— A General Motors Vortec class action lawsuit alleges oil consumption problems plague the vehicles because of defective piston rings.
The GM Vortec class action lawsuit includes these vehicles equipped with Generation IV 5.3-Liter V8 Vortec 5300 LC9 engines.
- 2010-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
- 2010-2014 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2010-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2010-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2010-2014 GMC Sierra
- 2010-2014 GMC Yukon
- 2010-2014 GMC Yukon XL
The GM Generation IV Vortec 5300 engine was allegedly engineered to fail and consume excessive amounts of oil, primarily because the piston rings fail to keep oil in the crankcase.
The allegedly excessive oil consumption results in low oil levels, insufficient lubrication and internal engine damage that causes owners to expend huge amounts of money for repairs.
GM Vortec Class Action Lawsuit Claims Multiple Systems Cause Problems
However, the GM Vortec lawsuit alleges the piston rings aren't the only problem. The plaintiffs claim the active fuel management system also contributes to the alleged oil consumption problem.
According to the class action, the fuel management system uses an oil pressure relieve valve that sprays oil directly at the piston skirts, which allegedly overloads and fouls the piston rings. This allegedly causes oil to migrate past the piston rings where it either burns or accumulates as carbon buildup on the combustion chamber’s surfaces.
The Vortec engine also allegedly includes a defective PCV system that "vacuums atomized oil from the valvetrain into the intake system, where it is ultimately burned in the combustion chambers. This vacuuming process also contributes to excessive oil consumption."
But the class action lawsuit alleges those aren't the only problems because the automaker uses a defective oil life monitoring system that doesn't monitor oil levels. The plaintiffs claim the systems fail to warn drivers of low oil levels until the levels are too low.
The oil life monitoring system only allegedly monitors engine conditions to provide a driver information about a vehicle needing a recommended oil change. According to the lawsuit, a driver can drive thousands of miles with low oil levels allegedly caused by the vehicle consuming excessive amounts of engine oil.
In addition to the oil life monitoring system, oil consumption is allegedly caused by an oil pressure gauge on the dash and an oil canister image that will illuminate when a vehicle is low on oil. However, the oil pressure gauge allegedly does not provide any indication as to when the oil pressure falls to levels low enough to damage the engines.
Customers claim migrating oil fouls the spark plugs no matter how many times drivers refill the oil, and those spark plugs then cause vehicles to run lousy, suffer misfires and finally shut down.
General Motors allegedly tells dealerships to perform repairs that help only for a short time, including a repair that includes instructions to decarbonize the rings and combustion chambers by using chemical abrasives.
The GM Vortec class action lawsuit alleges GM has known about oil consumption problems since 2007 model year vehicles were first sold.
The GM Vortec engine class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland Division: Airko, Inc., et al., v. General Motors LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, and Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.