FCA Dodge Ram 1500s May Catch Fire Wisconsin Class Action

The owner of plaintiff Kwaterski Construction, Inc., Mark Kwaterski, was driving his 2016 Ram truck on the interstate when smoke began to fill its cabin and the vehicle lost power. Kwaterski had to pull over to the left. He and the four young children with him were able to make it out of the truck before a number of explosions occurred and the vehicle burst into flames. The complaint for this class action brings suit against FCA US, LLC, the truck’s maker, for selling Dodge Ram vehicles equipped with 3.0 EcoDiesel engines that have “grossly defective” EGR coolers, which can cause such incidents.

The class for this action is all persons or entities in Wisconsin who bought or leased a 2014-2019 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck or 1500 Classic truck equipped with a 3.0 EcoDiesel engine.

US diesel trucks in the US use cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems as part of their efforts to meet federal nitrogen oxide emissions standards. The complaint alleges that the EGR systems in the 3.0 EcoDiesel’s engine are “susceptible to thermal fatigue.”

It quotes a National Highway Traffic Safety recall document as saying, “Thermal fatigue may cause the cooler to crack internally over time. An EGR cooler with an internal crack will introduce preheated, vaporized coolant to the EGR system while the engine is running. In certain circumstances, this mixture interacts with other hydrocarbons and air in the system, potentially resulting in a combustion within the intake manifold, which may lead to a vehicle fire.”

FCA announced its recall of the vehicles in October 2019. Unfortunately, FCA also said that “the remedy for this condition is not currently available” and told drivers to wait for further notification before scheduling a service appointment.

In the meantime, it told vehicle owners to “monitor their coolant levels” and to tell their dealers if the levels were “consistently low.” The complaint asserts, “This created the impression that consumer monitoring would be adequate to mitigate the danger, and that if a customer made a dealership aware of low coolant levels, then contacting the dealership would enable the customer to obtain some remedy.”

Although FCA later notified some owners that a fix was available for 2014-2016 model years, the complaint claims, “it appears that affected owners and lessees are still routinely being denied a fix due to part unavailability.” Dealerships were told only to replace the cooler “if the part has failed.” The instruction adds that if “the customer is still concerned for their safety, please provide the customer with a loaner vehicle until such time that the remedy for the recall is available.”

According to the complaint, this comes “only five years after FCA received a record civil penalty from the federal government… That penalty was included in an amendment to a 2015 consent order NHTSA issued regarding FCA’s administration of two dozen safety recalls, with total penalties from that investigation totaling $175 million.”

The counts include breaches of warranties and fraudulent concealment, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: News

Most Recent Case Event

FCA Dodge Ram 1500s May Catch Fire Wisconsin Class Action

October 15, 2020

The owner of plaintiff Kwaterski Construction, Inc., Mark Kwaterski, was driving his 2016 Ram truck on the interstate when smoke began to fill its cabin and the vehicle lost power. Kwaterski had to pull over to the left. He and the four young children with him were able to make it out of the truck before a number of explosions occurred and the vehicle burst into flames. The complaint for this class action brings suit against FCA US, LLC, the truck’s maker, for selling Dodge Ram vehicles equipped with 3.0 EcoDiesel engines that have “grossly defective” EGR coolers, which can cause such incidents.

FCA Dodge Ram 1500s May Catch Fire Wisconsin Class Action

Case Event History

FCA Dodge Ram 1500s May Catch Fire Wisconsin Class Action

October 15, 2020

The owner of plaintiff Kwaterski Construction, Inc., Mark Kwaterski, was driving his 2016 Ram truck on the interstate when smoke began to fill its cabin and the vehicle lost power. Kwaterski had to pull over to the left. He and the four young children with him were able to make it out of the truck before a number of explosions occurred and the vehicle burst into flames. The complaint for this class action brings suit against FCA US, LLC, the truck’s maker, for selling Dodge Ram vehicles equipped with 3.0 EcoDiesel engines that have “grossly defective” EGR coolers, which can cause such incidents.

FCA Dodge Ram 1500s May Catch Fire Wisconsin Class Action
Tags: Defective Automobile, Engine Cooler, Engine Defects