Lawsuit accuses Fiat Chrysler and Cummins of unlawful and deceptive conduct by concealing defect’s imminent safety risk
Leading consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman today filed a class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Cummins on behalf of 600,000 owners and lessors of 2018 – 2020 Dodge RAM Heavy Duty Cummins-equipped diesel trucks containing a defective CP4 fuel injection pump.
The lawsuit filed Oct. 22, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan states that the defect poses an “imminent safety risk to the public,” leaving vehicle owners at risk of sudden and unexpected engine shutoff while in motion. The lawsuit accuses the automaker and manufacturer of colluding to conceal the critical fuel pump defect and its safety risk.
“Fiat Chrysler has known about the defective design of the pump for more than a decade and left consumers driving ticking time bombs,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing affected truck owners. “No consumer would have purchased these vehicles had they been told the truth, and they deserve to be safe and compensated. Our hearts go out to those who have spent thousands, if not tens of thousands, to fix their truck. Shame on FCA.”
CP4 Design Defect
The CP4 pump uses fuel for lubricating the interior cam, pumping cylinders and rollers. If the fuel used is not sufficiently lubricated – which most U.S. diesel is not – the cam and rollers wear against each other generating tiny metal shavings that disperse throughout the fuel injection system. The lawsuit says FCA and Cummins knew Bosch’s CP4 pump design was incompatible with American diesel fuel.
The release of metal shavings into the fuel system is catastrophic and the complaint states “failure can occur as early as mile one, as the fuel injection disintegration process begins at the very first fill of the tank and start of the engine, with pump components beginning to deteriorate and dispersing metal shavings throughout the internal engine components and fuel supply system.”
Failure of the fuel system causes sudden and unexpected shutoff of the vehicle’s engine while in motion and an inability to restart the vehicle, presenting a substantial risk to consumer safety.
A review of consumer complaints by National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation found that most stall/loss of power incidents occurred at speeds greater than 25 MPH and resulted in “permanent disablement of the vehicle.”
Owners of affected Dodge RAM trucks have reported:
- “With 20k miles the High-Pressure Fuel Pump blowup in middle of the freeway”
- “The contact stated while driving 45 MPH, the vehicle lost motive power. … There was no warning light illuminated.”
- “2019 ram 3500 fuel injector pump went out on me pulling a 20k camper almost couldn’t stop!”
- “I was driving on the freeway when the truck suddenly began surging the throttle. I began to make my way to the shoulder. By the time I was in the shoulder the truck lost all power.”
Costs to repair each vehicle are at least $10,000, and according to attorneys, Fiat Chrysler refuses to fix the trucks under warranty, blaming the issue on contaminated fuel. Additionally, owners of the affected trucks report that repairs are fruitless, as no repair will fix the issue as long as the vehicle is being filled with U.S. diesel fuel.
Hagens Berman has filed seven class action lawsuits against Ford, GM and FCA concerning the dangerous CP4 fuel injection pump in other diesel trucks.
Hagens Berman is a global plaintiffs’ rights complex litigation law firm with a tenacious drive for achieving real results for those harmed by corporate negligence and fraud. Since its founding in 1993, the firm’s determination has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.