— A Dodge rear differential class action lawsuit includes 2014-2019 Dodge Challengers and Chargers equipped with V8 engines, including certain Charger Hellcats, Challenger Hellcats and Demons.
The Dodge Challenger and Charger cars have Chrysler's Street & Racing Technology (SRT) badge because the cars are allegedly designed to be driven on both public roads and tracks.
The six Dodge owners who sued claim the rear differentials aren't capable of handling the high horsepower and torque provided by the engines and transmissions.
Dodge Challenger and Charger drivers report hearing whining, howling and whirling sounds from the differentials, in addition to vibrations from the rear of the cars.
The rear differential lawsuit alleges the cars were defective from the time they were sold because the differentials wear out and cause failures of the ring gears, pinion gear differential housings and axles.
The plaintiffs allege the Dodge cars are dangerous to drive because they stop moving when the rear differentials fail. A failed rear differential will cause the car to suddenly lose the ability to transfer power to the rear wheels while driving, creating safety hazards on the roads or tracks.
The rear differentials can also allegedly explode and send shrapnel into the undercarriage areas, damaging various components. This causes greater expenses for owners on top of the expense of new rear differentials.
According to the Dodge class action lawsuit, the Chargers and Challengers have decreased values because of the rear differentials, whether the customer is an owner or a lessee. Fiat Chrysler also allegedly replaces defective rear differentials with equally defective differentials that fail just like the originals.
The Dodge class action also alleges metal shavings and particulates contaminate the differential oil, resulting in friction and heat which damages the differential.
Dodge Rear Differential Technical Service Bulletins
The Dodge rear differential lawsuit references technical service bulletins (TSBs) issued by the automaker to its dealerships which allegedly prove the cars have rear differential problems.
In May 2015, FCA issued TSB 03-001-15 regarding 2015 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger cars concerning “a slight noise of vibration from the rear of the vehicle.” Chrysler dealers were told to replace both rear halfshafts.
The bulletin was revised and dealerships were told about “a slight shake/vibration felt in the seat and/or floor, generated from the rear of the vehicle” and that it was “most noticeable on very smooth roads, at steady-state cruising speeds 50-80 mph.”
TSB 03-004-16 was issued in June 2016 involving the same vehicles but expanding the model years to include 2016. Dealers were told to inspect and replace the propeller shaft due to a whining noise coming from the real axle area at high speeds.
In December 2016, TSB 03-008-16 addressed rear axle noise in 2015-2017 Chrysler 200, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger vehicles. Dealerships were told to replace the axle oil on limited slip differentials.
Then in March 2017, TSB 9003655 concerned noise from the rear axle when performing tight turning maneuvers for 2015-2016 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and 2017 Dodge Charger cars. The TSB recommended draining and refilling the oil.
The Dodge class action lawsuit alleges Charger and Challenger owners can spend thousands of dollars to replace the rear differentials, not counting the cost to replace other damaged components.
The Dodge rear differential class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware: Diaz, et at., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by Berger Montague PC, Capstone Law APC, and Gordon & Partners, P.A.