A class action alleges that the valve train system in certain FCA vehicle engines is defective, and FCA has recently announced it is discontinuing manufacture of the engines, ending with the 2023 model years. The lawsuit contends FCA has been aware of this defect since 2013, which can allegedly result in problems including engine failure, but has actively concealed its existence and otherwise transferred the repair costs to consumers.
The plaintiffs seek to bring the lawsuit on behalf of the owners and lessees of certain Dodge, RAM, Jeep, and Chrysler vehicles equipped with a Gen III 5.7-liter HEMI or 6.4-liter HEMI 392 V-8 engine, model years 2014 to present. A “partial list” of vehicles included in the lawsuit consists of:
- 2014-2016 Chrysler 300
- 2014-2016 Dodge Challenger
- 2014-2016 Dodge Charger
- 2014-2021 Dodge Durango
- 2014-2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 2014-2020 RAM 1500
- 2014-2022 RAM 2500
- 2014-2022 RAM 3500
According to the complaint, the defect poses a serious safety concern: “Loss of power while driving, especially at highway speeds, or while trying to merge or change lanes, hesitation, surging, and stalling all significantly increase the risk of vehicle collision.”
One of the named plaintiffs, Illinois resident Shawn Petro, alleges he experienced the defect in his 2020 RAM 2500, which had a 6.4L V8 Hemi engine. As asserted in the complaint, while driving, Petro heard ticking noises coming from the engine, but the dealership assured him the noise was normal. He returned months later and complained about the loud ticking noise the engine made soon after he started the vehicle, as well as a knocking noise when the tachometer reached 1700 revolutions per minute. The dealership again told him the noises were normal. He then made a video recording of his vehicle making the ticking and knocking noises, which he showed a technician, and the dealership replaced all lifters in the engine and returned the vehicle.
However, Petro further claims, FCA has not notified of him any potential permanent repair or change to the maintenance schedule that would repair the defect or prevent it from damaging his vehicle, and the dealership informed him it would no longer provide warranty repairs of any kind, at FCA’s direction.
The lawsuit raises claims including fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, and violation of state consumer laws. It seeks remedies including damages and restitution.
The case is Petro et al. v. FCA US LLC, case number 1:22-cv-00621, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.