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gm transmission lawsuit

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (Image courtesy of General Motors)

We’ve begun working on a reliability series that will eventually (hopefully) cover every pickup and SUV on the market. One of the first stories I worked on involved the Chevy Silverado, and the biggest issue I found pertained to the GM 8-speed transmission.

But the issue is much bigger than just Silverado. In fact, the Hydra-Matic 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions at the root of the problem have been used in 15 different GM products since 2014 – including everything from the Chevrolet Corvette all the way to the Cadillac Escalade.

So, it should surprise no one there is lawsuit pending. It was originally filed in April of 2019, but as CarComplaints.com reports, that lawsuit is in the news this week because there were some partial dismissals.

The gist of the lawsuit is that these transmissions have a known, common defect. Specifically, as detailed on DocketBird.com, point No. 2 of the introduction states:

“Drivers attempting to accelerate or decelerate their cars feel a hesitation, followed by a significant shake, shudder, jerk, clunk, or ‘hard shift’ when the vehicle’s automatic transmission changes gears.”

GM, of course, is trying to get the lawsuit dismissed, including the express warranty claims, arguing the plaintiffs allege all these transmissions are plagued equally with the problem (which GM says isn’t true) and are talking about a design defect, and not something covered by the warranty.

Though the judge has said most of the lawsuit allegations can move forward, there are two items that were dismissed:

  • A claim for class-wide money damages under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act
  • Implied warranty claims of all plaintiffs under the laws of Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin

What the judge didn’t dismiss: The claim that GM acted fraudulently by selling vehicles it knew were defective.

You can see the complete list of vehicles covered by this lawsuit on CarComplaints.com, but the trucks and SUVs involved include:

  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
  • 2015-2019 GMC Sierra
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon Denali XL
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon

The bottom line on the GM transmission lawsuit

We’ll keep an eye on this lawsuit, but don’t expect a resolution next week – or probably even this year. These things tend to drag on.

But, frankly, it doesn’t look like it’s going to end well for GM. As noted by CarComplaints.com, the judge specifically stated “plausible inferences may be drawn that GM had substantial knowledge” of the transmission problems before any of the plaintiffs purchased their vehicles.


Related posts:

Ford F-150, Ranger mired in new fuel economy lawsuit

Is the 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 reliable? One year to avoid


Consumer Reports 2021 least reliable full-size trucks; GM dominates?

Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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1 Comment

  1. Rick May 14, 2021


    Where can I find copy of GM transmission Lawsuit?


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