A Lawsuit Against GM Over Cracked Corvette Wheels Has Been Dismissed

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A Lawsuit Against GM Over Cracked Corvette Wheels Has Been Dismissed

Photo Credit: Chevrolet


Chalk up a victory for General Motors in one of the lawsuits filed against the carmaker alleging cracked, bent, or warped rims on certain C7 Corvettes, including 2015-19 Z06s and 2017-19 Grand Sports.

In the suit, the owner of a 2018 Z06 had charged that GM has known about the alleged problem of warped rims but concealed information even as Corvette drivers continue to file complaints.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California – Nardizzi, et al., v. General Motors LLC.

The Corvette owner says that he bought his Z06 from a GM dealer, then took it directly to a third-party auto shop to have the rims coated by a third-party wheel finisher who alleges in a video that the rims were already bent by then. The owner says he then had to pay $7,500 for replacement wheels from a third-party and asked that GM cover the cost under warranty. After steady complaining by the owner, GM finally agreed to pay $1,200 of the $7,500, even though a judge later pointed out that the warranty requires any repairs to be requested by the owner and then completed at a Chevrolet dealership.

In response to the suit, GM filed a motion to dismiss for several reasons, including the argument that the plaintiff never stated a plausible claim.

While the Corvette owner alleged that GM sold and leased cars “with wheels that were defective, requiring repair or replacement within the warranty period, and refusing to honor the express warranty by repairing or replacing, free of charge, the wheels,” GM responded that the owner failed to allege any defect in materials or workmanship, as opposed to a defect in the design. GM says its warranty applies to “any vehicle defect, not slight noise, vibrations, or other normal characteristics of the vehicle due to materials or workmanship during the warranty period” and claimed that the defects actually covered are clarified by the key phrase, “due to materials or workmanship.”

A Lawsuit Against GM Over Cracked Corvette Wheels Has Been Dismissed


Judge Carmac J. Carney agreed with GM that its warranty applies to any defect due to materials or workmanship during the warranty period but not to defects involving “slight noise, vibrations, or other normal characteristics of the vehicle.”

To qualify for breach of express warranty, the judge said a plaintiff has to allege the defect is due to materials or workmanship but he said the Corvette owner instead alleged that the wheels suffered from an inherent defect and were defectively designed.

The judge also dismissed a breach of an implied warranty claim, explaining that under the Song-Beverly Act, a plaintiff has to allege a fundamental defect rendering the product unfit for its ordinary purpose. In this case, he said the plaintiff failed to allege his car had a persistent defect that couldn’t be solved through repair or replacement of an isolated component.

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Photo Credit: Sonny Lenaers


Carney dismissed other claims alleging deceptive practices and fraud, saying that the plaintiff failed to allege GM had knowledge of the alleged Corvette rim defects before he bought the car. “To successfully allege a manufacturer was aware of a defect, a plaintiff is typically required to allege how the defendant obtained knowledge of a specific defect prior to the plaintiff’s purchase of the defective product,” the judge said.

While the Corvette owner alleged that GM had to know about cracked wheels based on complaints made to the government and other forums, Carney said 30 of the complaints had been filed after the plaintiff bought his Corvette. Only 11 customer complaints had been made before his purchase, with some of those suggesting driver errors or road conditions were to blame for the cracked, bent, or warped rims.


Source:
carcomplaints.com

Related:
Another Lawsuit Filed Against GM Over Cracked Corvette Wheels
Hundreds of C7 Corvette Owners Join Class Action Lawsuit Against GM Over Defective Wheels
New Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against GM Over Defective and Cracking C7 Corvette Wheels

 



10 COMMENTS

  1. This is such a crock. They got off on a technicality. So when will somebody sue them based on defective material and workmanship? This wasn’t only C7s. C6 Grand Sport and Z06 has had the same problem with the wide wheels, especially in the back. Mine and numerous other people I know had bent and cracked wheels from normal driving. Any Corvette forum will show you how many people had this problem. It’s been going on for many years. GM and their lawyers have been hiding this and I hope they finally get exposed by somebody.

  2. One of the problems here, is when you are represented by product liability lawyers who don’t know what they are doing. Do the metallurgy. God to the factories where these wheels are made. Somewhere originating with the suppliers of wheels, GM, and the warranty is a product failure to pass sales standards of a product. However, the ability to understand how to file a suit and now to hire knowledgeable investigators to obtain the goods, all tend to show that the legal system is going to dismiss these cases unless a strong LEGAL case is built by the plaintiff and his lawyers. How powerful was the discoveries. Where was the negotiating documents between manufacturer and supplier? What studies were done on the wheels to show that they were road worthy, in advance of the sale. These questions were not asked nor answered by this particular suit nor were they answered by the court’s interpretation of the requirements of the law. Just because, “…everybody knows something, doesn’t mean it is a fact under the law. 11 individual complaints should have begun to tell GM something, but as they investigated individual cases, it appears that many of them were obviated by circumstances under which the customer might have been blamed. Thus far, my Trident wheels have held up. Let’s see if the quality of rims are any better in the C8 versions than they were in the C6 and C7 versions that appear to have been made by a substandard process. I was already to hear testimony by experts visiting the plants that built the rims and metallurgists who studied the chemical composition of the rims and also the heat treatments used to make the final road versions that were installed. None of that happened. Lawyers cannot be expected to, “learn on the job.” What they learned is that they did not know what they were doing in this case in this jurisdiction in front of this judge. AF

  3. This guy should have ponied up and got him a better law firm to take this case. Whenever you start thinking Chevrolet and/or GM is your friend and buddy…and has your back, you have to stop take a breath…and remember their sole goal is to be profitable…VERY profitable

  4. GM is being irresponsible and unsympathetic towards customers who spent thousands of dollars for vehicles that have defective components installed on them. This shows just how awful that company has become over the last decade. And the judicial system is just as big of a joke as GM is!

  5. Thats some BS. So someone has to purchase something they know has a defect before they can file a lawsuit? Why would u buy something you know is defective?

  6. Just purchased used C7 ZO6 with 4500 miles on it. If I have a problem with the factory wheels I’m going to the after market for the knew ones.

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