Class Action Lawsuit Being Pursued Against General Motors For Its 10-Speed Transmission

Automotive giant General Motors is the one who owns the most famous car brands in the world, such as Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet. If you look at the specs of the popular vehicle types of each of these brands, they’ll seem to be quite sturdy, fast, luxurious cars. However, sometimes things aren’t like how they seem. You’ll definitely realize that all isn’t perfect if you hear actual reviews from those who have bought the 8-speed or newer 10-speed transmission cars.

Though General Motors is one of the most popular names you’ll ever come across, it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll only hear praise from those driving their vehicles. In fact, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite, with GM repeatedly being in the hot seat in the eyes of the law. After being caught up in a class action lawsuit regarding their vehicles with 8-speed transmissions, there seems to be further trouble awaiting them since the release of their 10-speed transmission cars.

Previous 8-Speed GM Transmission Lawsuit

When it comes to General Motors’ 8L90 and 8L45 8-speed auto transmissions, you will find a long class action lawsuit history pertaining to them. Those driving their cars have complained about hard shifts, jerks, and violent shakes. However, GM didn’t do anything to solve the problem. So, in May of 2022, in the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a brand new class action lawsuit was filed related to the same issues found with the 8LXX transmissions. 

This lawsuit was pertinent to GMC, Cadillac, and Chevrolet 2019-2022 model vehicles purchased after the first of March. The plaintiffs said that the issues such as surging, lurching, hesitation and jerking are serious safety hazards, as they significantly affect the deceleration, acceleration, and speed of the vehicle. Moreover, they stated that GM has known about these problems since 2013 but has never solved them.

Furthermore, while the transmissions have coverage within GM’s express warranty, it seems that the problems brought forward by the plaintiffs are expressly excluded. The lawsuit stated that General Motors can’t solve the transmission issues, only planning to redesign the ones for the 2023 model year. Dealerships who receive vehicles from customers to repair these issues are simply told that the transmissions work just fine. Some dealerships might even replace them or related components with parts that are just as defective. Despite everything, GM still hasn’t recalled the affected vehicles. 

The vehicles with this specific transmission were the following models from 2019-2022:

  • GMC Sierra
  • GMC Canyon

These were the 2019 GM-manufactured vehicles with defective transmissions:

  • Cadillac CTS, CTS-V, CT6, ATS, ATS-V
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Chevrolet Camaro

History of the GM 10L80 Hydra-Matic

General Motors developed their GM 10L80 Hydra-Matic transmission in conjunction with Ford, which employs a variation of this in their Ford Mustang GT and can be found in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 as well. Though the engineering mechanics are the same, the Ford 10R80 and the GM 10L80 have separate control software and minor differences to adapt to each application. 

GM’s transmissions are created at their Romulus, Michigan transmission factory, spending only $323 million on retooling, whereas Ford allegedly spent $1.4 billion.

Fuss behind GM’s 10-Speed transmission

The aim of the GM 10L80 is to provide performance and efficiency. Its automatic mechanism keeps the engine in the best power band when the driver accelerates. Maximum fuel economy is employed when upshifted to any one of the three overdrive gears. Their gear spacing is meant to be unsurpassed; the engine’s RPM only drops about 20% as the transmission changes gear. The gear ratios are supposed to make the downshifts and upshifts lightning fast. When the engine is in the optimal RPM range, the 10l80 can operate almost as efficiently as the CVT transmission. 

Since you can choose ten forward gears, this transmission can reduce an engine with high horsepower fuel consumption. But their gearing isn’t the only reason behind the 10L80 maximizing efficiency. The lost energy is reduced as only 2 out of 6 clutches stay open simultaneously. It has an internal thermal bypass that allows transmissions to warm up quicker, which reduces fuel consumption. Fluid pressure is maintained through an off-axis pump which can change the displacement according to the load. A second pump helps maintain fluid pressure when the start/stop function is activated.

Though it has two extra gears than 8-speed transmissions, it isn’t heavier or bigger than the 6L90 or 8L90. It weighs 230 lbs. when dry and is considerably light. It doesn’t constitute any cast-iron components, even for the transmission stator support. The aluminum case has a thin 260mm torque converter within the fused bell housing. It has two brake clutches and four rotating gear sets, with only one extra clutch than the 8-speed transmission. 

Investigation Underway Regarding the GM Cars

For both the Allison 10-speed 10L1000 found in the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado models released from 2020 onwards and the GM 10L80 Hydra-Matic, an investigation is underway so a class-action lawsuit can be pursued against the manufacturers. 

Common Issues That GM Vehicle Owners Noted

There are significant issues that GM vehicle owners noted, similar to the ones that the Ford 10R80 and the Alissa 10-Speed 10L1000, primarily check engine light errors, oil leaks, banging sounds, lurches, loss of power, and transmission slippage. These are all severe problems that can cause many injuries to passengers, possibly proving fatal, and thus need to be taken extremely seriously. 

About the Current Class Action Lawsuit

Attorneys are gathering evidence and investigating the vehicles to make their case rock solid. If this class action lawsuit regarding the 10L80 Hydra-Matic transmission is pursued successfully, then GM will need to recall the vehicles that have these transmissions fitted. Moreover, because of their previous lawsuits, it doesn’t seem that this will be an easy situation for them to get out of. 

In A Nutshell

Though it’s great, automotive giants like General Motors are trying to innovate and provide their customers with robust, fuel-efficient transmissions. The risk they are putting people into cannot be justified. With recurrent lawsuits based on their faulty 8-speed and 10-speed transmissions, it’s safe to say they need to change how they’re working and recall the vehicles to prevent new owners from getting hurt.

If you are stuck on how to get compensation for your vehicle having a defective part, our expert attorneys can help you out. Professionals at The Lemon Firm have assisted several individuals in successfully reimbursing money due to manufacturing defects.

If you happen to find yourself frustrated with repeated trips to the dealership, missing time from work and having to rent or borrow cars you are not alone. Our experienced attorneys can handle all auto lemon cases so that you do not need to suffer anymore. Call (833) the Lemon Firm if you want to consult with a case analyst today.