A proposed class action alleges General Motors has knowingly sold Chevy Camaro models without disclosing that the vehicles are plagued by a starter and/or heat shield defect.
According to the 40-page lawsuit, certain 2010-2020 Chevy Camaro models are equipped with starters prone to premature failure and/or heat shields that fail to protect the starters from high temperatures. The apparent defect may cause affected vehicles to fail to start, particularly in hot weather or after a car has just been driven, among a host of other issues, the lawsuit alleges.
For its part, General Motors has sold Camaros stricken with the defect over the last decade while “actively concealing” the problem from drivers, blaming the starter defect on “bad batteries” and/or the actions of vehicle owners and lessees, the plaintiff claims.
More specifically, the case, filed in Delaware federal court, says GM has either installed defective starters and/or heat shields, failed to install the components correctly and/or has failed to account for the levels of heat to which a Camaro’s starter and surrounding parts may be subject.
Due to a starter’s location on a vehicle, the part can absorb and retain heat, adding resistance to the electrical conductors inside the component and causing the starter to require more power than usual to function, the case explains, noting that there is a limit to the amount of heat a starter can accept and continue to work properly.
While a heat shield is meant to protect the starter and surrounding parts from heat, those found in affected Chevy Camaro models are “insufficient” at preventing the components from “soaking up” heat that emanates from the rest of the vehicle, an issue that may also damage a vehicle’s wiring and battery, the lawsuit claims.
As the suit tells it, the Camaro starter defect typically manifests when a starter is “slow to start the vehicle or fails to start the vehicle at all,” often in hot weather or directly after being driven. Once the issue arises, a vehicle’s wiring to and from the starter may be damaged and/or melted, the complaint says, and the car’s battery will wear out “faster than normal.”
According to the lawsuit, some drivers have experienced other electrical system issues as a result of the stress placed on a Camaro’s starter due to the defect, as well as engine trouble that may crop up when a starter fails.
When a driver brings their Camaro to an authorized GM dealer to address the starter defect—and request warranty coverage for the repairs—the defendant has uniformly denied coverage, the case asserts. As a result, proposed class members have allegedly been forced to pay hundreds out-of-pocket to cover repairs for the safety issue.
“GM’s failure to disclose the Starter Defect at the time of purchase is material because no reasonable consumer expects to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to repair or replace damaged vehicle components that the manufacturer knows will fail well before the expected useful life of the component and damage other components of the vehicle as well,” the complaint reads. “Had GM disclosed the Starter Defect, Plaintiff and Class Members would not have purchased the Class Vehicles or would have paid less for them.”
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone nationwide who bought or leased a 2010 to present Chevrolet Camaro, as well as a Maryland-only subclass of drivers.
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