Got an 8-Speed Transmission Silverado? A Class Action Lawsuit Just Got Certified

Issues with the eight-speed automatic transmissions in Chevrolet Silverado pickups are well-known. A lot of activity associated with the problem has been in the works for years, including numerous lawsuits. But now, enough individual lawsuits exist that a judge is folding all of them into one, granting it class-action status.

What problems are Silverado owners having with the transmission?

2018 Silverado
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | GM

In all, there are 39 plaintiffs filing lawsuits in 26 states over the Silverado transmission issues. Those issues include “hesitation, shaking, shuddering, and jerking.” Hard shifting has also been another complaint, according to the Detroit Free Press. The issue even has its own nickname, the “Chevy Shake.” The lawsuits claim the trucks become unsafe to drive when these issues happen. 

The Silverado transmission in question is the 8L90 or 8L45 eight-speed automatic which came out in 2015. Either transmission came in front-wheel, rear-wheel, and four-wheel drive vehicles. Since 2015 GM has released 13 technical service bulletins over issues with the eight-speed, according to the lawsuit. But some reports, including our own, identify over 60 technical service bulletins issued since the transmission was first introduced. 

Why a class action transmission lawsuit?

2019 silverado
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | GM

Chevrolet touted a “new and improved” eight-speed Silverado transmission in 2019 Silverado advertising. “Enhancements for shifting and a newly designed torque converter to reduce “vibrations to improve smoothness.” Both the technical service bulletins and improvements can be an indication that GM knew there were problems and tried to correct them or have them corrected in the field. 

The court-appointed lead counsel said, “General Motors knowingly sold over 800,000 eight-speed transmission vehicles, which they knew to be defective for years, and yet made the business decision not to tell its customers before purchase. Dealers were directed to tell Silverado transmission customers that harsh shifts were ‘normal’ or ‘characteristic.’ Such decision-making is both highly irresponsible and emblematic of what GM believes it can get away with.”

What GM vehicles have the eight-speed transmission?

2018 Sierra
2018 GMC Sierra 1500 | GM

Here’s a list of all of the vehicles potentially affected in the class-action lawsuit:

  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CT6, and CTS-V
  • 2015-2019 GMC Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL, and Yukon Denali XL
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon

Unfortunately for GM, this isn’t the extent of its exposure. In the class-action statement, the lead counsel added that a “second action regarding GM vehicles with 8L transmissions is also underway in Battle v. General Motors, LLC, 2:22-cv-108783. That case features 8L vehicles with harsh shifts made after March 1, 2019 (MY19 to MY22), when GM replaced the automatic transmission fluid that caused the shudder problem.”

Where can I learn more?

2019 Sierra
2019 GMC Sierra 1500 | GM

5 Common Transmission Problems Truck Owners Should Know About

So this apparently means that GM’s exposure could be for all of the vehicles listed above, but built between 2015 to 2022, or whenever they began using the transmission. For more information, you can go to the Cohen Milstein website. 

We first reported on issues with the Silverado eight-speed automatics back in 2020. Since then we have expected a recall to be issued, but so far that has not occurred.