WASHINGTON, D.C. --- General Motors Corp. recently agreed to settle a series of class-action lawsuits alleging that the company sold about 35 million vehicles with faulty coolant, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The proposed settlement calls for GM to reimburse class members between $50 and $800 for repairs linked to Dex-Cool, a coolant that GM included in its cars and trucks from 1995 to 2004. About 14 federal and state lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed alleging a variety of problems in V6 engines linked to Dex-Cool, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Most of the claims have alleged that Dex-Cool caused engine or radiator damage.
Owners and customers who have paid for repairs related to Dex-Cool have until Oct. 27 to submit a claim.
The total cost of the settlement will depend on how many customers claim damages. Tom Wilkinson, a spokesman for GM, told the Free Press that the company settled the case because the lawsuits were "time-consuming and expensive."
The company isn't admitting to any wrongdoing, Wilkinson told the Associated Press. He added: "Our experience with Dex-Cool is that when the cooling system is kept full and properly maintained we haven't seen any problems. These kinds of things appear to be issues of low coolant, which isn't unusual with high-mileage vehicles, so we decided to agree to the settlement."
Under the proposed settlement, current and former owners and lessees of certain 1995-2004 model year GM vehicles with 3.1-liter, 3.4-liter, 3.8-liter or 4.3-liter engines will be eligible to receive reimbursement for Dex-Cool related engine repairs that occurred within seven years or 150,000 miles (whichever is earlier) of original vehicle purchase; these repairs include intake manifold gasket replacements, cooling system flushes, and heater core repairs.
Vehicle owners or lessees who paid for a qualifying repair will be entitled to cash reimbursement from GM of up to $400 per repair made within the first five years of the vehicle’s life, up to $100 per repair made in the sixth year, and up to $50 per repair made in the seventh year. Those who paid for multiple covered repairs may be eligible to receive multiple cash reimbursements. In addition, those vehicle owners or lessees who had more expensive repairs as a result of internal coolant leaks will be entitled to cash reimbursement from GM of up to $800.
"The settlement is the result of a lot of hard work over a five-year period in what was a vigorously contested series of class-action lawsuits," said Eric Gibbs of San Francisco-based Girard Gibbs LLP, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
This settlement does not include Missouri, which has an identical settlement authorized by a different court.
For more information about the settlement, visit www.dexcoolsettlement.com.