2008 Chevrolet ImpalaEnlarge Photo
Do you own a 2007 or 2008 Chevrolet Impala? Have you gone through an alarmingly high number of rear tires since you’ve owned the car? If so, you may want to look into a class-action lawsuit filed against General Motors that alleges the automaker knowingly ignored problems with the rear suspension spindle rods on civilian versions of the Impala.
The rear spindle rods control the alignment of the rear wheels. Defective rear spindle rods can cause incorrect camber, resulting in premature tire wear.
A July 2008 service bulletin addressed the issue on Impala models built for law enforcement, but did not extend to civilian cars. Some 2007 and 2008 Impala owners have gone through a set of rear tires in as few as 6,000 miles. Many have worn out tires in less than 25,000 miles, regardless of a tire’s treadwear rating.
The suit seeks replacement of the rear suspension spindle rods, and potentially rear tires, on affected vehicles, exactly the same repair covered in GM’s law-enforcement-only service bulletin.
A GM spokeswoman acknowledged the service bulletin for law enforcement Impalas, but stated that vehicles built for law enforcement often use heavier-duty suspension components. An attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit disagreed, stating that there were no significant differences between rear spindle rods on civilian and law enforcement Impalas, yet GM opted to issue a service bulletin for law enforcement customers only.
Supporting the plaintiffs’ claims are years of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Impala premature rear tire wear, something the agency has never investigated.