— A Chevy Sonic gas mileage lawsuit alleges General Motors advertised and sold 2014-2016 Sonics with incorrect fuel economy numbers and then offered consumers inadequate compensation for the mistake.
The Chevrolet Sonics, equipped with manual transmissions, were allegedly sold with mileage estimates at least one mile-per-gallon above what the cars get in real-world driving.
Plaintiffs Joshua Jennings and Martin Puente say they own 2015 Chevy Sonics that were advertised as getting 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving, but the lawsuit says the actual city/highway driving rating is 29 mpg.
The Sonic lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs purchased the manual transmission cars because they believed the cars would help save money on commutes. Both men say if they would have known the cars got a mile less per gallon of gasoline, they would not have purchased the cars.
Mr. Jennings says the reason he traded his four-wheel-drive truck was because of the alleged savings he would see on gas bills. The plaintiff says those plans changed when General Motors sent him a notice he received on September 30, 2016.
The letter told Jennings about the fuel economy errors and that Jennings could receive $75 in compensation for the errors. The plaintiff says he complained about the offer and GM increased the compensation to $250, but not enough to cover the gas mileage errors.
According to court documents, General Motors violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and breached implied and express warranties. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges GM was negligent in advertising the Sonics with gas mileage errors and the automaker committed fraud against consumers.
The Chevy Sonic gas mileage lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Puente, et al, v. General Motors LLC.
General Motors had issues in the past with incorrect window stickers that got the automaker in trouble when it announced some of its SUVs were sold with the wrong fuel economy estimates.
The Chevrolet Sonic wasn't named, but GM did say about 175,000 model year 2016 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia SUVs were sold with an overstated fuel economy of 1 to 2 miles per gallon.
GM created a compensation offer with payment amounts calculated by using EPA estimates of 15,000 miles of driving per year with gas prices at an average of $3 per gallon.
The offer provided SUV owners a debit card or an extended service protection plan of 48 months or 60,000 miles. A customer who leased their SUV was offered a debit card only.
By the end of November 2016, owners banded together to sue GM after claiming the compensation offer for the SUVs wasn't good enough and the methodology used to arrive at the compensation amounts was flawed.
Plaintiffs complained GM wrongly assumed gas will always be $3 per gallon and the compensation amounts were based on only 75,000 miles of driving.