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Z06 Cooling Issues Result in 4th Class-Action Lawsuit

GM Faces Lawsuit From Corvette Z06 Owners

Until recently, when the Chevy Corvette Z06 has been in the news, its been or something favorable, such as setting speed records at the track or for the big dollars it raised for charity at auction.

Unfortunately, the Corvette Z06 is in the new again today, but this time its because of a class-action lawsuit being filed by current owners over alleged cooling system defects in Chevrolet’s flagship super-car.

To make matters worse, this is not NEW news.  In fact, this is the fourth lawsuit filed against Chevrolet over this matter.

Since its introduction in 2015, the seventh-generation Corvette Z06 has been plagued with overheating issues.  Owner complaints have stated specifically that the car routinely overheats and, in many cases, enters into “low-power limp mode” to protect the engine from experiencing harmful detonation issues under high levels of boost and from damage due to high internal temperatures.

2015 Corvette Z06 Red
The 2015 Corvette Z06

As early as 2015 – the same year the car was first introduced – complaints about overheating issues started to pour into Chevrolet dealerships across the country. In response to these complaints, General Motors stated that they would address the overheating issues with updates to the design for the 2017 model year.  However, upon completing an internal investigation, the automaker stated publicly that less than 5 percent of the cars actually exhibited any type of overheating issue.

Then, in October, 2015, the Corvette Z06 infamously failed to complete a lap at the 2015 Motor Trend “Best Driver’s Car” competition.

While previous suits and reports claimed that a few thousand Z06 owners were affected by an overheating issue, the latest lawsuit states that more than 30,000 Z06 Corvettes have defective cooling systems and allege that the issue creates an unsafe situation for drivers both on the street and the race track.

2015 LT4 Engine in Corvette Z06
The 2015 Corvette Z06’s LT4 Engine.

Most owners connected to the lawsuit state that the overheating issue occurs after just 15 minutes of track driving, though some have reported overheating problems at highway speeds on public roads.  The suit also states that the alleged overheating issue also causes damage to the engine as parts warp under the abnormally high operating temperatures.

This latest lawsuit, filed by the law firm of Hagens Bergman on February 21, 2018, includes Z06 owners from Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.   Lawyers representing the plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement for owners who have incurred costs associated with bringing the Corvette Z06 back to their respective Chevrolet dealerships for “futile repairs.”  They are also seeking reimbursement for those that purchased aftermarket cooling systems to try and remedy the overheating issue that way.

“Instead of building a car that could live up to the hype it created, GM chose to pour its resources into an onslaught of deceptive marketing, touting to would-be buyers that the Corvette Z06 had ‘track-proven structure and technologies.  What Z06 owners received from GM – a car that peters out after 15 minutes of track driving – is anything but ready for the track. To add insult to injury, when notified about the Z06 cooling system defect, GM chose to ignore the issue altogether.”  -Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages for anyone within the aforementioned states who who either purchased or leased a new Corvette Z06, including “injunctive relief for GM’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles.”

While we at personally believe that the allegations of “misconduct” are highly debatable (we’ve spent a lot of time following the development of the Z06 platform and believe that GM invested millions into the technology programs associated with the development of the Z06 Corvette), this lawsuit could nonetheless be extremely costly to General Motors if the courts rule in favor of the plaintiff.