Fiat Chrysler and Cummins Inc. are facing class action lawsuits over misrepresentation of “clean” diesel emissions in some of its pickup trucks and SUVs.
Advertising for the Dodge Ram 2500 diesel truck claimed it was the “strongest, cleanest, quietest best-in-class”. EPA investigations showed the claims to be untrue, prompting a number of lawsuits. Class actions later expanded to include additional diesel pickups and SUVs.
Lawsuits claim that Fiat Chrysler and engine maker Cummins, along with parts manufacturer Bosch conspired to hide high diesel emissions.
Affected vehicles include:
- Dodge Ram 3500 (2007-2015)
- Dodge Ram 2500 (2007-2015)
- Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (2014-2016)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel (2014-2016)
People who owned or operated Jeep or Dodge Ram diesel truck may have paid more for cleaner emissions than they would have paid for equivalent gasoline vehicles.
Dodge and Cummins Claimed Diesel Emissions Safe
Recent investigations conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised concerns and have concluded that diesel emissions from a number of Dodge and Jeep vehicles may be much higher than claimed. Advertising and marketing materials for the affected trucks included claims of “cleanest” and “best-in-class”.
Marketing and other materials stated that the trucks achieved the “world’s lowest 2010 EPA NOx standard,” but outside testing has shown the vehicles emit dangerous levels of NOx many times higher than the gasoline engines in the same models.
The automobiles addressed in recent consumer lawsuits include engines manufactured by well-known diesel engine manufacturer, Cummins Inc.
Following multiple lawsuits filed against Chrysler concerning the Adsorber engines in its Dodge trucks, the company is now suing Cummins for $60 million – the amount Chrysler was forced to pay to repair emissions systems in more than 40,000 of its vehicles.
Catalytic Converter Failure to Blame in Certain Vehicles
A separate investigation is underway by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. The organizations are working together to resolve an issue with Dodge Ram 2500 pickup trucks model years 2013 through 2015. The Cummins diesel engines experience deactivation of the catalyst reduction system when exposed to moisture, leading to excess nitrogen oxide emissions.
Cummins has been accused of intentionally misleading owners of Dodge Ram diesel vehicles about emissions levels. According to complaints, emissions from the trucks were higher than Dodge advertised, due to catalytic converter which broke down at a quicker rate than expected.
What Happens When Diesel Engines Emit High Levels of NOx?
The manufacturer now faces legal action and anyone who purchased a Dodge Ram 2500 might be entitled to file a claim against Dodge.
Though diesel does offer added power and increased fuel efficiency, they are also proven to emit higher levels of harmful emissions including Nitrogen Oxides that react to sunlight and form harmful ozone which may be harmful to the environment
Exposure to NOx emissions is linked to respiratory illness and in some cases, cardiovascular effects, and fatalities and has been suspected of contributing to immune disorders. Children and the elderly, particularly those with existing immune or respiratory issues, are most affected.
Cummins and Chrysler Falsely Claimed the Trucks used “Clean” Diesel Engines
Chrysler and Cummins worked together to create the Adsorber diesel engine with a NOx absorber, that the companies claimed would filter and reduce emissions. Marketing and advertising stated that their engine was better than other options on the market, calling it the “cleanest, quietest, and strongest” and “best in class”. Vehicle owners and lessees paid several thousand dollars more to get the engines which were said to be cleaner.
Testing has shown however, that engines have proven to be dirtier and feature a defective catalytic converter that actually burns fuel at a higher rate. Replacing the defective catalytic converters comes at a cost of between $3000 and $5000 for owners.
Dodge Ram 2500 Emissions Lawsuits
According to lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of the Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee engines, Chrysler and Cummins were deceptive in their marketing practices and failed to disclose their engines emit higher levels of pollutants than gasoline engines, and at higher levels than allowed by federal and state regulations.
The EPA and Department of Justice Settled some civil lawsuits against Fiat Chrysler for emissions cheating using a computer program for $800 million in fines and other fees. Some individual lawsuits may also have been settled, however others may remain in courts or have yet to be settled.
Consumers allege Chrysler is guilty of failure to disclose and is accused of having exclusive knowledge the emissions systems in the diesel trucks were manipulated to conceal the high levels of emissions from consumers and regulators. Chrysler is still facing numerous lawsuits file by owners and lessees of Dodge Ram 3500, 2500 or 1500 diesel truck or Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel vehicles.