GM – Intake Manifold Gaskets

July 20, 2011.

GM (Certain Intake Manifold Gaskets 1995-2004)

Stewart and others v. General Motors 

This class action involved a nationwide claim against General Motors in respect of an allegedly defective intake manifold gasket.  In 2006 17 class actions were commenced across the country.  The case was settled on the eve of certification.  The settlement reimbursed class members up to $800.00 for repair costs attributable to this category of gaskets.  The settlement claims period ended on April 30, 2009 and this matter is completely finished.

IMPORTANT: The deadline for filing individual claims for compensation under the court-approved settlement of this class action was April 30, 2009. All forms submitted to the General Motors Customer Communications Centre were to be postmarked by that date, as set out in the Final Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval reproduced below.

The settlement provides that GM, under the supervision of the court-appointed claims administrator Crawford Class Action Services, will process all claims within 60 days of filing. Within 10 days of receiving an answer from GM, individuals may appeal to the administrator if they believe an error was made in denying their claim or calculating the amount of their compensation.

The full text of the settlement agreement is available at the administrator’s website, www.gmcanadiansettlement.ca . If you have filed for compensation and wish to check on the status of your claim, or if you have any other questions, please call the GM Customer Communications Centre:

GM Gasket Class Action Claims
GM Customer Communications Centre
1908 Colonel Sam Dr
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 8P7
Mail Code: CA1-163-015
1-800-263-3777 (English)
1-800-263-7854 (French)

 

The notice approved by the Ontario court is set out below:

FINAL NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION AND SETTLEMENT APPROVAL

GM INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET CLASS ACTION

This notice may affect your rights. Please read it carefully.

PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE

In 2006, seventeen (17) proposed class actions were commenced in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan alleging, inter alia, that the nylon intake manifold gaskets installed in certain General Motors Corporation and General Motors of Canada Limited (“GM”) vehicles were defective.

A settlement has been reached between the plaintiffs (the individuals who commenced the lawsuit) and GM, (the “Settlement”).  The members of the class affected by the Settlement are generally those who owned or leased certain GM vehicles, listed below, who incurred expenses for certain related repairs (“National Class Members”).  Please note that vehicles must be for personal, family, or household use, NOT for commercial or business purposes.

The Settlement has been approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the action has been certified as a class action by the Court for the purpose of effecting the Settlement.  The class counsel fees have been approved provisionally, subject to further order of the courts.

This Notice is to advise you of the certification of the class action for settlement purposes and the approval by the Court of the Settlement and to inform you of your rights as a Class Member. You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement unless you decide to exclude yourself by opting out. Opting out is explained in this Notice.

The class action was certified for settlement purposes and the Settlement approved by Order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 20, 2008. The class counsel fees were approved provisionally, subject to further order of the courts.

Complete information regarding the Settlement of the class action can be found at www.gmcanadiansettlement.ca

The Settlement does not constitute any admission of liability by GM, which denies the allegations.

Terms of the Settlement

All National Class Members who submit a proper Claim Form, Proof of Expenditure, and Proof of Ownership before April 30, 2009 will be eligible to receive payment from the Claims Administrator according to the following payment schedule:

(a) For National Class Members who incurred an eligible repair expense within five years of the Date of Initial Vehicle Delivery, an amount equal to the eligible repair expense, up to a maximum of $400.

(b) For National Class Members who incurred an eligible repair expense in the sixth year after the Date of Initial Vehicle Delivery, an amount equal to the eligible repair expense, up to a maximum of $100.

(c) For National Class Members who incurred an eligible repair expense in the seventh year after the Date of Initial Vehicle Delivery, an amount equal to the eligible repair expense, up to a maximum of $50.

Any National Class Member who is eligible to receive cash payment under subparagraph (a) above may opt to instead receive 40% of the eligible repair expense, up to a maximum of $800, if the National Class Member submits Proof of Internal Leak Repair Expense showing a repair costing over $1,500 due to a diagnosed internal coolant leak.

The following is a list of eligible vehicles:

Model Year Make  Model Engine Code*
1995 – 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva M
1999 – 2002, 2003† Oldsmobile Alero E
2001 – 2002, 2003† Pontiac Aztek E
1995 – 1996 Chevrolet Beretta M
1995 – 2004 Pontiac Bonneville K
1995 – 2002 Chevrolet Camaro K
2000 – 2002, 2003† Buick Century J
1995 – 1999 Buick Century M
1995 – 1996 Chevrolet Corsica M
1995 – 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera M
1995 – 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme X
1995 – 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme M
1995 – 1999 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight K
1995 – 2002 Pontiac Firebird K
1995 – 1998 Pontiac Grand Am M
1999 – 2002, 2003† Pontiac Grand Am E
1995 – 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix X
1997 – 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix K
2000 – 2002, 2003† Pontiac Grand Prix J or K
1995 – 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix M
2000 – 2002, 2003† Chevrolet Impala E or K
2004 Chevrolet Impala K
1998 – 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue K
1996 – 2004 Buick LeSabre K
1995 – 1997 Chevrolet Lumina M or X
1998 – 1999 Chevrolet Lumina M or K
1996 Chevrolet Lumina Van E
1997 – 1999 Chevrolet Malibu M
2000 – 2002, 2003† Chevrolet Malibu J
1999 – 2002, 2003† Pontiac Montana E
1995 – 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo M or X
1998 – 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo K
2000 – 2003† Chevrolet Monte Carlo E
1998 – 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo M
1995 – 1996 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight K
1995 – 2004 Buick Park Avenue K
1996 – 2004 Buick Regal K
1995 – 1996 Buick Regal M
2002 – 2003† Buick Rendezvous E
1998 – 2002, 2003† Oldsmobile Silhouette E
1995 – 1998 Buick Skylark M
1996 – 1999 Pontiac Trans Sport E
1997 – 2002, 2003† Chevrolet Venture E
*The Engine Code is the 8th character of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)† Certain 2003 Model Year Vehicles are excluded.
See www.gmcanadiansettlement.ca for further information.

 

Excluded under the Settlement
•   Anyone who purchased or leased a vehicle for commercial or business purposes.
•   An insurer or other business that has fully or partially indemnified its customer for an eligible repair, whether the insurer or other business is purporting to make a claim for benefits under this Settlement in a subrogated capacity or not.

HOW TO MAKE A CLAIM

National Class Members who wish to make a claim for reimbursement under the Settlement are required to submit a Claim Form and supporting documentation (including proof of the eligible repair, payment, and ownership/lease at the time of the repair) by the final deadline, April 30, 2009.  Claim Forms and further information about the claims process is available from the class action settlement website, www.gmcanadiansettlement.ca or by contacting the General Motors Customer Communications Centre, toll free, at 1-800-263-3777 (English) or 1-800-263-7854 (French).

The claim deadline is April 30, 2009

Release of claims and the effect on other proceedings

You are releasing GM of liability and you shall be forever barred from commencing or continuing any legal action against GM relating to the claims in the class action and the Settlement benefits unless you choose to opt out of the settlement.  However, if you opt out you will not be entitled to any of the Settlement benefits including the payment of money.

Opting out of the Settlement

If you are a National Class Member and do not wish to receive any money and would like to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you can opt out by obtaining an Opt Out Form from the Claims Administrator and filing it with the Claims Administrator, postmarked on or before December 8, 2008.  You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement unless you opt out.

If you opt out, you will NOT receive any money and you will be ineligible to participate in the Settlement.

If you opt out, you shall retain the right to commence or continue any proceeding against GM in respect of any allegedly defective nylon intake manifold gasket that you are otherwise eligible for or entitled to as provided by law.

Class Counsel Fees

The Court provisionally approved the payment of Class Counsel’s fees and disbursements (including applicable taxes) of $2,816,000 up to August 28, 2008 and $131,250, including taxes, for further work after August 28, 2008, subject to further order of the courts.  These amounts are to be paid by GM separately, and without reducing, the reimbursement payments it makes to National Class Members under the Settlement.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT

This Notice is a summary only. If you believe you are an eligible National Class Member you may review and/or obtain a copy of the Settlement at the website www.gmcanadiansettlement.ca

If you would like a copy of the Settlement or have questions concerning the Settlement or your eligibility as a National Class Member you can call the Claims Administrator’s Information Line below or contact Class Counsel.

Claims Administrator:

GM Settlement Claims Administrator
c/o Crawford Class Action Services
3 – 505, 133 Weber St. N.
Waterloo, ON N2J 3G9
Toll free: 1 866-640-9989
Fax: 519-578-7739
Email: gmsettlement@crawco.ca
Website: www.gmcanadiansettlement.ca

Class Counsel

The law firms listed below represent the National Class Members and can be reached at:

Stevensons LLP

144 Front Street, Suite 400
Toronto, ON M5J 2L7
Phone: 1-866-658-9488
Email:bkirkland@stevensonlaw.net

Koskie Minsky LLP

20 Queen Street West, Suite 900, Box 52
Toronto, ON M5H 3R3
Phone: 1-877-398-0497
Email:gmclassaction@kmlaw.ca

Class Members who consider it desirable or necessary to seek the advice and guidance of their own lawyers may do so at their own expense.

Interpretation

This Notice is a summary of some of the terms of the Settlement. If there is any conflict between the provisions of this Notice and the Settlement, the terms of the Settlement shall prevail.

Further Information

This Notice has been approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Any questions about the substantive matters in this Notice should not be directed to the Court as its administrative structures are not designed to address this type of inquiry.

* * * * * * * * * *

Without modifying the specific information in this notice we can advise that in summary, the settlement is available to:

(a) 1995-2003 specific model year vehicles (click here for list), equipped with a 3.1 litre or 3.4 litre V6 engine, factory equipped with Dex-Cool and containing a nylon/silicone lower intake manifold gasket.

(b) 1995-2004 3.8 litre V6 engines (again click here for list) and with the same other limitations.

Compensation is available on a graduated scale within the first to occur of the first seven (7) years of the vehicle’s life, or 240,000 km.

Subject to the mileage restriction, essentially one can be compensated up to $400.00 if the repair was paid for within the first five (5) years of the vehicle’s life, $100.00 if it occurred in the sixth (6th) year, or $50.00 if it occurred in the seventh (7th) year. If the problem was caused by what is defined in the settlement as an “internal leak repair” and cost more than $1,500.00 to repair you can get up to $800.00.

To be eligible, you must meet all the criteria specified in the agreement which can be accessed by clicking here.

You have until December 8, 2008 to opt out of the settlement in order, for example, to pursue an individual claim. If there are more than 1,500 opt outs the settlement may be terminated by GM. If, however, the settlement becomes final then claims can be made after December 15, 2008 and before the last claim date of April 30, 2009.