According to Car Complaints, on April 2nd, two Duramax owners filed a false advertisement lawsuit against GM, Duramax, and Isuzu. The plaintiffs, Rene Anthony Acedo and Kenneth Dzieciolowski, filed suit claiming the listed fuel efficiency of all Duramax engines are advertised as being more efficient than they truly are, specifically noting that the listed fuel efficiency doesn’t take into account the lost fuel used by government mandated Exhaust Gas Recirculation, and the Diesel Particulate Filter.
From Car Comlpaints:
The lawsuit alleges when the trucks are traveling at slow speeds for extended periods of time, the driver will receive a message telling them to drive faster so the exhaust can get hotter and clean the particulate filter. To get around this alleged problem, the plaintiffs claim GM made changes to the Duramax engines, but that in turn caused decreased fuel economy.
From what Car Complaints reports there might be a case in this suit. As nearly every diesel owner knows in 2007 the laws governing diesel emissions changes and DPFs were included on all new vehicles. With the change in the law and regulations of the engines and emissions, Duramax, GM, and Isuzu followed the rules and implemented the emissions change, but also included an automatic flushing of the DPF to ensure that emissions were under governmental regulations. After implementing this change the companies did not change the overall listed fuel economy. To be clear, the plaintiffs legal standing against GM, Duramax, and Isuzu directly relates to the automatic flushing of the DPF and the loss of fuel efficiency that was not advertized.
The larger problem, however, is that the plaintiffs listed the affects the DPF flush had on their vehicles with the following:
The lawsuit alleges customers paid a premium price for trucks with a design defect that causes Duramax-equipped vehicles to be unsafe, decreases the usability and increases the costs of ownership.
Of course the plaintiffs will have to prove their case if it goes to court and it might be difficult to provide evidence that the DPF flush affects the overall handling and performance of the truck as listed. However, their initial claims about the decreased fuel efficiency should be rather easy to prove and correct.
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The plaintiffs want to see the following changed:
The plaintiffs seek relief for the alleged false and misleading advertising of the performance of certain GMC and Chevrolet vehicles equipped with Duramax engines. Additionally, the plaintiffs want the defendants to re-design and retrofit all vehicles equipped with Duramax engines.
Honestly, their demands seem both hopeful and unrealistic. If sufficient evidence demonstrates that the automatic DPF flush lowers fuel efficiency then some results and changes might follow.
The last consideration is that this suit was filed in California. The EPA changes and regulations for the State of California are stricter than most other states. The adoption of the federal emission requirements and laws that mandated the placement and installation of DPFs on diesel trucks originated in California, based off of California clean air laws. Given California’s tract record in the industry and specifically diesel emissions, it would appear that Rene Anthony Acedo and Kenneth Dzieciolowski have their work cut out for them.
In unrelated news, New Jersey recently passed their own version of an anti-rolling coal legislation which, while perhaps it calms and appeases the plutocrats and autocrats elected to New Jersey State Congresses, the law is completely covered and maintained through the EPA’s Clean Air Act without their intercession.
With the national attention still on rolling coal and diesel emissions, the subject of what changes and modifications truck owners can make to their trucks is still alive and well and should be a part of the industry’s conversation.