General Motors faces a class action lawsuit over the Chevrolet Corvette, alleging the automaker withheld information about wheel defects on certain newer vehicles, which can cause them to break, bend or crack, increasing the risk of an accident.
The Chevrolet Corvette class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed late last month in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that General Motors knew, or should have known, about the safety issues posed by the wheels equipped on certain models.
Plaintiffs indicate that a rim defect can cause the wheels to easily warp, bend and crack. This can lead to costly repairs and replacements not covered under the 3-year, 36,000-mile Bumper to-Bumper warranty. The vehicles targeted by the class action include model years 2015 to present Chevrolet Corvette Z06 vehicles, and 2017 to present Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport vehicles.
The complaint also indicates consumers may be at an increased risk of a crash in the event the wheels crack and puncture a tire. The jagged edges may cause a tire blow out, causing drivers to lose control of the vehicle and increase the risk of a crash, jeopardizing customers, passengers and those nearby.
Plaintiffs allege General Motors was well aware of the problem from preproduction testing, design failure analysis, calls to its customer service hotline, and customer complaints made to dealers.
The lawsuit claims General Motors actively concealed the existence of the safety defect in its own internal database, responding to customer complaints that the cracked wheels were caused by roadway imperfections or driver error.
Plaintiff Anthony Nardizzi, states he leased a 2018 Chevrolet Corvette in June 2018 from a California dealership, alleging that he immediately took the vehicle to a third-party to have the wheels coated, where he was informed two of the wheels were bent, costing him approximately $7,500 to replace.
Nardizzi indicates he contacted the dealership where he leased the Corvette and they denied liability for the wheel replacement, claiming Nardizzi must have driven the vehicle incorrectly or ran over a pothole. Nardizzi subsequently contact General Motors Customer Service where they also rejected liability but agreed to compensate him $1,200 for the $7,500 replacement.
A similar customer complaint was issued to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after a California resident purchased a 2017 Corvette that required all four wheels to be replaced due to becoming warped. The vehicle reportedly had less than 1,000 miles traveled on the wheels.
The lawsuit seeks class action status for all other consumers similarly situated across the United States who unknowingly purchased or leased a Corvette model equipped with faulty alloy wheels. Plaintiffs are seeking relief from General Motors, presenting claims of unfair and deceptive business practices that unjustly enriched the company at the consumer’s expense, among other allegations.