— A Ram 1500 exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler class action lawsuit alleges coolant leaks cause fires, and a Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) recall has allegedly been practically worthless.
The Ram 1500 EGR cooler lawsuit includes 2014-2019 Ram 1500 trucks equipped with 3-liter EcoDiesel engines.
Chrysler recalled nearly 108,000 Ram 1500 trucks in the U.S. in October 2019 after announcing thermal fatigue could crack the EGR coolers.
The internal cracks can allow preheated vaporized coolant into the EGR systems while the engines run. The mixture can interact with other hydrocarbons and air in the system resulting in combustion within the intake manifold. This may cause a fire, something two of the plaintiffs claim occurred to their trucks.
Hawaii plaintiff Bradley Crawford purchased a new 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and in October or November 2019 he received a recall notice for the EGR cooler. The notice said there was no fix at the time and the plaintiff was informed to monitor the coolant level.
In May 2020, Crawford received an email from his dealership and was told three recall repairs needed to be performed on his Ram 1500. Crawford says he told the dealer to do all three recalls and change the oil and do a safety check.
The plaintiff says he was contacted by the dealership and told his truck was ready and that all services had been performed. He paid $367.44 and left the dealership believing the EGR recall fix was completed.
But on July 17, 2020, the Ram 1500 suffered a loss of power, causing the plaintiff to pull over and park. He turned around and headed to the dealership, but two minutes later the brakes were soft and unresponsive while he was approaching a curve. He finally got the truck stopped and that's when he allegedly noticed smoke coming from under the hood.
"His wife got out of the truck and quickly pulled their daughter out of the back seat. Plaintiff Crawford then got his dog out from the back seat as the truck became fully engulfed in flames." - Ram 1500 EGR cooler lawsuit
The truck was inspected and Chrysler concluded “the information at hand would not permit us to associate the fire with a manufacturing or assembly error.”
FCA allegedly said it would “decline any assistance associated with this matter” but regretted the "unfortunate fire.”
In addition to Crawford, another plaintiff also alleges their truck caught fire.
According to the class action, when the EGR cooler recall was announced in October 2019, FCA told customers a fix for the problem wasn't available. Ram 1500 owners were told to monitor the coolant levels and contact dealers if the coolant remained low.
The lawsuit says Chrysler later sent notices to certain owners and lessees letting them know a fix was available for their specific truck, but the plaintiffs allege "it appears that affected owners and lessees are still routinely being denied a fix due to part unavailability."
The plaintiffs say the recall repairs include replacement of the EGR coolers with new coolers, part number 68483334AA, and the intake manifolds would be replaced if they were damaged.
But the lawsuit alleges Chrysler dealerships were advised that “part supply is extremely limited” and the EGR coolers should only be replaced “if the part has failed.”
"While some impacted owners have received a fix, remarkably, over 10 months after the announcement of this recall, a considerable portion of owners of affected vehicles have been left with no recourse for this defect that renders the vehicle unsafe, and presents an unreasonable risk to vehicle occupant safety, and no option for returning their trucks." - Ram 1500 lawsuit
The Ram 1500 EGR cooler class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Crawford, et al., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, and the Miller Law Firm, P.C.
CarComplaints.com has owner-reported complaints about their Ram 1500 trucks.