— Chevrolet Corvette cracked wheels have caused a lawsuit that alleges the rims crack and bend, causing tire leaks and blowouts.
The class action lawsuit alleges 2015 to present Chevy Corvette Z06 and 2017 to present Corvette Grand Sport cars are equipped with rims made of a cheaper cast material rather than forged.
California plaintiff Richard Barrington purchased a new 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport from a General Motors dealer, but within one or two months he allegedly realized the right rear tire was leaking air.
The plaintiff says he took the car to the dealer and technicians confirmed the rear wheel was cracked in three places, so the wheel was replaced.
But in July or August 2018, Barrington allegedly discovered the driver-side rear wheel was cracked. Another trip to the dealer confirmed the rim was cracked, but GM allegedly refused to cover the wheel replacement under warranty.
The plaintiff says he finally purchased stock wheels on Facebook.
Then in August 2019, two of the Corvette wheels cracked, and in November another rim allegedly cracked. The plaintiff says even though he drove the Corvette in a normal manner, he was forced to pay about $3,000 to replace six cracked rims.
In addition to allegedly equipping the Corvettes with cheaper cast aluminum rather than forged, the lawsuit says GM used less material than needed in order to save unsprung weight. This allegedly makes the rims too weak for normal driving conditions, a problem that has allegedly existed since the cars were first sold.
According to the plaintiff, the automaker knows about the cracked wheels but claims the rims aren't defective. Chevy dealers who look at the cracked and bent wheels allegedly refuse to make repairs for free because Corvette owners are blamed for the cracks.
By refusing to cover wheel repairs while the cars are under warranties, owners are forced to pay thousands of dollars to replace the wheels that GM says are cracked by hitting potholes.
A Car and Driver magazine report entitled "Wheel Woes" is referenced in the lawsuit to present evidence the cracked wheel problem is widespread. The report includes a review of a 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport which suffered three bent wheels along with a repair bill for $1,119.
The plaintiff also says General Motors has known about the rims since 2015 based on customer complaints, data from replacement part orders and other sources.
"The car has just 10K miles on it, there is no evidence of a bent rim or damaged tire, or even a mark on the wheel, which would have caused the rim to crack. Both rear wheels cracked and I just noticed today when having my tires rotated. I have heard that these wheels have been an issue since 2015 on Z06 yet no recall or coverage under warranty." - 2016 Chevy Corvette Z06 owner
According to the lawsuit, GM should inform Corvette owners about the alleged defects and tell owners the automaker will pay for all repairs. The plaintiff also argues GM should replace the wheels with alternative rims, stop selling the cars if they are equipped with defective wheels and reform the warranties.
A similar lawsuit concerning Corvette cracked rims was filed in 2019 but ultimately was dismissed months later.
The Chevrolet Corvette cracked wheels class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Barrington, et al., v. General Motors LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Capstone Law APC.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from owners of Chevrolet Corvette cars.