Dodge Demon Class-Action Lawsuit: Bad Challenger Paint

This class-action lawsuit is over a cool feature that seems like it practically disintegrates if it gets used. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was claimed by Dodge to be the “fastest production car in the world” when it came out in 2017. It was only available as a 2018 model. Part of the startling performance is aided by the functional AirGrabber hood scoop. It is a throwback to the days of 1970s muscle cars and it also looks great. It forces extra air to aid in cooling the monster Hemi.

But there appear to be all kinds of issues with the scoop that have enough owners upset to file the lawsuit. The complaint is over damaged paint from using the functioning scoop according to carcomplaints. The suit alleges that the hood scoop paint “cracks, chips, and peels away.” It is caused by what the suit alleges is a “flimsy insert that expands and contracts when the Class Vehicle is used, which results in a sagging, buckling, bulging, and vibrating insert.”

Fiat Chrysler was aware of the problem because it issued a service bulletin

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is displayed during the New York International Auto Show
The Dodge Challenger | TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

RELATED: There Definitely Won’t Be Another Dodge Demon

With the insert warped it now damages the hood. The result being “stripped, cracked, and chipped paint on each Class Vehicle’s hood.” Fiat Chrysler was aware of the problem because it issued a service bulletin with a fix. Technicians were instructed to install a “smaller, non-original hood scoop bezel, That is the part you actually see on the hood. The problem then becomes an altered AirGrabber scoop that impairs the performance of the Demon. 

The lawsuit says that the service bulletin fix, number: 23-033-19, didn’t correct the problem. It also alleges that Fiat Chrysler in many cases fails to honor warranties. Also, it says that Fiat Chrysler denies the AirGrabber has inherent defects. It further claims that Fiat Chrysler continues to sell the 2018 Challenger Demons fully aware of the hood scoop problems. 

As a result, owners have paid out-of-pocket expenses to get their hoods repaired. The suit says that Fiat Chrysler should have already issued a recall to fix the hood scoops. It goes on to suggest that owners of $100,000 cars should not have to deal with the hood scoop problems or have Fiat Chrysler deny that there are issues with the scoop. 

The Dodge Demon could span the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph

When the Demon was introduced it featured a crazy assortment of features aimed at straight-line drag racing enthusiasts. With av-gas or racing fuel, it could produce 840 hp, but that’s only the beginning. A special engine controller unleashes the hidden Hemi horsepower. With little sound deadening, audio equipment, or sunroof, and a back seat as an option, plus other weight-saving features it could span the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. 

There are also adjustable dampers to help transfer weight to the rear tires. With a trans brake for better launches off of the line and the second set of 4.5-inch front wheels for extra weight savings, it harkened back to the days of stripped-down sedans in the 1960s running in the stocker classes. The Demon is a pretty wild package for extreme quarter-mile chasers.