General Motors is asking a judge to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought against the company pertaining to the Side Blind Zone Alert system on the 2013-2018 Chevrolet Cruze. The suit was brought by Michigan couple Anthony and Lisa Hudson, whose lawyers allege that the positioning of the Side Blind Zone Alert sensors in the rear bumper cover of the car quickly renders them useless during normal operation as they are exposed to frequent rain, snow, and other things that can affect operation. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the wiring for the sensors is insufficiently insulated, leading to expensive repairs as the wiring is ruined by the elements.
GM ought to have known that the positioning of the sensors and wiring would quickly render the system inoperable during normal use, the lawsuit alleges, as it’s an issue that should have manifested during GM’s road testing before launch. The Hudsons’ lawyers note that numerous other customers have filed complaints or had their Side Blind Zone Alert systems serviced under warranty.
In trying to get the lawsuit thrown out, General Motors’ lawyers have fired back with a range of counterarguments. For instance, while roughly 25 percent of the 1.1 million 2013-2018 Chevrolet Cruze examples sold were equipped with the system, the lawsuit mentions just 40 cars that were taken in for servicing of the system during their warranty periods, and the plaintiffs don’t mention any specific facts about the issues experienced or the scope of their servicing.
Forty cars requiring servicing out of some 250k sold with the system hardly suggests that the Side Blind Zone Alert system is defective, GM says.
In addition, GM’s lawyers argue that while it is alleged that “the problem with the sensors is inherent in the design of the vehicle,” the terms of the automaker’s warranty only cover defects caused by “materials or workmanship.” And nothing in GM’s warranty guarantees against a repaired part or system needing further repairs in the future, nor is such a burden placed upon any manufacturer. “To [impose such a thing] would be tantamount to re-writing the terms of the limited warranty into one of unlimited scope and duration,” GM says.
What do you think? Do the plaintiffs have a case that the placement of the Side Blind Zone Alert sensors on the Chevrolet Cruze is equivalent to an inherent defect? Or should the class-action lawsuit be dismissed? Weigh in in the comments section below.