General Motors Diesel 'Defeat Device' Investigation

General Motors Diesel ‘Defeat Device’ Investigation

Minami Tamaki is investigating allegations that General Motors (“GM”) installed engine control software in over 700,000 model year 2011-2016 GM Sierra and Chevy Silverado Duramax diesel trucks that alters emissions and contributes to air pollution.

GM advertises its Duramax diesel engines as delivering low emissions without sacrificing power and efficiency.  However, consumers allege that the automaker in fact used “defeat devices” that masked high emissions during engine inspections.  While on the road, the Duramax diesel trucks emit two-to-five times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx), pollutants have been linked to respiratory issues and other harmful health effects.

Owners and lessees of GM vehicles may have been misled by GM’s representation that these vehicles were environmentally friendly and complied with applicable emissions requirements. Trucks installed with “defeat devices” may require modifications that could reduce horsepower, torque, and/or fuel efficiency.  The vehicles potentially impacted include the following 2011 through 2016 models:  GM Sierra 2500HD, GM Sierra 3500HD, Silverado 2500HD, and Silverado 3500HD.

GM is the latest of numerous auto manufacturers that have been accused of cheating diesel emissions standards.  In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that Volkswagen installed “defeat devices” in diesel vehicles that masked the fact that they emitted pollutants greatly exceeding legal limits.  Minami Tamaki filed several lawsuits against Volkswagen alleging that the company misled consumers.  After consumer claims were consolidated in the Northern District of California in 2016, Minami Tamaki prosecuted this matter with attorneys around the country, which resulted in settlements of over $15 billion.

Similar claims of misrepresentations regarding diesel emissions have been filed regarding other diesel vehicles marketed as environmentally friendly, including 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.  If you own or lease a truck marketed as “clean diesel” and would like to discuss your legal rights, you may contact us at (415) 788-9000 or through our online form.  We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.