By Adam W. Pittman on October 10, 2018
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A California couple has filed a class action lawsuit against General Motors (GM) claiming the company knowingly installed defective braking systems in thousands of Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC trucks and SUVs and failed to inform consumers of the dangers.
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The suit, filed by Scott and Samantha Peckerar, cites an “irreparable and defective braking system supplied in all of the Class vehicles.” The suit claims the defect makes it difficult to stop with the brake pedal becoming hard, requiring the driver to use much more force to slow the vehicle, severely and suddenly compromising the distance required to stop.
The Class Action Complaint cites the defective braking system as a clear safety hazard that was never disclosed to any member of the class prior to purchase and charges that GM continues to lease and sell the Class Vehicles despite being aware of the defect and the danger it poses.
Filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, Eastern Division, the suit also says the defective braking systems were installed in all of the following vehicles (the “Class Vehicles”) and sold or leased to consumers in California and across the United States, including the Plaintiffs:
- 2015 to present Cadillac Escalades
- 2014 to present Chevrolet Silverados
- 2015 to present Chevrolet Suburbans
- 2015 to present Chevrolet Tahoes
- 2014 to present GMC Sierras
- 2015 to present GMC Yukon/Yukon XLs
The Plaintiffs seek to represent as many as 212,000 consumers across California who purchased or leased the Class Vehicles.
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“It’s a serious public safety threat, not only for those in GM vehicles with the faulty braking systems, but for all other drivers and passengers sharing the road with them. It’s wrong. GM can fix it, and they need to fix it now,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jerome Tapley of Cory Watson Attorneys.
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Tapley leads the Cory Watson Attorneys team that includes Ryan Lutz and Adam W. Pittman, working on behalf of the plaintiffs along with attorneys, Clay Barnett of Beasley Allen in Atlanta, Ga., Sean F. Rommel and Jim Wyly of Wyly-Rommel, PLLC in Texarkana, Texas and Paul R. Kiesel, Jeffery A. Koncius and Nicole Ramirez of Kiesel Law in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Cory Watson has successfully won lawsuits against the world’s largest automobile manufacturers, including a $24.9 million dollar verdict against Nissan in 2017 for a similar brake system failure issue. Cory Watson Attorneys also teamed with Kiesel Law in that case.
As stated in their filing, the plaintiffs’ issues with GM began on January 18, 2017, when the Peckerars purchased a new 2017 Chevrolet Suburban at a franchised GM dealership, Paradise Chevrolet, located in Riverside County, California. Not long after, Paradise Chevrolet was performing maintenance on the Plaintiffs’ Suburban at only 7,113 miles and found oil leaking from the vehicle’s vacuum pump, an important component of the vehicle’s braking system. The vacuum pump was replaced, but the new parts apparently failed to fix the problem.
Nearly one year later, Samantha Peckerar was driving the Suburban and experienced a startling issue with her brakes – she pressed the brake pedal, but the pedal became hard and prevented her from stopping her vehicle, resulting in a collision with the vehicle in front of her.
Concerned for the safety of their family, the Peckerars informed GM about the braking problem with their Suburban. GM sent an investigator to their home to inspect the vehicle, and suggested to Mrs. Peckerar that she should “consult her manual to understand the operation of her Suburban’s brakes.”
Despite the Plaintiffs’ urging, GM refused to conduct any field testing of the Peckerars’ vehicle, and attempted to have them sign a release for any claims of liability against GM or its franchised dealerships, including a promise of confidentiality, in exchange for the cost of repair to the Suburban’s damaged bumper. The dealership later did test drive the Peckerars’ vehicle and discovered that the suspected defect in the vehicle’s vacuum pump was causing the brake failure.
“Despite the knowledge that they are producing vehicles with dangerously faulty braking systems, GM continues to manufacture and market these cars, most of which are considered family-sized vehicles, without telling their customers they may run into a serious problem with their brakes,” said Ryan Lutz of Cory Watson Attorneys.
General Motors issued a series of service bulletins to its dealers regarding the brake defect, but GM has not directly alerted vehicle owners of the faulty brake issues.
“General Motors must be held accountable for the safety of the vehicles they make, and for the safety of the consumers who buy them,” said Adam W. Pittman of Cory Watson Attorneys. “GM’s continued disregard has led to a potentially life-threatening issue being swept under the rug by an automobile manufacturer that sells hundreds of thousands of these vehicles each year.”
About Cory Watson Attorneys
Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm based in Birmingham, Ala., with more than 3 Billion in recoveries for clients. Attorneys are frequently at the forefront of major class actions involving consumer protection and product liability, and are often appointed to leadership positions in national cases involving dangerous pharmaceuticals and defective medical devices. Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts.