The Detroit News’s David Shepardson reports that GM has requested the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging rear-suspension problems on 2007-8 model-year Impalas, on the grounds that
“New GM did not assume liability for old GM’s design choices, conduct or alleged breaches of liability under the warranty, and its terms expressly preclude money damages,” the response says.
The suit “is trying to saddle new GM with the alleged liability and conduct of old GM.”
The suit alleges that GM issued a service bulletin for police-fleet 2007-8 Impalas, which were eating through rear tires due to faulty spindle rods. In that bulletin, GM instructed its dealers to replace the rods as well as rear tires, where appropriate. But GM argues that police versions are different than civilian models, and has not issued a bulletin for regular-duty Impalas… and now, on top of it all, its arguing that the “new” post-bailout GM “only agreed to warranty obligations of cars assembled before 2009.” As many as 400,000 Impalas could be affected by the spindle rod issue (which GM says is a manufacturing problem, not a design defect), which could cause rear tires to wear out in as few as 6,000 miles. And despite the clear evidence that GM knew about the problem and fixed police-fleet versions, the bailout liability dump defense could just work: at least one lawsuit (regarding OnStar failure) has already been dismissed on the grounds that New GM is not liable for Old GM’s mistakes. The bailout, it seems, is the shafting that just keeps on shafting…