Author Topic: GM agrees to settle class-action lawsuits tied to engine coolant  (Read 1288 times)

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Offline CactusCarlos

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http://www.bostonherald.com/business/automotive/view.bg?articleid=1083079&srvc=home&position=also

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - General Motors Corp. has agreed to settle a series of class-action lawsuits claiming a faulty engine coolant damaged thousands of customer vehicles.

Under the settlement, GM would reimburse class members between $50 and $800 for repairs linked to Dex-Cool, an orange coolant that GM included in cars and trucks beginning in 1995.

The total cost to GM will depend on the number of customers claiming damages, but the plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate the settlement could cover up to 20 million initial and secondary buyers of GM vehicles that used Dex-Cool. They also say the price tag could reach the hundreds of millions of dollars.

A California state court gave preliminary approval to the settlement last week and a Missouri court plans to consider it Friday.

"We fought for about five years to recover monetary damages for people that would be meaningful and I think we achieved that," said San Francisco plaintiff attorney Eric Gibbs, who estimated most people spent between $600 and $900 for repairs. "The recovery for most of the people will be pretty good."

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said the company was not admitting any wrongdoing but is settling the case to cut down on legal bills.

"Our experience with Dex-Cool is that when the cooling system is kept full and properly maintained we haven’t seen any problems," he said. "These kinds of things appear to be issues of low coolant, which isn’t unusual with high-mileage vehicles, so we decided to agree to the settlement."

GM owners have filed a dozen breach-of-warranty lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, including California and Missouri, where one of the earliest cases was filed in April 2003.

The cases all claim vehicles with Dex-Cool often damaged the engines or created a rusty sludge in the radiators that caused the vehicles to overheat.

Under the agreement, GM will reimburse some of the cost for intake manifold gasket replacements, cooling system flushes and heater core repairs sought during the first seven years or 150,000 miles, whichever came first, that the class member owned the vehicle. Considering that some vehicles may have been sold and the new owners also paid for repairs alleged to have been caused by Dex-Cool, individual vehicles may generate more than one settlement.

Negotiations on a settlement began shortly before the Missouri case was scheduled to go to trial in November. They culminated with the agreement being filed in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, Calif., on March 20. That settlement covers 49 states.

A separate Missouri settlement, with the same terms as the California one, is scheduled to go before a judge Friday in Jackson County, Mo. Missouri had a separate settlement as it was the first states to grant class-action status to the claims, said Jack Brady, a Kansas City-based attorney and co-lead counsel.

"It could be multiple nine figures; it depends on how many people make the claim," Brady said. "I think it could be a huge settlement."

Gibbs said the attorneys will receive up to $23 million in fees and $2.8 million for expenses.

The settlement covers GM vehicles with 3.1-liter or 3.4-liter V6 engines for model years 1995 to 2003; those same brands with 3.8-liter V6 engines for model years 1995 to 2004; and small trucks and sports utility vehicles with 4.3-liter V6 engines for model years 1995 through 2000.

Additional details on the settlement are available at www.girardgibbs.com/dexcool.html and www.dexcoolsettlement.com.

The deadline for submitting claims is Oct. 27 for states outside Missouri and a week later in Missouri, assuming the judge grants preliminary approval Friday.
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Offline Randy

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Re: GM agrees to settle class-action lawsuits tied to engine coolant
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2008, 04:01:56 PM »
I was working for Chevrolet when Dex-cool came out until 2000. We knew it was a bad idea when they introduced it and it only took 2 yeras before we knew for sure for the reasons being stated. BUT GM is lying, it wasn't because of the levels it was because Dex-cool turned into little black balls of sand like shit that plugged up the passages.

Another bad idea from them is one they are being sued over now. We knew it sucked when we first saw it was the self opening and closing sliding van doors. Turns out they don't latch right and are prone to opening when you drive down the road. Whoda thunk it? Well, we techs did as soon as we all saw the first one work right after it rolled off the car carrier.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2008, 04:03:33 PM by Randy »

Offline Wretched Excess

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Re: GM agrees to settle class-action lawsuits tied to engine coolant
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2008, 04:38:00 PM »

not quite the same thing, but I had my radiator flushed in florida once, and they charged me
$20 for "environmental impact".


Offline Crazy Horse

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Re: GM agrees to settle class-action lawsuits tied to engine coolant
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2008, 06:59:59 PM »
I was working for Chevrolet when Dex-cool came out until 2000. We knew it was a bad idea when they introduced it and it only took 2 yeras before we knew for sure for the reasons being stated. BUT GM is lying, it wasn't because of the levels it was because Dex-cool turned into little black balls of sand like shit that plugged up the passages.

Another bad idea from them is one they are being sued over now. We knew it sucked when we first saw it was the self opening and closing sliding van doors. Turns out they don't latch right and are prone to opening when you drive down the road. Whoda thunk it? Well, we techs did as soon as we all saw the first one work right after it rolled off the car carrier.

explains a lot. I had a 1996 S-10 and had the transmission replaced at 28k, heater core and head gasket at 32k and they put a new engine in at 34k.
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