The engine oil consumption lawsuit filed against General Motors in Missouri in January has been thrown out by the judge presiding over the case.
According to Car Complaints, Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. dismissed all claims in this class action suit, which included complaints of violations of the Express Warranty and Implied Warranty of Merchantability, along with the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA). The plaintiffs originally sued over problems with the Generation IV 5.3L Vortec V8 engine in their vehicles, which has several design defects that can cause it to burn oil excessively.
The Express Warranty claims were thrown out as the plaintiffs did not notify GM of their claims in accordance with the terms of the vehicle’s warranty. By Missouri law, the buyer of a warranty-backed product “must within a reasonable time after he discovers or should have discovered any breach [of warranty] notify the seller of breach or be barred from any remedy,” the judge said.
The Implied Warranty of Merchantability claim was thrown out as the plaintiffs were unable to prove their vehicles were unfit for providing transportation, Car Complaints notes. According to the judge, “[w]here a car can provide safe, reliable transportation[,] it is generally considered merchantable.”
Finally, the claims related to the MMPA were thrown out on the basis that advertising cannot be used to form an MMPA claim. The plaintiffs said GM omitted the alleged oil consumption defect in its advertising, promotion and sale of the vehicles with the affected 5.3L V8 Vortec engine and that they would not have purchased the vehicle, or paid less for it, had they been aware of the defects.
The plaintiffs in this case sued GM over claims the Vortec V8 engine in their vehicles have faulty piston rings that fail to keep oil in the crankcase. This can lead to low oil levels, which can cause high heat and friction levels in the engine and potentially damage the engine internals. The oil leakage can also foul the spark plugs, causing the engine to misfire and/or shut down completely. The suit involved several full-size GM truck and SUV models built between the 2010 and 2014 model year.