Missouri GM Oil Consumption Lawsuit Alive on Appeal

Missouri Merchandising Practices Act claim to be sent back to district court.

Missouri GM Oil Consumption Lawsuit Alive on Appeal

Posted in News

— A dismissed GM oil consumption lawsuit has been brought back to life in Missouri after an appeals court ruled one claim will be sent back to the district court where the class action was originally dismissed.

The Missouri GM class action lawsuit alleges these 2010-2014 trucks and SUVs consume excessive amounts of oil due to engine defects.

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

Plaintiff Michael Tucker purchased a new GMC Sierra in 2013, and plaintiff Robert Riddell purchased a new Chevrolet Silverado in 2012. The plaintiffs claim they saw advertising from GM but the automaker didn't warn customers about the alleged oil consumption problems.

After purchasing their vehicles, Tucker and Riddell allegedly noticed their vehicles were consuming excess oil when the odometers reached about 75,000 miles and 25,000 miles, respectively. The GM lawsuit alleges the oil consumption is primarily caused by piston rings that fail to keep oil in the crankcase.

The engines allegedly wear out prematurely and can overheat and fail, something General Motors allegedly knew about since 2008. The plaintiffs assert GM failed to disclose the oil consumption problems to Missouri consumers.

The district court judge dismissed all claims against GM, including a claim that GM violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA).

GM Oil Consumption Lawsuit Appeal

The oil consumption lawsuit alleges GM omitted the alleged problem from the promotion and advertising of the vehicles. According to the plaintiffs, they would not have purchased their vehicles, or would have paid less for them, if GM would have disclosed the alleged excessive oil consumption.

The judge dismissed the claim by ruling advertising constituting “mere puffery” cannot form the basis of an MMPA claim. According to the judge, there is a difference between mere advertising puffery and a statement of fact.

The plaintiffs appealed only the dismissal of their MMPA claim by saying, “the sole issue present[ed] on appeal is whether the district court improperly applied the concept of puffery to [their] deceptive omissions claims under the [MMPA].”

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, advertising “puffery” does not affect an MMPA claim based on omission of a material fact in this case, and the oil consumption class action, “alleg[es] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state [an omissions] claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”

"For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that Plaintiffs plausibly stated claims that GM violated the MMPA when it failed to disclose a material fact -- the oil consumption defect -- when selling each of them an affected vehicle. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s dismissal of these MMPA claims. We address no other issue. Rather, we remand for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion." — Eighth Circuit

The GM oil consumption lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri: Tucker, et al., v. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiffs are represented by DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, and Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.