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Hagens Berman: Corvette Z06 Owners Hit GM with Proposed Class-Action Lawsuit for Cooling System Defect that Leaves Cars Limping on the Track - Press Release - Digital Journal

Corvette Z06 Owners Hit GM with Proposed Class-Action Lawsuit for Cooling System Defect that Leaves Cars Limping on the Track



MIAMI--(Business Wire)--Owners of Corvette Z06 track cars today sued General Motors for knowingly selling allegedly defective Z06 models that, while marketed as having “track-proven structure and technologies”, cannot actually be operated safely on a racetrack and enter a performance-limited “limp mode” while tracked, even on public roadways, according to Hagens Berman and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, co-counsel law firms representing the plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuit, owners have reported that despite GM’s slick marketing of the 2015-2017 model year Z06 cars, the vehicles would overheat and often enter limp mode after only about 15 minutes of track driving due to a defective cooling system. When the vehicle enters limp mode, according to the complaint, its power and speed are “drastically reduced,” creating an obviously dangerous event when surrounded by speeding cars. Plaintiffs allege in the suit that they have experienced limp mode also while on public roadways. The defect also causes damage to the engine due to warping from high temperatures, the suit says.

Attorneys estimate there are more than 30,000 affected Corvette Z06 cars in the proposed class.

If you own or lease a 2015-2017 Corvette Z06, you may be entitled to compensation for this defect that inhibits your car’s performance. Contact Hagens Berman to find out more about this issue and your consumer rights against GM.

The law firms say that GM deceived customers and violated state and federal laws by failing to ensure that the Z06 functions safely, and by failing to disclose the cooling system defect. The suit brings counts of fraudulent concealment, breach of warranty, unjust enrichment and other claims.

Corvette Z06 owners are being represented by leading auto defect consumer-rights law firm, Hagens Berman, which achieved the then largest automotive settlement in U.S. history and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, a nationally recognized trial law firm. Hagens Berman is also leading litigation against GM for its ignition switch defects as well as an additional suit for its illegal use of emissions-cheating software in Duramax trucks.

The lawsuit, filed June 13, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeks monetary damages for a proposed nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief for Ford’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles.

“We believe we’ve found GM to be guilty of a classic bait and switch — one that cost thousands of consumers dearly, up to $120,000, and broke state consumer protection laws,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “GM enticed race enthusiasts with bells and whistles, promising a car that could maintain safe speeds and power when tracked, but we believe what it sold them was far from what it promised. This defect not only damages the Z06 engine, but endangers drivers.”

"The defect in question markedly limits the car’s performance — the sole reason these hotrod enthusiasts bought the Corvette Z06 in the first place. If they’d known of this defect at the time of purchase, they likely wouldn’t have spent six figures on the Z06," Berman added.

The complaint cites consumer online forums, stating, “Customer experiences with the Z06 on the track differ dramatically from GM’s promise of a track vehicle and chronicle the activation of Limp Mode, or the driver having to pull off the track to let the engine cool down. Z06 testimonial websites and GM customer service files are replete with complaints from consumers who reasonably believed that their Z06 would in fact be fully track capable, but instead have been put at risk of accident on race tracks and during non-track driving when the defective transmissions and rear differentials overheat, causing the cars to go into Limp Mode at drastically reduced speed and performance, or have to stop track driving to protect the engine.”

“In marketing the Z06, GM said this car was ‘conceived on the track’,” said Stuart Grossman, founder and partner at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen. “Any reasonable purchaser would have assumed that a car sold this way wouldn’t shut down and lose speed and power after only 15 minutes of track driving.”

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement and all damages permitted by law for vehicle owners, including diminution in value of affected Z06 models and/or loss of the benefit of the bargain, in an amount to be proven at trial to compensate owners for GM’s fraud that put drivers at risk. Plaintiffs also seek an order enjoining GM’s deceptive marketing and sales acts and practices, as well as punitive damages.
 
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I thought that issue was resolved on the 2017 Z06 model?
 

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At least one 2017 Z06 owner was complaining about his car running hot on a recent outing to VIR, and that was in 70 degree weather, and not an actual race. And legally, the fact that GM improved the cooling system for 2017 probably works in the plaintiff's favor, as it's evidence that the 2016 didn't have adequate cooling.
 

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Most important part of this lawsuit will be the fee that the shyster law firm gets to collect as part of a settlement.
Well, the law firms are not the most important part, but the amount of money they will get from the settlement will dwarf the amount that each owner will receive.
 
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At least one 2017 Z06 owner was complaining about his car running hot on a recent outing to VIR, and that was in 70 degree weather, and not an actual race. And legally, the fact that GM improved the cooling system for 2017 probably works in the plaintiff's favor, as it's evidence that the 2016 didn't have adequate cooling.
GM probably already knew there was enough proof out there with the 2015s and 2016s to expose them to some liability. Changing the cooling system for the 2017s was a good idea to limit their liability for another model year. Unfortunately, are you saying that the 2017 Z06 owner that was at VIR with you had overheating issues? You wrote that he complained that his car was running hot, but do you know if it went into limp mode?

Nevertheless, as you said, in 70 degree weather without really pushing the car to its limits, that wasn't a good sign...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only Z06 owners that I have heard about having overheating issues are ones that have posted such on this and other forums. I wonder how far this will actually go...
 

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The only Z06 owners that I have heard about having overheating issues are ones that have posted such on this and other forums. I wonder how far this will actually go...
I would say it will go the whole way to a settlement. The question, however, is if that settlement will truly address the overheating of the cars, and the consequences that owners have faced due to the overheating. At any rate, I am sure that settlement will further enrich some law firms.

Since I first read about this, my position has been that GM should provide, for free, cooling system upgrades to all owners who can demonstrate that their cars overheated due to any of the overheating issues, and/or went into limp mode due to overheating. I still hope they will. After that, I wish (but I know it will not happen) but I wish that a court would find that there is nothing more that GM is responsible for as far as the class action is concerned, and dismiss the class action lawsuit.
 

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So there is a defect in the car and it is covered by the warranty; right? So GM should fix it and that is the compensation. I don't see how this is different from any other defect. Did anybody die or got injured b/c of this on a track?
 

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I'm thinking it could be a safety issue if the car goes to limp on an unexpected portion of a race track that no one behind would be expecting. What do you think?
 

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Rodney, I think you're too generous to GM, but definitely on the right track.

While I generally think there are way too many ridiculous lawsuits and damages awarded, GM needs to do more than what you suggest. I would start with upgrading ALL Z06s regardless of demonstrated overheating. I think there is plenty of evidence out there to suggest that Zs in general have an issue. Why only fix people who track their car? Fix them all - helps with resale, helps in case someone eventually takes their car to the track down the road. If you don't track your car, the problem is solved and move on. If you are someone who tracks the car and can demonstrate you experienced overheating then I would say those owners should be provided compensation for consumables (fuel, tires, brakes, etc) as owners used those while not getting full performance and may have even had to sit out parts of their track sessions. maybe even some additional financial compensation for their troubles and track fees, but nothing crazy. How one determines those values is above my head.

From there, not sure much needs to or should be done, maybe additional funds to owners if diminished value could be proven, but that it probably a bit of a stretch. Maybe a modest fine for GM as there needs to be some level of additional pain inflicted to help encourage GM and others from selling a vehicle that doesn't perform as advertised or suggested. But save the big damages for situations where people were injured and lives lost and the company knew about the issues.

in the end, it could cost all GM car buyers a few extra bucks as GM will factor the payouts into future product pricing in some form or another.
 

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This lawsuit will be one of those long and drawn out cases. I don't care about the law firm that is pursuing the General, any number of law firms would have taken the case against a big corporate giant. I do care about my fellow C7 Masterpiece Z06 owners who laid down some serious hard earned cash for a safe performance vehicle. I would hate to exit off the highway and it starts to overheat and goes into limp mode while I'm crossing a busy intersection with a 80,000 pound tractor trailer coming from my left flank or my factory warranty has expired and I experience serious over heating problems. I hope that the General can get this resolved ASAP for all owners!!

SF
Rick
 

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Exactly right Rsmith. The overheating on more than a few Z06's should trigger GM to upgrade ALL of them. A lot of recalls are based on a relatively few actual problems. If just the threat of a law suit is the trigger it will be worth it.
 

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My opinion/question......A clash of objectives: GM wants to sell you a car that can be 1) tracked, 2) low hood, 3) low center of gravity and 4) still warrantee it while on the track. An aggressive engine failure prevention as demonstrated by possibly early limp mode activation is possibly the result. Using the more robust cooling architecture i.e. Camaro ZL1, may result in a less road worthy Z06?

In my business, for example, intel CPU chips have fail safe system protecting them in hot environments. In fact, the computer will actually shut down to protect the CPU. No one sees this as a design flaw other than the clients who continually operate their laptop on a bed spread.

I fear the result will be GMs pulling of the track warrantee. That will affect more than the Z06 owners.
 

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I wonder what kind of issues the good folks at Ron Fellows experienced with the Z06 as they drive the crap out of them.
 

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If you recall there were many articles written about this problem before the ZO6 went into production and everyone assumed GM corrected it, Tadge decided to use the old fix it later solution and it still exists today.
 

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Let’s see how many more news sources reprint this announcement listing FORD as the designer and manufacturer of the Z06. I wonder if it's the law firm that sent out the original incorrect version.

"The lawsuit, filed June 13, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeks monetary damages for a proposed nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief for Ford’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles."
 

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Rsmith, you have very valid, logical points.

Rodney, I think you're too generous to GM, but definitely on the right track.

While I generally think there are way too many ridiculous lawsuits and damages awarded, GM needs to do more than what you suggest. I would start with upgrading ALL Z06s regardless of demonstrated overheating. I think there is plenty of evidence out there to suggest that Zs in general have an issue. Why only fix people who track their car? Fix them all - helps with resale, helps in case someone eventually takes their car to the track down the road. If you don't track your car, the problem is solved and move on. If you are someone who tracks the car and can demonstrate you experienced overheating then I would say those owners should be provided compensation for consumables (fuel, tires, brakes, etc) as owners used those while not getting full performance and may have even had to sit out parts of their track sessions. maybe even some additional financial compensation for their troubles and track fees, but nothing crazy. How one determines those values is above my head.

From there, not sure much needs to or should be done, maybe additional funds to owners if diminished value could be proven, but that it probably a bit of a stretch. Maybe a modest fine for GM as there needs to be some level of additional pain inflicted to help encourage GM and others from selling a vehicle that doesn't perform as advertised or suggested. But save the big damages for situations where people were injured and lives lost and the company knew about the issues.

in the end, it could cost all GM car buyers a few extra bucks as GM will factor the payouts into future product pricing in some form or another.
 

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If GM or any manufacturer would be fair with their customers they would recognize quickly this sort of big problem!
They would gain much more goodwill than the cost of the repairs they would have to do !

It's a non-sense but quite every time they don't do anything apart in the cases able to involve persons in accidents.

Over here one of my friends and his brother have purchased one '15 Z06 each. They were purchased to be used on the track.
After 2 trackdays they claimed about continuous overheating problems.
GM replied that they had luck : GM performance parts would be quickly available (better fan and new additional radiator if I remember) to solve the problem... My friends replied : Okay ! so you will be able to update our cars ! No, no replied the dealer, you would have to pay for yourselves !!

One of the brothers sold his car immediately and purchased a Porsche GT3, the second one paid a lot the updates to be done and still run on the tracks with 2 spacers to maintain the hood open on 5cm to avoid any bad surprise on hot days.
 
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