General Motors’ Vortec Engines Accused of Guzzling Oil… Again

by Aryn Plax

Feb 1, 2021

General Motors faces a class action lawsuit that alleges its Generation IV 5.3-L Vortec 5300 LC9 engines guzzle oil and face engine damage, the third lawsuit of its kind to make these allegations against this specific engine model.

These three lawsuits even allege that the defects appear in the same vehicle models, listed below:

• 2010-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche
• 2010-2014 Chevrolet Silverado
• 2010-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
• 2010-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
• 2010-2014 GMC Sierra
• 2010-2014 GMC Yukon
• 2010-2014 GMC Yukon XL

The most recent lawsuit alleges that the 5.3-L Vortec engines cannot receive proper lubrication due to faulty piston rings, and as a result burn through oil far more quickly than they should.

Yellow oil sloshes around a white background.

To make matters worse, the oil monitoring systems allegedly fail to show accurate oil levels. The warnings allegedly fail to warn the driver of oil levels that could damage the engine. The oil monitoring system allegedly monitors engine conditions, not oil levels, and estimates oil quality to determine when oil should be changed.

Vehicles equipped with the 5.3-L Vortec engines allegedly experience the following defects:

• Spark plug fouling
• Lifter collapse
• Bent pushrods
• Breakage of rods or wristpin
• Wear of rings, camshafts, valves, rod bearings, rod wristpins, and/or crankshafts
• Wear or damage of main bearing or other internal components
• Engine damage
• Engine failure

The lawsuit makes similar claims about the faults in specific engine complaints as the previous two lawsuits. In particular, drivers allege that they can use their vehicles for thousands of miles without ever knowing that low oil levels are causing damage to engine components.

On top of that, the lawsuit claims that General Motors dealers provide “stop-gap fixes,” which do not prevent excessive oil consumption.