GM Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Air Conditioning Defects

A class action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors Company (GM) in connection with air conditioning problems that caused the systems to fail entirely.

The lead plaintiff in the case claims that he purchased five vehicles from GM—a 2016 Cadillac Escalade, and four model year 2015 Chevy Suburbans, all of which had air conditioning systems that needed to be replaced.

The class could potentially include thousands of model year 2015-2016 GM Cadillac Escalades, Chevrolet Silverados, Chevrolet Suburbans, Chevrolet Tahoes, GMC Sierras, and GMC Yukons. Although it is unclear what the outcome of this lawsuit will be, cases such as these typically require the advice and guidance of experienced Lemon Law attorneys.

What is causing GM air conditioning problems?

The lawsuit alleges that the air conditioning problems are caused by two defective parts—discharge lines and condensers, which are too weak to handle the pressure the coolant is under. The parts subsequently break, causing coolant to leak out and air to seep in which causes water vapor to freeze into ice, blocking the circulation of coolant through the system. The fluid is then forced out of the system, making is less and less effective, and the remaining ice damages the system.

According to the lawsuit, GM was aware of the problem because the company had issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) relative to the defective parts. Unlike a recall, however, consumers are not required to be notified when an automaker issues a TSB.

Moreover, the plaintiffs argue that GM discontinued the defective condenser, and the parts manufacturer, ACDelco, discontinued making the condensers for GM vehicles. Although GM is selling replacement condensers, the company has not compensated GM customers who purchased vehicles containing defective condensers.

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the discharge lines, which are made of long aluminum pipes connected by a rubber hose, break open after the rubber separates from the pipe. Although GM has discontinued and replaced the discharge hose, the new one also bursts due to a design defect. The lawsuit alleges that GM issued a TSB instructing dealers to reinforce the discharge lines to prevent them from breaking, but consumers were not compensated for these problems as well.

The Takeaway

In sum, the lawsuit contends that owners of the affected vehicles expected that the air conditioning systems would function properly, but there are widespread failures only after a few short months. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation to reimburse them for paying for repairs and replacements and other damages. The lawsuit is Jones Won,, v. General Motors Company (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York).

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