Chevy and GMC Gen IV Vortec Engines Excessive Oil Consumption Illinois Class Action

General Motors made its Generation IV 5.3 Liter Vortec 5300 LC9 engines available as an option in certain of its Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the vehicles with this engine installed were “engineered to fail” because of an abnormally high consumption of oil, which results in “low oil levels, insufficient lubricity levels, and corresponding internal engine component damage.”

The class for this action is all current and former owners or lessees of a Class Vehicle bought or leased in Illinois. The Class Vehicles are the 2010-2014 model years of the following vehicles which are equipped with the Generation IV Vortec 5300 engine:

  • Chevrolet Avalanche
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • GMC Sierra
  • GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon XL

What causes the excessive oil consumption in the vehicles? The complaint claims that several factors contribute.

The main cause, the complaint alleges, “is that the piston rings that GM installed within the Generation IV Vortec 5300 Engines fail to keep oil in the crankcase.”

Second, the complaint cites the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system that is used when converting the vehicle from eight-cylinder to four-cylinder operation when the vehicle is used for light duty. The complaint alleges, “The AFM system comprises an oil pressure relieve [sic] valve that sprays oil directly at the piston skirts. This oil spray overloads and fouls the defective piston rings, triggering oil migration past the rings. The migrating oil either burns or accumulates as carbon buildup on the combustion chamber’s surfaces.”

The four-cylinder mode also contributes in a different way, the complaint alleges, because “the lack of combustion on the four inactive cylinders invites excessive oil migration into the combustion chambers” which does not happen when all eight cylinders are in use.

Another contributor, the complaint claims is “a flawed PVC system that vacuums atomized oil from the valvetrain into the intake system…”

If all this loss of oil isn’t enough, the complaint alleges that the Oil Life Monitoring System does not tell drivers when the oil levels are too low, because it does not monitor oil levels. Instead, it looks at certain aspects of the engine conditions and makes calculations from those. According to the complaint, it “directs drivers to travel thousands of miles with inadequate engine lubricity levels, wearing out and damaging internal engine components…”

In addition to this, the complaint alleges that neither the oil pressure gauge nor the oil canister indicator provides adequate warnings of low oil pressure to stop the damage to insufficiently lubricated parts.

Finally, oil migration “fouls spark plugs” which may cause “engine misfires and shutdown events.”

The complaint sums up its allegations this way: “The Oil Consumption Defect can damage critical engine components and cause drivability problems, such as lack of power from misfire, spark plug fouling, excessive engine noise, abnormal vibration or shaking, piston cracking, head cracking, and, ultimately, engine seizure.” This puts vehicle occupants “at an increased risk of injury or death.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Chevy and GMC Gen IV Vortec Engines Excessive Oil Consumption Illinois Complaint

December 4, 2020

General Motors made its Generation IV 5.3 Liter Vortec 5300 LC9 engines available as an option in certain of its Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the vehicles with this engine installed were “engineered to fail” because of an abnormally high consumption of oil, which results in “low oil levels, insufficient lubricity levels, and corresponding internal engine component damage.”

Chevy and GMC Gen IV Vortec Engines Excessive Oil Consumption Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

Chevy and GMC Gen IV Vortec Engines Excessive Oil Consumption Illinois Complaint

December 4, 2020

General Motors made its Generation IV 5.3 Liter Vortec 5300 LC9 engines available as an option in certain of its Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the vehicles with this engine installed were “engineered to fail” because of an abnormally high consumption of oil, which results in “low oil levels, insufficient lubricity levels, and corresponding internal engine component damage.”

Chevy and GMC Gen IV Vortec Engines Excessive Oil Consumption Illinois Complaint
Tags: Defective Automobile, Engine Defects, Oil Use or Consumption