A federal district Court rejected Fiat Chrysler’s (FCA) attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit claiming it sold vehicles prone to coolant leaks.
The lawsuit alleges that since 2013, FCA sold Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with defective EGR coolers. It claims the defective coolers “are susceptible to thermal fatigue, leading the coolers to crack over time and leak coolant.” The cracks and leaks purportedly could lead to fires. The lawsuit also alleges the defect causes vehicles to lose power.
According to the class action complaint, FCA voluntarily issued a recall of vehicles equipped with the EGR coolers in 2019 and acknowledged the defect poses a safety hazard. But the lawsuit claims FCA forces customers to wait until the part has actually failed before fixing it and is “putting affected owners and lessees back on the road without a fix.”
FCA hoped to escape the lawsuit with a motion to dismiss, but District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy rejected its attempt to throw the lawsuit out.
FCA argued that customers lacked standing to sue if their trucks did not malfunction or if they participated in FCA’s recall. However, Judge Murphy disagreed because such consumers suffered an injury of paying a higher price for their trucks than they would have paid if they knew about the defect.
The lawsuit is Crawford v. FCA US LLC, f/k/a Chrysler Group, No. 2:20-cv-12341-SJM-DRG, in the Eastern District of Michigan.