General Motors is facing a second class-action lawsuit over 2015-2019 C7 Corvette Z06 and 2017-2019 Grand Sport wheels that can bend and crack.
A class-action lawsuit filed on September 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is seeking millions of dollars in reimbursement for 18 owners named in the lawsuit, and all others who have reported issues with the wheels. In April, a separate class-action lawsuit over the same issue was filed in California.
The Detroit Free Press notes that the lawsuit alleges the wheels of said models are “prone to deforming and cracking, without impact damage.” It adds that GM made the wheels with inferior material that is “cast, rather than forged, and is of insufficient strength, and insufficient quality, to withstand the torque and power input from the drivetrain.”
Lawyers named in the lawsuit haven’t provided a figure for the exact amount of compensation they are seeking, but The Detroit Free Press estimates it could cost GM upwards of $18 million for each year of affected Corvette Z06 and Grand Sport models.
Sixty-six-year-old Vanessa Bishop Diggs is one of the hundreds of owners to report of wheels cracking and bending. Speaking with the media, she said she purchased a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 in May 2019, but just one year later and after driving roughly 15,000 miles, noticed the car started to “simmer and shimmy.” She soon discovered that she had four bent wheels. The warranty didn’t cover them and she was forced to pay $3,000 to replace them.
“I don’t want the car now, even with the new rims on it, because it was sick,” Diggs said. “I don’t want to deal with it and the way General Motors is treating me, I don’t want it now.”
Dozens of complaints have been made by owners at the Corvette Forum over the years. In 2017, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter took to the forum to defend GM, stating that the company designs wheels “to withstand extreme pothole loads” and that “people are often surprised that a wheel can be bent or cracked without any visible damage to the tire or obvious scratches on the wheel.”
GM has declined to comment on this latest class-action lawsuit and believes the damage is caused by regular wear and tear. While cast wheels can indeed bend and crack during every day driving, the fact that 250 complaints have been made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website indicates there probably is a specific issue with the Corvette’s wheels, even if GM has yet to admit it.