Update 1/12/2017: Models now include Dodge Ram 1500 trucks and light-duty model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Cummins Inc. and Chrysler face accusations regarding claims Chrysler’s Dodge Ram 2500 truck is the “strongest, cleanest, quietest best-in-class”. Recent discoveries related to emissions tests on the vehicles show these claims to be false and now owners and lessees are taking legal action.
According to statements from the manufacturers, the trucks achieved the “world’s lowest 2010 EPA NOx standard,” but in reality, the vehicles emit dangerous levels of NOx many times higher than the gasoline engines in the same models. The manufacturer now faces legal action and anyone who purchased a Dodge Ram 2500 might be entitled to file a claim against Dodge.
Dodge and Cummins Combine to Mislead Consumers
Long before questions arose about dodgy claims involving the company’s diesel engines, Chrysler contact Cummins, a respected name in engine manufacturing, about purchasing engines for its medium and heavy duty trucks. 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. Legal experts familiar with the case estimate the final costs could reach $200 million.
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.
Most recently, on November 28 of this year, a class action lawsuit was filed in Detroit alleging Cummins intentionally misled owners of Dodge Ram diesel vehicles about emissions levels. According to the suit, emissions from the trucks were higher than Dodge advertised, causing catalytic converters to break down at a quicker rate than expected.
What Happens When Diesel Engines Emit High Levels of NOx?
Though diesel does offer added power and increased fuel efficiency, they are also proven to emit higher levels of harmful emissions including nitrogen and oxygen atom that react to sunlight and form harmful ozone. Exposure to emissions is linked to respiratory illness and in some cases, cardiovascular effects and fatalities. Children and the elderly, particularly those with existing respiratory issues, are most effected.
“Clean” Diesel Engine Anything But…
Chrysler and Cummins worked together to create an Adsorber diesel engine with a NOx absorber, that the companies claimed would filter and reduce emissions. The companies stated their engine was better than other options on the market, calling it the cleanest, quietest, and strongest, but since hitting the market, the 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.
According to the lawsuit filed against the manufacturers of the 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.
Owners and lessees of Dodge Ram 2500s are now in the process of filing lawsuits related to their monetary and property losses after investing in their vehicles. The investigation continues into whether Cummins, Inc. and Chrysler misled consumers regarding the oxide emissions and efficiency of diesel engines in Dodge Ram 2500 vehicles.
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. A nationwide class action lawsuit has been launched for all those who owned or leased a Dodge Ram 2500 diesel vehicle. If you have not yet received notice of the class action, you are encouraged to contact our office to discuss the details of your case and determine if you are eligible to join the class.