From Florida’s Southern District comes a proposed class action lawsuit filed by six named plaintiffs who allege two models of eight-speed automatic transmissions found in certain General Motors vehicles suffer from a common defect.
According to the 83-page lawsuit, the GM 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions found in General Motors vehicles made between 2015 and 2018 are prone to manifesting a significant “shake, shudder, jerk, clunk or ‘hard shift’” when a driver accelerates and the transmission changes gears. The case claims this shudder, shake and/or hesitation may also occur when affected vehicles are accelerated in a single gear and not actively changing gears. Drivers, the suit continues, have reported that an affected transmission’s gear shifting can occur so violently that it feels “as though they have been hit by another vehicle.” From the suit:
“The GM 8L90 and GM 8L45 transmission defect is a latent defect that presents a safety risk to riders, causes damage to components over time, and makes vehicles equipped with the defective transmissions dangerous and uncomfortable to ride. It makes the Subject Vehicles unfit for their ordinary use.”
The alleged defect stems from issues within the GM 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions that cause friction surfaces, hydraulic systems and gears to function improperly, which, in turn, causes metal shavings to circulate through a transmission, according to the complaint. These problems beget further issues, the case goes on, as damage to the transmission and torque converter ultimately result in the need for “escalating repairs” to clean out the inside of a transmission, if the component is even salvageable.
“Consumers face escalating repairs that can include flushing the transmission of metal shavings caused by the defective transmission operation,” the lawsuit reads, “and which eventually necessitate the replacement of components such as the torque converter, valve body, or the entire transmission."
The plaintiffs allege GM has been aware of the transmission defect for years, since at least 2015, yet failed to disclose the alleged transmission defect to consumers at the point of purchase. While GM has allegedly known of the problem since right after the GM 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions were introduced, the complaint states a solution to the issue, much to the dismay of vehicle owners and lessees, has yet to reveal itself.