This lawsuit, which was first covered by Car Complaints, claims the 2.4L engine in affected vehicles does not have a traditional positive crankcase ventilation valve, but rather a fixed orifice vacuum port in the intake manifold. This small fixed orifice, located between the #2 and #3 intake runners, can get clogged with water, sludge and grime or, in cold weather conditions, ice. If the PCV is clogged, the crankcase pressure can cause the engine’s rear main seal to fail, which can lead to an oil leak and, if left unaddressed, total engine failure.
According to Car Complaints, this class-action suit is open to all American consumers who purchased or leased one of the following Chevy, Buick or GMC vehicles from April 1st, 2016 onward:
- 2010-2016 Buick Lacrosse (including Hybrid/eAssist models)
- 2011-2017 Buick Regal
- 2012-2017 Buick Verano
- 2010-2015 Chevrolet Captiva
- 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox
- 2013-2014 Chevrolet Malibu (including ECO, eAssist and Hybrid modes)
- 2010-2017 GMC Terrain
The publication also points to a GM diagnostics bulletin that was sent to dealers in February of 2019, which was titled “Diagnostic Tip for Oil Leak from Rear of Engine After Extended Driving in Cold Temperatures Below 0 Degrees.” This bulletin indicates that some customers “may comment that an engine oil leak appeared as they were driving the vehicle in extremely cold ambient temperatures,” and that some customers may have “heard a single ‘pop’ noise right before the oil leak started.”
To address the problem, GM suggested technicians clean any debris out of the PCV hose/fixed orifice and inspect/replace the PCV hoses if necessary. This bulletin is applicable for vehicles in cold weather climates only, suggesting the problem could be tied to low ambient temperatures. We also found a separate bulletin from March 2015 titled ‘Plugged PCV Orifice in Intake Manifold‘ that instructed technicians on how to unclog the PCV system in certain 2.4L Ecotec powered vehicles. Images from this 2015 bulletin are embedded above.
Plaintiffs are seeking damages as they say GM has not officially recalled affected vehicles for this problem and will instead temporarily fix the solution by using a drill bit to clean out the PCV port. They also say GM has not offered an extended warranty beyond its fixed five-year/60,000-mile coverage.
The suit so far involves four plaintiffs, four of which own Chevy Equinox models and three of which own GMC Terrain models. These plaintiffs are seeking the “recovery of the purchase price of their vehicles, compensation for overpayment and diminution in value of their vehicles, out-of-pocket and incidental expenses, disgorgement of GM’s unjustly derived profits, and an injunction compelling GM to replace or recall and fix the Class Vehicles,” according to the suit, as quoted by Car Complaints.
We’ll provide an update on this class-action suit as it progresses through Michigan court. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more GM legal news, GM reliability news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.