Dodge Dart Clutch Master Cylinder Lawsuit Continues

Dodge Dart clutch master cylinder lawsuit says clutch pedals to stick on the floors.

Posted in News

— A Dodge Dart clutch master cylinder lawsuit alleges the clutch pedals get stuck on the floors due to defective clutch master cylinders in the Fiat C635 manual transmissions.

According to court documents, the Dart transmission has defects in the clutch master cylinder that makes the internal and external seals lousy at preventing debris from contaminating and prematurely wearing the seals. The problems allegedly cause a loss of hydraulic fluid to the slave cylinder and thus causes damage to the transmission components.

Plaintiffs Carlos Victorino and Adam Tavitian filed the proposed class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) that alleges 2013-2016 Dodge Dart clutch master cylinders cause the clutches to fail and stick to the floors because the clutch pedals lose pressure and fail to engage the gears.

The Dart transmission lawsuit alleges drivers experience acceleration problems, stalling and premature transmission failure. Additionally, other problems include failure of the clutch master cylinder and reservoir hose, clutch slave cylinder and release bearing, clutch disc, pressure plate and flywheel.

The plaintiffs claim the Dodge Dart transmission uses a plastic clutch master cylinder which is prone to corrosion by constant exposure to hydraulic fluid.

As for safety hazards, Dart owners say the transmissions create all kinds of havoc, including the inability to shift gears in traffic, leaving owners unable to accelerate or decelerate and causing problems with stopping the cars.

Dodge Dart plaintiffs also claim Chrysler must have known about the defective manual transmissions because in January 2012, FCA issued a technical service bulletin (06-001-12) for 2011-2012 Dodge Journeys equipped with the same Fiat C635 transmissions. The bulletin said the clutch pedals were inoperative in some Journey SUVs.

In November 2012, Chrysler sent dealers another service bulletin, except this one concerned Dodge Dart cars “equipped with defective clutch slave cylinders and could cause a hydraulic fluid leak which leads to a pressure loss in the clutch system and failure of the clutch pedal.”

By August 2014, Chrysler sent messages to dealers concerning the Dodge Dart manual transmissions with clutch pedals that remained on the floors when drivers pushed on the pedals. Dealers were told to inspect the clutch pedals and replace the clutch master cylinders and reservoir hoses.

Then in January 2016, Chrysler extended the clutch master cylinder and reservoir hose warranty period for 2013-2015 Dodge Dart cars for problems related to a loss of clutch pedal operation, limited pedal movement and limited clutch disengagement.

In addition, FCA reimbursed owners who had clutch problems and paid for repairs to the clutch master cylinders, but owners say it didn't do anything to fix the transmission problems.

The lawsuit alleges corporate officers and managers knew about the transmission and clutch problems but failed to inform consumers of the problems. It also asserts Chrysler's vice president said the Dodge Dart transmissions went through “extensive testing and evaluation to ensure that customer expectations in the area of refined shifting characteristics . . . are met.”

FCA filed a motion to dismiss the transmission lawsuit but the judge denied the motion and ruled, "The Court concludes that these facts, while close, create a plausible inference that the corporate officers knew about the alleged defect and withheld such material information from Plaintiffs."

Chrysler and the plaintiffs point to a previous Dodge Dart transmission lawsuit that was filed over similar issues, a proposed class-action lawsuit that was eventually dismissed after Chrysler ordered a customer satisfaction program for clutches that went "soft" and "stuck to the floors."

However, the plaintiffs claim the customer service program isn't good enough and Chrysler only replaced defective transmission parts with more defective parts.

The Dodge Dart clutch master cylinder lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California - Victorino et al, v. FCA US LLC.

The plaintiffs are represented by Capstone Law APC.

Read transmission complaints about Dodge Dart cars: