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Dangerous Dash Cracks|Alleged in GM Trucks

(CN) - Seven series of General Motors trucks, including the Silverado and Escalade, are prone to dashboard cracks that could interfere with airbag deployment, a class claims in Federal Court.

Greg Mross and 19 others, hailing from 11 different states, brought the April 13 complaint against GM in Milwaukee, Wis.

The lawsuit covers the model years 2009-14 for trucks in the GMT900 series: the Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban and Avalanche; the GMC Sierra and Yukon; and the Cadillac Escalade.

Mross says that the dashboard cracks GM trucks develop are not "cosmetic blemishes" that can be blamed on too much time in the sun.

"These cracks are deeper, more substantial, occur to vehicles stored in all manners and in all environments, occur during a shorter time horizon and occur with relatively uniform location and presentations," the complaint states.

Though the cracks occur most frequently in the steering column and passenger airbag areas, Mross says "the cracking around the airbag is particularly troubling, as it could interfere with the deployment of the passenger airbag."

"The dash is more likely to splinter in unplanned and dangerous directions during deployment," the complaint states.

Claiming that GM has been aware of the problem, the class notes that it hired a company to test the dashboard to see if they are affected by their owners' use of "common automotive cleaning products such as ArmorAll."

In addition, GM "has systematically refused to fully repair cracked dashboards, while actively concealing that a manufacturing defect exists in the GM vehicles," the complaint states.

Mross says GM's alleged actions run contrary to its marketing campaign as it emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy.

"New GM claimed to have turned over a new leaf in the bankruptcy, repeatedly claiming to the world and U.S. customers that it was a new and improved company committed to innovation, safety and maintaining a strong brand," the complaint states.

The class seeks punitive damages for fraud by concealment, breach of warranty, unfair competition and other claims. It is represented by attorneys Jeffrey Leon with Quantum Legal in Highland Park, Ill.

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