Lawsuit: Dodge Ram Trucks Emit Illegal Emissions

Lawsuit says Chrysler and Cummins created Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks to cheat emissions.

Posted in News

— Dodge Ram trucks equipped with Cummins diesel engines have been named in a class-action lawsuit that alleges the trucks emit nitrogen oxide emissions up to 14 times above legal limits.

The plaintiffs say Dodge sold hundreds of thousands of Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks with catalytic converters that wear out quickly due to the alleged defects, costing truck owners up to $5,000 to fix.

The lawsuit names the affected trucks as follows: (Note that Dodge made "Ram" its own brand in 2012)

  • 2007-2010 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins diesel (2WD, 4WD)
  • 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD)
  • 2012 Ram 2500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD)
  • 2007-2010 Dodge Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel (2WD, 4WD)
  • 2011 Dodge Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD)
  • 2012 Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD)

The Ram lawsuit says the technical aspects involve legal limits of nitrogen oxide emissions at 200 mg/mile, but the plaintiffs claim the Ram 2500 emitted 702 and 2,826 mg/mile when the truck was tested.

For highway driving, the nitrogen oxide limit in California is 400 mg/mile but testing shows an average of 756 and a maximum of 2,252 mg/mile for the 2500.

The plaintiffs say the companies developed the 6.7-liter diesel engine with sophisticated nitrogen oxide emissions "adsorber" technology to create a truck with emission levels low enough to meet government standards.

The primary emission control after-treatment technologies include a diesel particulate filter and a nitrogen oxide adsorber catalyst system to capture and reduce nitrogen oxides into less harmful substances, such as nitrogen and oxygen.

However, the Ram lawsuit says testing shows the catalysts are not durable and do not meet emission standards. Furthermore, injection of fuel to regenerate the diesel particulate filter allegedly occurs with excessive frequency.

Court documents claim Fiat Chrysler advertised the "Absorber" engine and the 2500 and 3500 diesel trucks as being "clean" at the same time Chrysler and Cummins worked together to sell trucks that harmed the environment. The plaintiffs also allege consumers purchased the trucks without knowing the trucks burn diesel fuel at a higher rate, which causes more money to be lost due to the cost of extra fuel.

The lawsuit accuses Chrysler and Cummins of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, committing fraudulent concealment, false advertising and violating consumer protection laws.

The claims are based on the companies misleading the public by concealing emissions levels, selling illegal trucks and making money through fraudulent emissions credits from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - James Bledsoe, Paul Chouffet, Jay Martin and Martin Rivas, et al, v. FCA US LLC, and Cummins Inc.

The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman.

CarComplaints.com has complaints about the Dodge Ram trucks named in the emissions lawsuit: