The more complex cars become, the greater the chance something will break.
It's not a huge surprise an issue like this has come up and, unfortunately, it's likely not going to be the last time. According to CarComplaints.com, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Cadillac by owners and lessees alleging the "Cadillac User Experience," or CUE, infotainment screens crack, delaminate, bubble, and then become unresponsive within a fairly short period of time. The following models are listed in the lawsuit:
• 2013-2017 Cadillac ATS
• 2013-2016 Cadillac SRX
• 2013-2017 Cadillac XTS
• 2014-2017 Cadillac CTS
• 2014-2017 Cadillac ELR
• 2014-2017 Cadillac Escalade
One such case was that of plaintiff Tonya Gruchacz. She bought a brand new 2014Cadillac ATS a few years ago but while the vehicle was still within its 4-year/50,000 mile warranty, the CUE screen stopped working. She contacted her local dealership only to be told the vehicle was no longer under warranty and fixing the infotainment system would cost her $1,200. She refused, but then the screen got worse. It cracked a few months later. The dealership, once again, said the repair job would be $1,200. But what was different this time was that the dealer admitted to seeing shattered and unresponsive touchscreens in other vehicles.
The lawsuit states she was told by the dealership they "see this issue all the time…the screen is not cracked, it's the laminate." She again was quoted a repair price, this time $1,053.58. It turns out Cadillac sent technical service bulletins to its dealers in December 2014 and again in August 2017 regarding the CUE screens appearing to bubble, crack, or delaminate. Technicians were told to replace the entire CUE navigation and radio system.
The class-action lawsuit states that the 2014 bulletin refers to existing customer complaints, allegedly proving GM was aware of the defective systems before 2014. So now the question is why did the CUE touchscreens fail? The lawsuit blames it on the adhesive film and glass, which become separated, aka delaminated. This separation causes gaps between the electrode arrays which, in turn, causes electrical problems with the screens themselves. These gaps, which allowed moisture to enter between the materials, allegedly resulted from faulty manufacturing or improper installation.
The lawsuit claims GM should have been able to prevent this all from happening through internal testing prior to production and by paying proper attention to customer complaints. Furthermore, GM allegedly concealed information about how the screens crack and delaminate in order to allow themselves to sell more cars.