TheLemonFirm.com discusses the main issues with General Motors' 8-speed transmission.

GM’s Dangerously Defective Hydra-Matic 8L90 and 8L45 Transmissions

By Brian T. Murray, Esq.

If you are driving one of the hundreds of thousands of vehicles recently manufactured by General Motors, LLC (“GM”) you may be at risk due to a dangerously defective transmission.  Francis, et al v. General Motors, LLC, a class action recently filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleges that the automotive giant was aware that thousands of vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2019 contained defective transmissions, but did nothing to warn customers. The class includes customers in the United States who purchased or leased any vehicle equipped with GM’s Hydra-Matic 8L90 transmission or Hydra-Matic 8L45 Transmission.  

The alleged defective transmissions can cause unsafe conditions including but not limited to “suddenly lurching forward, sudden loss of forward propulsion, and significant delays in acceleration.”  “These transmissions have a common defect,” the complaint reads. “Drivers attempting to accelerate or decelerate their cars feel a hesitation, followed by a significant shake, shudder, jerk, clunk, or ‘hard shift’ when the vehicle’s automatic transmission changes gears.” The problem also occurs when the vehicles accelerate in a single gear, without shifting, the plaintiffs allege. “Drivers have reported that the shift is sometimes so violent, they feel as though they have been hit by another vehicle.”  The complaint alleges that, despite information from its authorized dealerships, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) and consumer complaints GM “failed to alert [consumers] of the true and unsafe nature of the Transmission Defect.” The complaint further alleges that even when consumers presented their vehicles to GM’s authorized repair facilities to address the transmission concerns, consumers were told that their vehicles we behaving normally or given ineffective repairs. 

Overall, the complaint alleges 104 separate charges relating to vehicles sold in 32 different states from California to New York.  The vehicles include: 

  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS and ATS-V
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CT6
  • 2015-2019 GMC Sierra
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL
  • 2015-2017 GMC Yukon Denali and Denali XL
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon

Furthermore, according to the class action complaint and investigations by CCA’s attorneys, the transmission shuddering, shaking, jerking and hesitation relates to internal issues within the transmission not function properly and resulting in metal shavings being circulated throughout the transmission. What is worse, over time, damage to the transmission and torque converter occurs. Thus, consumers face escalating repairs that can include flushing the transmission of metal shavings caused by the defective transmission operation, and which eventually necessitates the replacement of components such as the torque converter, valve body, or the entire transmission. 

While GM has attempted several “band-aid” fixes for the beleaguered transmission, none have proven sufficient.  In fact, since 2015, GM has issued no less than thirteen versions of technical service bulletins (or TSBs) relating to these transmission issues. The TSBs related to the transmission issues have advised dealerships to, among other things: complete the “clutch drive learn procedure,” replace the valve body, replace the entire transmission, flush the cooler lines and cooler, remove debris from and clean the transmission pan, replace the transmission filter, replace the transmission fluid, and/or flush the transmission. However, in spite of these many prescribed “fixes” from Detroit, none have sufficiently remedied the problems for countless California Consumers   

Fortunately, the experienced lemon law attorneys at CCA are well-versed in the technical and legal nuances of pursuing legal action against GM. CCA’s seasoned litigators have obtained dozens of significant settlements for California consumers from GM and are here to help you – at no charge to you. If your GM vehicle has serious, unrectified transmission problems, we invite you to call us today for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.