General Motors is being sued for allegedly selling diesel-engined vehicles that can’t actually use American diesel fuel without catastrophic failure.
Bad news if you're an owner of a slightly older GM diesel pickup--your engine might die at any moment, according to a new class-action lawsuit.
The Detroit News reports that the class-action suit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Detroit, Michigan. At issue are 2011-2016 GMC and Chevrolet trucks and vans that are equipped with the previous-gen 6.6-L Duramax diesel engine. According to the suit, the Duramax diesel is incompatible with American diesel fuel.
In order for GM to get a leg-up on the growing demand for diesel-fueled pickups, they reached out to German auto parts supplier Bosch for their new engines high-pressure fuel injection pumps. The pumps themselves are fine, but only if you live in Europe and use European diesel fuel.
"The lawsuit alleges that because American diesel fuel is thinner than European diesel and provides less lubrication, it allows air pockets to form inside the fuel injection pump during operation, which causes metal to rub against metal, generating metal shavings," writes the publication.
Those metal shavings are a "ticking time bomb" for diesel engines. Eventually, they damage the engine and fuel system so badly they will cause the motor to "suddenly and catastrophically fail without warning," often while the truck is still in motion.
Potentially "hundreds of thousands" of diesel pickups are affected by the issue, according to the suit. The class-action was initially brought forward by 8 claimants but could climb to include as many as "tens of thousands" of customers.
Affected vehicles include pretty much anything built between 2011 and 2016 that are powered by the 6.6-L Duramax diesel engine. Those include 2500HD and 3500HD Sierra and Silverado pickups, 2010-2011 Chevrolet Express vans, 2010-2011 GMC Savana vans, and 2010-2011 GMC Sierra chassis cab trucks.
We didn’t get a specific number in terms of damages, but since the problem basically shreds the engine from the inside and can’t be easily fixed, we’re guessing there’s a lot of digits.