fbpx

GMC Sierra Revised Towing Capacity Class Action

GMC Sierra and Silverado trucks were advertised with a greater-than-usual towing capacity, this class action alleges, but were not actually able to tow the advertised weight.

The nationwide class for this action is all persons who purchased or leased a 2014 GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Series pickup truck in the US on or before September 30, 2014. There is also a California subclass.

Towing capacity is a central feature of truck advertising campaigns, the complaint claims, and has been a major point of competition among manufacturers in recent years, with towing capacity targets set based on customer research and competitive needs. 

According to the complaint, GM has been burdened with bankruptcy, repayment of a government bailout, and revelation of the sometimes deadly effects of an ignition-switch defect in some of its smaller vehicles, and has lost significant truck market share to Ford and Dodge. The complaint says that GM has invested significant resources in the redesign of the 2014 Sierra and Silverado trucks—which, it says, are mechanically identical—and needs to recoup these costs.

Towing capacity, the complaint says, was a central feature of the marketing materials for the 2014 Sierra, including the advertising on GM’s websites, in printed dealership material, and in television commercials. For example, in a commercial for the 2014 Silverado, a GMC trailer engineer says, “Trailer towing is number 1 to truck owners…. It’s just the key element.” The following is then displayed: “Best in Class Towing. Up to 12,000 lbs….”

The complaint claims that GM even released an iOS app to help prospective purchasers match their towing needs to GMC’s vehicles. According to the complaint, the Sierra became GMC’s best selling vehicle, with sales up by 53% over July 2012, giving the company its highest sales since 2007.

The 2014 trucks were put on the market in May 2013 and sold with these kinds of claims, according to the complaint, but in September 2014, GM sent a letter to purchasers and lessees of 2014 Sierras and Silverados, informing them that the towing capacity for the vehicles had been revised downward—by as much as 2,000 pounds, reducing its capabilities by more than 20%. The complaint claims that the letter also stated that exceeding this lower capacity under certain conditions could result in a powertrain cooling system overheat, harming the vehicles. GM did not recall the vehicles, the complaint says, nor did it even reprint the owner’s manual to reflect this new information.

Even more disturbingly, the complaint alleges that in determining towing capacity, GM had not used the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2008 “Performance Requirements for Determining Tow-Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Rating and Trailer Weight Rating,” known as J2807, which sets forth specific standards that must be met before a manufacturer can advertise the truck’s ability to handle a given amount of weight. Instead, the complaint alleges, GM developed its own towing capacity testing regimens, which were designed to return better results.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

GMC Sierra Revised Towing Capacity Complaint

December 11, 2015

GMC Sierra and Silverado trucks were advertised with a greater-than-usual towing capacity, this class action alleges, but were not actually able to tow the advertised weight.

gmc_sierra_towing_capacity_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

GMC Sierra Revised Towing Capacity Complaint

December 11, 2015

GMC Sierra and Silverado trucks were advertised with a greater-than-usual towing capacity, this class action alleges, but were not actually able to tow the advertised weight.

gmc_sierra_towing_capacity_complaint.pdf
Tags: Defective Automobile, Towing, Your Car