As useful as cars are, they can also be extremely dangerous when mishandled. The government takes measures to improve safety by installing traffic lights and road signs and requiring drivers to complete training and pass multiple tests before they’re permitted take a car out on the road on their own. But what about when the car malfunctions?
Losing control of your vehicle is one of the most frightening things that can happen to a driver, but according to a recent proposed class action consumer lawsuit against GM, an alleged defect in some of the cars they make causes just that.
The class action consumer lawsuit was filed by Briana M., the owner of a Chevy Cruze. Briana alleges a defect in the electronic power steering system causes the steering wheel to lock into the straight position when the car has been traveling in one direction for an extended period of time, for example, when driving on a highway.
Briana alleges the defect is dangerous because it requires the driver to exert an abnormal amount of force in order to unlock the steering wheel. This allegedly endangers drivers by creating the possibility that they’ll turn the steering wheel too hard and veer drastically off course when the steering wheel finally unlocks. Briana alleges GM was aware that the issue affected the company’s Cruze, Malibu, and Verano models from 2011 to 2015, but refused to remedy the defect.
Towards the end of 2014, GM posted a service bulletin via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offering to fix the malfunction free of charge. But Briana alleges GM is just replacing the defective parts with new parts that are still defective. Instead, she argues the company should have recalled all the affected vehicles in order to properly fix the malfunctioning power steering systems.
The lawsuit pursues claims under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and the Unfair Competition Law. The lawsuit further alleges GM violated the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act by breaching the warranties, both express and implied, that it had provided to owners of the malfunctioning vehicles.
In addition to allegedly endangering the lives of vehicle owners, as well as everyone on the road, Adriana also alleges the defect lowered the resale value of all the affected vehicles. She is seeking to represent two classes of owners of the affected vehicles: a California class and a national class. She is also seeking punitive damages and a court injunction against GM that would require it to fix the malfunction in the electronic power steering systems.
Briana alleges GM should have conducted testing on the vehicles that would have alerted them to the issue before selling them. Failing that, she alleges customer complaints should have made GM aware of the defect.
As proof that GM allegedly knew at least some of its vehicles were experiencing a malfunction with their steering wheels, they were recently faced with a similar consumer lawsuit filed by the owner of a Chevy Volt who alleged his steering wheel had a tendency to lock up when driving at high speeds. The plaintiff sought to represent a class of similarly situated owners, but the lawsuit settled outside of court before reaching the class certification phase.Our Palatine and Schaumburg car fraud and Lemon law attorneys near Fox River Grove and Vernon Hills bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. Super Lawyers has selected our Kendall, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Cook County auto-fraud, car dealer fraud and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll free number 630-333-0333 or contact us on the web by clicking here.