Defective Products

GM Pickup Fuel Tanks

Result: Settlement valued at $600 million
Year: 1995

In re General Motors Corp. Pick-Up Fuel Tank Products Liability Litigation

The side-saddle fuel tank design was installed in over 10 million General Motors trucks. These included all 1973-87 GM full-size pickups and cab-chassis trucks and some 1988-91 dual cab or rv chassis. The problem was that a frame-mounted fuel tank mounted outside the frame rails would be susceptible to tank leakage from any side impact and lead to an explosion.

GM was confronted with numerous state class actions, which were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) in the Federal District Court in Philadelphia in 1993. The MDL involved 49 states, while a separate class action continued in Texas.

Both class actions were settled by offering $1000 coupons good towards the purchase of a new GM truck or van to current owners of C/K pickups. Subsequently there was a second and then third similar class action settlement. The coupon/claims distribution period is over. GM’s side saddle gas tank hotline is 1-800-341-4462. If you have been injured in a GM vehicle gas tank explosion, click here for more information.

Recap of the Class Action Lawsuit

The Court approved the class action settlement on behalf of all persons who owned, as of July 4, 1996, GM Pickup Trucks. For purposes of the settlement, “GM Pickup Truck(s)” meant:

(i) 1973 through 1986 model year General Motors full-size pickup truck or chassis cab models of the “C” or “K” series which include the following models: Chevrolet C10, C20, C30, K10, K20, K30 and GMC Truck C1500, C2500, C3500, K1500, K2500, K3500, and

(ii) 1987 through 1991 model year General Motors full-size pickup truck or chassis cab models of the “R” or “V” series, which include the following models: Chevrolet R10, R20, R30, R2500, R3500, V10, V20, V30, V2500, V3500 and GMC Truck R1500, R2500, R3500, V1500, V2500 and V3500.

GM Pickup Trucks that have been scrapped are not included.

Class members were eligible to request a Settlement Certificate for each eligible vehicle described above that they owned as of July 4, 1996.