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Consumer Lemon Law

GM Transmission Issues Escalate With Class-Action Lawsuit

GM Transmission Issues

In a landmark decision, a federal court has advanced a significant class-action lawsuit against General Motors (GM), underscoring substantial allegations regarding the reliability and safety of nearly 800,000 vehicles equipped with specific automatic transmissions.

In the case at hand, numerous GM vehicle owners reported significant malfunctions with their transmissions, specifically citing problems with the tranny and torque converter.

Malfunctions in these areas can lead to decreased performance, safety risks, and ultimately, a negative impact on consumer trust.

The class-action lawsuit filed against GM brought to light the systemic issues with the company’s transmission systems.

The lawsuit against GM was not just about the technical malfunctions of the transmission systems but also about the company’s responsibility to its customers.

Customers and industry observers alike will be keenly watching GM’s next moves. The expectation is not only for the resolution of the current issues but also for the implementation of more robust quality control measures to prevent future occurrences.

Let’s take a look at how the lawsuit came about.

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GM Transmission Issues Class Action Lawsuit Update 

Since the announcement of the class action lawsuit in March of last year, Capstone Law APC is asking for any current owners of the following vehicles: 

2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado; 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado; 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette; 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro; 2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV; 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CT6, and CTS-V; 2015-2019 GMC Sierra, Yukon, and Yukon XL, and Yukon Denali XL; or 2017-2019 GMC Canyon vehicle equipped with a General Motors’ Hydra-Matic 8L90 transmission or Hydra-Matic 8L45

To reach out and join the lawsuit, you need to provide vehicle and contact information. These class action lawsuits usually take 2-3 years to settle so there’s still time to join. 

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GM Transmission Issues: How Did The Class Action Lawsuit Come About

The certification of the class-action lawsuit by U.S. District Judge David Lawson represents a crucial step forward for the 39 plaintiffs across 26 states, advocating for a collective legal recourse to address their grievances.

The decision underscores the efficiency of a grouped lawsuit approach in tackling the sheer volume of affected individuals, experiencing common issues across a broad spectrum of states and vehicle models.

Plaintiffs allege that GM was aware of these transmission defects, yet chose to proceed with selling the vehicles without disclosing such information to consumers.

Furthermore, dealership advisories to customers, suggesting that the transmission behaviors were “normal” or “characteristic,” have intensified scrutiny over GM’s handling of the issue.

The call for restitution or reimbursement reflects the plaintiffs’ demand for accountability and fair resolution, highlighting the broader implications of corporate responsibility and consumer rights.

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GM’s Transmission Problems: The Details

GM’s transmission troubles did not suddenly appear out of thin air but have been steadily increasing over the past few years.

The company has faced backlash for faulty transmissions across various models, including the Chevrolet Silverado, Corvette, and Camaro, along with the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Sierra, among others.

At the heart of the lawsuit are the alleged technical shortcomings of the 8L45 and 8L90 transmissions—specifically, issues related to the Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) formulation and valve body design.

These components are critical for the smooth operation of a vehicle’s transmission system, and their malfunction can lead to the adverse conditions described by the plaintiffs.

Despite the issuance of 13 technical service bulletins by GM since 2015, aimed at addressing some of the concerns related to these transmissions, the persistence of problems and the initiation of a second lawsuit regarding post-2019 models indicate ongoing challenges in fully remedying the situation.

Customers have reported experiencing issues such as harsh shifting, slipping gears, delayed engagement, and even complete transmission failure.

One of the most significant contributors to these problems is GM’s use of a type of transmission called the 8-speed automatic transmission.

While this transmission was initially introduced to improve fuel efficiency and enhance performance, it has proven to be more problematic than anticipated.

The design flaws and inadequate software calibration have resulted in frequent malfunctions, leaving GM owners stranded and requiring costly repairs.

Moving Forward, What Should You Do If Your GM is Defective?

If your General Motors (GM) vehicle is exhibiting transmission issues or other defects, it is crucial to take immediate steps to address the situation.

First, document all issues and any attempts at repair or communication with dealerships.

Reach out to a GM dealership to report the problem and inquire about possible recalls or technical service bulletins that may apply to your vehicle.

Considering the class action status granted to the lawsuit against GM for selling vehicles with faulty transmissions, you may also want to consult with Consumer Lemon Law to connect you with an attorney near you specializing in automotive defects or lemon laws to understand your rights and potential steps for compensation.

A Lemon Law attorney can guide you through joining the class-action lawsuit or pursuing individual restitution if applicable.

GM Transmission Issues FAQs

The GM 8-speed transmission, specifically models 8L90 and 8L45, have been reported to experience frequent shuddering, harsh shifting, and a sensation of jerking or “hard shift” when selecting gears. These problems have led to significant discomfort and dissatisfaction among drivers.

Yes, GM is aware of the complaints regarding the 8-speed transmission and has issued several service bulletins in attempts to address and rectify the complaints through specific repair guidelines and fluid changes.

The most commonly recommended fix involves replacing the transmission fluid with a new formula designed to reduce or eliminate shudder. However, the effectiveness of this solution may vary, and some reports suggest that catching the issue early and changing the fluid may resolve it, but delays can lead to more significant, potentially irreparable damage.

Owners of Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC models from 2015-2019 equipped with faulty eight-speed transmissions may be eligible to join the class-action lawsuit against General Motors (GM). To participate, owners should directly visit the official lawsuit website for specific instructions on joining. 

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