

The plaintiffs also say it's miserable when the vehicles try to accelerate or decelerate, and flushing the systems never permanently fix the alleged transmission problems.

These arguments may sound good to GM owners and lessees, but General Motors says the arguments don't hold up once the law is applied.

According to the motion to dismiss, plaintiffs’ express warranty claims fail because GM’s limited warranty covers only manufacturing defects, not the alleged transmission design defect claimed in the lawsuit.

GM told the judge how the plaintiffs allege the transmission defect affects all GM vehicles with 8L45 or 8L90 transmissions, and where a defect is alleged in all vehicles, the claim is for a design defect. However, design defects are “not covered by GM’s express warranty, which covers only defects in ‘material or workmanship.’”

The automaker also says implied warranty claims fare no better because the plaintiffs don't allege their vehicles were unmerchantable when they were sold.

The motion to dismiss the GM transmission lawsuit says in cases involving vehicle sales, a plaintiff must plead and ultimately prove the“vehicle manifests a defect that is so basic it renders the vehicle unfit for its ordinary purpose of providing transportation.”

But attorneys for GM argue the plaintiffs "make only conclusory allegations that their vehicles are 'unfit for their ordinary and intended use,' but allege only inconvenience and mild discomfort."

GM says no plaintiff alleges any crashes or injuries and no one claims they stopped driving their vehicle.

Next, GM says the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act claim necessarily fails because the warranty claims fail.

The plaintiffs allegedly do not adequately plead “the who, what, when, where, and how” of any alleged omission with the particularity required by law, which allegedly means the fraudulent omission claims fail.

In the transmission lawsuit, GM owners say there were advertisements that reference the performance of the 8-speed automatic transmissions, but the automaker argues the plaintiffs do not plead they saw or relied on any specific materials in making a decision to purchase their vehicles.

The GM transmission lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division - Francis, et al., v. General Motors, LLC.

The plaintiffs are represented by Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, and Gordon & Partners. has complaints about the vehicles named in the GM transmission lawsuit.


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