GM Speedometer lawsuit filed

rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
Suits filed over GM speedometers
By David Bowermaster

Seattle Times staff reporter

Kevin Zwicker knew something was wrong when the speedometer on his 2004 Chevy Suburban indicated he was going 10 mph, even though he was driving at or near the speed limit on Interstate 5.

Zwicker's speedometer failed completely in April 2006. But General Motors did not replace it for free because the truck was outside the standard three-year, 36,000-mile warranty period.

Zwicker had purchased an extended warranty, so he paid $100 for a new speedometer rather than the usual $400 to $500.

But now Zwicker, who lives in Snohomish, is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of potentially thousands of people. The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, could potentially cover all Washington residents who purchased GM trucks and sport-utility vehicles from 2003 to 2007, and who have had to replace defective speedometers.

Zwicker, 48, considers himself a "savvy driver," but said it was uncomfortable driving without knowing how fast he was going.

"I don't think it's fair that a major manufacturer such as GM can let something like this go by and not give it some serious thought," Zwicker said.

A nearly identical suit was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Oregon on behalf of John Hall, who paid $427.50 in January to fix a defective speedometer on his 2003 GMC Envoy LE.

The lawsuits in Washington and Oregon are seeking class-action status, according to Beth Terrell, an attorney with the Seattle law firm of Tousley Brain Stephens who is representing Hall and Zwicker. The suits cover five Chevrolet models: Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Trailblazer; four GMC models: Denali, Envoy, Sierra and Trailblazer; and the Cadillac Escalade.

Additional suits could follow in other states, but there are currently no plans to consolidate the cases into a single national suit against the world's largest automaker.


  • johnny4016johnny4016 Member Posts: 112
    I own a 2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71.

    My Odometer stopped working at around 31,000 in 2006. I brought it to the Chevy Dealership in Palmdale Calif. Rally Chevy.

    They not only replaced the part, or repaired it, I never got a true answer as to which, but they also gave me a loaner car to use at no charge.

    The part was known to have a defect then in Feb. 2006 when mine stopped working. Apparently the manufacture that was making the part could not keep up with all the orders. It took 7 days before my Tahoe was ready. It only took a couple of minutes to remove the part.

    I posted a message about this on the Recall Site letting people know. How ever Chevy as far as I know never did or has recalled the part. They are waiting for the problem to occur and in some cases it sounds like hoping that it happens when the vehicle is out of warranty.

    I think that you have a legitimate lawsuit. Chevy should have recalled this part as they knew it was and is bad. :lemon:

    I hope that this helps out who ever was charged for this part as I think that is ethically wrong.
  • rwesley1rwesley1 Member Posts: 2
    I have got the same problem w/my 2004 Z71 Tahoe....I haven't had it fixed yet, waiting on either a recall or some legal action. My problem began around 38,000 miles.
    It w/work sometimes, but most of the time it register "0" or it w/go up to 70 MPH and then stick there for several days.....I had it checked and it's in the speedodometer head, as I was told.
  • lrawsonlrawson Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem after my purchase...of a 2003 chevy suburban.. It was just over 37,000 miles when the speedometer went out .. but it cost me over 600.00 to fix.... you are lucky it was under warranty.... To top that off I had to get a new Transmission at 59,000 miles ... of course that was out of warranty....which this is only 1 of many things that went wrong starting after the 36,000 miles... Good luck on your suit..
  • drewc2drewc2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Suburban 2500. My speedometer went hay-wire on a 2,600 mile round trip to FL. The needle just kept creeping up far beyond the correct speed, until it finally pinned itself.
    I made an appointment when I got back to have it repaired, and it resolved itself the day before the appointment. It has since worked sporadically, with not apparent trigger for the problem. It is very odd, seems like it should be an all or nothing type of problem, not a come and go issue.

    Dealer told me that my entire instrument cluster would need to be replaced. I think I'll wait and see how GM responds to this obvious design problem.
  • farmmanfarmman Member Posts: 4
    I also am having trouble...I have no idea how fast I am going. I have a 2004 chevy 3/4 ton 4X4 pick up. It started acting up at 70,000 miles and says I am going 120 MPH all the time. If I sit there and restart it over and over again each time I start it, it will go back 5 MPH..After I get it back to 0 it will work for a while and them jump to 70 MPH when I know I am doing 30. Is GM going to pay my ticket? I dont think so. There needs to be a recall on this item we have paid alot for our trucks and suv's not that long ago. I would understand if our trucks and suv's are older but they are new! GM needs to do something! Before people start buying FORDS! :mad: :lemon:
  • farmmanfarmman Member Posts: 4
    Yea so I got a SPEEDING TICKET today!! I called Chevy I dont think they are going to do anything about it If you all havent called and yelled yet here is the # for gm is 1-800-462-8782 and chevy is 1-800-222-1020
  • 07wildbill07wildbill Member Posts: 29
    i have a 2004 chev silverado mine went out 38,400. miles.i was going to send it off to a guy that fixes them on ebay for $100.00,he;s really good.any way i called the chev parts house to ask them how much the cluster cost, so i could insure it, when i mailed it to this guy on ebay.the chev parts manager asked me how many miles on it ,i said 38.400. he told me to bring it in and they would take care of it.i was over the 36,000 limit.i was real lucky.look this guy up on ebay,he will show you how to take out your old one and send it to him for repair.i believe he use to work for me if you need any help.clusters cost $450.00
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    farmman said: Yea so I got a SPEEDING TICKET today!! I called Chevy I dont think they are going to do anything about it
    You can count on that....
  • bob413bob413 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 silverado. the speedometer will not go down only up. It wil only go down when I try to start the engine and only drop 5 mph at a time. I would like to join this lawsuit I am from Oklahoma.
  • cwinstonhuntcwinstonhunt Member Posts: 1
    yeah I had that exact problem and my speedometer stopped working all together yesterday! I'm trying to find out how to fix it because I have no idea! Not to mention that I don't have $500!! My truck went out of warranty Jan 07, and thats when my front bumper fell off, tailgate support cables snapped, cover for tailgate handle fell off, speedometer started messing up, the rear-end is having problems! I don't even have 30,000 miles on it yet!!!!! I would like to join this lawsuit as well....I'm also from Oklahoma
  • paers54paers54 Member Posts: 1
    I experienced the same problem. My speedometer started acting up at 70000 miles and I haven't had it replaced either as the Chevy dealer says it will cost around 500 to replace the cluster. I agree this needs to be recalled. I would like to be in on the law suit but I live in Georgia.
  • buster49buster49 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 2003 silverado 25000 miles and last week i noticed that the speedo sticking about 65-70mph when i come to stop it says i am going 10 to 20MPH. i have a extended warrenty on it will it cover ?
    :confuse: :cry:
  • knabriknabri Member Posts: 1
    I was driving today, probably going around 70 keeping up with ATL traffic when my speedometer read 100. I immediately slowed down thinking it would come down. It didn't. Instead as I got off I-75, it climbed from 100 as I accelerated, now showing past 120. I made 2 stops, but it is pegged at the 7 o'clock spot. My experience is they won't do anything, as was the case with my brake lights that went out, b/c my VIN was not in the recall range.

    I have a 2004 Trlblazer LT.
  • johnny4016johnny4016 Member Posts: 112
    As I mentioned above I brought my 04 Tahoe to the dealer and they said that they repaired it under the 36/36 warranty. It took over a week to get the part R&R, dealer blamed it on a back log for the part. I haven't had any problems with the speed since they R&R it.
    My hour meter when I brought in to the dealer had 1058 on it and when I got my Tahoe back it had 779 hours on it, 279 hours less. Once the hour meter reached 1600 hours with the repaired part it reset it self to 0 hours. So I'm starting to think that maybe the dealer or people that they sent the part to gave me some one elses odometer and lied to me when they said that they repaired it. Why would it have 279 hours less on it? Your not suppose to be able to reset the hour meter. Then after putting 821 hours on the repaired odometer the hour meter reset itself and went back to 0 hours? I've have kept a gas log since day 1 when I bought my Tahoe with all the DIC readings so I know exactly how many hours, etc I have on my odometer.
  • contractorkevcontractorkev Member Posts: 2
    My 2004 Z71 has the same problem, running 65-70 the speedo jumps to 100-120. I'm worried the odometer may be off too? Any info on how to join the lawsuit? I'm in South Carolina. Also the push button 4 wheel drive has never worked right, anyone else have this problem? I heard there is a TSB on it.
  • caligirl5caligirl5 Member Posts: 23
    I own a 2004 Chevy Suburban and the speedometer went haywire at just over 36,100 miles. We bought it in 2003 so the warranty ran out last December. I called the dealership I purchased the vehicle from and asked how they are handling the repair of the defective speedometers. I also e-mailed the customer relations department and spoke to them by phone (Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-222-1020). The service manager at my dealership was able to get authorization to repair the speedometer for me free of charge. Hopefully other dealerships will do the same for those of you who also have this defective part. There is also a class action suit filed in Northern California.
  • caligirl5caligirl5 Member Posts: 23
    Everyone who has experienced a problem with their GM/Chevy speedometer can go to and file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This will help show the extent of the problem and hopefully get GM to do a recall.
  • ct3ct3 Member Posts: 1
  • jon41jon41 Member Posts: 2
    I too have a 2004 Silverado. My speedometer went out today. At first it registered zero. Later it went up to over 120 and stayed off the scale fot the entire trip. I live in Louisiana and would also like to join a law suit. Any advice would be welcomed. This is definately a defect and should be recalled.
  • zboaterzboater Member Posts: 17
    I have a 2004 Tahoe LT with 54K miles that started this same problem last week (it said I was doing a 120 mph in a 35 mph zone). I mentioned to someone at work that has a 03 Yukon that the same problem happened to. The dealer is fixing at N/C. They need to pull a set of numbers from the instrument cluster and then order a new one. Total repair would be $500 but all covered N/C. Reference a service notice "07187" - they had to dig to find it in the computer. If you have had the repair done recently, they are also offering "special coverage" or full payment (to some VIN's) the full cost of the repair. Good luck ... I get my new cluster installed in 2 days.
  • buster49buster49 Member Posts: 2
    UP Date: GM sent me a RECALL notice.!
    went to Dealer that i bought truck from and they still had to verifie that it was BROKE and VIN.
    then said they would have to order part in and would call me . Its been 5 days and NO Call !!! :confuse: :(
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    ster49 said: Its been 5 days and NO Call !!!
    Five days....??? GM probably doesn't even have the order in their complete system yet. There will be thousands of units replaced so you better be patient.
  • brandoncbrandonc Member Posts: 1
    I was just hit with the speedometer curse as well (right now it's sitting on 60 mph when I'm parked). I have an '04 Silverado and of course my warranty just expired two months ago. Does anyone have any new advice to share??? Thanks!
  • lkbumlkbum Member Posts: 6
    Received Recall notice yesterday, for failure within first 7 years or 70,000 miles.
  • hicksmhhicksmh Member Posts: 1
    I live in Georgia and a 2003 Tahoe and noticed my speedometer had stopped working on Saturday. In park it sits on 40mph, I currently have 91,000. I need some advice on what to do. :mad:
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    Looks like everyone with a broken speedometer is gonna get taken care of. IKbum posted this notice:

    "Received Recall notice yesterday, for failure within first 7 years or 70,000 miles"
  • rwesley1rwesley1 Member Posts: 2
    I just spoke w/the svs mgr and my local Chev dealership & he said GM just came out w/a provision for the odometer problems where they w/fix or reimburse for repairs on your
    veh up to 7 yrs or 70,000 miles. He is going to fax me a claim form to get reimbursed. I'll believe it when I see the check.......w/keep this BB updated.
  • pats54pats54 Member Posts: 1
    My car is just over the 70,000 miles. Anyone get this fixed by a dealer with higher than 70,000 miles? I have appointment on Friday. Will most likely cancel unless they have parts.... :cry:
  • lkbumlkbum Member Posts: 6
    I took my 2004 Yukon XL in today with my letter from GM. They knew about the problem and asked to see the letter. They corrected me on a MAJOR point, this is NOT a RECALL, but a "Special Provision by GM" for replacement or reimbursement for failure. In other words, they only replace it if it fails within 70,000 miles or 7 years of service. This seemed kind of sketchy to me. Especially because it is limited to 70,000 miles (7 years should be more like 100,000 miles on average) . Mine failed at about 65,000 miles. A few more months and I might have been SOL.
    Sounds like GM took the cheap way out on a known problem, maybe they had analysis to show if the failure did not occur within 70,000 miles it never would, or maybe they just thought they would quiet the current batch of squeaky wheels with this half [non-permissible content removed] approach instead of a full recall.
  • farmmanfarmman Member Posts: 4
    Thats great for everyone who is under 70k my 2004 broke at 72k and it says that on the recipt sucks for me.....
  • phattenhauerphattenhauer Member Posts: 1
    Does the GM notice apply to 2003 models or just 2004? I have a 2003 Chevy Suburban w/ the same problem. Is the instrument cluster the same in both years?
  • lkbumlkbum Member Posts: 6
    The notice said within 70,000 miles or within 7 years of the date placed in service (I assume this is the purchase date). The letter was addressed to "me" on my "2004" vehicle. It made no reference to other model years or models for that matter, only "my" vehicle. Sorry I couldn't help more. The notice listed these numbers for assistance:
    Customer Service 866-996-9463
    Reimburesement 800-204-0261
  • tireguytireguy Member Posts: 200
    To read this forum you'd think the 04 Yukon is the biggest POS ever built.
    I have a 2004 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4x4, built in Janesville, WI. I have driven it 55,000 trouble free miles. Still looks like new, great service at my local dealership. Can't complain.
  • dgm1dgm1 Member Posts: 2
    Boy are you ever right. Issuing a recall would be a huge expense and would cost them a fortune so they are taking the easy way out. I have a 2004 Tahoe and the speedo stopped working around 65,000 miles. We attempted to have it fixed once to no avail. I now have 77,000 miles and just received the notice. I called the local dealer and they told me they would be happy to take care of it if GM approved. GM approved, but not the dealer (who way quite rude when they called me) says sorry you are over milage, did not purchase the vehicle here and have not had it serviced here. The veichle was purchased used from another GM dealer) I called GM again to complain and am waiting on a call back. Chevrolet customer did tell me that now dealerships are independently owned and they they no longer have all the say so. How sad is that,
  • dgm1dgm1 Member Posts: 2
    I too live in GA and have a 2004 Tahoe. The speedo stopped working around 65,000 and we attempted to fix once with no sucess. I now have 77,000 and am waiting on call back from GM as I was treated horibbly by Thornton Chevrolet in Lithia Springs. The 800 # to call to complain and ask for help is 800-630-2438.
    Good luck...
  • lkbumlkbum Member Posts: 6

    I'm glad you are pleased with your vehicle. I am for the most part, but it will be the last GM vehicle I purchase. I have had multiple problems, all pretty minor but it has been an absolute nightmare getting things fixed.

    When my rear window hinge broke (if this has not happened to you, it will), the dealer I normally used said they had never heard of this problem. I asked the rep. to look it up on the internet and he said "he didn't have internet access". I called GM and they connected me to another dealer who said they were fixing two to three of these a week. They wanted $800 for the new window and told me since I didn't use them for regular service they would not help me in anyway and suggested that I call my "normal" dealer back and telll them they were full of sh1t. I did this and once again they said they had never heard of the problem and therefore could not help me. I called my insurance company, used their glass repair service and had it done for $450. I called GM 4 times and after they realized this was my 3rd Suburban/Yukon in 10 years and I also own a GM truck they gave me a $400 service credit for oil changes and tire rotations.

    I have also had issues with paint peeling on the dash(fixed underwarranty but now peeling again). Water leaks (we're in a drought so I really don't know if this has been fixed), my rear A.C. blower motor was replaced (and has started making the same whinin nosie again), "flickering" lights (the dealer can't seem to replicate this one becuase they don't work on cars at night) and a whiny power steering pump which after replaced has worked ok. All have been repaired, for the most part, and under warranty. But each time the dealer has had the vehicle for more than a day and most times it took two trys to fix them and usaully they give me a song and dance about having to get approval from GM to fix the problem.

    This is unacceptable. I have a Toyota (1990 truck) and my wife drives a Lexus. The biggest difference in the products???? Toyota/Lexus stand behind their product when I've had problem, they admit it, fix it and offer a loaner if I'm incovienanced. I started buying GM again back in 1994 because the suburban was the only vehilce of it's type available and because my state (georgia) passed a lemon law. My 1994 was pretty good, I sold it with 120,000 miles on it. My 1999 was not quite as good, traded it with 90,000 miles because I could not sell it. I'd like to keep the 2004 for a few more years but my patience is really running thin.
  • fl04tahoefl04tahoe Member Posts: 1
    Guess I'm lucky, 04 Tahoe with speedometer failure at 29,000 miles but the 3/36 warranty expired a few months ago. GM dealer fixed it today for free. Paperwork states the IPC was replaced. The "letter" GM supposedly mailed out months ago - I received it today while the Tahoe was in the shop. GM's are just junk, I've owned my last one. I got the Tahoe thinking they've made it forever, they've got to have it figured out. That'll teach me to think.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Hey Tireguy, always good to see you! Hope you had a great Vets Day.
  • bigz04bigz04 Member Posts: 12
    Real quick thanks for posting the C.S. number (866-996-9463) My speedometer has been going crazy on and off the last month, in my case it will bounce under what speed I'm doing and shot back down to zero then start working fine again on my 2004 Chevy Silverado with 25,000 miles. The C.S. agent I talked to gave me all the info I need to have my local dealership fix it for free with no B.S.
  • madtexanmadtexan Member Posts: 2
    I just received my "letter" from Chevy yesterday, Nov. 13th. I'm in Texas. I noticed from this message board that some folks received their letters 2-3 weeks ago! What is first date someone received their letter? I'm at 72000 miles today and a couple of weeks ago I was under 70000 miles. I've been having the speedometer problem for over a year now but read about the lawsuits and was hoping for a full recall - not just an extension of the warranty! How lame is this???
  • madtexanmadtexan Member Posts: 2
    Do you know when GM mailed out initial letters for this "special provision"? I just received mine today, 11/14 and now I'm at 72000 miles! I have a call in to GM but haven't heard back. I'm hoping they will help me but if I have info about the letter being mailed to some folks months ago that will be good ammo for me to fight with!!!
  • dove5dove5 Member Posts: 1
  • kendra2kendra2 Member Posts: 8
    Same problem with mine. Is it possible to replace the speed sensor instead of the whole cluster?
  • kendra2kendra2 Member Posts: 8
    Same problem with ours. Of course over miles too. Any chance of fixing the speed sensor instead of whole cluster?
  • rheadrhead Member Posts: 1
    Is the 800# that you've mentioned a nationwide complaint center for GM, or is it specific to GA? Im in Texas, and our speedometer just went out today. It's stuck at 120 mph. The vehicle is a 2003 Suburban and we're approaching the 100,000 mile mark. As I've read through numerous responses in this forum, this is definitely an epidemic! Does anyone have any information regarding participation in this class action suit? Is there any formal petition that is being organized to document all of the cases? My apologies if this is old news! Thanks in advance for any advice that may be offered.
  • kendra2kendra2 Member Posts: 8
    This is a nationwide complaint number. I have been on the phone with them back and forth for a week or so. Our Tahoe is now at 84000 and the lady I have been dealing with has been very helpful. I am in SD, and basically what they do is check the VIN to see whether or not your vehicle falls within certain parameters. The dealership will tell you that it is 7 yrs or 70000 miles, but this isn't always the case. We are the second owners of this vehicle, and right now we are waiting on a response from the district manager about fixing our vehicle. I think many people just go with what the dealership says and leave it at that. I don't know much yet about the class action suit....still doing research on that, but I have not let GM off that easy yet. Call them and keep bugging them until you get a clearer answer than what your dealership will tell you.
  • pete56pete56 Member Posts: 1
    54,000 miles on my 2004 XUV and the dealer says the whole cluster needs to be changed out. First time looking at this forum and apparently mind is one of many that failed. Is GM going to do a recall?
  • wally13wally13 Member Posts: 2
    Please post back on what you find out. I have an 03 Tahoe and got my letter in the mail yesterday. I have a tach and a fuel gauge not working for the past year. Unfortunately I have 84000 miles on the Tahoe. I called GM and they said it would be up to the dealership. They also told me the dealership would charge me a diagnostic fee for telling me they don't work. I asked how this could be a reasonable approach for some dealerships to cover the cost and others are SOL. I have found a great website at for a fairly easy fix on the stepper motors that are causing the problem. It would cost around $50.00 to change all of the gauges stepper motors. Fight with GM and the dealerships or do it yourself? What to do??? Please post if you are getting them fixed by the dealership with over 70,000 miles. What an easy out for GM!! :mad:
  • silveradomasilveradoma Member Posts: 1
    I received the letter yesterday. It was kind of vague. I have a 2003 Silverado with 26,000 miles on it. I have not had the problem with the speedometer or gas gauge, but have had the problem with the tachometer. The letter stated instrument cluster...including speedometer and gas gauge. I'd like to know if the tach is included in this.
  • tater1tater1 Member Posts: 2
    Just for the record. Speedometer started having problems about 1 1/2 years ago. Sometimes it will stick at 65 mph. Then it will drop to 0 mph while on the highway cruising along with Cruise Control engaged. Seems to be OK in the morning when first starting out, but by the end of the day is either stuck at 65 mph or has dropped to 0. No rhyme or reason. Seems to reset when first starting engine, but only drops about 10 mph while reading gage when stuck at higher mph (future starter problems). Informed dealership of problem and was told it would cost $600.00 to fix (out of warranty). When I told the dealership that there was a class action suit for same problem they played dumb. Have not received letter. Will try phone numbers seen on this thread. Thanks!
Sign In or Register to comment.