— A General Motors E85 fuel class action lawsuit is moving forward after the original version of the lawsuit was dismissed.
A judge had dismissed the lawsuit but allowed the plaintiff to change and refile the E85 flex fuel class action on behalf of Illinois owners of GM flex fuel vehicles.
The plaintiff argues his Impala cannot run on E85 (85% ethanol) only, something General Motors allegedly didn't tell customers.
The plaintiff contends he purchased a flex fuel car because it can use E85 in addition to regular gasoline.
Much of the amended class action included the same arguments as the original flex fuel lawsuit regarding his 2016 Chevrolet Impala which he purchased used in 2019.
GM said its flex fuel cars ran on “E85 ethanol, gasoline, or any combination of the two.”
According to the flex fuel lawsuit, the plaintiff relied on information from the yellow fuel filler cap which said, “E85 / Gasoline . . . Do not use additives with E85 Fuel.”
Illinois plaintiff Michael Fleury says he drove his Impala for a few years without any problems, occasionally refilling with E85 fuel. In 2022, he says he read the owner’s manual and stopped using regular gasoline to use E85 fuel only in his Impala.
"Then, the car’s check-engine and warning lights turned on, and the car lost power. At the GM dealer, Fleury learned that his exclusive use of E85 had caused the fuel pump to fail, requiring its replacement." — GM E85 class action lawsuit
The plaintiff asserts GM should have warned him the Impala required alternating between E85 and regular gas to avoid problems with the fuel pump, something the automaker has allegedly known since 2016.
In January 2022, Fleury’s Impala “failed the Illinois emissions test” and the mass air flow sensor required replacement due to the fuel pump failure. GM offered to pay for repairs, but the lawsuit alleges the pump will be damaged again if the plaintiff uses only E85 fuel.
GM E85 Fuel Lawsuit Survives
GM's motion to dismiss the E85 flex fuel class action was granted in part and denied in part.
The latest version of the GM E85 fuel lawsuit contains new allegations against General Motors. The plaintiff says he believed the Impala owner's manual contained accurate information and warnings. However, the plaintiff says the manual was "deceptive by halftruth."
The plaintiff also argues the E85 fuel system problem offends "Illinois public policy."
The plaintiff found favor with the judge by arguing the Impala owner's manual had no warning about using too much E85 fuel or how using only E85 fuel could damage the fuel pump.
"Omitting or concealing a material fact is deceptive conduct." — Judge Virginia M. Kendall
GM argues the plaintiff never suffered actual harm because the automaker offered to cover the fuel pump expenses.
"But GM’s rejected offer to fix Fleury’s fuel pump does not preclude his claim for damages—especially since Fleury seeks punitive damages and attorneys’ fees in addition to actual damages." — Judge Kendall
The GM E85 class action survives based on the plaintiff's deceptive omission claim and his fraudulent concealment claim.
The GM E85 fuel class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Eastern Division): Michael Fleury vs. General Motors LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC.