Class Action Lawsuit: 2014-2019 Ram 1500 Defective EGR Fires

Usually, on these Class Action Lawsuits, the manufacturer has performed a recall for the problem. However, owners feel that the fix didn’t fix the issue. Such is partially the case here. On 2014-2019 Ram 1500 pickups an exhaust gas recirculation cooler can crack. This is probably from thermal fatigue. At the end of 2019, Fiat Chrysler recalled over 100,000 Ram trucks. 

When an ERG valve cracks it can result in combustion in the intake manifold

Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4 x4 at the 2003 Canadian International Auto Show
Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4 x4 | Getty

When an ERG valve cracks it can allow preheated vaporized coolant into the system with the engine running. Mixed with whatever else is in the system it can result in combustion in the intake manifold. Fire can ensue which is what two plaintiffs are claiming in the Ram 1500 lawsuit according to CarComplaints.

One plaintiff owned a new 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. At the end of 2019, he received a recall notice. At the time the notice said there was no fix but Fiat Chrysler asked that owners monitor the coolant level. 

In May of this year the plaintiff received a notice that three recall repairs needed to be performed. He told the dealer to perform the recall fixes and also asked them to change the oil and perform a safety check. The dealer did the work, the plaintiff paid for it and it was assumed the EGR recall fix was performed.

Soon after the Ram 1500 truck was fully engulfed in flames

Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck
Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck | Getty

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Last month the truck lost power which forced the driver to pull over and park. He decided to return the truck to the dealership but then the brakes got soft. He stopped the truck and that’s when he noticed smoke coming from under the hood. Both his wife and daughter got out and the plaintiff got his dog out and soon after the truck was fully engulfed in flames. 

After Fiat Chrysler looked at the truck it said that it couldn’t “associate the fire with a manufacturing or assembly error.” It went on to say it declined “any assistance associated with this matter” but regretted the “unfortunate fire.” Another plaintiff said that he too was sent a recall notice and told to monitor coolant levels. But the plaintiff says, “it appears that affected owners and lessees are still routinely being denied a fix due to part unavailability.”

The lawsuit alleges the EGR issue presents an unreasonable risk to vehicle occupant safety

The Ram 1500 lawsuit goes on to allege Ram dealerships were advised that, “part supply is extremely limited.” It also states that the EGR coolers should only be replaced if the part appears to have failed. It continues, “While some impacted owners have received a fix, remarkably, over 10 months after the announcement of this recall, a considerable portion of owners of affected vehicles have been left with no recourse for this defect that renders the vehicle unsafe, and presents an unreasonable risk to vehicle occupant safety, and no option for returning their trucks.”

Based on CarComplaints information the three issues Ram 1500 owners have cited are air suspension problems, engine light on, and engine failure. Our crack MotorBiscuit crew has assembled some of the best and worst features of the Ram 1500. You might want to check that out, too.