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Old 09-18-2007, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default GM/Dex-Cool Class Action Update 2

Here is an update on this, as I promised I would post when received. Notice that they were not able to certify this as a multi-state class action suit and now will attempt to file individual class action suits by state.

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We are writing to update you on the status of the Dex-Cool litigation. This email addresses the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) multi-state case pending in East St. Louis, Illinois. It does not concern vehicles purchased in Missouri, California, or Texas, which are expressly excluded from the MDL case. Additionally, this email concerns the 3.1L, 3.4L, 3.8L, and 4.3L engine platforms, which are at issue in the MDL case.

As we previously reported, plaintiffs in the MDL asked the Court to certify the following issues for resolution at trial:

1. Whether the intake manifold gaskets in GM’* 3.1L, 3.4L and 3.8L engines (model years 1996- 2003) are incompatible with Dex-Cool engine coolant, causing the gaskets to fail prematurely; and

2. Whether the engine cooling systems in GM’* 4.3L engine (model years 1996-2000) is incompatible with Dex-Cool engine coolant, causing excessive sludge in the engine’* cooling system.

Unfortunately, the Court denied plaintiffs’ request to certify the class. Among other things, the Court found that the differing state laws, including the requirement in some states that consumers seeking relief for breach of warranty prove “reliance” on the warranty at the time of purchase, and the possible difficulty of figuring out the cause of “sludge” on a class-wide basis, warrant against class certification. It is important for you to understand that the Court’* decision denying class certification is not a decision on the merits of plaintiffs’ case. Instead, it is a decision on whether it is procedurally appropriate for the case to proceed as a class action, as requested by plaintiffs.

We are in the process of determining whether to ask the Court to certify individual state classes on behalf of a more limited line of GM vehicles. Because we have yet to decide on an appropriate course of action, if you are considering pursing a “gasket” or “sludge” claim against GM, such as in your local small claims court, you should not delay in doing so, as the passage of time may effect your rights. If you have a vehicle with a 3.1L, 3.4L or 3.8L engine and have experienced a lower intake manifold gasket failure, and would like us to consider pursing a “gasket” class action limited to your state, please let us know and we will expedite the necessary research and let you know whether such an action is feasible under your state’* laws. If you would like us to undertake such research, you may contact us at [email protected].

Girard Gibbs llp
601 California Street, Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 981-4800
Fax: (415) 981-4846
www.girardgibbs.com
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:32 PM   #2
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I am interested to know how anyone figures that dex-cool is the cause of intake gaskets blowing... anyone who has torn a 3100/3400/L36 down can see just how poor the gasket design is, and there is a REASON why the new gaskets you buy from GM and Felpro are drastically different then the OE ones.

I've done intake gaskets on several 1995 L36 cars, that came from the factory with standard green coolant and their gaskets blew just the same.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:37 AM   #3
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Dexcool has a property in it that turns acidic once air is introduced into the system. This particular acidic property eats the plastic that GM uses in their intakes. Thats why we are having to do intake gaskets on 3.1s and 3.4s at 60,000 miles. In fact, most GM techs recommend that you flush out the dexcool at 50,000 mikes or less. My Grandmas 04 Century has a 3.1 with 40,000 miles on it. I just flushed the dexcool out because it looked like muddy water. Their was a peanut butter sludge built up around the radiator cap. You dont really see that with the green coolant, especially with 40K on the motor
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:55 AM   #4
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Thats all fine and well, however it does not explain how the early L36 cars that used the conventional green coolant still have this issue. dexcool does start to break down around 50k or so, and should be changed accordingly, and if you mix dex and green coolant it will turn into an acid of some sort, and cause all sorts of problems down the road.

I know of and drive a 98' regal GS with over 200k that has had dexcool all its life and it has yet to have any intake gasket failure, namely because the L67 and L36 have different intake gaskets. lets assume dexcool is at fault here, how come 2.4s and 2200s, and whatever else had dexcool in it seem to be just fine?

and furthermore why would GM completely redesign their intake gaskets, but not release a TSB to change out dexcool for conventional?

It is poor gasket design at fault here, not the coolant.
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White93z34
Thats all fine and well, however it does not explain how the early L36 cars that used the conventional green coolant still have this issue. dexcool does start to break down around 50k or so, and should be changed accordingly, and if you mix dex and green coolant it will turn into an acid of some sort, and cause all sorts of problems down the road.

I know of and drive a 98' regal GS with over 200k that has had dexcool all its life and it has yet to have any intake gasket failure, namely because the L67 and L36 have different intake gaskets. lets assume dexcool is at fault here, how come 2.4s and 2200s, and whatever else had dexcool in it seem to be just fine?

and furthermore why would GM completely redesign their intake gaskets, but not release a TSB to change out dexcool for conventional?

It is poor gasket design at fault here, not the coolant.


Are you talking about the UIM gasket or the LIM gaskets between the heads and aluminum lower intake?
The UIM and UIM gaskets do fail whether or not they have dexcool. It is just a matter of when. The L36 LIM gaskets will fail also, just like the L67 gaskets.... There are a few lucky people with high miles on their original LIM gaskets with dexcool, but if they were to pop the LIM out they'd see there are definitely going to be sign of damage from the dexcool.
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:21 AM   #6
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If I get a chance I will take a picture of an intake that I have sitting at the shop. I took it off a 97 Grand Prix GT with a 3.8 and 177K with the original dexcool in it. The coolant became so acidic that it ate aprox. 3/8" INTO the intake at several spots. The gaskets were like rubber. It was a mess. The lower intake had to be replaced due to the errosion damage that the dexcool caused to the aluminum
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:19 AM   #7
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The failure we see on the LIM'* is heat and poor gasket quality related.

Dude..I've seen tons of these gaskets and discussed this many times with the other gearheads and an ASE Certified mechanic friend that I work with frequently. Dex sludges..and yes if not cared for properly it can become acidic. Most likely..it'* the heat that is causing the issue.

Take a good look at the gaskets you are replacing. Do the intake runner gasket area also have the collapsing? The ones I see do. How can we explain that an air/fuel mixture area collapses as well as the coolant area.

WillWren and I have also discussed this and he provided a theory about wicking. Ok.. I understand wicking and agree it can happen to an extent. However to breach two of the gaskets one around the coolant port and one at the intake port via wicking and destroy only the inner piece of the gasket.. .that' getting into magic bullet theory country.

Sorry Lash.. looks like I took this a bit further off topic.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDude
If I get a chance I will take a picture of an intake that I have sitting at the shop. I took it off a 97 Grand Prix GT with a 3.8 and 177K with the original dexcool in it.
Exactly.. the coolant should have been replaced at very least 77,000 ago per standard maintenance. but better yet it should have been changed 127,000 ago. and that would have never became an issue.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:50 AM   #9
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That'* OK Bill, and everyone else, lol.

It'* pretty hard to post anything regarding Dexcool without getting into the whole DID TOO/DID NOT discussion. I posted it as informational only, for those that might have an interest.

As to the whole Dexcool argument, I've previously stated my opinions elsewhere. I just know that I prefer the newer non-Dexcool long life green coolants, since they do not require high maintenance to make sure they don't damage something. Anytime someone says something to the effect of "Well sure it ate your intake, because you left it in there too long." I wonder why I would want it in there in the first place.

Being human, I (like many another average schmoe out there) will sometimes miss a scheduled maintenance. If I do, I want to know that whatever product I'm using won't punish me for doing so. That'* also the reason why I choose to use Mobil 1.

But, as different strokes satisfy different folks, it bothers me not one iota that others have different opinions than me and choose different products for different reasons.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
dexcool does start to break down around 50k or so, and should be changed accordingly,
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't my owners manual on my 1996 SSE (L36) tell me that I don't have to flush until 100k miles, a selling point of Dex-Cool? I remember this discussion from a thread back a few months when I was changing my gaskets. It went along the lines of "you need to maintain your maintenance free coolant system".

Or am I thinking of something else...
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