• Mar 5th 2007 at 11:27AM
  • 30
Looks like General Motors might be facing a class-action lawsuit over faulty speedometers. The Seattle Times is reporting a couple of owners have had the speedos in their GM SUVs give out, costing anywhere from $100 to $427.50 to replace. Kevin Zwicker was one such owner with a 2004 Chevy Suburban that showed he was going 10 mph while he was driving along with traffic on Interstate 5. He had to be going at least 50. By April 2006, the gauge quit altogether, but because he was past the 36,000-mile warranty limit, he had to use his extended warranty to get it replaced for just $100.

According to The Times, Zwicker is now the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that seeks damages on behalf of those affected by such problems. This could amount to thousands of drivers. The lawsuit would apply to all Washington residents with 2003 through 2007 model year GM trucks and SUVs who have had to replace their speedometers. Although Zwicker's lawsuit is limited to Washington, another nearly identical lawsuit was filed in Oregon on behalf of John Hall.

Thanks for the tip, Stedwoo!

[Source: The Seattle Times]

Hall wasn't quite as lucky as Zwicker. He didn't have an extended warranty and so he had to pay $427.50 to replace the speedo on his 2003 GMC Envoy LE. Attorney Beth Terrell said she doesn't have any plans to lump together possible suits from other states with these two, explaining "it makes sense to prosecute GM in each state on behalf of that state's residents." All together there are 10 different GM vehicles identified in the suits: Five Chevrolets (Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Trailblazer), four GMCs (Denali, Envoy, Sierra and Trailblazer), and the Cadillac Escalade.

A GM spokeswoman had no comment because GM had not yet seen the lawsuits. The damages being sought in the suits include the obvious replacement of the speedometers and reimbursement of repair fees, but also goes so far as to call for compensation for any speeding tickets or increased insurance fees for people caught speeding with one of the affected vehicles.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Amazing the nerve of these people. GM should NOT offer to pay for this, unless he documented it starting to fail while it was still under warranty. the speedometer is not considered a basic safety item, therefore NHTSA should not look for a recall. Mr Zwitter should however feel free to exercise his right as a consumer to select a different product in the future. The person that should be the most pro-active, it the sales manager of the dealership. He should in fact invite the poor soul in to look at a new Silverado, while offering an an attractive trade deal. But only because he wants to retain a customer, not because he feels obligated somehow.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The story os not about speedometers. You can bitch about GM all you want, but IMO class action law suits are about concentrating the amount of money that the lawyers can collect while the "plaintiffs" get a coupon for a free oil change. In this case speedometers are just an excuse (and a pretty flimsy one at that) - what they really seek is a Potentially Responsible Party with deep pockets that will likely settle and let the attorneys laugh all the way to the bank. Am I really supposed to believe that Joe Schmo will sue GM for a few hundred bucks if not for the lawyer pushing the suit? I don't think so...
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Nippon Seiki"? I have to wonder what other wonderful parts that "Nippon Seiki" built are in these great big AMERICAN MADE, BUY DOMESTIC Glory Machines.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I no someone that works for a BMW store. This is a commong issue with their somewhat older cars. and the older x5 not new X5. The pixels go out on them all the time so you can't see how many miles are on the car. Cost's about $800 to $1,000 to have replaced and reprogramed. Not to mention that BMW says it's normal to be off up to 10mph from what the actual speed is on the speedometer. Surprised someone hasn't sued for that.
      But back to the issue. The car has over 36,000 miles on it. Hmmn it's no longer new. What... I assume he has never driven something that doesn't brake. Too many sue happy idiots out there. No wonder the cost of things are soo high. my 2cents.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Please excuse my spelling mistakes. Was in somewhat of a hurry when I wrote that last post.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Most lawsuits = lazy consumers = big smile on lawyers face = higher taxes = mostly wasted time = most lawsuits you get the picture!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pretty expensive speedo. Hopefully nothing else is dependent on it's accuracy. GM can always give the same old standby when their engines rattled and clanged. "Its suppose to do that". I am assuming most posters are use to spending big bucks on manufactures defects and happy to do so.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I actually have a 2004 silverado and the speedo went out several months ago. I haven't had time to take it to the dealership (as I bought it in a different city and have not checked the transferability of the warranty). Anyway, having read this, I'm wondering what I should do about this situation
      • 8 Years Ago
      What is Nelson Muntz from The Simpson's would say right about now? Ahh yes, I remember now, HA HA!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey Guenther... you want to talk about NERVE?? What kinda balls dont you have? How bout we put you into a Tahoe with a bad Speedo (as much as I hate GM.. Im backing them in this instance).. and watch you get bagged by a "stater" (State Cop) for doing 60 over the limit when your speedo "says 75". I guarentee you wont be so... PC instead ya be all "lawyering up."

      It IS GM'S SOLE RESPONSIBILITY THAT THEY PICK UP THE COST AND PRICE AND OR PROBLEM WITH EVERY GOD DAMN SPEEDO THAT GOES OUT! (Especially since they need every lick of positive news to remain a company!)
      Do you want to be driving down some road.. when the only control system that you have.. goes black? And your forced to operate that 4500lb load of crap.. without proper controls??

      I got news for ya ol Guenther... IT IS GM's responsibility!

      And for your stupid self.. to even mention that the vehicle should be traded on a "new" Silverado with "an attractive lease deal" because the speedo went out.. is.. BEYOND STUPID.

      Unless you have been living on MARS lately.. GM uses most of the same parts on their full size trucks.. and suvs. SO... buying a Silverado / Escalade EXT / Avalanche / Sierra. really doesnt make a lick of diffence.. not to mention the concept that since the speedo is bad.. the vehicle is bad.

      I do hope.. your speedo goes bad.. and Imma laugh in your face.

      Simple Minded.. bastard
      • 8 Years Ago
      Should GM fix this issue under warranty? Yes
      Is this guy an idiot for not taking car of it sooner? Yes
      If GM sells 200,000 SUV's a year and there are only 2 people reporting this problem, it is not a serious design issue, it's just bad luck.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I feel for GM... I think they really are trying to improve their cars and most importantly their image, but set backs like these are just sloppiness. I think the problems remains that GM needs to be trimmed down, so there are less opposing views, and more initiative.
    • Load More Comments