A class action lawsuit that was filed against GM in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleges certain Flex Fuel capable Chevrolet Impala manufactured by the American automaker cannot run E85 fuel without suffering damage to the fuel delivery system.
Plaintiff Michael Fleury purchased a used 2016 Chevy Impala in October of 2019 and began using E85 fuel shortly after gas prices began to rise significantly in early 2022, according to Car Complaints. The vehicle began experiencing problems at this time and was later informed by a GM technician that the vehicle had suffered damage to the high-pressure fuel pump and that it was likely caused by using E85 fuel, which contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The technician also told Fleury that even though his car was Flex Fuel capable, he should have been alternating between tanks of gasoline and tanks of E85, as opposed to only filling up with the high ethanol blend.
GM technical service bulletin 18-NA-072, which was cited by Car Complaints in its report on the suit, notes that “excessive use of E85,” may cause “a plunger internal to the fuel pump to stick.” The plaintiff alleges the TSB is proof that GM is aware Flex Fuel capable vehicles have this alleged problem and is seeking compensation in return. He also claims Flex Fuel-capable Chevy Impala vehicles hold a greater value than regular Impala models, increasing the claimed damages inflicted upon him. The lawsuit also notes that this class action proceeding includes all persons with Illinois addresses, “who purchased a GM Flex Fuel vehicle, new or used, on or after a date 3 years prior to the filing of this action.”
GM has not publicly responded to this class-action lawsuit or the claims contained within it.