— A Chrysler engine oil consumption lawsuit alleges vehicles equipped with 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir II engines shut down suddenly and without warning even when the oil change indicators do not yet recommend oil changes.
Included in the Chrysler Tigershark engine oil consumption class action lawsuit are these models.
- 2015–2016 Chrysler 200
- 2013–2016 Dodge Dart
- 2016–2020 Fiat 500X
- 2017–2020 Fiat Toro
- 2014–2020 Jeep Cherokee
- 2017–2020 Jeep Compass
- 2015–2020 Jeep Renegade
- 2015–2020 Ram ProMaster City
The 2.4L Tigershark engine uses electro-hydraulic MultiAir technology allegedly to offer a more controllable flow of air during the engine combustion cycle. Fiat Chrysler (FCA) says MultiAir technology is supposed to increase engine power and torque, reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
But the lawsuit says all of it is meaningless because the Tigershark engines consume excessive amounts of oil which fails to properly cool and lubricate the engines. In addition, the plaintiffs allege internal parts wear out early and provide decreased performance before the engines finally fail.
According to the class action, FCA dealerships tell customers there are problems with the pistons or rings related to oil consumption problems.
The plaintiffs say the top sidewall of each engine piston contains piston rings that prevent engine oil from entering the combustion chamber, as well as optimizing compression. But the system doesn't work properly and allows engine oil to escape past the oil control piston rings and into the combustion areas.
The lawsuit alleges this is caused by piston rings that allegedly don't work properly with the cylinders. The piston rings allegedly wear down to where they are flush with the piston walls, allegedly allowing oil to be consumed during the compression cycle.
The Chrysler vehicles are allegedly equipped with systems to shut down the vehicles when low oil pressure is detected, a dangerous condition when the vehicles suddenly shut down on highways.
Chrysler drivers say they can't depend on oil change indicator systems to warn them about dangerous oil levels or oil pressures. According to the engine lawsuit, the systems analyze engine operating conditions to determine when a driver should change the oil.
The owner's manuals say “Severe Operating Conditions can cause the change oil message to illuminate as early as 3,500 miles (5,600 km) since last reset. Have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible, within the next 500 miles (805 km).”
The manuals also advise the oil should be changed “at 4,000 miles (6,500 km) or 350 hours of engine run time if the vehicle is operated in a dusty and off road environment or is operated predominately at idle or only very low engine RPM’s,” as that “type of vehicle use is considered Severe Duty.”
Otherwise, the oil change intervals should not exceed “10,000 miles (16,000 km), twelve months or 350 hours of engine run time, whichever comes first. The 350 hours of engine run or idle time is generally only a concern for fleet customers.”
However, the class action alleges the "oil change indicator does not take into account actual, as opposed to predicted, oil levels. So it does not alert drivers of the Class Vehicles to low oil levels or oil loss, even when oil levels are critically, dangerously low."
Customers have reported the vehicles indicated no oil change messages when the vehicles stalled, something the lawsuit says proves that the oil change indicator systems are worthless.
The vehicles are also equipped with oil pressure warning lights that should illuminate when the oil pressure is low. But the plaintiffs argue the systems don't warn drivers in advance of problems. In other words, the low oil pressure warning lights will illuminate when the vehicles shut off, but not in time to warn drivers the vehicles are getting ready to die.
Chrysler issued a technical service bulletin (TSB 09-007-15) in July 2015 concerning engine oil consumption guidelines related to an “acceptable rate of oil consumption” for all 2013-2016 vehicles equipped with gasoline engines.
"The accepted rate of oil consumption for engines used in the vehicles listed above is 1 quart (0.946 liter) in 2,000 miles (3,200 km) for the 1st 50,000 miles (80,467 km). For vehicles with more then [sic] 50,000 miles the acceptable oil consumption for engines is 1 quart (0.946 liter) in 750 miles (1,207 km)." - Oil consumption lawsuit
According to the plaintiffs, those guidelines don't match the owner's manuals.
Based on the TSB, Chrysler allegedly knew about the Tigershark engine oil consumption problems in 2015 but continues to conceal the alleged defects from consumers.
The Chrysler engine oil consumption lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Amber Wood, et al., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the Miller Law Firm, P.C., and Goldenberg Schneider, LPA.