Lawsuit Alleges Impala Defect Causes Rear Tire Wear

22 June, 2015

GM was served with a class-action suit. The suit comes from users of 2007 and 2008 Impalas. The case claims that faulty rear spindle rods are causing wheels to wear too quickly. In 2008 General Motors tackled the matter for Impalas sold as law enforcement vehicles, but not to consumer car owners. The suit could cost the business millions. The business may even require installment loans to pay for it all.

Faulty spindle rods

Last week, a lawsuit was filed in Detroit federal court. It said the cars would, due to the faulty rear spindle rods, make wheels to wear prematurely as the alignment would get off.

“Despite having knowledge of this premature wear problem, (GM) has not recalled the subject cars, which has required class members to pay the cost of fixing the defective spindle rods as well as for replacement tires and realignment,” the law suit states.

The suit was submitted by Donna Trusky in Blakely, Pa. She wants the faulty rods to be fixed by General Motors. Right now, she is the only person in the lawsuit.

Only 6,000 miles before replacing

In Feb. 2008, Trusky bought her Impala. She states she only drove 6,000 miles before having to replace them. The issue of the spindle rod was not disclosed although the dealership exchanged the tires and aligned the vehicle. In November, Trusky failed an annual inspection due to wear on the rear tires. She still hadn’t driven over 25,000 miles. She had not gone far. Trusky said she got concerned when she heard about the 2008 recall of the police versions of the Impala. It was a GM bulletin she read that gave her the information.

Other customers complain

In 2007 and 2008, over 400,000 Impalas were sold by General Motors. Lots of grievances have come from other owners with the lawsuit. There were two times one owner had to replace his tires. This was in less than two years also.

“(I) Was told by my dealership that GM knows about this problem and has come out with a … kit to fix problem, but I had to purchase it. Excessive wear is a safety problem, and I guess people have to die for action to be taken.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration got a complaint that said, “The vehicle has 45,000 miles on it and this is the second set of wheels in 6,000 miles.” A 2008 Impala with only 41,000 miles on it had to have wheels changed three times, one said.

Differences in law enforcement automobiles questioned

Consumers got a different version than law enforcement did with the Impala, General Motors said. This came from General Motors spokeswoman Carolyn Normandin who said the problem was only in law enforcement automobiles. She said that those automobiles have a different suspension system intended for the needs of law enforcement.

David Fink is the attorney on the suit. He said the spindle rods and rear wheels were not impacted by the modifications at all. “We do not think there is a meaningful difference in terms of the defect,” he explained.

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