— A Ram 1500 EGR cooler recall allegedly failed to help customers of 2014–2019 Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic trucks equipped with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines.
The Ram 1500 exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler lawsuit alleges Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) sold hundreds of thousands of the trucks between June 12, 2013, to October 23, 2019.
According to the class action lawsuit, the EGR coolers are prone to thermal fatigue which may cause the coolers to crack internally over time.
"An EGR cooler with an internal crack will introduce preheated, vaporized coolant to the EGR system while the engine is running. In certain circumstances, this mixture interacts with other hydrocarbons and air in the system, potentially resulting in combustion within the intake manifold, which may lead to a vehicle fire.” - Ram lawsuit
The trucks will suddenly lose power and possibly catch fire, which is what occurred to a plaintiff who sued.
EGR Cooler Recall Filled with Delays and Failures
A Ram 1500 EGR cooler recall was announced in October 2019 for 107,898 model year 2014-2019 Ram 1500 trucks in the U.S. However, the plaintiffs claim the automaker made a number of misrepresentations that caused truck customers to park their vehicles.
According to the EGR cooler lawsuit, when Chrysler announced the recall the automaker told truck customers, “the remedy for this condition is not currently available” but that the company was “making every effort to finalize the remedy as quickly as possible . . .”
Affected Ram 1500 recall customers were told they would be notified when a fix was available, something the plaintiffs say created the expectation a fix would soon be available.
In the interim, Ram 1500 customers were told to monitor their coolant levels and contact dealers if the levels were consistently low. The plaintiffs claim this created the impression that monitoring the problem would prevent the known dangers.
Replacement parts are consistently unavailable
The plaintiffs also claim Ram owners take their trucks to dealers for repairs based on Chrysler's recall notice, but dealers allegedly routinely say repair parts aren't available. Adding to the insult is how dealers are allegedly told replacement parts are very limited and the EGR cooler should be replaced only if the part has failed.
The automaker allegedly concealed the EGR cooler defect, led customers to believe a fix was near, told customers a fix was available and then turned away Ram 1500 owners and lessees when they tried to have their trucks repaired.
A plaintiff who sued says he purchased a used 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel for his construction business in August 2019. The plaintiff received a Ram 1500 EGR cooler recall notice in October or November 2019, but the notice said there was no fix available. The Ram owner was told to monitor the coolant levels and contact a dealer if the levels were low.
The plaintiff says he tried to have the EGR cooler fixed by a dealer but the dealer didn't have replacement coolers.
About seven months later the plaintiff was driving the Ram when it filled with smoke and lost all power. Five occupants were able to exit the truck before several explosions occurred and the Ram 1500 was engulfed in flames until the fire was extinguished by the fire department. (Photo above)
Two days later the plaintiff went back to the dealership and let them know about the fire. The Ram 1500 owner was allegedly told technicians could only fix one EGR cooler per week and his truck was number 20 on the waiting list.
According to the lawsuit, this means his truck wouldn't have received the EGR cooler until the second week of December 2020.
The Ram 1500 EGR cooler recall lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin: Anderson, et al., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by Turke & Strauss LLP, and Robins Kaplan LLP.