Plaintiff owners and lessees suing General Motors over allegedly defective air conditioning units in their GM vehicles scored a procedural victory as U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Leitman declined defendant GM’s motion to dismiss the litigation. As reported by Law360, the ruling comes after GM argued that the various state laws of each class member would greatly impact how plaintiffs’ claims are handled, and that therefore class certification would not be appropriate.
Judge Leitman noted that GM had not completed the necessary analysis of how each state law would differ under the circumstances of this case and that the court could not resolve that question. “[GM] has neither completed a choice-of-law analysis nor shown that under that analysis, the consumer-protection laws of the potential class members’ home states will govern their claims,” Judge Leitman said. “And, more importantly, it has not provided the court a detailed and careful showing of the precise differences between the various state laws that could apply to plaintiffs’ claims.”
GM was sued in 2018 by car owners who alleged that the air conditioning unit in specific vehicles crack under regular use, causing refrigerant leaks, pressure loss, and system failure. This lead to unsafe and uncomfortable driving conditions as cars windows would fog up and the vehicles were unable to be cooled. Plaintiffs further alleged that backordered replacement parts could take months to arrive, and frequently were also faulty, costing vehicle owners up to $2,000 to fix. The suit alleges GM new about the defects since 2013, yet continued to market and sell the affected vehicles.
The defect is alleged to affect model year 2015 to 2017 Cadillac Escalades, 2014 to 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500s, 2015 to 2017 Chevrolet Suburbans, 2015 to 2017 Chevrolet Tahoes, 2014 to 2016 GMC Sierra 1500s, and 2015 to 2017 GMC Yukon vehicles.
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Learn more about the GM Air Conditioning class action here.