A proposed class action lawsuit is accusing General Motors of rigging hundreds of thousands of diesel trucks with devices similar to those used by Volkswagen AG to make sure they pass required emission tests. According to a Reuters news report, the lawsuit was filed in federal court in Detroit on behalf of people who own or lease more than 705,000 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks fitted with Duramax engines from 2011 to 2016 model years.
The lawsuit accuses the automaker of using at least three “defeat devices” to rig the trucks so they would meet federal and state emission standards, even if they generated more pollution in real-world driving. GM has called these allegations baseless saying that their trucks comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards as well as California’s tougher standards. The lawsuit seeks remedies including possible refunds or restitution for lost vehicle value as well as punitive damages.
Scrutiny on Automakers
This adds more legal troubles for GM, which has already paid out about $2.5 billion in penalties and settlements over faulty ignition switches linked to 124 deaths over more than a decade. Regulators are scrutinizing five automakers with regard to diesel emissions including VW, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot and Renault.
The GM class action lawsuit states that on-road emissions testing conducted for the plaintiffs found that the Duramax-equipped trucks produced pollutants consisting of nitrogen and oxygen atoms two to five times higher than legally permitted. The named plaintiffs are from Mountain View, California and Sulphur, Louisiana. This week, the U.S. government sued Fiat Chrysler alleging it used software on 104,000 diesel vehicles sold since 2014 to evade emission standards. FCA has also denied wrongdoing.
This class action lawsuit makes serious allegations against General Motors. It appears that attorneys for the plaintiffs, who previously represented consumers in the Volkswagen emissions scandal, have already done testing on the vehicles and documented a higher rate of pollutants. If GM did in fact rig the machines to dupe EPA officials and dodge regulations, the company should be held accountable.
These acts are not only brazen, but also fraudulent. Not only do automakers dodge regulation, but they also shortchange consumers because their vehicles’ resale value would go down significantly. We hope the consumers here receive justice and are fairly compensated for their losses and we hope if the allegations are found to be true, that GM is held accountable.