GM Oil Consumption Lawsuit Blames Piston Rings

Generation IV 5.3L V8 Vortec 5300 LC9 engine allegedly fails from a lack of oil in the crankcase.

GM Oil Consumption Lawsuit Blames Piston Rings

Posted in News

— A GM oil consumption lawsuit alleges the Generation IV 5.3-liter V8 Vortec 5300 LC9 engine is equipped with piston rings that don't maintain enough tension to keep oil in the crankcase.

General Motors made the 5.3L Vortec 5300 engines available in these Chevy and GMC vehicles which are included in the class action lawsuit.

  • 2010–2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2010–2013 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2010–2014 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2010–2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2010–2013 GMC Sierra
  • 2010–2014 GMC Yukon
  • 2010–2014 GMC Yukon XL

According to the lawsuit, the engines consume excessive amounts of oil that exceed industry standards, leaving the engines unprotected by a lack of oil which causes severe engine damage.

The plaintiff says in addition to problems with the piston rings, the active fuel management system contributes to the oil consumption issues.

The system has an oil pressure relieve valve that assists the system by spraying oil directly at the piston skirts. But the plaintiff alleges this oil spray overloads and fouls the defective piston rings, "triggering oil migration past the rings. The migrating oil either burns or accumulates as carbon buildup on the combustion chamber’s surfaces."

Another alleged defect is a faulty positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system that vacuums oil from the valvetrain into the intake system where it is burned in the combustion chambers. The class action alleges the vacuuming process contributes to excessive oil consumption.

But the lawsuit doesn't stop there with allegedly defective systems because the plaintiff claims the oil life monitoring system is defective.

The system allegedly fails to warn a driver of oil levels until the levels are critically low because the system doesn't monitor oil levels. The class action says the system monitors engine conditions to calculate the quality of the oil, then recommends a time to change the oil.

But none of this monitors oil levels, causing conditions where a driver may travel hundreds or thousands of miles without enough oil to protect the engine.

Even the oil pressure gauge is a target of the oil consumption lawsuit because the plaintiff alleges the gauge "does not provide any indication as to when the oil pressure in the Class Vehicles falls to levels low enough to damage internally lubricated parts or cause engine failure."

The lawsuit also says the oil canister symbol doesn't illuminate until well past the time when the vehicle is starved for oil.

GM dealers have allegedly told dealer technicians to decarbonize the combustion chambers and rings with abrasive chemicals, but the plaintiff says the automaker has never offered a complete fix for the oil consumption problems.

General Motors dealers have also been sent technical service bulletins (TSBs) concerning excessive oil consumption, but the vehicles allegedly still suffer from knocking engines, ring wear, bent pushrods, broken rods and multiple other problems.

The GM oil consumption lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle: Harris, et al., v. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC, DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

Chevrolet Avalanche Complaints - 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013
Chevrolet Silverado Complaints - 2010 / 2011 / 2012  / 2013
Chevrolet Suburban Complaints - 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014
Chevrolet Tahoe Complaints - 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014
GMC Sierra Complaints - 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013
GMC Yukon Complaints - 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014