Corvette Z06 ‘supercar’ not so super, suit says

When General Motors introduced the Corvette Z06 three years ago it described the sleek racing machine as “a true world-class supercar.”

Instead, according to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit West Palm Beach attorney Jason Weisser filed this month in U.S. District Court, it’s a dud.

Instead of roaring around the track looking at their competitors in the rear-view mirror, weekend racing enthusiasts find themselves in the pit, waiting for the Corvette’s high-powered engine to cool down, Weisser said.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It’s a brilliant car. It’s an amazing car. But for GM to deny it doesn’t have this problem is laughable.”

He should know.

Weisser is among an estimated 30,000 car lovers from throughout the world who plunked down an average of $100,000 for what Chevrolet and its parent company promised would be the car of their dreams. Instead, he claims, the promises, like their cars at the end of several laps, were idle.

Like many of his fellow Z06 owners, Weisser doesn’t use the car just for transportation.

Instead, he engages in what high-speed junkies know as high-performance driving experiences, the chance to race their cars on tracks, with names like Daytona, Sebring and Homestead. For a fee, they get to test their mettle on ovals of asphalt that professional drivers have made famous.

Unfortunately, he and the six drivers he is representing in what he hopes will become a class-action lawsuit say the Z06 Corvette is merely testing their patience.

“If you don’t pit your car to let it cool down, you’ll go into limp mode,” he said. Further, he claims in the lawsuit, the over-heating problem that causes the car to abruptly lose speed is dangerous both on tracks and on public roads.

“A Z06 rapidly decelerating on a highway is dangerous and can result in a high-speed collision,” he wrote in the 198-page lawsuit he filed with Coral Gables attorney Stuart Grossman and Seattle attorney Steve Berman. “This defect is unacceptable for customers who own a Z06.”
» GM appeal of ignition switch ruling rejected by high court 

GM officials declined comment on the allegations that, Weisser said, also have surfaced on dozens of Internet forums. But the car, introduced in the 2015 model year, also has won accolades. In its augural year, it was the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500.

While GM has honored its warranties and agreed to repair cars that have overheated, there is no fix, Weisser said. “It’s just about air flow,” he said. “It’s just a bad design.”

The company tried to modify the engine in the 2017 models. But, he said, the problem persists.

It is most pronounced in hot climates, he said. Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s chief engineer, acknowledged as much in a February 2015 statement, Weisser said.

“Some may wonder why don’t we design to higher temperatures, say 110 degrees, to accommodate southern tracks in the summer,” Juechter wrote. “We have used the ‘pro driver at 86 degrees’ criteria for generations of Corvettes and for the vast majority of customers, it has resulted in excellent performance for their usage.”

To design the Corvette for higher temperatures, would force engineers to make it bigger, he said. That would have “a huge impact on appearance and aerodynamic drag,” Juechter wrote.

» GM raises output of self-driving Bolts, boosts test fleet 

Weisser isn’t buying it. Motorists, including ones in Florida, Texas, Alabama and other hot spots, bought the Z06 after being told by GM that it was a proven track car. Since it isn’t, the company should buy back the cars or offer dissatisfied customers exchanges. Cars that have overheated have been damaged. Further, with word out about their problems, the cars have lost their resale value.

The technology exists to correct the problem, he said. GM engineers have figured out a way to turn late model Camaros into racing beasts. They should be able to do the same for the Corvette, its signature sports car, he said.

“The Camaro was the little brother of the Corvette until now,” he said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park
Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park

A Tennessee family filed a $750,000 lawsuit against Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Cordova.  Two parents filed the lawsuit in Shelby County Circuit Court last week on behalf of their son, who was injured on a rope course at the park in September 2017.  “He was given a harness by an employee, and after he had...
Texas schoolwork asking for 'positive aspects' of slave life 'unacceptable'
Texas schoolwork asking for 'positive aspects' of slave life 'unacceptable'

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, took to Twitter on Thursday to call out a San Antonio school assignment about slavery that he called “unacceptable.”  Castro tweeted an image of the assignment, which asked students to list both positive and negative aspects to living as a slave.  The charter school where the assignment...
Southwest Airlines reportedly gives $5,000 checks to passengers from Flight 1380
Southwest Airlines reportedly gives $5,000 checks to passengers from Flight 1380

At least three passengers who were aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 received a $5,000 check in a letter from the airline, CNN reported Friday. One passenger, 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died after debris from the plane’s engine blew out a window. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing...
Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed
Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed

A man who was stabbed early Thursday morning while at a Pittsburgh bar remained at the establishment for 30 minutes before leaving, investigators said. Police were called about 2 a.m. to a residential area near Pollock’s Cafe. Investigators said the 40-year-old victim was stabbed in the shoulder after he apparently got into a fight with another...
Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday
Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday

Arizona teachers voted in favor of a strike Thursday night as the educators demanded higher wages and better classroom conditions, KTAR reported. The walkout is scheduled for next Thursday. “Seventy-eight percent of the school employees in this state said yes,” Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association said during...
More Stories