Ram Lawsuit: Defect In Trucks Causes Low MPGs, Costly Repairs and More

July 2017 Cummins, Feature Trevor Mason

While it’s not exactly hard to feel bad for giant corporations when bad things happen to them, you have to admit that FCA has been getting kicked in the teeth a lot lately. I suppose there’s an element of schadenfreude (look it up) to it, too. So what’s the latest? A lawsuit filed by Hagens Berman (who, it must be noted, seem to always be involved in these class-action lawsuits; draw your own conclusions) alleges that FCA “knowingly sold hundreds of thousands of Dodge RAM 2500 and 3500 trucks equipped with a Cummins engine which has a defect that leads to lower gas mileage, non EPA-compliant emissions levels, and costly and frequent vehicle repairs.”

According to the lawsuit, the selective catalytic converter (SCR) in 2013-2017 RAM 2500 and 3500s will break down and the filter gets clogged, triggering a regen cycle. Not only that, but when the trucks are taken to a dealer to get fixed, FCA is simply having them reflash the computer to have it burn even more fuel to clean the filter out, all of which results in drastically lower MPGs, as much as 25 percent.

“Instead of putting consumers first and acting to fix the washcoat defect, FCA and Cummins wasted time and resources, pointing fingers and suing one another, using the defect as leverage in their dispute,” says Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “We consider this case as a smoking gun - clearly FCA and Cummins were fully aware of this washcoat defect. But they placed other priorities above its obligation to fix its defective product and to remedy the harmful pollution these trucks are emitting.”

Adding fuel to the proverbial fire, it appears that FCA and Cummins are at each other’s throats right now as well. The two companies are embroiled in their own lawsuit: FCA claims that Cummins should be liable for the recall; Cummins obviously thinks that it’s FCA’s fault. “FCA refuses [to effect the recall] for one reason – money. FCA is holding both Cummins and its own customers hostage to FCA’s commercial demands,” according to Cummins.

It’s enough to make you just want to steer clear of RAMs for a little while. At the very least, do a little research before you pick up a new pickup.

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