— A Jaguar Land Rover timing chain lawsuit alleges multiple models have timing chain systems that cause failures of the engines.
This proposed class-action involves 2012-2014 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles equipped with 8-cylinder multi-valve 5-liter AJ-V8 Gen III engines.
- 2012-2014 Land Rover LR4
- 2012-2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
- 2012-2014 Land Rover Range Rover
- 2012-2014 Jaguar XF
- 2012-2014 Jaguar XJ
- 2012-2014 Jaguar XK
- 2012-2014 Jaguar XFR
- 2012-2014 Jaguar XJR
- 2012-2014 Jaguar XKR
- 2012-2014 Jaguar F-Type
Failure of the timing chains allegedly causes the camshafts and crankshafts to go out of synchronization and lose power, or causes the pistons and valves to slam into each other.
A driver will likely hear noise caused by a loose or worn timing chain before it completely fails. And damage to the engine will cause acceleration and stalling problems, with the possibility of catastrophic engine failure as the valves hit the pistons.
The timing chains in the Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles can also allegedly suffer from too much slack in the chains from excessive wear to the chain sprockets.
According to the lawsuit, the timing chain tensioning rails, used to regulate the timing chain tension, are made with cast aluminum while the tensioner pistons are made of hardened steel. But the plaintiff says those rails are defective and fail prematurely, a problem the automaker knew about before the vehicles were sold.
The plaintiff claims there is a contact point between the piston-rail that causes a wear point in the tensioning rail that causes outward movement of the tensioner piston, as well as chain slack and the chain rattle heard by drivers.
The plaintiff says in addition to the cost and hassle of timing chain failures, there is a serious safety issue to deal with when a vehicle loses power steering and power brakes while driving.
The lawsuit also alleges that while the timing chains fail, the owner's manuals for the vehicles say nothing about inspecting the timing chains or performing maintenance on the chain assemblies because timing chains should last at least 150,000 miles.
In place of timing chains that last 150,000 miles, the lawsuit alleges the affected vehicles are equipped with chains that fail at less than 50 percent of their expected lifespans.
Plaintiff Schmidt alleges his vehicle started having problems at 80,000 miles, even though the timing chain was supposed to be "maintenance-free" for life. The plaintiff then references a Jaguar training publication called “NP10-V8JLR: AJ133 5.0-Liter DFI V8 Engine” that says:
“A maintenance-free highly durable chain transfers drive from the crankshaft to the camshafts, via the variable camshaft timing (VCT) units.”
Although the class-action lawsuit includes only the one named plaintiff, he claims some of the damaged engines cannot be repaired after the timing chain failures, costing owners more than $20,000 for new engines. In addition, customers have lost resale values as the public has learned about the timing chain defects.
Jaguar Land Rover has allegedly concealed the problems since 2011 when it allegedly redesigned the chain tensioner to alleviate the problem, but did all of that without telling consumers. The plaintiff further claims the automaker redesigned the primary chain, primary chain tensioner and primary chain guide/rails not once but multiple times to try to prevent engine failures.
The automaker sent technical service bulletins to dealerships between 2013 and 2015, and those bulletins are allegedly proof Jaguar Land Rover knew about the timing chain failures.
Mr. Schmidt admits his chain failure occurred outside the warranty period, but he claims Jaguar still should have reimbursed him or provided him a replacement vehicle.
The Jaguar Land Rover timing chain lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Robert Schmidt, et al., v. Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLc, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., and Thomas P Sobran PC.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from drivers of some of the vehicles named in the timing chain lawsuit: