FCA and Cummins Fingered in Diesel Emissions Lawsuit

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
fca and cummins fingered in diesel emissions lawsuit

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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  • SaulTigh SaulTigh on Nov 15, 2016

    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.

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    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Nov 15, 2016

      What, the Magnum 8.0 V10? That thing's 15 years out of date. The 6.4 Hemi is more than a replacement for that boat anchor.

  • BigOldChryslers BigOldChryslers on Nov 15, 2016

    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.

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    • BigOldChryslers BigOldChryslers on Nov 16, 2016

      @Lex 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."

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Nov 15, 2016

    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.

  • AJ AJ on Nov 16, 2016

    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.

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    • True_Blue True_Blue on Nov 16, 2016

      @BigOldChryslers 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.