General Motors Co. has been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging it equipped 2011-2016 GMC and Chevrolet diesel trucks with 6.6-liter Duramax engines that are not compatible with American diesel fuel.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Detroit, alleges GM sold "hundreds of thousands" of diesels with high-pressure fuel injection pumps designed by German auto supplier Bosch that pumped metal shavings into the fuel injection system and damaged the fuel system and engines.
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.
"The pump secretly deposits metal shavings and debris throughout the fuel injection system and the engine until it suddenly and catastrophically fails without warning," the lawsuit claims. "Such catastrophic failure often causes the vehicle to shut off while in motion and renders it unable to be restarted, because the vehicle’s fuel injection system and engine component parts have been completely contaminated and destroyed."
"GM promised consumers the continued reliability of their diesel engines, but with increased fuel efficiency and power at greater fuel efficiency," the lawsuit said, referring to the Bosch fuel injection pumps as a "ticking time bomb."
"However, this came with a hidden and catastrophic cost that was secretly passed on to consumers," the suit continued.
The lawsuit, originally filed on behalf of eight plaintiffs, says the total number of impacted drivers "is at least in the tens of thousands, and are numerous and geographically dispersed across the country."
GM and Bosch declined comment.
The lawsuit involves:
•2011–2016 2500HD Silverado 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LML engines
•2011–2016 3500HD Silverado 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LML engines
•2011–2016 2500HD Sierra 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LML engines
•2011–2016 3500HD Sierra 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LML engines
•2010–2011 Chevrolet Express vans with Duramax LGH engines
•2010–2011 GMC Savana vans with Duramax LGH engines
•2010–2011 GMC Sierra trucks with RPO ZW9 (chassis cabs or trucks with pickup box deleted) with Duramax LGH engines
•2011–2012 Chevrolet 2500HD Silverado 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LGH engines
•2011–2012 Chevrolet 3500HD Silverado 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LGH engines
•2011–2012 Chevrolet 2500HD Sierra 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LGH engines
•2011–2012 Chevrolet 3500HD Sierra 6.6L V8 Duramax diesel trucks with LGH engines.