Chevrolet Silverado Class Action Lawsuit

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Update: Important Message About GM Bankruptcy and Outstanding Claims

On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed a Chapter 11 Voluntary Petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Since that time, all matters relating to the GM bankruptcy filing, including the wrap-up of the Dex-Cool class action settlement, have proceeded before the bankruptcy court in New York. If you filed a timely claim in the Piston-Slap litigation your claim may be affected by the Chapter 11 filing.

On September 16, 2009, the Bar Date Order was entered establishing November 30, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) as the deadline to file proofs of claim (including claims under section 503(B)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code). Creditors will be notified and provided with a proof of claim form. Additional information about how to file a proof of claim can be found in the “Bar Date Materials” link at the GM bankruptcy web site at www.motorsliquidationdocket.com. If you filed a timely and valid claim with the Piston Slap Claims Administrator, Class Counsel continues to represent your Piston-Slap claim and is in communication with GM’s bankruptcy counsel in order to submit a Class Proof of Claim to the Bankruptcy Court in an effort to resolve your Piston-Slap claim. Class Counsel has negotiated the resolution of the outstanding Piston-Slap class claims with the bankruptcy counsel for GM, and the bankruptcy court has approved the settlement between the remaining Piston-Slap class claims and the GM liquidating estate. The GM Bankruptcy Trustee anticipates that the next distribution of GM stock and warrants to allowed unsecured claims will be in late October or early November. Based on that schedule, Class Counsel anticipates that it will make a distribution of the bankruptcy settlement proceeds by the end of 2011, or as the Court permits. Because the claims will be paid out of bankruptcy, they will be paid at a reduced amount, expected to be approximately 30% of the value of the claim.

Please monitor the General Motors Corporation Court Documents and Claims Register website at www.motorsliquidationdocket.com for additional information and court filings as the bankruptcy proceeds. Class Counsel will also update this website as more information becomes available.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Payment Checks Mailed to Class Members

When General Motors filed for bankruptcy on June 1, 2009, the Anderson v. General Motors Corp. class settlement and its outstanding payments to Class Members were put on an automatic hold under bankruptcy rules. As a result of Class Counsel’s continued efforts during the course of the bankruptcy to obtain relief for the Class, on January 16, 2013, payment checks were mailed out to Class Members as settlement for the 2009 Anderson v. General Motors Corp. class settlement. Each check represents the pro-rated amount to which each class member is entitled under the terms of the original settlement paid out in accordance with the GM Bankruptcy Plan. Under the bankruptcy distribution, the valid claimants will receipt approximately $ .12 on the dollar for their claims.

If you are not certain about the tax treatment of this distribution it is recommended that you consult with your tax advisor. For more information, please visit http://www.motorsliquidationdocket.com/.

Final Approval Achieved in Chevrolet Silverado Class Action Lawsuit

On March 5, 2009, settlement with General Motors in the Chevrolet Silverado engine knock class action lawsuit achieved final approval.

The lawsuit alleged that GM’s policy not to tell all California owners and lessees of Silverado vehicles with engine knock that they may be eligible to receive a free General Motors Protection Plan (“GMPP”), extended warranty or other valuable benefits, violates California’s “secret warranty” and consumer protection laws.

The settlement claims process is now underway. Final settlement notices and claim forms were mailed out to class members on 3/25/09. Class members must submit a signed claim form and copies of appropriate documentation by May 11, 2009 to be eligible for cash reimbursement..

The Settlement

Under the settlement approved by the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Class Members are entitled to the following benefits:

For individuals with piston or piston pin noise at startup:

  • Full cash reimbursement of the purchase price of any General Motors Protection Plan (“GMPP”);
  • Full cash reimbusement of expenses paid for piston or piston pin noise repairs during the Limited Warranty period or, if applicable during the GMPP period.
  • Cash reimbursement of 75% for certain engine repair expenses within 6 years or 10,000 miles of retail delivery of the vehicle;and

For individuals with constant piston or piston pin noise:

  • A free noise evaluation by an authorized GM dealer and, if needed, a free engine repair.

Chevrolet Silverado Lawsuit FAQs

1. Why did I receive this Notice?

2. What is a class action lawsuit?

3. What is the class action litigation about?

4. How do I know if I have piston or piston pin noise in my vehicle?

5. If I am a Class Member and I do not want to participate in the litigation, what should I do?

6. If I own or lease one of the Silverado trucks identified in the Notice and I have piston or piston pin noise in my Silverado, what are my legal rights?

7. I purchased my Silverado used. Can I still file a claim?

8. I no longer own my vehicle. Am I still eligible to file a claim?

9. How do I file a claim?

10. My engine makes a piston or piston pin noise only at startup. What kind of benefit will be available for me?

11. My engine makes a constant piston or piston pin noise. What kind of benefit will be available to me?

12. What is considered appropriate repair documentation for filing a claim?

13. My engine makes a piston or piston pin noise, but I do not qualify for reimbursement (i.e. I did not own or lease the vehicle as of June 15, 2007, or my vehicle is a different model/model year), do I have any recourse?

14. U.S. auto companies are before Congress to request a bailout package. How does this affect my rights?

15. The person to whom the Notice was sent is deceased or incapable of acting. Can I submit the Claim Form on his/her behalf?

16. What benefits does this settlement provide?

17. When will I get my recovery?

18. Do I have to appear in court?

19. How can I comment on or object to the settlement?

1. Why did I receive this Notice?

The Notice was sent to all California owners and lessees of 1999-2003 model year Silverado vehicles equipped with 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L or 8.1L engines, as identified by sale and vehicle registration records obtained by General Motors (“GM”).

The purpose of this Notice is to inform you, as a potential Class Member, of the Court’s final approval of the Settlement and to provide you with a copy of the claim form.

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2. What is a class action lawsuit?

In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in this case, Plaintiff Jason Anderson acted as the “class representative”) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people together constitute a “Plaintiff Class.” This is a class action because one court resolves all class-wide issues for all people who meet the class definition, except for those who excluded (also referred to as “opted out”) themselves from the class.

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3. What is the class action litigation about?

This class action lawsuit is brought by Plaintiff Jason Anderson against General Motors Corporation (“GM”). The lawsuit claims that:

  • GM has an “Engine Knock Noise Adjustment Program” that provides subject Silverado owners and lessees with an extended warranty, GM Protection Plan (“GMPP”), or other benefits for free when they complain of engine “knock, ping or slap” noise.
  • GM failed to tell all owners and lessees of the subject vehicles that they might be eligible to participate in the alleged Adjustment Program.
  • GM’s conduct violates California’s “Secret Warranty” Law, Cal. Civ. Code § 1795.90 et seq., and the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.

GM denies these claims, and contends that it lawfully assisted a small percentage of Silverado owners and lessees whose trucks may make a particular type of engine knock noise at cold start-up that goes away within a few seconds. GM contends this type of noise has no adverse effect on the durability, reliability or performance of the engine. GM contends it has given assistance in the form of free GMPPs or other goodwill measures to promote customer satisfaction, and that its goodwill measures do not constitute a “secret warranty” or “adjustment program” under California law.

The Court has made no determination whether Plaintiff’s or GM’s contentions are correct. This Notice you received is not an expression by the Court of any opinion or wrongdoing.

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4. How do I know if I have piston or piston pin noise in my vehicle?

Your vehicle may have piston or piston pin noise if you or your service technician hears or has heard a knock, ping, slap, tapping or ticking sound in your engine. The sound may go away after the engine warms up.

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5. If I am a Class Member and I do not want to participate in the litigation, what should I do?

The deadline to exclude yourself from the certified Class expired on August 15, 2007. If you choose not to file a claim you will be a part of this lawsuit, you will release your claims as alleged in the lawsuit, and will be obligated to accept the outcome of the case whatever it may be.

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6. I own or lease one of the Silverado trucks identified in the Notice, but I don’t have this problem – do I need to do anything?

No. Not everyone who receives the Notice will have an engine knock, ping or slap noise in the vehicle.

The Notice was sent to all California owners and lessees of 1999-2003 model year Silverado vehicles equipped with 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L or 8.1L engines, as identified by sale and vehicle registration records obtained by General Motors.

You may have received this Notice even if you do not have an “engine, ping or slap” noise in your vehicle.

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7. I purchased my Silverado used. Can I still file a claim?

Yes. If you purchased a used Silverado as of June 15, 2007 and your vehicle makes or has made a piston or piston pin noise, you are eligible to file a claim.

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8. I no longer own my vehicle. Am I still eligible to file a claim?

Yes. You may be eligible to file a claim if you purchased or leased a Silverado as of June 15, 2007 and your vehicle makes or has made a piston or piston pin noise.

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9. How do I file a claim?

Claim forms were mailed to all class members along with the final notice of the settlement on 3/25/09. The deadline to submit a completed claim form is 5/11/2009. Claim Forms were sent to Class Members at the same mailing addresses used for the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement. If you haved moved or your mailing address has changed, please notify GM and Class Counsel (by email to: silveradosettlement@ girardgibbs.com) of your new mailing address.

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10. My engine makes a piston or piston pin noise only at startup. What kind of benefit will be available for me?

All class members who paid for a repair addressing concerns about piston or piston noise at startup during the Applicable Warranty Period and were not reimbursed, will receive reimbursement from General Motors upon the receipt of a signed completed claim form and appropriate repair documentation.

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11. My engine makes a constant piston or piston pin noise. What kind of benefit will be available to me?

All class members who consulted an authorized GM dealer or GM about constant piston or piston pin noise, and complete a Claim Form, will receive a current noise evaluation of their Class Vehicle. If the evaluation confirms that the vehicle has Constant Noise, GM will provide repairs to eliminate the noise at no cost to the class member.

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12. What is considered appropriate repair documentation for filing a claim?

Documentation that demonstrates the engine of your vehicle had piston or piston pin noise

and/or

Receipts and invoices that demonstrate you paid out of pocket for repairs related to piston or piston pin noise.

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13. My engine makes a piston or piston pin noise, but I do not qualify for reimbursement (e.g. I did not own or lease the vehicle as of June 15, 2007, or my vehicle is a different model/model year), do I have any recourse?

If you do not qualify for reimbursement under the terms of the settlement, you still have a legal claim against General Motors and may file your own lawsuit because you are not releasing your potential claim/s in this lawsuit.

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14. U.S. auto companies are before Congress to request a bailout package. How does this affect my rights?

We cannot determine if this pending political/business situation will have any effect on the litigation until the bailout hearings are concluded.

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15. The person to whom the Notice was sent is deceased or incapable of acting. Can I submit the Claim Form on his/her behalf?

If you are the executor of the estate, or if there is no estate and you are the surviving spouse/child/beneficiary, you may complete the Claim Form. Complete the Claim Form as if it is your Claim Form; that is, provide your contact information and signature. Please attach a note explaining the situation and your relationship to the deceased Class Member. Please also attach a copy of the death certificate and any legal documents you may have. The attorneys will send an affidavit of heirship to you at a later date.

If you have a Power of Attorney for the Class Member, please complete the Claim Form on behalf of the Class Member and include a copy of your Power of Attorney when you send in the Request Form.

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16. What benefits does this settlement provide?

1. Reimbursement of Purchase Price of GMPPs Purchased by Certain Class Members

Class members who purchased GMPPs for Class Vehicles will be eligible for reimbursement subject to the provisions of the two paragraphs below, if they timely return a signed and completed Claim Form and required documentation, if any, as further described below.

  • (a) Class Members Who Purchased a GMPP Within 90 Days of Retail Delivery.GM will reimburse each Class Member in this group for the full purchase price of the GMPP paid by the Class Member if the Class Member supplies appropriate documentation showing that his or her Silverado has or had Start Noise.
  • (b) Class Members Who Purchased a GMPP after 90 Days of Retail Delivery.GM will reimburse each Class Member in this group for the purchase price of the GMPP paid by the Class Member if the Class Member states under penalty of perjury that his or her Silverado has or had Start Noise.

2. Customer-Paid Start Noise Repair Expense Reimbursement

For each Class Member who during the Applicable Warranty Period (defined below) paid for a repair to address concerns about Start Noise for which the Class Member was not fully reimbursed, GM upon receipt of (i) a signed and completed Claim Form stating under penalty of perjury that he or she sought the repair to address a concern about Start Noise and (11) appropriate documentation of the repair and repair expenses (such as a dealer or third-party repair order) will reimburse the Class Member for the repair expense.

Only for purposes of eligibility for this settlement benefit, “Applicable Warranty Period” shall mean the GM Limited New Vehicle Warranty (3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first) except that for those Class Members who purchased a GMPP, the time and mileage limitations for reimbursement of repair expenses under this paragraph shall be those set forth in the Class Member’s GMPP (for example, 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first).

3. Constant Noise Evaluation

For each Class Member who completes and returns a Claim Form which includes the Class Member’s sworn statement that prior to the expiration of his or her GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty he or she made inquiry of or expressed concerns to an authorized GM dealer or GM about Constant Noise (i.e., piston or piston pin noise that is not Start Noise), GM will, upon presentation of the Class Vehicles to an authorized Chevrolet dealer, provide a current noise evaluation of the Class Vehicle. If the current noise evaluation confirms that the Class Vehicle has Constant Noise, GM will offer at the Class Member’s option repairs to address, remedy or eliminate Constant Noise (“Constant Noise Repairs”), including where appropriate replacement of piston assemblies or other appropriate components. Any Constant Noise Repair offer that is accepted by the Class Member pursuant to this paragraph will be performed at no cost to the Class Member.

4. Partial Reimbursement for Certain Other Repairs.

For each Class Member who completes and returns a Claim Form which includes the Class Member’s statement under penalty of perjury that he or she made inquiry of or expressed concerns to an authorized GM dealer or GM about Start Noise prior to expiration of the GM Limited New Vehicle Warranty (3 years or 36,000 miles after retail sale or lease, whichever came first, GM will reimburse the Class Member for 75 percent (75%) of the repair expense shown on appropriate written documentation such as a repair order.

The engine repairs eligible for this reimbursement are limited to repairs of the following engine components: Cylinder block, heads, crankshaft and bearings, crankshaft seals – front and rear, camshaft and bearings, connecting rods and pistons, valve train (including valve seals, valve covers and internal parts), timing gears, timing chain/belt and cover, oil pump, oil pump housing, oil pan, all engine seals and gaskets, lubricated internal engine parts, water pump, intake and exhaust manifolds, flywheel, harmonic balancer, and engine mounts.

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17. When will I get my recovery?

You will receive payment following conclusion of the claims period. The deadline to submit claims is May 11, 2009. Please be patient.

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18. Do I have to appear in court?

No, you are not required to appear in court. The Fairness Hearing was open to the public and was held on March 5, 2009, in Dept. 322 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Central Civil West Courthouse, 600 S. Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, CA.

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19. How can I comment on or object to the settlement?

The deadline to comment or object to the settlement expired on February 2, 2009.

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Questions? Speak to An Auto Lawyer

If you have addtional questions about the Chevrolet Silverado Class Action Lawsuit or would like to discuss another matter, please call (866) 981-4800 or fill out the contact form on the right to speak to one of our auto lawyers.

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