By on November 15, 2016

Image: Chrysler Ram Heavy Cummins 2010

A Seattle firm is claiming that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Cummins intentionally misled owners of Ram heavy-duty pickups with falsified emission information and substandard diesel motors.

Bloomberg reports that a class-action lawsuit was filed in Detroit on Monday by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Naming four litigants, the lawsuit is claiming FCA and Cummins hid diesel engine characteristics that results in emissions up to 14 times higher than permitted by regulations.

The offending pollutants were meant to be broken down in the diesel trucks’ NOx Absorption Catalyst. The lawsuit alleges the Cummins engine was incapable of effectively storing the emissions, allowing them to escape. Suggesting that the company was incapable of meeting changes in EPA emissions standards, the suit accuses it falsified results with the help of Chrysler.

“The sheer level of fraud and concealment between Chrysler and Cummins is unconscionable, and we believe we have uncovered a deeply entrenched scheme,” Steve Berman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “Chrysler and Cummins spent years lying through their teeth and making empty promises to deliver the cleanest trucks on the market — lip service to deceptively dominate what they saw as a profitable market.”

Berman seeks to bring in thousands of other owners of the affected 2007-2012 Ram vehicles.

The vehicles predate the 2014 merger of Chrysler and Fiat and FCA has announced that it will be contesting the lawsuit. Cummins stated that it will be doing the same, adding that it was “deeply disappointed” in the effort to tarnish its image.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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37 Comments on “FCA and Cummins Fingered in Diesel Emissions Lawsuit...”


  • avatar
    mason

    I wonder if the half wit leftists in Washington realize Cummins had an AB&T program established with the EPA on these engines. Cummins did end up producing more engines than their credits covered and were subsequently fined for. I believe they also had to recall said engines and retrofit them with SCR.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Mason,
      I posted this on the VW article. This could as bad or worse than the VW ” Dieselgate” Seeing Cummins is a US Company, it will be interesting to see how it is treated by the EPA

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        Not even close to the same thing as VW.

        https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/cummins-inc-settlement

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Mason,
          I wonder how many OTHER Cummins diesels are affected, especially ones for use in HDT Trucks

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s just another failed diesel component. Like that never happens… But how do you derive cheating from that anyway? If so, VW is cheating on so many levels, right down to cheater power windows.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Robert Ryan, let’s not let facts get in the way.

            Cummins produced LNT engines in highway applications in the 3/4 ton and 1 ton pick ups from 2007.5-2012. One ton chassis cabs had SCR since 2010. All MD and HD engines utilized SCR from 2010 to current. 2008/2009 MD and HD engines that utilized LNT were ahead of the curve and did so while banking emissions credits. It’s an EPA program called AB&T or Average, Banking, and Trading. Just like the 6.7 liter engine found in pickups. I’ll repeat that again since you didn’t read the link I posted: Cummins used the LNT in conjunction with emissions credits. The EPA worked with Cummins for 2-3 years on the LNT system. Unlike VW there is no foul ball here.

            In addition, Chrysler has a federal mandated 8 yrs/80k mile emissions warranty. These people really have nothing to complain about.

            Sorry to burst your bubble but all this is is a group of hysterical f%-ck wad lawyers stirring the pot with a handful of left wing nut huggers holding on for dear life.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Guess cheating is OK for a portion of the population. Cheating and education level of have a direct correlation.

      • 0 avatar
        Old Man Pants

        Did you mean: “cheating and education have a direct correlation”?

        I’d believe that ’cause you couldn’t lie.

        (heh… nice fix, now just remove the 2nd “of”)

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Given that most of these damn rigs are chipped to roll coal before they arrive home from the dealership, why are we pretending that the factory emissions performance means anything whatsoever?

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Please try and keep it on topic and stop trolling. The percentage of diesel owners who chip their trucks to “roll coal” is small, but I guess those are the only ones you notice.

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        Well, I seem to have struck a nerve! Perhaps you’re a manufacturer’s rep for one of these “racing only” systems that the majority of diesels here in the heartland are rolling around with? It would seem that the ability to roll coal is the driving factor behind an increasing number of diesel purchases. And in this context, it certainly isn’t trolling to question why Uncle Sam is wasting time on factory emissions violations, when the impact is utterly inconsequential compared to the aftermarket systems that have taken hold in the marketplace.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      ummm, no. Most of these rigs are working.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Ok, so who has/had the portable gas analyzers to measure these trucks, and where is the data/evidence they’re not emissions compliant? ‘cos I’m not hearing that anyone like ICCT or WVU is involved in this.

    Attorneys filing a “class action” lawsuit and then going fishing for clients to fill that “class” should be criminal. at the very least grounds for disbarment.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I doubt this will get very far. Real data, collected via proper protocol, is vital.

      There must be another agenda at play. Four disgruntled owners of Cummins diesel trucks does not translate into a fleet-wide problem.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        This is not a one off. separate issue is on going.

        “Reuters reported on Oct. 10 that FCA and Cummins have been fighting over the $200 million estimated cost for a recall of 130,000 newer 2500 Ram pickup trucks equipped with Cummins diesel engines that could exceed U.S. pollution limits.

        The EPA and California Air Resources Board have demanded a recall of 2013-2015 model year Ram 2500 pickup trucks with 6.7L Cummins diesel engines because moisture can lead to the deactivation of the selective catalyst reduction system, causing excess nitrogen oxide emissions, Cummins said.”

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Lynch

        What’s behind this is that Berman’s law firm specializes is filing BS lawsuits against car companies.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          “What’s behind this is that Berman’s law firm specializes is filing BS lawsuits against car companies.”

          Exactly. The beef here is not with the EPA (see my link above). Some owners are pissed off their truck is out of warranty and they are responsible for whatever repair bills have come their way.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Is it BS? It sounds like they have a design flaw. The BS part is that customers have to sue to get it fixed.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            How do you know? Did the owners take the truck in to have it fixed under warranty (assuming it was in the required time frame an mileage) and FCA/Cummins declines?

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    All the multi-millionaire coastal lawyers are salivating over diesels right now. Especially the ones that didn’t get in on the tobacco lawsuits. I hope FCA still has the tooling for their gas V10, and in reality, I would think a modernized, turbocharged V10 would be able to do just as much as a diesel without all the crazy emissions equipment and DEF.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    The 2007.5-2012 Cummins 6.7L used a Lean NOx Trap (LNT) emissions control system. On 2013+ they switched to SCR. The emissions system in the LNT trucks is regarded as being short-lived and expensive to repair. Used truck buyers are generally advised to avoid those model years.

    This lawsuit basically alleges that Cummins and/or Chrysler knew this system would be a bag of headaches from the onset. If the system worked as anticipated through the warranty period, my guess is that the plaintiffs don’t have a case.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Eggsactly. When my wife and I decided to spend the first year of my retirement “seeing the USA,” I did a ton of research on the proper tow vehicle for the Airstream trailer we selected. I did find that the earlier, pre-SCA Cummins did not seem to have a good reputation and used a bit more fuel than the GM and Ford diesels.

      Ultimately, I went with a 1/2 with a big gasoline engine (in the picture) and have been very happy with our choice.

      I never saw any of the many diesels pulling travel trailers emitting visible smoke, so, if they were “chipped,” they were subtle about it. Since “chipping” voids the warranty, one would have to be very stupid to do that on a newer engine. Some of the older engines that smoke were never required to be compliant in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      Lex

      “would be a bag of headaches from the onset” … How do you quantify this? Even if it didn’t, there’s the whole premise of “warranty” where owners are free to bring it in due to the odd jingles, lights, vibrations etc..

      Where Class Actions actually help is to resolve out of pocket repairs that should have been warrantable but at the time of occurrence were not clearly understood. I have seen them retroactively cover vehicles that are well past coverage term limit.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        I think you took my statement out of context, and you are ignoring the sentence after it where I mention warranty.

        Allow me to rephrase slightly: “This lawsuit basically alleges that Cummins and/or Chrysler knew from the onset that this system would be a bag of headaches.”

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    This comes across as somebody trying to make a buck off of somebody else’s problems. As yet there is no proof or even reasonable suspicion that such a far-fetched idea is true.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Last week I walked around a local Ram dealer and half of what they had in stock were 2500’s, which they all had the Cummins. Not one truck had a Hemi. I guess that tells me that either the market wants the Cummins, or Ram makes more money on them, or could it be that they’re not selling as well and they just have more of them sitting around? Either way, they had about 25 trucks to pick from. Recently I was reading on an owners forum about the 6.4 Hemi vs. the Cummins, and generally the advice from guys that made that decision suggested to get the 6.4 Hemi to avoid the emissions junk on the Cummings.

    I’ll note that I was actually interested in looking at a 3500 and they only had one on the lot out of 50 trucks. A salesman told me that they only sell a few of those a month.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      “Recently I was reading on an owners forum about the 6.4 Hemi vs. the Cummins, and generally the advice from guys that made that decision suggested to get the 6.4 Hemi to avoid the emissions junk on the Cummings”

      Gotta go to a Ford dealer to get one of them thar Cummings.

      The reason you see almost all Cummins (not Cummings) in the HD pickups is not by coincidence. The diesel take rate is roughly 80% in the HD segment. Not to take anything away from the 6.4 though. It’s turned out to be a stout engine.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Buyers are on the lot for the Cummins alone, except Rams are the only thing they come wrapped in.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        An adage I’ve heard before is that the perfect truck would be a Ford body with a Dodge (Cummins) engine and a Chevy (Allison) transmission…. Well, maybe not now that Ford’s are switching to aluminum, but that’s another story.

        • 0 avatar
          True_Blue

          So, a Ford body, with Cummins motivation and Allison power multiplication; and ditch the Dodge and Chevrolet connection altogether, as Cummins and Allison are their own companies…

          …well, I could get on board with that, sure.

          Allison V-12s used to power some of the most famous warbirds of the second World War. Too bad they’re not in the automotive powerplant world.

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