— Chrysler eTorque problems have caused a class action lawsuit that alleges 2019-2022 Ram 1500 trucks and 2019-2022 Jeep Wrangler SUVs are equipped with defective eTorque "mild hybrid" systems.
The eTorque problems allegedly include Jeep and Ram engines that shut off and the emergency brakes automatically suddenly engage.
Some Jeep and Ram drivers also report receiving messages telling them to shift the vehicles into PARK, while other owners assert their vehicles did shift into PARK.
The eTorque problems allegedly occur spontaneously and without warning, but taking a Jeep Wrangler or Ram 1500 to a dealership may not help much. The FCA class action lawsuit alleges dealers may refuse to make repairs because the eTorque problems can't be replicated at the Chrysler dealership.
What is the eTorque System?
According to the lawsuit, the eTorque mild hybrid system allegedly improves fuel economy without affecting power or torque. But eTorque is also connected to the automatic stop/start feature of a Jeep or Ram.
The plaintiffs also assert eTorque provides support to the crankshaft to boost acceleration in certain driving conditions. And the system allegedly uses braking and shifting to generate battery energy to charge the 48-volt battery.
Then the 48-volt battery charges the 12-volt battery to power accessories.
The eTorque class action alleges Fiat Chrysler fails to tell customers about the alleged eTorque problems even though the automaker has allegedly known of the issues since 2018.
Technical Service Bulletins
In May 2022, FCA issued TSB 08-093-22-A for a limited number of 2022 Ram 1500 trucks if “the AutoStart fails and the AutoPark engages” and the trucks enter limp mode. Dealers were told to update the hybrid control processor software.
The TSB was revised in July 2022 (TSB 18-091-22 REV. A) and includes 2021 Ram 1500 trucks.
According to the bulletin, “an engine stall at low engine mileage and mostly low vehicle speeds” and/or the “LED light in the Start/Stop button will not illuminate when pressed.” FCA told dealerships to reprogram the powertrain control module with the "latest available software.”
However, the class action lawsuit insists the TSB repairs "do not remedy the root cause of the eTorque Defect."
Additionally, the plaintiffs say there has been no eTorque recall and the automaker hasn't extended the warranties. And FCA allegedly has not offered Jeep and Ram owners suitable repairs or replacements and has not reimbursed customers for expenses.
According to the plaintiffs, FCA should give Jeep and Ram owners their money back for the purchase price of the vehicles. Or Chrysler should compensate customers for overpaying for the vehicles or the loss of vehicle values due to the eTorque systems.
The eTorque lawsuit was filed by these Chrysler owners:
- Plaintiff Brian Fisher (California) 2021 Ram 1500
- Plaintiff Eric Lee (Ohio) 2021 Ram 1500
- Plaintiff Jerry Vanderberg (Tennessee) 2021 Ram 1500
- Plaintiff Rachel Walkowicz (Michigan) 2021 Ram 1500
The FCA eTorque class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Fisher et al., FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by The Miller Law Firm, P.C., Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Newsom Law PLC.