A faulty design in the company's Vortec LC9 engine has led to a handful of class action suits.

, GM Will Pay $102.6 Million in Class Action Lawsuit Verdict
Bill PuglianoGetty Images

  • General Motors has been found liable to pay $102.6 million across 38,000 members of a Federal class action suit surrounding the Vortec LC9 engine.
  • GMT900-platform vehicles built from 2010-2014, like the Chevrolet Silverado, were found to have a faulty piston ring design, leading to significant engine problems.
  • Owners of these vehicles in California, North Carolina, and Idaho may receive a payout of $2700 per person, though GM plans to appeal the verdict.

    It’s been over a decade since General Motors emerged from bankruptcy in July of 2009. The so-called “New GM” released a range of re-designed models shortly thereafter, with the hopes of kickstarting the company back to life. The most notorious of these models were built on the GMT900 platform, including models like the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Sierra, powered by the fourth-generation Vortec LC9 engine. Unfortunately, these halo models have come back to bite GM 13 years later, to the tune of $102.6 million.
    Specifically, the Vortec LC9 5.3-liter V8 used on GMT900 models from 2010 to 2014 is responsible for lawsuits across the country, due to its defective piston rings that allowed oil to travel beyond the crankcase. A Federal class action lawsuit brought on by 38,000 vehicle owners in California, Idaho, and North Carolina alleges that this defect resulted in constantly fouled spark plugs, excessive carbon build-up, and even motor failure due to oil loss. And the plaintiffs have successfully argued their case, with a federal jury verdict ordering the payment of $102.6 million by GM across the 38,000 owners in the class action. That’s $2700 per person.

    , GM Will Pay $102.6 Million in Class Action Lawsuit Verdict

    Chevy’s big body Avalanche is one of the models included in the lawsuit, specifically model years of 2010 to 2014.

    Chevrolet

    “I am also thankful for the courage of the jury, which did the right thing in holding GM responsible for its deceit and half-hearted efforts to address its problems,” said Christopher Stombaugh, lead trial counsel in the case and a partner at DiCello Levitt, the firm representing the plaintiffs.
    GM is contesting this result and has said that it does not believe this verdict is supported by the evidence. The automotive giant will seek post-trial relief and plans to appeal the verdict if the Court allows it to stand. And it may have merit to do so, considering similar Vortec engine class action suits have been dismissed in other states like Ohio, Virginia, and Washington.

    , GM Will Pay $102.6 Million in Class Action Lawsuit Verdict

    The GMC Yukon Denali is another model that was powered by the Vortec LC9.

    Alan Vanderkaay

    However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the folks in Detroit are in for an easy fight. After the original case, Raul Siqueiros, et al. v. General Motors LLC. was filed in 2016, owners across the country have since filed class action suits, with a Federal trial ongoing in New York. All of these lawsuits hinge on the courts finding that GMs defective products and attempted solutions violated that state’s consumer protections, meaning one case can be dismissed in Ohio while another is tied to a verdict in California.
    GM has fired back at these allegations in court, stating that only 3% of the vehicles included in the suit require repairs for oil consumption. Despite this, the engine was plagued with trouble from the beginning, with problems stemming from the piston rings as well as the fuel management system, and was eventually taken out of production in 2014. It was replaced by another 5.3-liter V8, the EcoTec3 L83.

    While $102.6 million isn’t bank-breaking for General Motors, the company is adamant about stomping out these suits. It’s relatively rare to see a class action lawsuit go to trial and to see one with a verdict in favor of the classes, and it’s possible GM doesn’t want to set a precedent with the case. As the case may reach a Federal Court of Appeals soon, the 38,000 members of the class action will likely have to wait a bit longer for their money.

    Emmet White A New York transplant hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Emmet White has a passion for anything that goes: cars, bicycles, planes, and motorcycles.

    TECH NEWS RELATED

    4 Advantages the Ford Escape Has Over the Toyota RAV4

    The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular compact crossovers on the market right now, but it has a lot of worthy competition. The 2022 Ford Escape is an example of one of the RAV4’s best competitors, and in fact, the Escape is better than the RAV4 in ...

    View more: 4 Advantages the Ford Escape Has Over the Toyota RAV4

    Tidy Two-Door Tahoe: Lowered Street Style '90s OBS Chevrolet

    Low Look around at modern traffic—you’ll find it is difficult to remember a time when large SUVs weren’t ubiquitous on American roadways. While the shift largely began with the release of the Explorer in 1990, the changeover wasn’t instantaneous for the rest of the industry. Although it would seem like ...

    View more: Tidy Two-Door Tahoe: Lowered Street Style '90s OBS Chevrolet

    2023 Citroen C5 Aircross update delayed until 'early 2023'

    UPDATE: 2023 Citroen C5 Aircross facelift delayed The facelifted 2023 Citroen C5 Aircross medium SUV has been delayed until early next year. As we confirmed in our New Car Calendar update in September, the C5 Aircross Australian release had been postponed to at least the first half of 2023. Citroen ...

    View more: 2023 Citroen C5 Aircross update delayed until 'early 2023'

    Driven: The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Can Take You Anywhere You Want

    The 2022 Ford Bronco is one of the best SUVs you can currently buy if you need an SUV to take you on your daily errands and off the beaten path. And while it’s plenty capable off-road, there are some places that the Bronco can’t go. In that case, you’ll ...

    View more: Driven: The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Can Take You Anywhere You Want

    Logan Sargeant's Big Break Has Arrived

    If America's newest Formula 1 driver wants to prove he belongs in the series, he has an excellent chance to do so his rookie season.

    View more: Logan Sargeant's Big Break Has Arrived

    The best new cars of 2022

    Trying to select the best new car of the year is a debate that causes endless arguments among motoring journalists. Every magazine and/or website has its own ideas about how such a title should be awarded. Every reviewer is a human being with their own ideas and preferences. Every car ...

    View more: The best new cars of 2022

    6 Reasons a C5 Chevy Corvette Is a Great Project Car

    Your project car doesn’t have to come from the 1960s and can be a car you can drive and enjoy every day. Just because it’s your project doesn’t mean you won’t show it off on the road. One of the best project cars we can think of is the C5 ...

    View more: 6 Reasons a C5 Chevy Corvette Is a Great Project Car

    This 2023 Toyota SUV Is Only Offered as a Hybrid

    As a three-row SUV, Toyota has given the 2023 Sequoia a full redesign. It rides on the same platform as the Toyota Tundra and Lexus LX600, plus it has just one powertrain. Under the hood of every 2023 Toyota Sequoia is a 3.4-liter V6 engine known as the iForce MAX. ...

    View more: This 2023 Toyota SUV Is Only Offered as a Hybrid

    Every 2023 Honda CR-V Trim Comes With 1 Feature Once Reserved for Luxury Cars

    Closest Finish Of USAC Season Clocked At 0.094 Seconds

    McLaren sells historic cars to raise cash to fund Artura upgrades

    Consumer Reports on Safely Getting a Christmas Tree Home Safely

    City of Chicago Towed Nearly 250 Cars on First Night of Winter Parking Ban

    How Much Does a 2021 McLaren 570S Cost?

    5 Luxury Brands With the Cheapest 10-Year Maintenance

    EVs Reduce Gas Usage in America Much Less Than You Might Think

    Is This The Tesla Model 3 Refresh With Its Front And Rear Under Camouflage?

    Biden proposes overhaul of U.S. biofuel law to boost EV makers

    Ford battles with dealers over EV sales plan

    Better looking than a Lamborghini Urus? Why Ferrari is no longer taking orders for its controversial new Purosangue 'SUV'

    OTHER TECH NEWS

    Top Car News Car News