General Motors is the subject of a class action lawsuit that claims its vehicles with Generation IV 5.3 Liter V8 Vortec 5300 engines are defective. Affected vehicles include the 2010-2013 models of the Chevrolet Avalanche, Express 1500, Silverado 1500, Suburban, Tahoe, and Colorado, and the GMC Yukon, Yukon XL, Sierra 1500, Savana 1500, and the Canyon.

According to the lawsuit, defective piston rings in this engine allow oil to leak into the combustion cylinder, leading to complete engine failure. This leads to “a loss of lubrication throughout the engine which, in addition to destroying the engine, may cause loss of power during acceleration, white or other colored smoke to be emitted from the exhaust, and the vehicle entering a ‘safe mode’ where the engine may suddenly shut-off or run improperly until the issue can be addressed by a mechanic.”

In addition, the suit claims that the PCV system is in a defective location, which also allows oil to enter the combustion cylinder, and another defect in the AFM system enables oil to settle in cylinders when the vehicle is not in use. The claim states that these problems are made worse by an oil life monitoring system, which lets drivers know when it’s time to change a vehicle’s oil.

A typical complaint by affected vehicle owners is that they must add oil to their vehicles every 1,000 to 1,500 miles and eventually have to replace the entire engine much earlier than could ever be expected. Plaintiffs contend they would not have purchased their vehicles if they had known of the oil defect.

The lawsuit claims that GM knew of these defects and corrected them in 2014 model vehicles. The suit notes that GM issued at least seven Technical Service Bulletins from 2010-2013 to address excessive oil consumption by vehicles with the with Generation IV 5.3 Liter V8 Vortec 5300 engine.

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