A class action lawsuit was filed last month against General Motors in which Plaintiffs and class members claim that the headlights in various 2014 and 2015 GMC Sierra vehicles are defective. The lawsuit alleges that the headlights do not provide enough light for night driving, which puts vehicle owners, other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
Traditionally, GMC Sierras were equipped with three separate bulbs for high beams, low beams, and fog lights. But starting in 2014, the headlight assembly reportedly included only one bulb for both the high and low beams. The Plaintiffs have alleged that the new system does not produce enough light for drivers to travel at night, and is particularly inadequate at the periphery of the vehicle. After it made the switch in 2014, GM started receiving complaints almost immediately about the headlights’ inadequacy. Despite the complaints, GM still chose to expand the new headlight system to all 2015 Sierra models. Online reviewers frequently complained of feeling unsafe to drive at night and called the headlights “terrible” and “the worst I’ve ever experienced.”
As a result of the alleged defects, Plaintiffs filed a class action suit, accusing GM of knowing about the headlight system defect, but intentionally concealing it by never advising any vehicle owners or purchasers of the potential safety risk. The Plaintiffs state that “headlights are critical safety features that function to both illuminate the road for the driver and to notify other vehicles and pedestrians of a vehicle’s presence.” They continue by claiming “Safe and functional headlights were material to plaintiffs and class members’ decision to buy or lease the vehicles. A reasonable consumer expects and assumes that when they buy a vehicle, it includes safe and functional headlights.”
The complaint asserts seven counts against GM for breach of express and implied warranty, unfair and deceptive acts and practices, fraudulent concealment, and unjust enrichment, among others. The plaintiffs are seeking to certify a nationwide Class of individuals who leased or purchased the vehicles with allegedly defective headlights, as well as a California subclass. The affected models are the GMC Sierra 1500 (model years 2014 and 2015), GMC Sierra 2500HD (model year 2015) and GMC Sierra 3500HD (model year 2015).
At this time, Plaintiffs are seeking only injunctive relief and costs of litigation, but no monetary damages. However, a notice has been sent to GM pursuant to the California Legal Remedies Act. If the Defendant denies relief, however, it’s likely the plaintiffs will amend their complaint to add a claim for damages under that Act.
Sources: thetruthaboutcars.com; Law360.com and topclassactions.com
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