Even Forward Action Can Lead to Lawsuits

06.18.16 - General Motors Logo

In an attempt to be forthcoming with information when the discovery of a discrepancy in the fuel mileage numbers was found GM announced recently that the fuel economy numbers of the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave were overstated by as much as two mpg for the average fuel mileage. Originally this was thought to be only an issue for the 2016 model year and new stickers were issued along with an immediate stop sale. To go along with this GM announced they would work with the customers who had already purchased these vehicles to make things right with them.

If this problem only affects the 2016 model year of these three vehicles then the problem is limited to 170,000 vehicles, which is a relatively small number overall. GM has stated this was an inadvertent error on the Monroney sticker and not only issued new stickers for the vehicles still on dealer lots but new stickers to those who had already bought the vehicles in question. It seems GM may have understated the problem and it could actually affect a much larger number of vehicles than we originally thought; which has led to some additional action being taken.

As you might expect, when a large number of people feel they have been wronged a class-action lawsuit is filed. Such is the case against GM for the overstating of the fuel mileage which leads consumers to believe they have overpaid for the vehicles themselves. The claim is that GM concealed the fuel economy numbers, which would put this case in the same category as the Mitsubishi fuel mileage scandal, even though the time isn’t nearly as long. Not only is there a question of integrity with information, but there is a question as to how many model years this overstating has affected.

While Mitsubishi faces their own problems of overstating fuel mileage for the past 25 years and Volkswagen deals with the diesel emissions scandal that has affected over 685,000 vehicles in the US and allegedly reaches back as far as 2006, GM may be faced with a problem that affects over two million vehicles. That would be the case if this overstating of the fuel mileage numbers does actually reach back to the previous generation of the vehicles in question. Currently this is the question being put forth by the lawsuit, which would then have over two million vehicle owners joining up rather than just the 170,000 that are currently affected by the 2016 models.

Is GM guilty of concealing the fuel mileage numbers from us for several years, or is this simply a problem that affects this model year? We won’t know until this investigation takes place and GM cooperates with all the information needed to show us exactly when and how they came about learning their numbers were incorrectly reported. Will this be the third scandal in the past twelve months or is it simply a mistake and an oversight? Certainly we will all watch the news closely to learn the truth about GM and their overstated fuel mileage numbers.

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