Just days after the U.S. Dept. of Justice filed a civil suit accusing Fiat Chrysler with using cheat software to bypass emissions regulations in Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, General Motors is being hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that it also rigged thousands of diesel vehicles to pass emissions tests.
The suit filed in Detroit's federal court (Eastern District of Michigan) on May 25, 2017 alleges that GM illegally outfitted 705,000 pickups with defeat devices similar to those deployed by Volkswagen in 11 million cars worldwide, including 565,000 registered in the U.S. The suit covers 2011-2016 models of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel.
Unlike the lawsuit filed several days earlier against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, this one comes from consumers, not the U.S. Department of Justice. It alleges that GM employed at least three defeat devices that allowed trucks to emit up to five times the legal limit of pollutants while on the road but to keep emissions within legal limits during regulatory tests.
Fenner et al v General Motors LLC et al alleges that GM broke a number of racketeering and consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs seek a wide range of compensation, including payouts for lost resale value and buybacks of their vehicles. They're also seeking punitive damages against the automaker.
The suit also names German supplier Bosch as a defendant. If the case goes to trial, that could be significant, since Bosch was very closely linked to the Volkswagen scandal.
GM issued a brief statement about the lawsuit that reads:
"These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations."