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Drivers Get Cert. in GM Defective Transmission Suit


March 23, 2023

A Michigan federal judge on Monday certified 26 statewide classes of drivers who claim General Motors sold vehicles with faulty transmissions that caused shudders and hard shifts that made the vehicles difficult to stop and sometimes made it feel as if they had been rear-ended.

U.S. District Court Judge David M. Lawson also appointed Theodore Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll as lead counsel and about 30 named plaintiffs to serve as class representatives.

The certified class includes purchasers of GM vehicles with one of two models of an eight-speed automatic transmission – including Chevy Silverado, Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, Cadillac Escalade and other models with the 8L transmission – that were manufactured between 2015 and March 1, 2019, and who bought the vehicle from an authorized GM dealer before March 1, 2019.

Several class actions were consolidated in September 2019. The class alleges the two transmission models caused significant shaking and shuddering when changing gears. Some drivers said they were nervous to drive the vehicles because they had “alarming difficulties” stopping when a “hard shift” would cause the vehicles to surge forward, causing some to almost hit other vehicles or pedestrians.

Leopold told Law360 he was pleased by Judge Lawson’s order.

“As our lawsuit continues, now certified as a class action, we look forward to demonstrating that General Motors knew before the first car left GMs manufacturing facilities that their 8-speed transmissions were defective yet continuously made the business decision to still sell their cars knowing full well of the vehicle defects and safety concerns,” Leopold said in a statement.

. . .

The class is represented by Theodore Leopold, Doug McNamara and Karina Puttieva of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Russel D. Paul of Berger Montague PC, Melissa L. Troutner of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP, Tarek Zohdy of Capstone Law PAC, E. Powell Miller of the Miller Law Firm, Steven Calamusa of Gorden & Partners PA and Gretchen Freeman Cappio of Keller Rohrback LLP.

Read on Law360. (Subscription required.)