Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is facing a class action lawsuit over door-latching systems in Chrysler and Dodge vehicles.
The lawsuit claims FCA sold vehicles with defective door-latching systems that cause doors to either “refuse to lock or to prevent the door from opening after it is locked.” The defective door latches require costly replacements and owners are stuck paying for them.
The class action seeks to represent persons or entities who own or lease 2013 to 2020 model year Dodge Grand Caravans and model year 2013 to 2016 Chrysler Town and Country vehicles.
The lead plaintiff, Lisa White, is a resident of Maine. According to the lawsuit, she purchased a 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan. Subsequently, she realized the rear passenger side door on her vehicle had stopped locking. An authorized FCA dealership found the problem. But they charged her to fix it.
The class action claims the door latch defect presents a significant safety problem for both vehicle operators and passengers. Single or multiple doors may not lock at a particular time, even though the operator believes they are locked. Or, the locks may not open, requiring passengers to exit through other doors, or even windows.
For those reasons, the lawsuit claims the door latch defect makes owners more vulnerable to crime, unexpected door openings during vehicle operation, and could present difficulty exiting the vehicles if an accident occurs. The lawsuit alleges the defective door latches are particularly dangerous for children because doors can open while the vehicles are in motion.
The lawsuit is White v. FCA US LLC, No. 2:21-cv-11696-JEL-DRG. It is pending in the Eastern District of Michigan before District Court Judge Judith E. Levy.