— A Ram class action lawsuit has been filed by the owner of a 2019 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab truck which allegedly suffered engine failure and caused the owner to buy a different vehicle.
The lawsuit includes 2019-2020 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab trucks equipped with Cummins diesel engines.
The Ram truck lawsuit references a September 2020 recall of 2019-2020 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks because of engine failures and fires. The recall details said inadequate warmup protection could cause a lack of oil film on the connecting rod bearings while the engines were reaching operating temperatures.
The connecting rods could fail and puncture the engine blocks, allowing oil to leak onto ignition sources and start fires.
Fiat Chrysler said dealerships would flash the engine calibration software to include better engine warm up protection.
According to the plaintiff, he purchased a new 2019 Ram 5500 for about $75,000, but less than a year later the Cummins engine seized and locked up on the freeway without any warning.
The Ram 5500 was towed to a Chrysler dealership to have the truck repaired under warranty. However, the Ram truck was at the dealership for nearly three months when the dealership finally informed the plaintiff no repairs were available under warranty.
The Ram class action lawsuit alleges the truck's computer recorded low oil pressure and the vehicle had been driven about 3,000 miles. The dealer allegedly said no warranty repairs were available.
“Concern Customer states oil leak Cause tech found large hole in engine block. tech started star case#101775894. star enginering (sic) and cummins verfied failure is not warrantable due to low oil pressue at the time of failure Correction warranty repair denied by chrysler and cummins. no repairs made (sic)”. — Ram 5500 service invoice
The plaintiff says he was told to contact Chrysler which opened a case number.
FCA allegedly contacted the plaintiff and told him Cummins did not want to fix or replace the Ram engine.
The Ram truck owner then took the vehicle to an expert diesel mechanic who allegedly found no evidence of misuse, abuse or neglect.
According to the diesel expert:
“After inspection of the vehicle I found a huge hole in the side of the engine block. One of the connection rods broke, which caused the hole in the block. This is caused by connecting rod bearing failure due to lack of oil pressure. While during some research on this particular truck and engine combination, I came across a service bulletin recall on this exact truck."
The mechanic said the recall indicates the engine computer must be reprogrammed for a low oil pressure problem when cold. Basically the computer was originally programmed to lower oil pressure when cold to speed up the warm up time.
The mechanic said Chrysler lowered the oil pressure too much which caused excessive wear to the engine bearings.
The Ram class action alleges the plaintiff still cannot drive the truck and he eventually purchased a different vehicle.
The Ram class action lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey: Ortiz, et al., v. FCA US LLC. et al.
The plaintiff is represented by the Law Office of Lewis G. Adler, and Perlman DePetris Consumer Law.