Jeep vehicles are known for their rugged appearance. Outdoor enthusiasts love the durability and off-roading capabilities the iconic SUV offers. What Jeep owners don’t like is a common problem that can become an expensive issue to deal with. A class-action lawsuit was filed in April 2020 against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to address the problem customers are experiencing.
The common problem Jeep owners are experiencing
The class-action lawsuit pertains to all Jeep vehicles that have the 2.4-liter Tigershark inline 4-cylinder engine. According to CarComplaints.com, owners of these vehicles are experiencing issues related to engine failure. The lawsuit claims that Jeep vehicles have a known problem with consuming an excessive amount of oil.
Despite frequent oil changes, owners report a constant issue with low oil levels. This can result in the vehicle stalling unexpectedly, sometimes with no warning indicator lights going on to alert the driver to a potential problem. There have been multiple reported cases of the engine shutting down completely while the driver was operating the vehicle under normal conditions. The lawsuit estimates that vehicles operating with the Tigershark engine are using one quart of oil for every 1,000 miles driven.
The vehicles affected
The vehicles included in the class-action lawsuit include the 2014-20 Jeep Cherokee, 2015-20 Jeep Renegade, and the 2017-2020 Jeep Compass. All of these vehicles have the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine. Several other Chrysler vehicles were also affected by the same problem and are also included in the lawsuit.
Is FCA aware of the issue?
Documented in the lawsuit is the fact that FCA has known about the excessive oil consumption issue since 2015. They released a Technical Service Bulletin referring to the issue as a normal condition in Jeep vehicles. FCA has refused to recall the affected Jeeps, and no suggestions have been made to correct the problem.
One of the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claims that an FCA certified service technician told them that, “this is a known issue with their vehicle and that the dealership itself has had to replace multiple engines as a result of abnormally high oil consumption.”
Other Plaintiffs in the case claim that FCA replaced their defective engine using a 2.4-liter Tigershark as the replacement, thus not eliminating the ongoing problem.
The source of the problem
The lawsuit against FCA claims that in vehicles equipped with the Tigershark engine, oil escapes past the piston rings and seeps into the combustion chamber. This results in the piston rings not working effectively within the cylinders. An abundance of wear occurs, requiring more oil than should be needed.
The complaint alleges that there is an apparent manufacturing defect or design problem that is preventing the engine from operating with the correct level of oil. Owners report having to add oil frequently, sometimes as often as every 750 miles, to accommodate for the oil being burnt off at such an excessive rate.
Estimated costs of repairs
Members of the class-action lawsuit are requesting FCA to stop selling Jeeps with the Tigershark engine. Owners of affected vehicles are asking for a recall to correct the problem so that they won’t have to incur the exorbitant cost on their own for repairs. They want the defective engine parts to be replaced with components that will function properly.
A replacement of a seized engine can run upwards of $5,000. It has been reported that FCA is not allowing reimbursements to Jeep owners or lessees for any repair expense related to oil consumption issues.
Possible long-term effects
The lawsuit alleges that if the oil is consumed at an excessive rate, the engine will not have sufficient oil for proper lubrication or cooling. This could result in “premature wear of internal parts and catastrophic engine failure.”