GM Hopes to Throw Out Impala Lawsuit

By Sam Grossman | August 18, 2011
A lawsuit recently filed by Pennsylvania Chevrolet Impala owner Donna Trusky has thrown a harsh spotlight onto General Motors, and how it will deal with problems with its vehicles that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy. At issue is a fault in the rear suspension of the Impala that causes premature wear of the rear tires. In 2008, GM recalled all police-spec versions of the Impala to correct the problem, but it left consumer models untouched. However, Trusky says the same problem has forced her to replace the rear tires on her Impala twice in less than 25,000 miles. Trusky isn't the only Impala owner who noticed the problem, and more than 50 others have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, much to their dismay, GM believes the current lawsuit should be thrown away.
It all comes back to the bankruptcy. General Motors was actually split into two companies at the time. A "new" GM controlled the surviving Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands, while the "old" GM was tasked with winding down the remaining brands and selling off old assets to relieve its debts. Now, GM is saying that the Impalas in question belong to the "old" GM, and that it isn't currently responsible for them. "The suit filed by a Pennsylvania Impala owner in U.S. District Court in Detroit should be thrown out because it attempts to hold new GM responsible for old GM's liabilities," said GM lawyer Benjamin Jeffers. "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." GM certainly has an interest in getting the suit tossed out, since it would be liable for millions of dollars in replaced tires and parts if it loses. On the other hand, this kind of legal maneuvering strikes us as dirty pool. Tell us what you think in the comments below! Source: The Detroit News