— A Fiat Chrysler (FCA) Canada class action lawsuit alleges 2014-2019 Dodge Ram 1500, 1500 Classic and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles are equipped with defective exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers.
The trucks and SUVs are equipped with 3-litre EcoDiesel engines with EGR coolers that get too hot and crack internally. This causes internal coolant leaks "which can cause combustion within the intake manifold and lead to engine compartment fire and/or a sudden loss of power."
The plaintiff who filed the class action lawsuit says he owns a 2016 Ram 1500 that he purchased in August 2020. Shortly afterward he says he learned about EGR cooler problems from media reports, so he contacted the previous owner of the truck.
The plaintiff was told by the previous owner the truck had a new EGR cooler installed, but the plaintiff filed the lawsuit because he is concerned for his safety with the new EGR cooler.
According to the plaintiff, his fears caused him to purchase a fire extinguisher he keeps in the truck.
The Canadian class action alleges a cracked EGR cooler allows pre-heated vaporized coolant into the EGR system which can cause combustion inside the intake manifold. This can then cause an overheated engine, engine damage, a sudden loss of power or a fire.
The lawsuit alleges the vehicles can be on highways when the engines suddenly seize and fail, causing severe safety hazards while driving in traffic. In addition, the EGR cooler problem can cause vehicle occupants to become stranded in dangerous traffic or weather.
Chrysler Allegedly Knew of EGR Cooler Dangers
According to the Chrysler class action, the automaker knew the EGR coolers were cracking as early as 2014, but the vehicles weren't recalled until years later.
The lawsuit says FCA opened an investigation in May 2019 based on fires in the engine compartments and holes were found in the intake manifolds.
In a report to U.S. regulators, FCA said:
"Thermal fatigue may cause the cooler to crack internally over time. An EGR cooler with an internal crack will introduce pre-heated, 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."
The class action says a Transport Canada recall was announced in October 2019 for 50,259 Dodge Ram 1500 and 1500 Classic trucks, then updated in February 2020.
Then in November 2019 a Canadian recall of 5,450 Jeep Grand Cherokees was announced due to EGR cooler dangers.
The FCA Canada EGR cooler class action lawsuit was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice: Mark Sharpe, v. FCA Canada Inc., et al.
The plaintiff is represented by McKenzie Lake Lawyers.