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GM class action claims E85 fuel damage Flex Fuel vehicles

Soft focus image of sticker with logo and wording “E85 FLEX FUEL" stick at rear glass of a car.
Soft focus image of sticker with logo and text “E85 FLEX FUEL" holding onto rear window of a car.
(Photo Credit: PM88/Shutterstock)

GM E85 Flex Fuel class promotion

  • Who: The owner of a General Motors (GM) “Flex Fuel” vehicle is suing the automaker
  • Why: Plaintiff says GM fails to make it clear to consumers that using only 85% ethanol fuel will damage the vehicle
  • Where: Illinois Federal Court

General Motors sells Flex Fuel vehicles that claim they are designed to run on 85% ethanol (E85) ethanol fuel, but cannot run on E85 fuel alone without damage, a new class action lawsuit claims.

Plaintiff Michael Fleury filed a class action suit on July 26 against General Motors LLC (GM) in a federal court in Illinois for violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, common law fraud, and violation of the express warranty.

“Defendant GM states that the vehicles will run on E85,” said Fleury. “The suspect does not disclose that the owner must alternately fill the vehicle with E85 and petrol.”

Fleury says, while the vehicle comes with other warnings about lower mileage and low-temperature E85 incompatibility, there are no warnings about alternating E85 with gasoline to avoid damage.

Vehicle lost power during use

Fleury says he has a 2016 Chevrolet Impala Flex Fuel vehicle made by GM. In 2022, after the price of petrol rose, he started regularly using E85 in the car, after consulting his owner’s manual, he says.

In April 2022, while Fleury was driving, the Check Engine Light came on and the vehicle shut down. He was told by the dealer that his problems were related to the use of E85 fuel, he claims.

“This issue will not be disclosed to consumers, who will find out when it occurs. If the person is driving the vehicle on the highway as it occurs, it poses a significant safety risk,” says Fleury.

The lawsuit alleges that issues with Flex Fuel vehicles failing while using E85 fuel are well known to GM.

“GM could have easily told owners of Flex Fuel vehicles to fill their vehicles with gasoline on a regular basis. However, this would have diminished the public desire and perceived value of Flex Fuel vehicles,” it said.

Fleury wants to represent everyone in Illinois who has purchased a new or used GM Flex Fuel vehicle in the past three years.

He wants certification of the class action, damages and costs.

Earlier this month, General Motors hit with a class action lawsuit claimed it designed, manufactured, and distributed 2013-2022 model year Chevrolet Malibu vehicles that contain a defective engine part that can cause a loss of braking power.

What do you think of the allegations against GM? Let us know in the comments!

The plaintiff is represented by Daniel A. Edelman of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC.

The General Motors E85 Flex Fuel class action lawsuit is Michael Fleury v. General Motors LLCCase No. 1:22-cv-03862 in United States District Court for the Northern District of the Eastern Division of Illinois.



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