General Motors is facing a class action lawsuit over performance problems of its C7 Z06 models produced from 2015-2017, according to a Florida law firm representing the plaintiffs.
Hagens Berman and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen filed the lawsuit on June 13 on behalf of a group of Z06 owners, seeking reimbursement and all damages permitted by law in an amount to be proven at trial.
“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 claims the Z06s are prone to overheating on the track and on public roads, sometimes after just 15 minutes of track driving, because of a defective cooling system and then enter limp mode, which causes power and speed to be “drastically reduced,” creating a dangerous situation when surrounded by speeding cars.
According to the suit, “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.”
An estimated 30,000 Z06s are included in the lawsuit, the attorneys said.
“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, which has a history of high-profile automotive court cases. “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.”
Berman adds: “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.”
The suit alleges 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.
According to the suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida: “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.”
Hagens Berman asks Z06 owners to contact the firm for more details.
Motor 1 reported earlier that Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer, says that a small number of customers reported heatsoak or overheating issues when running their Z06s hard on track. The exact number might have been less than five percent of all buyers, Juechter said, but those drivers complained loudly about the issues. As part of his engineering team’s emphasis on “continual improvement,” the 2017 Z06 received a new hood with improved cooling vents and some other changes “for additional cooling on the track.”
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