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Defective Silverado and GMC Vortec Engines Prompt Another Major Lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit against General Motors has been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. It is alleged that defective piston rings are resulting in increased oil consumption. These GM Vortec V8 engines are found in Silverado and GMC trucks. 

The lawsuit suggests GM Generation IV Vortec 5300 engines were engineered to fail

GM Vortec V8 engine | GM

There are already two other lawsuits filed earlier this year against GM for the Vortec engines. This latest lawsuit suggests that the GM Generation IV Vortec 5300 engine was engineered to fail. Allegedly, they were designed to use excessive amounts of oil because the piston rings don’t keep oil from bypassing them and thus burning off the escaping oil. This also allegedly causes lower oil levels. That leads to a lack of lubrication which can and does cause engine damage and ultimately failure. 

The subsequent damage or failure is said to cost the plaintiffs expensive repairs. But, besides the piston rings causing excessive oil consumption there are other issues. Plaintiffs allege that the active fuel management system adds to the oil consumption problems. Allegedly the fuel management system uses a relief valve that sprays oil at the piston skirts. 

This supposedly overloads and damages the piston rings. The lawsuit continues that the oil can then get past the piston rings which are either burned away into the atmosphere or becomes carbon buildup inside of the combustion chamber. But wait, there’s more. 

The scavenging of atomized oil also adds to excessive oil consumption

GM Vortec V8 engine | GM

RELATED: Why Is My Chevy Silverado 1500 Burning so Much Oil?

The GM Vortec class-action lawsuit involves these vehicles equipped with Generation IV 5.3-Liter V8 Vortec 5300 LC9 engines.

  • 2010-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2010-2014 Silverado
  • 2010-2014 Suburban
  • 2010-2014 Tahoe
  • 2010-2014 GMC Sierra
  • 2010-2014 Yukon
  • 2010-2014 Yukon XL

The suit alleges that the PCV system pulls atomized oil from the valvetrain and into the intake system. There it is burned in the combustion cylinders and exits through the exhaust. So the scavenging or vacuuming of the atomized oil also is adding to the oil consumption issues. There are still more charges.

The suit goes on to allege that the oil life monitoring system does not indicate how much oil is contained in the crankcase. Instead, it is only an indicator of when the next oil change is due. So drivers continue to drive their vehicles thinking that because the monitoring system hasn’t notified them of low oil levels they have a safe amount of oil. 

Spark plugs become fouled from burning off oil getting into combustion chambers

GM Vortec V8 engine | GM

In addition, there is an oil pressure gauge and oil canister graphic which is supposed to illuminate when the engine is low on oil. According to the suit the gauge never actually indicates what is safe and unsafe oil pressure. Also, the spark plugs become fouled from having to burn off the oil getting into the combustion chambers. This causes the engines to run poorly, misfire on occasion, and ultimately barely run. 

General Motors advises its dealers to use chemical abrasives to decarbonize both the Vortec engine’s rings and combustion chambers. But this is only a temporary fix and the issues return. The class-action lawsuit alleges that GM has known about the oil consumption issues since 2007 when these trucks were still new. 

The filing in Cleveland, Ohio, is Airko Inc., et al., v. General Motors LLC.