Echoing claims from a previous lawsuit filed in late 2018, a new proposed class action out of Michigan alleges General Motors has since at least 2015 equipped certain vehicles with defective eight-speed automatic transmissions that cause the cars to “shake, shudder, jerk, clunk, or ‘hard shift’” when a driver changes gears or accelerates.
According to the complaint, drivers have reported experiencing a hesitation before their vehicles “jerk” into gear, with some claiming the shift is “so violent” they think they’ve been rear-ended.
The case claims the alleged defect occurs in both of GM’s eight-speed automatic transmissions, the 8L90 and 8L45, which have been installed in several different vehicle models, specifically the:
2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado;
2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado;
2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette;
2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro;
2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV;
2016-2019 Cadillac ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CT6, and CTS-V;
2015-2019 GMC Sierra, Yukon, and Yukon XL, and Yukon Denali XL; and
2017-2019 GMC Canyon.
The shifting problem, the lawsuit says, is due to “internal issues within the transmission and/or torque converter causing undue friction upon surfaces, and causing hydraulic systems and gears to not function properly, resulting in metal shavings being circulated throughout the transmission.” The effect of this damage, the suit continues, is that consumers must pay out of pocket for extensive repairs, including flushing the transmission, replacing certain components, or replacing the entire transmission.
The lawsuit alleges that GM has known about the issue for years, since soon after the introduction of its new eight-speed transmission in 2015. Since that year, the case says, the automaker has issued at least 13 versions of a technical service bulletin relating to the shifting issue but has yet to provide a permanent fix.
The plaintiffs in the case, seven individuals who purchased or leased GM vehicles, claim GM failed to warn them of the alleged defect before they purchased or leased their vehicles and has refused to honor its warranty.
“The GM 8L90 and GM 8L45 transmission defect is a latent defect,” the complaint reads, “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.”