California Court to Rule on Dex-Cool Settlement
Millions of consumers could collect repair costs from General Motors for engine damage caused by the coolant Dex-Cool following a hearing in California scheduled for late August.
Two class-action lawsuits are pending in California state court involving GM customers who claim Dex-Cool damaged engines, formed a brown sludge in the radiator and caused coolant leaks.
More than 30 GM cars and trucks built from 1995 to 2004 are involved.
The hearing to consider a settlement is scheduled for August 29 in the California Superior Court in Alameda to consider the suits which affect GM customers in 49 states. The only state not included, Missouri, has a hearing scheduled for September 5.
As many as 20 million GM customers could be covered by the settlement with GM owing up to $800 to current and former customers for repair cost reimbursements.
GM customers with Dex-Cool engine damage who are eligible for reimbursements have until October 27 to submit a claim.
The settle requires GM to pay up to $27 million in attorney fees and expenses.
The automaker would also be required to pay for the notice of the settlement, including all mailings and advertisements throughout the U.S.
GM claimed Dex-Cool would last five years or 150,000 miles, almost twice as long as conventional coolants. The automaker placed labels under the hoods of cars and trucks containing Dex-Cool warning consumers not to mix other coolants with Dex-Cool. GM added an advisory to its 1995 owner's manual advising consumers and service technicians to use Dex-Cool only.
The first lawsuit claiming Dex-Cool damaged engines and cooling systems was filed in April 2003. GM argued that customers neglected maintenance instructions for their vehicles and caused the problems with engine or cooling systems.
GM vehicles covered by the lawsuits are:
Buick: LeSabre, Park Avenue, Regal, Riviera, Century, Rendezvous, Regal, and Skylark Chevrolet Camaro, Impala, Lumina, Monte Carlo
Chevrolet: Camaro, Impala, Lumina, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Venture, Corsica, Beretta, Lumina APV
Oldsmobile: Alero, Cutlass (Supreme and Ciera), Silhouette, Bravada, Eighty-Eight, Intrigue, LSS, Ninety-Eight
Pontiac: Aztek, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Montana, Trans SportBonneville, Firebird, Grand Prix
GMC: Envoy, Jimmy, S15