General Motors Emissions Lawsuit
A General Motors emissions lawsuit may be an option for some heavy-duty pickup truck owners after the company allegedly cheated on diesel emissions tests. A class action lawsuit alleges that GM programmed the vehicles’ emission controls to pass emissions requirements while scaling back those controls outside of testing conditions to improve power and fuel economy. Affected consumers may be eligible to pursue a claim and pursue compensation with the help of a product liability attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated General Motors emissions lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What are Emission Standards and What is the Purpose of Emissions Testing?
Emission standards are the legal requirements governing air pollutants that are released into the atmosphere. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates emissions from a wide range of vehicles, engines and equipment. Beginning in the mid-1970s, the EPA established emission standards for specific pollutants, including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.
In addition to emission standards set by the EPA, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) may also adopt and enforce its own standards regarding vehicle emissions. Vehicles sold in European Union member states are required to meet certain acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of new vehicles sold.
Emissions tests check and monitor the levels of hazardous materials and pollutants that may escape from a vehicle. Emissions tests can potentially help lower the amount of pollutants released into the air and help the air quality of the environment.
Effects of Vehicle Emissions
According to the EPA, air pollution emitted from vehicle emissions contribute to smog (a mixture of pollutants made up mostly of ground-level ozone) and poor air quality, which can potentially have a negative impact on the health and welfare of U.S. citizens.
Pollutants that contribute to poor air quality include:
- Particulate matter, or a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets that get into the air that can potentially affect the heart and lungs
- Volatile organic compounds
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx), a group of highly reactive gases that enter the air from the burning of fuel
Breathing in air with high concentrations of nitrogen oxides, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2), can potentially irritate airways in the human respiratory system. Short-term exposure can aggravate respiratory diseases (such as asthma) and lead to respiratory symptoms, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. Long-term exposure can contribute to the development of asthma and possible lead to an increased risk in respiratory infections.
Nitrogen dioxide and other nitrogen oxides can potentially lead to harmful effects on the environment as well, including acid rain, haze and nutrient pollution.
Heavy-Duty Emissions Standards
In order to reduce serious health and environmental effects caused by vehicle emissions, the EPA has enacted a variety of standards for light-duty passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and heavy-duty commercial trucks and buses. Most of the regulations related to commercial trucks and buses deal with diesel engine vehicles, including certain heavy-duty pickup trucks.
Has There Been a General Motors Emissions Class Action Lawsuit?
According to multiple reports, General Motors faces a proposed class action lawsuit for allegedly programming approximately 705,000 heavy-duty pickup trucks with Duramax engines to cheat emissions tests and meet emissions requirements. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that certain pickup trucks produce and emit levels of nitrogen oxide anywhere from two to five times higher than allowed.
Vehicles potentially affected include:
- 2011–2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD with Duramax Diesel Engines
- 2011–2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD with Duramax Diesel Engines
Vehicle manufacturers are required to demonstrate that their vehicles meet federal emissions standards and to disclose any software or programming that could potentially modify the air pollution a vehicle emits.
According to a report by The New York Times, the lawsuit argues that GM “deceived customers by marketing the vehicles as ‘clean’ diesel trucks and seeks to force the company to buy the vehicles back and compensate owners for economic losses.”
Lauren A. on May 16, 2016
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Has There Been a General Motors Recall?
Although a recall has not been initiated for allegedly affected Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras, a proposed class action lawsuit claims that the automakers deceived customers and that those customers suffered damages as a result. Failure to warn consumers can be a basis of product liability, regardless of whether the product has been recalled.
Have There Been General Motors Emissions Settlements?
Some cases settle early in the claims process, but it is not expected that there will be early General Motors emissions settlements. However, other emissions lawsuits have ended in agreements totaling billions of dollars. According to the LA Times, Volkswagen settled with over 88,000 car owners for $1.2 billion, ending most of the litigation VW faced after it was found to have rigged vehicles equipped with 3-liter diesel engines.
Although the cases against Volkswagen reached a settlement, the outcome of any case is never guaranteed and past results are not necessarily predictive of future outcomes.
General Motors Emissions Lawsuit News
- May 2017A proposed class action lawsuit alleges that General Motors Co. used software to cheat emissions tests on certain Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras heavy-duty pickup trucks.
- August 2011The EPA, in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, issued greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks manufactured between 2014 and 2018.
- September 2015According to CBS News, the EPA begins planning on-road emissions testing in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
- 1985The EPA sets stringent standards for emissions of NOx from heavy-duty engines and of particulate matter from heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks and buses.
- 1970United States Congress amends the Clean Air Act, requiring a 90 percent reductions in emissions from new automobiles by 1975.
How a General Motors Emissions Lawsuit Can Help
According to alleged violations against General Motors Co., the actions of the car manufacturer could constitute fraud and misrepresentation, breach of warranty, breach of contract and violations of various consumer protection laws.
Potential compensation may include:
- Costs incurred by owners, including loss of value, attributable to any wrongful conduct
- Refund of the purchase price paid for affected vehicles
- Damages related to violations of consumer protection acts
- Attorneys’ fees
Affected consumers are encouraged to speak with a General Motors emissions lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies against the automakers.