GM is responsible for creating several well-loved vehicles, like tough Chevy trucks and swanky Cadillac SUVs. For the most part, its vehicles are reliable and don’t garner that many complaints from drivers. However, like all automakers, GM has had to make several large recalls in its lifetime.
Two major recalls, one pertaining to suspension issues and another about transmission fires, affected more than one million vehicles. While less severe, GM is also facing a lawsuit about the infotainment system on its vehicles. Even worse, it’s regarding an issue that was supposedly fixed earlier this year.
The latest lawsuit against GM
According to GM Authority, California owners are suing GM for what they believe to be intentionally defective infotainment systems. The audio volume is known to spike unexpectedly, which could both damage the driver’s hearing and distract them from the road. The rearview camera also malfunctions at random, displaying the reverse image even after the driver had shifted into drive.
The Bluetooth feature also doesn’t work correctly. Even when a phone call is answered, the ringtone will sound off throughout the duration of the call. In order to mute the ringer, drivers had to turn the car off, then open and close the door.
Another lawsuit regarding these same complaints was filed back in September from Florida drivers. According to this case, GM issued a Technical Service Bulletin about the audio problems in March, resulting in a software update. However, plaintiffs claimed that this update only fixed some instances of volume spikes and was unable to prevent them entirely.
The new lawsuit goes on to say that GM issued two updates for the infotainment system in October and November. However, drivers said that these updates only caused the problems to occur more frequently. Drivers haven’t found a workaround for the volume problem, but GM believes it’s caused by a programming error, according to PR Newswire.
Which vehicles were affected by this issue?
The first lawsuit regarding the faulty infotainment system affected several 2020 models, particularly GMC and Chevy trucks, including the heavy-duty versions. Smaller cars were also on the list, like the Chevy Trax, Camaro, Sonic, Blazer, and Equinox. 2019 models of the GMC Sierra 1500, GMC Canyon, Chevy Equinox, Chevy Colorado, and Chevy Silverado 1500 were also affected.
According to the new lawsuit, the issue extends to 2018 versions of the GMC Sierra 1500 and Canyon. The issue is also present in the following 2018 Chevy cars: the Equinox, Colorado, and Silverado 1500. The system itself is the one with the IOR 7-inch touchscreen that is often the standard option.
GM’s response to the problem
The first lawsuit details that GM has been very unhelpful regarding this issue. Despite the high volume of complaints, GM has not offered to reimburse customers for repairs or issue a recall for the dangerous volume spikes. In fact, when visiting the shop, drivers were appalled when technicians refused to replace or repair the infotainment system.
GM’s history of lawsuits
This definitely isn’t the first time GM has been sued for one issue or another. Some drivers also think that certain engines in Chevy and GMC trucks were intentionally defective. According to another new lawsuit, the latest Vortec 5300 engines naturally use too much oil, forcing drivers to make expensive repairs.
GM paid a total of $10 billion dollars to 79 class-action lawsuits in 2014 over a faulty ignition switch. GM also had to pay a hefty fine of $35 million to the Department of Transportation for delaying a recall. The latest infotainment system issue will probably be resolved eventually, but GM’s hesitancy to fix the problem is concerning.