Federal Judge Upholds Emissions-Cheating Claims Against GM and Bosch in Duramax Class-Action Lawsuit
Attorneys for owners of 2011-2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra vehicles call court’s decision “a huge victory”
DETROIT – Today a U.S. District judge in Michigan upheld consumers’ claims alleging that General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Bosch installed an emissions-cheating system in at least 705,000 2011-2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, allowing them to emit harmful pollutants at illegally high levels, according to Hagens Berman.
The emissions-cheating system at the crux of the class action includes three total defeat devices.
The judge’s 76-page order denied GM and Bosch’s two motions to dismiss the lawsuit upholding claims against the two defendants under state consumer laws as well as RICO fraud claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, stating, “Plaintiffs have identified a number of predicate acts of mail or wire fraud with sufficient specificity to avoid dismissal.”
“We are incredibly pleased that the court has allowed this suit to continue. This is a huge victory for the hundreds of thousands of truck owners affected by yet another instance of emissions cheating,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.
“GM has fought to conceal this designed-to-deceive software from its inception, and it’s time consumers learned the truth behind these dirty diesels,” he added. “We look forward to continuing this case into discovery to uncover the full scope of GM and Bosch’s dealings.”
The complaint, filed on Aug. 4, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) states that GM promised consumers in its advertising that its engineers had accomplished a “remarkable reduction of diesel emissions.”
But the lawsuit alleges rather than a remarkable reduction during on-road testing, these diesel trucks pollute at levels well beyond legal limits due to the installation of an emissions-cheating system, allowing oxides of nitrogen (NOx) levels far in excess of legal limits, and of what reasonable consumers would expect.
All of this, the court determined in its order, is grounds for the lawsuit to continue: “The Sixth Circuit has, however, repeatedly confirmed that concealment of material facts can constitute a fraudulent scheme sufficient to establish RICO liability,” the order states.
If you own or lease a 2011-2016 Chevrolet Silverado Duramax diesel or a GMC Sierra Duramax diesel, you may be entitled to participate in the litigation involving this alleged fraud. Contact Hagens Berman to find out more about this issue and your consumer rights against GM.
The Three Defeat Devices
Attorneys bringing the case against GM and Bosch identified three total defeat devices through independent testing of the diesel vehicles for more than 3,500 miles and over a range of conditions:
- One defeat device was detected in stop-and-go testing with temperatures above 86ºF allowing NOx emissions at 2.4 times the legal emissions standard.
- Another defeat device was detected in stop-and-go testing at temperatures below 68ºF, in which NOx was emitted at 2.1 times the emissions standard.
- The third defeat device was detected after the vehicle has been run for 200-500 seconds of steady speed operation on average by a factor of 4.5 in all temperature windows.
The suit states that “GM’s unfair, unlawful, and deceptive conduct in designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, and leasing the vehicle without proper emission controls” caused the proposed class of purchasers to suffer out-of-pocket loss, future attempted repairs and diminished value of the affected vehicles.
The complaint also highlights the alleged collusion between Bosch and GM behind the emissions cheating. According to the complaint, all Bosch Engine Control Units (ECUs) run on complex highly proprietary engine management software over which Bosch exerts near-total control. Design and implementation are interactive processes, requiring Bosch’s collaboration with the automaker throughout.
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