In its motion to dismiss the suit, GM says the plaintiff, Rhonda Small, never actually “purchased, leased, or owned any of the vehicles in her class definition.” Instead, the 2017 GMC Yukon XL referenced by Small in her lawsuit was purchased and is still owned by an unnamed corporate entity. From a legal standpoint, this means she lacks the standing to assert claims on behalf of a class of vehicle owners of which she is not a part of.
Vehicles named in the original filing include the 2017-2019 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, as well as the range-topping Denali variants of both vehicles. The plaintiff claimed their GMC Yukon was shipped with faulty LED light strips that may cause the brake and/or taillights to fail. They also said the lights may have a faulty connection inside the light assembly or a defective circuit board, which can lead to similar issues with the brake lights and taillights.
GM indeed issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) in November of 2019 for certain 2015-2016 model year GMC Yukon SUVs to address a problem with these vehicles’ taillights. The TSB, entitled “Tail Lamps Inoperative,” indicated the stop and tail functions inside the taillamps may experience various issues and instructed dealers “to replace tail lamps if they are found to be inoperative.” The class action lawsuit said later model year GMC Yukon vehicles should have been included in this TSB, which only involved 2015 and 2016 model year vehicles.
While the fact the plaintiff does not legally own a 2017-2019 GMC Yukon is enough to have the case dismissed, GM’s attorneys always pointed out that the TSB was later extended to include 2017 model year vehicles, making this part of Small’s claims “plainly false.” The corporate entity that owns the plaintiff’s GMC Yukon was also notified of this service bulletin, the automaker said.
GM also found other holes in her case. For example, her claims that GM breached the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim failed, as it does not meet the 100-named plaintiff minimum requirements for class action suits, according to Car Complaints.
We’ll provide an update on this class-action proceeding and if it will be dismissed once available.