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Did I Shudder? 8-Speed Auto C7 Owners May See Some Relief

Class action news should send ripples through Corvette community

8L90-E transmission in 2015-2019 C7s
8L90-E transmission in 2015-2019 C7s

If you have a group of Corvette enthusiasts you hang with or are on Corvette-focused social media sites, you probably know somebody who has been affected by this 8-speed (8L90) automatic transmission issue. Especially if you have a friend who owns a GM truck, as the issue is prolific with them as well. Or perhaps you have unfortunately been a victim yourself. As an enthusiast (and former used-car dealer) I’ve followed this for years, and the common complaint owners have described is hesitation, followed by an annoying shudder, shake, jerk, clunk, or hard shift during gear changes.

What’s the solution you hear most often prescribed by the dealer? Well, first they are going to insult your intelligence, then most of the time will just perform a fluid change.

According to the filing and as reported by the Detroit Free Press, Ted Leopold, (partner at Cohen Milstein and court-appointed lead counsel for the class action case), says “dealers were directed to tell the customers that harsh shifts were ‘normal’ or ‘characteristic.’ Such decision making is both highly irresponsible and emblematic of what GM believes it can get away with.”

Hard shifts are normal and characteristic? In what world? Some judges have been getting a bad rap lately, but kudos to U.S. District Judge David Lawson for granting class certification for this case (officially Speerly v. GM if you want to follow the progress).

So how much will 2015-2019 C7 owners get? That’s yet to be seen, but the class-action jokes are already flying around on the Corvette boards, with most commenting the lawyers will walk with most of the money.While the amounts may not make owners whole, this class action lawsuit should still serve as vindication for owners who have been dealing with the typical GM attitude of “nothing to see here”. Ted Leopold sums up GM’s cavalier attitude perfectly when he remarks, “General Motors knowingly sold over 800,000 eight-speed transmission vehicles, which they knew to be defective for years, and yet made the business decision not to tell its customers before purchase.”

The reporting goes on to say, “‘Some drivers reported the gear shifting so violently that it felt as if they were hit by another car’, Leopold said in a statement. The attorney for the plaintiffs also said internal company documents show that GM had determined the ‘startling effect’ of the harsh shifts can create a safety issue. The vehicles also have a second transmission defect that causes them to ‘shudder’ at highway speeds, the lawsuit said.”

What a mess. Have you been affected by this 8-speed automatic debacle, or know somebody who has? Did you specifically buy a 2014 with the 6-speed (6L80) to avoid this issue? We often have vibrant discussions on our Facebook page, I would love to hear from you.  Douglas B.

Hopefully this has not been your C7's fate
Hopefully, this has not been your C7’s fate