Do the sons bear the sins of the fathers or not? The answer to that is a big no, if you’re asking General Motors: it has filed in U.S. District Court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against it, saying that it’s improper to sue “new” GM for problems created by “old” GM.
The class action lawsuit, which we’ve previously reported on, was filed by owners of model year 2007 and 2008 Chevrolet Impalas. Those years of Impala suffered from faulty rear suspension rods, which meant that tires wore down prematurely. The suit explicitly named Impala owner Donna Trusky of Blakely, PA, whose rear tires wore out in only 6,000 miles.
The problem also extended to the Impala model used for law enforcement purposes, but Chevrolet recalled those models and fixed the suspensions free of charge. Chevy told civilian owners that because the Impala PPV has different suspension parts, regular Impalas were exempt from the recall.
The class-action suit tried to compel GM to install suspension fix kits on all of the affected cars, but recent court filings by GM counsel says that solution is a no-go. Because all of the affected cars were made before General Motors’ bankruptcy and subsequent bailout in 2009, they were technically made by the “old” GM, the firm that became Motors Liquidation Company and has since sold all financially stable assets to General Motors.
By that stretch, GM now claims that it is not responsible for any wrongdoing on the part of MLC, which would mean the class-action suit is against the wrong party. “New GM did not assume liability for old GM’s design choices,” said GM counsel Benjamin Jeffers in a court filing.
While new GM agreed to warranty obligations for old GM-produced cars (which means a 2008 Impala’s drivetrain is still covered until 2013 or 100,000 miles), this problem is not classified as a warranty repair. As far as the case’s chances of winning, they may be slim: similar arguments against a class-action suit about OnStar units successfully had the suit thrown out.
Source: Detroit News