By James Raia
The eight-speed transmissions installed in numerous Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles, including several trucks and SUVs manufactured by General Motors, are faulty.
According to a new class-action lawsuit against GM in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, the automaker shipped vehicles with transmissions that: “Slip, buck, kick, jerk, harshly engage, suffer abnormal internal wear, sudden acceleration, delay in downshifts, delayed acceleration, difficulty stopping the vehicle, and eventually require replacement of the transmission or its components.”
Vehicles affected include: Cadillac ATS (2016-2019), Cadillac ATS-V (2016-2019), Cadillac CTS (2016-2019), Cadillac CTS-V (2016-2019), 2016-2019 Cadillac CT6, Cadillac Escalade/Cadillac Escalade ESV (2015-2019), Chevrolet Camaro (2016-2019), Chevrolet Colorado (2017-2019), Chevrolet Corvette (2015-2019), Chevrolet Silverado (2015-2019), GMC Canyon (2017-2019), GMC Sierra (2015-2019), and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL (2015-2019).
According to the plaintiffs, the problems trace to an issue with the torque converter that causes excess friction.
The lawsuit also cites more than 60 technical service bulletins and service updates from GM regarding the eight-speed transmission problems. The documents are evidence GM was aware of the problems with the transmission and decided to sell the affected vehicles anyway.
Separately, a C7 Corvette owner complaint submitted to Car Complaints in 2015 stated they were told by a “GM insider” that the automaker was “aware some transmissions are defective and is working on a kit to fix the fluid starvation problem internally.”
Numerous class-action suits have been filed against GM over its 8L45E and 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmissions. The automaker sought to have one of these suits thrown out last August, claiming the transmission problems are related to a design defect and not a manufacturing defect.
GM’s vehicle warranties only cover manufacturing defects with parts and components and not design defects. Most of these suits claim all vehicles with these eight-speed transmissions are defective, which would imply a design defect and not a manufacturing defect.
This latest class-action suit calls on GM to reform its warranties to address these transmission problems and also issue a recall for affected vehicles.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: email@example.com.