Why the company is in hot water

Xavier Roger


In this file photo taken on January 14, 2014, General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. - General Motors overtook Japanese carmaker Toyota in US automobile sales last year, according to company figures released on January 4, 2023, reclaiming the top spot on strong demand after earlier supply difficulties.

A judge has granted class action certification to a lawsuit involving 39 plaintiffs across 26 states that accuses General Motors of knowingly selling cars with faulty transmissions.

On Monday, David Lawson, U.S. District judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, granted class certification in the case of Speerly v. GM, which represents the owners of various GM vehicles who have one of two models of eight-speed automatic transmissions — the GM 8L90 or 8L45 — made between 2015 and March 1, 2019.

The transmissions lurch and shutter when driving, creating a safety hazard, the lawsuit said.

“General Motors knowingly sold over 800,000 eight-speed transmission vehicles, which they knew to be defective for years, and yet made the business decision not to tell its customers before purchase,” said Ted Leopold, partner at Cohen Milstein and court-appointed lead counsel for the class action case. “Dealers were directed to tell the customers that harsh shifts were ‘normal’ or ‘characteristic.’ Such decision making is both highly irresponsible and emblematic of what GM believes it can get away with.”


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