Dodge Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed Over Hood Scoops

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon owner says the hood scoop warps and causes paint damage.

Dodge Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed Over Hood Scoops

Posted in News

— A Dodge class action lawsuit has been dismissed after the plaintiff didn't adequately plead the hood scoop was defective on 2018 Challenger SRT Demons.

California plaintiff Brian Garlough purchased a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon in July 2018, and one of the features of the car is the 45-square-inch Air Grabber hood scoop.

The Dodge class action lawsuit alleges Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) knew about the alleged hood scoop problems but concealed it from customers. By concealing the alleged hood scoop defects, Chrysler could continue to market and sell the expensive cars.

According to the Dodge lawsuit, the hood scoop expands, contracts, warps and vibrates when the car is in motion. This allegedly chips, scrapes and cracks the original factory paint, causing damage to the car’s hood.

The Dodge class action lawsuit had already been partly dismissed, but the judge allowed the plaintiff to file a third amended lawsuit over the Demon hood scoops.

Dodge Class Acttion Lawsuit Dismissed

The plaintiff alleges FCA’s advertisements said the hood scoop was the largest functional cold air intake hood. But the plaintiff contends this advertisement was false as the Demon hood scoop expands, contracts, warps and vibrates. This allegedly causes paint problems and damage which makes the hood scoop non-functional.

But according to Judge John A. Mendez, "FCA’s statements regarding the hood’s general functionality are the kind of generalized, vague, and unspecific assertions that constitute non-actionable puffery."

Under California law, statements that constitute mere puffery cannot be the basis for a fraud or negligent misrepresentation claim.

As for damage to the paint, the judge says the plaintiff alleges a cosmetic issue with the hood and doesn't allege the defect renders the Dodge Demons incapable of use. Additionally, the judge says the plaintiff doesn't allege the damaged hoods cause an unreasonable safety hazard.

"Because Plaintiff has alleged a cosmetic issue with the hood that does not render the car incapable of use or cause an unreasonable safety hazard, FCA had no duty to disclose the issue with the hood scoop." — Judge Mendez

In dismissing the Dodge class action lawsuit, the judge says the dismissal is with prejudice because the plaintiff has had three chances to amend the lawsuit.

A similar lawsuit also alleged defects in the Dodge hoods, but the case (Peralta, v. FCA US LLC) was dismissed when the plaintiff didn't file a response to FCA's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The Dodge class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California: Garlough, et al., FCA US LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Connor W. Olson.