Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against GM & Robert Bosch GMBH Over Diesel Truck Emissions

GM Sierra 2500HD, GM Sierra 3500HD, Chevy Silverado 2500HD & Chevy Silverado 3500HD

On May 25, 2017, a class action complaint was filed in United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, alleging that

. . . General Motors (“GM”) promised when selling its popular Silverado and Sierra HD Vehicles—that its Duramax engines turned “heavy diesel fuel into a fine mist,” delivering “low emissions” that were a “whopping reduction” compared to the prior model and at the same time produced a vehicle with “great power.” GM claimed its engineers had accomplished a “remarkable reduction of diesel emissions.”

However, according to the complaint,

. . . this is not what GM delivered in the estimated 705,000 or more Silverado and Sierra diesels on the road. In contrast to GM’s promises, emissions testing has revealed that the Sierra and Silverado models emit levels of NOx many times higher than (i) their gasoline counterparts, (ii) what a reasonable consumer would expect, (iii) the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum standards, and (iv) the levels set for the vehicles to obtain a certificate of compliance that allows them to be sold in the United States.

The Affected GM Vehicles

The affected vehicles which are the subject of the class action lawsuit are:

Model Years 2011-2016 GM Sierra 2500HD & GM Sierra 3500HD Diesel Trucks

Model Years 2011-2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD and Chevy Silverado 3500HD Diesel Trucks

The complaint alleges that GM’s

. . . top selling Silverado and Sierra 2500HD vehicles emit far more pollution on the road than in the emission certification testing environment, and these vehicles exceed federal and state emission standards and employ at least three different “defeat devices” to turn down the emissions controls when the vehicle senses that it is not in the certification test cycle. A defeat device means an auxiliary emissions control device that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal vehicle operation and use.

Increased sales and thus increased profits drove GM to use at least these three defeat devices in its Duramax diesel engines. By reversing the traditional order of the exhaust treatment components and putting the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) in front of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), GM could obtain and market higher power and efficiency from its engines while still passing the cold-start emissions certification tests. This made GM’s trucks more appealing and competitive in the marketplace, driving up sales and profits.

To appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, GM markets its Silverado and Sierra Duramax vehicles as having low emissions, high fuel economy, and powerful torque and towing capacity. GM charges a premium of approximately $5,000 for diesel-equipped vehicles over comparable gas vehicles.

GM never disclosed to consumers that the Affected Vehicles may be “clean” diesels in very limited circumstances but are “dirty” diesels under most driving conditions. GM never disclosed to consumers that it programs its emissions systems to work only under certain conditions. GM never disclosed that it prioritizes engine power and profits over the environment. GM never disclosed that the Affected Vehicles’ emissions materially exceed the emissions from gasoline powered vehicles, that the emissions exceed what a reasonable consumer would expect from a “low emissions” vehicle, and that the emissions materially exceed applicable emissions limits in real-world driving conditions. And GM collected a premium for these trucks by selling them at thousands of dollars over the cost of a comparable gasoline powered truck.

Do You Own a Model Year 2011-2016 GM Sierra 2500HD, GM Sierra 3500HD, Chevy Silverado 2500HD or Chevy Silverado 3500HD Diesel Truck?

If so, your rights under federal law may have been violated.  If you would like to speak privately with an attorney to contribute to or learn more about the investigation, please complete the form to the right or contact John Kehoe, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 801, [email protected]; or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is a multidisciplinary, plaintiff–side law firm dedicated to protecting investors and consumers from corporate fraud, negligence, and other wrongdoing. Driven by a strong and principled sense of social responsibility and obtaining justice for the aggrieved, Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. represents plaintiffs seeking to recover investment losses resulting from securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, corporate wrongdoing or malfeasance, those harmed by anticompetitive practices, and consumers victimized by fraud, false claims, deception or data breaches.  Together, the partners of the Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. have spent more than 30 years prosecuting precedent-setting securities and financial fraud cases in federal and state courts on behalf of institutional and individual clients.