Yet Another Class Action Suit Filed by Corvette Z06 Owners

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Corvette Z06

Fourth lawsuit claims overheating issue affects more than 30,000 examples of the Corvette Z06.

Since the C7 Corvette Z06 hit the street a few years back, owners have been complaining about overheating issues that force the LT4 engine into limp mode after short stints of hard driving. The problem is severe enough that some owners have filed class-action lawsuits against General Motors.

Earlier this week, a fourth suit involving the cooling issues with the supercharged Corvette was filed by a collection of four different firms.

The heart of the problem

In case you aren’t familiar with the overheating issue with the C7 Corvette Z06, here is a quick rundown.

Although the new Z06 was marketed as the most track-capable Corvette ever, owners have found that even a short burst on track will send the engine into limp mode. In fact, you don’t even need to run the car hard on a race track to experience the unpleasantly-low performance of limp mode – just driving the Z06 hard on the highway has caused some cars to lose significant amounts of power. In fact, this issue caused the C7 Z06 to fail to complete a good lap in the 2015 Motor Trend Lightning Lap competition.

As you could imagine, this is bothersome to owners who expect to have all 650 horsepower on tap at all times. However, additionally, the owners involved in these class-action suits claim that is also presents a safety issue.

GM has acknowledged the issue in the past, stating that the limp mode is necessary to protect the engine in extreme conditions, but Corvette Z06 owners aren’t happy with that answer. They want their cars to perform as expected. In some cases, owners have spent large amounts of money at the dealership trying to fix the problem, while others have turned to aftermarket cooling components.

The latest lawsuit

The new class-action suit over the C7 Corvette Z06 overheating issues is being headed by the firm of Hagens Berman. While it focuses on the same basic issue, it covers more owners in more states. The latest filing claims that more than 30,000 owners are impacted by this problem in 11 states (Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas). The previous suits have claimed much lower numbers, and less states owners affected. But at this point, it sounds like the majority of LT4-powered Corvette owners are being grouped into the number of people who could potentially run into the overheating issue.

Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, had quite a lot to say regarding the issue.

“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.”

No figures are mentioned, but the press release states that “the lawsuit seeks monetary damages for a proposed nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief for GM’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles.”

In other words, if this suit is successful and the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, Corvette Z06 owners could be getting a nice-sized check via this class-action effort.

Owner input

In addition to the official statement from the law firm, the press release announcing the fourth class-action suit involving the new Z06 included input from owners. No names were given, but the four following quotes sum up the frustration of the people dealing with this issue.

One owner from South Carolina named in the lawsuit experiences the limp mode defect “every time he goes to the goes to the track,” yet paid approximately $120,000 for his car that was equipped with special features expected in a track car: special suspension, special steering, special brakes, and specific software settings, including a “Track App” and a heads-up tachometer display used for racing.

Another plaintiff in the suit “only has three track days on his vehicle, and it has overheated every time.”

Yet another plaintiff named in the suit paid $2,000 for dealership-installed upgrades for the overheating defect. Not only did the upgrades not work, but now his Z06 can only run on high-octane gasoline, costing him $100 to fill up the tank. “The last time he took it to the track after the upgrade, he only made it twice around the track before the vehicle overheated,” the lawsuit says.

The suit lists multiple owners who are unable to track their Corvette Z06 cars due to concern of the car entering limp mode.

Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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