— A Dodge Demon class action lawsuit alleges 2018 Challenger SRT Demons in California are equipped with hood scoops that warp and lead to repairs that make the cars lose their values.
But attorneys for Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) argue the class action is really about nothing more than a hood scoop cosmetic issue.
The Dodge Demon lawsuit was filed by the owner of a 2018 Challenger SRT Demon who says he paid more than $166,000 for a car advertised as having 840 horsepower.
But the owner says to achieve that horsepower he had to pay $250 to have components installed on the Dodge Demon.
According to the class action lawsuit, the Demon had 808 horsepower when the plaintiff received a "Crate" from Fiat Chrysler with the components that had to be installed to reach 840 horsepower. In addition, the plaintiff says he was surprised to learn the only way to achieve 840 horsepower was to use racing fuel.
Then within 20 miles of first driving the Demon, the hood scoop allegedly warped, so the plaintiff says he contacted the dealership to report the alleged defect and determine if there was a repair.
According to the Demon class action, about a year later the plaintiff learned about technical service bulletin 23-033-19 issued to Chrysler dealerships regarding the hood scoops.
The TSB says Dodge Demon owners may complain the "hood bezel is warping and in some cases, chipping the paint on the sides and corners of the hood bezel opening."
Chrysler dealers were told to replace the hood bezel, inspect the hood for paint damage and if required, refinish the entire hood.
His Demon hood scoop was repaired, but the plaintiff alleges the paint and finish were different and a different hood scoop insert was installed. The owner also says it's clear that numerous holes were drilled into the hood.
The class action lawsuit further alleges the hood scoop insert began "bowing down" within a week and the plaintiff says he must push the insert into place each time he drives the Dodge Demon.
The automaker allegedly concealed defects in the hood scoops which cause warping, sagging and bulging. Then trying to repair the hood allegedly causes even more damage and noticeable issues with the paint and finish.
FCA's Motion to Dismiss the Dodge Demon Class Action Lawsuit
In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Chrysler argues the entire class action is about a cosmetic issue and nothing more. FCA says the plaintiff admits that at the time he filed the class action lawsuit, Chrysler was offering to fix the hood scoop for free but the owner refused because a first attempted repair allegedly did not work.
Attorneys for FCA say the plaintiff makes allegations the horsepower was misrepresented, but he also admits his Dodge Demon can operate at 840 horsepower if he uses the extra components he was provided and uses the type of fuel necessary. According to Chrysler, this means the plaintiff has no plausible claim.
Chrysler further alleges there is not one allegation in the Demon class action lawsuit that claims any alleged hood scoop problem impacts the use of the car.
The automaker says the plaintiff may have contacted the dealer but the owner provides no details about what was said. The plaintiff also allegedly doesn't say who advised him of the fix about a year later or how he learned about the service bulletin.
The motion to dismiss also argues the plaintiff doesn't allege that FCA ever failed to offer him a free hood scoop repair and the owner doesn't claim he paid anything for repairs.
Chrysler says the plaintiff mentioned information he saw from the automaker about the Dodge Demon, yet he allegedly didn't know about the need for racing fuel or how the car required extra components to achieve 840 horsepower.
According to the motion to dismiss, both press releases specifically say 100+ unleaded high-octane fuel and additional “performance parts” are needed to “unleash” the Demons’ full performance attributes and specifically to “unleash the full potential 840 horsepower.”
The attorneys for FCA also told the judge: "Remarkably, after filing this case and professing to represent a class, Plaintiff offered a dismissal in exchange for a payment of $95,000."
The Dodge Demon class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Peralta, et al., v. FCA US LLC, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Connor Olson, and Tiangay Kemokai Law, P.C.