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GM Faces Lawsuit Over Allegedly Defective Infotainment Systems

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GM Faces Lawsuit Over Allegedly Defective Infotainment Systems

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General Motors (GM) is facing a class action lawsuit over allegedly defective infotainment systems in some of their vehicles.

Plaintiff Karen Boddison on behalf of herself and other vehicle owners and lessees similarly situated is seeking compensation for an alleged series of defects involved in the infotainment systems in certain 2018-2020 vehicle models. According to the official complaint, “disorienting and unanticipated volume spikes” are just one of the most concerning defects associated with these infotainment systems which could cause dangerous situations for surprised drivers and an “increased likelihood of collision”.

There are four primary defects allegedly related to the infotainment systems in these vehicles, including:

  • Volume spikes: The infotainment systems in the class vehicles allegedly increase to maximum volume without warning or input from the driver. These sharp spikes in volume are said to increase the potential for collision and injury by severely startling the drivers. While software updates have been released by GM to hypothetically stop these volume spikes, the updates have reportedly only caused a decrease in the occurrence rather than an elimination of the problem entirely.
  • Nonstop Bluetooth ringing: The Bluetooth communication system has also allegedly presented defects. For example, when an incoming call is answered by the driver using the Bluetooth system, the ringing sound reportedly does not stop and can be heard by both the caller and the recipient of the call until the driver turns off the car, opens and shuts their door, and then turns the car back on.
  • Persisting rearview display: The rearview display has also been indicated as a significant safety hazard in these vehicles; according to the complaint, the rearview image is intermittently displayed on the infotainment screen for 30-50 seconds after the vehicle has shifted into drive. This can cause drivers to feel confused and uncertain whether or not their car is still in reverse.
  • Black screen: Plaintiffs in this lawsuit also claim to have experienced the infotainment screen suddenly going black while operating the vehicle. Considering the many uses of the infotainment system, including following directions from a GPS, it is not hard to see how this could cause confusing and dangerous situations for drivers relying on the device.

When GM was approached regarding these supposed defects, they allegedly failed to offer a solution.

Despite both express and implied warranties for these cars, vehicle owners and lessees claim to have had little luck bringing the problem to GM dealers. Instead of offering a solution, the plaintiffs claim that GM refuses to issue a recall for the vehicles afflicted by these faulty infotainment systems, and will not reimburse customers for the cost of replacements and repairs. The official complaint alleges that GM was aware of the defect prior to the lawsuit, and knowingly “...manufactured, marketed, sold, leased, and warranted the Class Vehicles, and, in its quest for corporate profits, did not disclose to the unsuspecting public or to purchasers that the Class Vehicles were inherently defective, dangerous and create a grave risk for bodily harm or death.”

Plaintiffs are seeking actual damages and restitution in addition to an order prohibiting GM from continuing to engage in unfair business practices.

The damages sought by plaintiffs in this lawsuit include damages or expenses suffered by class members due to the faulty infotainment system, as well as an order to effectively stop GM from continuing to engage in unlawful practices as described in the complaint. In addition to legal fees associated with the lawsuit, class members are seeking a jury trial to argue for whatever relief the court deems “just and proper” related to the infotainment system defects.

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