The Engines in Chevy Silverados Were ‘Engineered to Fail,’ Class Action Lawsuit Claims

General Motors has had its share of lawsuits over the years, and the latest involves some of its best-selling trucks and SUVs. In fact, the newest lawsuit against GM alleges the engines in vehicles such as the Chevy Silverado were “engineered to fail” from the beginning, that the automaker knew about it, and that it refuses to acknowledge or fix the issue.

With so many owners complaining about the same faulty engine, it appears GM’s time to ignore its mistake has run out.

GM faces another lawsuit over fuel consumption

GM is facing a new proposed class-action lawsuit over the engines in some of its most popular models. This lawsuit alleges certain Vortec motors used in GM SUVs and trucks, such as the Chevy Silverado, are plagued with oil consumption problems due to the faulty engine. According to CarComplaints.com, owners claim the fourth-generation Vortec engine was engineered with defective piston rings, causing oil consumption problems and even the possibility of an engine fire. 

The engine in question is the 5.3-liter Vortec in the following GM models:

  • 2010-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2010-2013 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2010-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2010-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2010-2013 GMC Sierra
  • 2010-2014 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL

GM’s faulty engine and what you need to know about the lawsuit

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The proposed class-action lawsuit alleges GM not only designed a faulty engine but also knowingly did so, and the engine was “engineered to fail” from the start. The Vortec 5300 was built with faulty piston rings, which fail to keep oil in the crankcase and ultimately force the engine to consume excessive oil.

The plaintiffs also claim the engine’s fuel-management system contributes to the problem. Owners say it inhibits the oil pressure gauge, so oil levels fall low. Plus, drivers aren’t alerted to the low levels. Some also say the problem with oil levels ruins the spark plugs, causing their vehicles to run poorly, misfire, and even shut down.

What’s worse, the plaintiffs and experts claim GM has known about the oil consumption problems since its 2007 model-year vehicles were first sold. The lawsuit alleges the Vortec engine’s engineering problems consume too much oil, causing low oil levels, inadequate lubrication, and, ultimately, internal damage that results in huge repair costs. When approached with complaints, GM has refused to take ownership of these repairs.

Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland Division, Airko, Inc., et al., v. General Motors LLC claims GM violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and is also in breach of its implied warranty.

This isn’t the first lawsuit, but let’s hope it’s the last

The current class-action lawsuit against GM isn’t its first accusation regarding faulty engines and oil consumption. According to the Beasley Allen Law Firm, this class-action lawsuit claims that “General Motors knew of the alleged defect before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009” and continued to sell those defective engines until it was corrected in 2014. Consumers and legal experts allege GM was aware of the problems, “as evidenced by the ‘extraordinary’ number of complaints it received.”

Although this is the first class action over GM’s faulty Vortec engines, it’s not the first attempt at retribution. A related lawsuit “failed class action certification and was mostly dismissed” when a judge ruled it didn’t sufficiently show where multiple vehicles suffered the same problem, CarComplaints.com reported. In 2019, GM settled a class-action lawsuit regarding oil consumption in some Chevy Equinox and Terrain SUVs.

If your GM vehicle is one of the above models with a 5.3-liter Vortec engine and you want to know more about the proposed class-action lawsuit, contact Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C or DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, the law firms representing the plaintiffs in this case.