General Motors is facing lawsuits over allegations of emissions cheating on Chevrolet and GMC diesel truck models. These lawsuits allege that GM installed an emissions “defeat device” on 2011-2016 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Duramax diesel truck models in order to hide the excess emissions levels of these vehicles from regulators and consumers.
GM allegedly installed emissions cheating software on about 700,000 Duramax diesel trucks. The vehicles that were allegedly equipped with a defeat device include the following models:
- Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax diesel, 2011-2016
- Chevy Silverado 3500 HD Duramax diesel, 2011-2016
- GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax diesel, 2011-2016
- GMC Sierra 3500 HD Duramax diesel, 2011-2016
According to a class action lawsuit filed in May 2017, GM installed an emissions defeat device on the affected Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra models in order to enable them to meet federal emissions requirements. The device causes the affected Silverado and Sierra models emit levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) that are four-five times the EPA maximum level.
Lawsuits against GM accuse the company of deliberately installing the defeat device in order to enable the affected truck models to deliver the performance and fuel economy advertised by the automaker. However, in order to do so, the affected Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks emit pollution levels that far exceed EPA standards. Consumers who purchased one of the affected Chevy or GMC truck models falsely believed that their vehicles would deliver fuel economy, performance, and environmental benefits that were advertised by GM – but were only possible due to the company’s fraudulent actions.
Consumers who purchased the affected diesel truck models paid about $5,000 more for these vehicles than they would have for a comparable gasoline-powered model. Lawsuits filed against GM accuse the automaker of fraud for falsely advertising performance and fuel efficiency benefits on these truck models which the vehicles did not deliver – and charging customers $5,000 extra in the process.
Emissions Cheating by General Motors on Chevy and GMC Trucks
GM was able to boost the performance of the affected Chevy and GMC trucks by reversing the traditional order of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) systems in these vehicles. However, because this modification also raised the pollution levels of the affected 2500 HD and 3500 HD models, GM would have had to install a pollution control device that would have lowered their performance in order to bring them into compliance with federal emissions laws.
Rather than do this, GM installed a software defeat device that switched into effect when the trucks are operated at temperatures below 68 degrees or above 86 degrees. Because these temperature controls enable the truck to operate about 65-70% of the time with the defeat device engaged – including during emissions testing – GM’s fraudulent conduct substantially effects the fuel efficiency and performance of the affected truck models.
GM’s emissions cheating came to light as a result of tests that were performed on one of the affected truck models in the wake of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal. Since the first Dieselgate lawsuits were filed against VW in 2015, emissions cheating lawsuits have also been filed against Audi, Chrysler, Mercedes, and other automakers for similar allegations.
Unlike the accusations against Volkswagen – which involved smaller passenger cars with lower emissions limits – the lawsuits against GM involved Chevy and GMC truck models with emissions limits that are four times that of the vehicles involved in the Dieselgate litigation. Because there are far more Chevy and GMC diesel models on the road in the U.S. than the vehicles involved in the Dieselgate lawsuit, the accusations of emissions cheating against GM pose a far greater environmental risk.
Chevy and GMC Truck Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
Consumers who own or lease one of the Chevy or GMC diesel truck models affected by GM’s emissions cheating may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and guide you through the first steps in filing a case.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented hundreds of car and truck owners who have been affected by emissions cheating on the part of major car manufacturers. One of our partners – Michael Heygood – was named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that helped to oversee the Dieselgate litigation against Volkswagen in California on behalf of thousands of VW and Audi “TDI Clean Diesel” owners. Our law firm has also represented owners of Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles involved in separate emissions cheating scandals.
For more information about the lawsuits against GM and to find out whether you may qualify to file a claim, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to receive a consultation regarding your claim.