GM Flex Fuel Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Illinois

Chevy owner claims E85 fuel cannot be used without damaging the vehicles.

GM Flex Fuel Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Illinois

Posted in News

— A GM flex fuel class action lawsuit alleges Illinois vehicles cannot be regularly operated on E85 fuel without damage to the vehicles.

General Motors has promoted the benefits of flex fuel since 2016, with flex fuel vehicles equipped with yellow fuel filler caps to indicate the vehicles use E85 fuel.

According to the Illinois lawsuit:

"The class consists of (a) all persons with Illinois addresses, (b) who purchased a GM Flex Fuel vehicle, new or used, (c) on or after a date 3 years prior to the filing of this action." — GM flex fuel lawsuit

In October 2019, plaintiff Michael Fleury purchased a used 2016 Chevrolet Impala flex fuel car that he alleges has greater value then typical Impala vehicles. The class action says recent gas prices in 2022 saw E85 fuel costing up to $2 cheaper than regular gasoline.

In 2022 after the price of gasoline increased, the plaintiff began using E85 regularly when the check engine light illuminated, a warning light activated and the Impala lost power. The plaintiff says the car couldn't safely be driven on public roads.

In April 2022, the plaintiff brought the Impala to a GM dealer which found, “low fuel pressure from high pressure fuel pump,” the “high pressure fuel pump needs to be replaced per bulletin #18-NA-072” and the problems were related to the use of E85 fuel.

The GM service advisor asked the plaintiff if he was using E85 fuel and if he mixed it with gasoline. The plaintiff says he was told "he should have been alternating fill-ups between E85 and gasoline, and failing to do so caused the problems his vehicle was having."

Technical service bulletin (TSB) 18-NA-072 describes a fuel pump problem attributed to “excessive use of E85, causing a plunger internal to the fuel pump to stick.” The lawsuit alleges the TSB says the fuel tank should be filled with gasoline one-third or one-half of the time.

According to the flex fuel class action, the bulletin is dated March 2020, but similar TSBs were issued to GM dealers in April 2018 and January 2019.

The plaintiff claims nternal GM documents say, “excessive use of E85” may “caus[e] a plunger internal to the fuel pump to stick.” This allegedly causes a sudden lack of power which leads costly repairs, including replacement of the fuel pump.

The GM flex fuel class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Eastern Division): Michael Fleury vs. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC.