If you’re the owner of a General Motors vehicle with the 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine, you may want to pay attention. GM is being sued over an alleged PCV system problem that’s been plaguing these engines for years. According to the recently filed lawsuit, the issue can cause extensive engine damage and lead to costly repairs. So far, GM has yet to issue a recall for the affected vehicles. If you’re impacted by this problem, what can you do? Read on for more information.
Lawsuit Claims PCV System Defect Causes Elevated Crankcase Pressures
The suit alleges that the 2.4L Ecotec engine contains a design defect allowing the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) system to become clogged by various elements, such as moisture, sludge, grime and ice. As a result, the engine’s crankcase pressure exceeds the engineered threshold of the rear main seal. When this happens, the seal fails and oil begins to find it’s way out of the engine.
As the vehicle continues to be driven, the oil continues to leak outside the engine. The result–dangerously low levels of oil leading to reduced engine power, stalling, and potential engine failure.
Owners have reported hearing a single “pop” noise right before the oil leak started.
What Does the PCV System Do & Why Is It Important?
The PCV system has two jobs, to remove blow-by gases from the crankcase and recirculate them via an intake manifold. If PCV isn’t able do its job, then there can be a build up of excessive pressure leading to oil leaks in your car. Because the crankcase pressures can rise so quickly, even the best gaskets lose their ability to seal the engine.
The PCV system is a crucial component in controlling internal crankcase pressures. When functioning properly, the system will expel the gases from the crankcase faster than the engine produces them. This process keeps crankcase pressures in range, and reduces stress on the seals.
2.4L Ecotec PCV System Unlike Traditional PCV Systems
GM’s 2.4L Ecotec engine uses a unique PCV design, with a fixed orifice vacuum port molded within the intake manifold. Rather than a more traditional design which makes use of a ventilation valve, the Ecotec engine relies on the fixed orifice seated between #2 and #3 intake runners to expel the engine’s gases.
However, according to the lawsuit this design leads to the PCV system easily becoming clogged during normal operation. Owners affected by the GM PCV system problems claim there are no early warning signs. In fact, all owners represented in the suit experienced similar symptoms when the PCV system failed. These symptoms include the engine beginning to run noisy and a sudden drop in power. Additionally, some owners claim a check engine and other warning lights illuminated at the event of the PCV system failure.
Owners report that when they are able to safety park the vehicle to check the engine oil, the dipstick would be nearly dry. Often times, the engine would require two to three quarts of oil just to bring levels within a safe operating range.
According to the suit, GM has allegedly known about the 2.4L engine’s PCV system problems when exposed to cold winter weather. In fact, the suit claims GM knew about the design defect as far back as 1985. However, it’s claimed they continued to market and sell vehicles utilizing this PCV system.
Is There A Fix For The GM PCV System Problems?
Currently their is no permanent fix known at this time. However, GM technicians have been instructed per a diagnostics bulletin on how to clear a clogged 2.4L Ecotec PCV system. The service calls for the use of a 1/16 drill bit to be inserted into the PCV orifice in order to clear any debris. The bulletin also instructs the technician to inspect all related PCV hoses and connections for potential damage.
Owners Forced to Pay Out-Of-Pocket For PCV System Repairs
Owners have had to pay out-of-pocket for the repairs, as their is currently no recall for this defect. Reported costs range from $2,000 to as much as $7,083.89 for repairs. Making matters worst, owners are often told the problem “could” reoccur far down the road despite the cleaning the PCV orifice and new rear seal.
The following GM vehicles are affected by this PCV system defect:
- 2010-2016 Buick Lacrosse (including Hybrid/eAssist models)
- 2011-2017 Buick Regal
- 2012-2017 Buick Verano
- 2010-2015 Chevrolet Captiva
- 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox
- 2013-2014 Chevrolet Malibu
- 2010-2017 GMC Terrain
Status of the GM 2.4L Ecotec PCV System Class Action Litigation
This is an active class action lawsuit. This suit has been brought on behalf of the Plaintiffs and a class of current and former Buick, Chevy or GMC vehicle owners.
Kiriacopoulos et al. v. General Motors LLC. Case No. 2:16-mCase 2:22-cv-10785-SDD-JJCG, was filed in the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan.
GM 2.4L Ecotec Owner Voices
My 2017 equinox engine died in the middle of the road I’m coming traffic both ways start a backup started making knocking noises no oil light came on…after all this fighting with gm many times they stated that it was due to the pcv system that the rear main seal was out I had to have the car towed because i was out of warranty no one would help me so I have a thirty something $33000 that I couldn’t drive lost both of my jobs due to the 2.4L having the same issues as prior year equinoxes.
While driving on the highway with my child, vehicle suddenly went into reduced power mode. 5 minutes later after exiting the highway, the low oil pressure Alert came on. The vehicle was parked two minutes later then towed home. After towing it to my local certified dealership, it was determined the pcv was clogged with ice resulting in a blown rear main seal. There was a recall for a defect in earlier terrains for this same issue. Currently GM will not cover repair costs under this specific recall despite this vehicle apparently having the same 2.4L Ecotec engine. Apparently this a known cold weather issue for this vehicle.
Questions About This Lawsuit?
MyCarVoice.com is not counsel or the settlement administrator in this class action lawsuit. Our goal is to inform owners of these vehicles of the recent lawsuit. This post will be updated when/if new suit information is released.
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Last Updated on August 10, 2022
Loves anything with a motor and wheels.
Christopher is an internet technology expert and mechanical engineer. When he’s not at the local autocross event, he can often be found working on one of his cars. He loves nothing more than taking something apart and putting it back together again–better than before.