A class action lawsuit against GM in the state of Illinois is moving forward despite being dismissed in its original form, with the judge allowing the plaintiff, Michael Fleury, to file a revised version of the suit again.
The lawsuit relates to problems allegedly caused by use of E85 gasoline in the Flex Fuel engine of Fleury’s 2016 Chevy Impala as well as similar problems allegedly experienced by other Flex Fuel vehicle owners in Illinois, Car Complaints reports.
According to the lawsuit, use of E85 gasoline with 85 percent ethanol in the mixture caused damage to the engine of Fleury’s Chevy Impala. Fleury claims GM advertising of the Impala’s Flex Fuel engine did not contain any warnings against constant use of E85 gasoline, with further details provided by the revised lawsuit.
Fleury asserts he bought the used Chevy Impala in 2019 specifically to benefit from use of inexpensive E85 gasoline. Fleury used regular gasoline most of the time from 2019 to 2022, only driving with a tank full of E85 occasionally, but says he switched to E85 only in 2022.
As a result, the fuel pump and mass air flow sensor of his Impala failed and required replacement. The lawsuit documents detailed how “the car’s check-engine and warning lights turned on, and the car lost power.”
The lawsuit quoted advertising material from The General stating “E85 ethanol, gasoline, or any combination of the two” can be used in a Flex Fuel vehicle. It also stated that Fleury relied on the information on the gas filler cap, which read “E85 / Gasoline” and “Do not use additives with E85 Fuel.”
GM responded that it offered to replace Fleury’s fuel pump and other damaged parts free of charge, along with paying for other necessary repairs. Since GM did in fact make such offers, the original lawsuit was dismissed, but the judge, Virginia Kendall, allowed Fleury to revise and refile it based on his claim that the provided Flex Fuel information is “deceptive through halftruth.”
Kendall’s statements indicate she recognizes at least some merit in Fleury’s arguments, and that GM’s repair offer “does not preclude his claim for damages.” She also remarked “omitting or concealing a material fact is deceptive conduct.”
The lawsuit was originally filed a year ago in summer 2022. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claims Flex Fuel-capable Chevy Impala vehicles command higher prices than regular Impala models based on the allegedly deceptive claims.
The suit 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.”