A problem with the current Hydra-Matic lineup has many current and former owners looking back to wonder how it all went wrong. The purchase of a high-end vehicle, whether for work or pleasure, remains an important and expensive purchase decision for consumers nationwide. When that vehicle is essential to everyday work to pay for the vehicle and other expenses, it actually represents a critical life choice. Auto manufacturers like General Motors, as a result, commit significant, if not most, of their advertising to the message that their products are safe, dependable and long-lasting. Yet, despite selling this idea that their vehicles are a long-term investment for those who buy these costly vehicles, GM, through its Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC lineups, has saddled their customers with a far less valuable vehicle than was advertised.
Which Vehicles Does This Relate To?
Those who have purchased a GM car or truck between 2015-19 that possesses the problematic Hydra-Matic 8L90 or 8L45 transmission will need to pay very close attention to the coming weeks, months and years due to the reported problems consumers have had with this part. These vehicles include:
- 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro
- 2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV
- 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CT6, CTS-V
- 2015-2019 GMC Sierra, Yukon, and Yukon XL, Yukon Denali XL
- 2017-2019 GMC Canyon
The transmissions issues in this lineup across various GM brands present an incredible, sometimes daily, concern and challenge for their owners. That these Hydra-Matic transmissions have been identified as problematic and failure-prone by consumers, industry professionals and dealerships nationwide, as well as in national media coverage, makes the manufacturer’s lack of action even more problematic. Our firm and a wide variety of important figures, let alone current and former owners, believe there is no denying that an issue exists that GM would undoubtedly know about. To date, however, there has been no widespread “fix” or proper relief for those dealing with these issues. The literal and figurative bill for these issues has been put upon the consumers.
Hydra-Matic Legal Claims?
Our firm, Stern Law, believes that it is unacceptable these vehicles were heavily marketed as resilient and dependable tools for life, yet were allowed to fail at unacceptably high rates. Simply put, far too many current and former owners have faced avoidable harm, in the form of financial costs, lost time or opportunities and other consequences due to GM’s engineering, and profit-capitalization, decisions.
Symptoms of Failing Hydra-Matic Transmission
Symptoms of transmission failure can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Vehicle jerking forward/lunging
- Harsh engagement
- Abnormal internal part wear
- Sudden acceleration
- Delayed downshifts
- Gear lockout
- Inability to start vehicle
- Delayed acceleration
- Difficulty stopping
- Replacement of the transmission or transmission components
- And more
These issues can make daily commutes an unsafe and deeply concerning experience. However, that these vehicles are also commonly used by business professionals, or for high performance tasks, makes the wide range of issues more problematic than what is commonly seen in more general vehicles. Or, to put it differently, there is even more focus, and need for relief, because of the cross-usage of these vehicles but the manufacturer has not done what it should to provide relief.
Class Actions versus Individual Claims
The prevalence and frequency of these issues have been so sizable that a class action law firm filed suit against GM for the failures of these vehicles’ Hydra-Matic transmissions. What may surprise you, and unfortunately has surprised far too many, is that any settlement reached by that firm will undoubtedly impact all of the former AND current owners of these vehicles automatically after a short time. That would include you in the event that you have owned one of these vehicles in the event that you do not take critical “opt out” steps to reject the class settlement in the limited timeframe provided.
With class action matters like this involving a common defective part, symptom, defect, etc., a settlement between the manufacturer and class counsel is assumed to be accepted by anyone who does take the time to make a formal rejection. This rejection, known as completing an “opt-out;” requires directly providing notice to the court by a current/former owners with a specific legal document that the offer is rejected. While you may believe you need to say “yes,” in nearly all auto class action settlements you actually have to say “no” … in a very short period of time and exactly the way they require it.
While our firm understands class action settlements can have value in resolving a common issue without forcing each person out of millions to “lawyer up,” we have also seen a wide range of problematic class action settlements in our history. More specifically, we have also seen class settlements surrounding transmission issues go disastrously for those affected – with very little relief for those who suffered with these vehicles. Contrary to popular thought, where people believe class actions unfairly target defendants over a simple or ignorable issue, class settlements surrounding an expensive, unfixable defect – like a transmission problem – can greatly benefit manufacturers like GM, who enter into these deals knowing their liability will be significantly reduced by forcing plaintiffs to go through hoops in hopes of obtaining any compensation. And the level of that compensation available is set by the manufacturer when settling the class action. So where many class members expect or hope for fair relief, they may be grievously harmed by difficult terms and capped values that are part of the deal they had no part in making.
Stern Law: An Alternative to Class Action Settlements
Just as a class settlement has not yet been submitted or finalized in this GM Hydra-Matic transmission matter, we cannot guarantee that the terms of such a settlement will not be providing current and former owners the compensation they deserve. However, history has shown us that is frequently not the case. Our firm strongly believes that everyone has the right to decide what legal option works best for them, and not just due to deals made between class action lawyers and manufacturers. We have felt compelled to be proactive in making certain that the greater public knows how an active class action can significantly and irreversibly impact lives and future legal options, especially when it involves a significantly important work and life investment. Stern Law has and will continue to follow this GM Hydra-Matic transmission class action matter. If/when appropriate, we will step forward with exceptional legal representation for those current and former owners of the GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles who wish to opt out and seek individual claims separate from the class settlement.
Stern Law has a proven track record of successfully assisting clients who have entrusted us with their claim instead of facing harmful or otherwise unhelpful class action settlements. Our decades-long history of providing legal assistance to those harmed through no fault of their own has paved a way forward. That path is made up of fairness and justice, for each client. Clients of Stern Law are not charged any out-of-pocket costs for their claim, outside of a class action structure. With this approach, clients are provided a clear demonstration of a focus on results over unfairness that so many have come to experience. In working with our professional staff made up of industry-specific and talented litigators, along with compassionate and bright support staff, our clients are able to speak out about improper business practices and seek out compensation for the harm they have incurred.
Our work on behalf of tens of thousands of current and former owners of US auto manufactured vehicles shows a focus on seeking justice for engineering and part design efforts that create devastating harm. To receive more information on preserving and protecting your rights in this GM Hydra-Matic transmission matter, before a class action settlement impact them, contact our firm – Stern Law – by clicking here or by calling (844) 808-7529. We look forward to speaking with you soon!