A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Fiat Chrysler accusing it of continuing to sell vehicles it knows has defects. The lawsuit claims that various models of Jeep, Fiat, and Chrysler products experience high oil consumption. This causes them to dangerously shut down unexpectedly. Hundreds of consumers are part of the class-action. Low oil pressure issues have been a common problem according to the suit. It goes on to say Fiat Chrysler “…has expressly acknowledged in other unrelated safety recalls that ‘an engine stall could cause a crash without prior warning.’”
Which vehicles are part of the lawsuit?
The engine at the center of the lawsuit is the 2.4-liter TigerShark MultiAir II engine. It is found in the following vehicles:
2015 – 2016 Chrysler 200, 2013 – 2016 Dodge Dart, 2016 – 2020 Fiat 500X, 2017 – 2020 Fiat Toro, 2014 – 2020 Jeep Cherokee, 2017 – 2020 Jeep Compass, 2015 – 2020 Jeep Renegade and 2015 – 2020 Ram ProMaster City.
“Owners of these vehicles are terrified of sudden, unexpected engine stalls, and left empty-handed by FCA dealerships and technicians who continue to ignore this serious safety hazard,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney for vehicle owners in the class action. “It’s only a matter of time before this defect leads to a fatality, with millions of affected vehicles sold by FCA on the road.”
Owners experience sudden engine stalls with the vehicle in operation
A number of owners are quoted in lawsuit as experiencing sudden stalling while the vehicle is in operation. One owner says, “My brand new Jeep shut off on me while driving several different times and I was told at the dealership that it was because I needed an oil change. My dash told me I had 30% left before it needed an oil change. It apparently has a mechanism that will detect either low oil or an oil change needed and just kill the engine… The car never gave an indicator.”
Another claims that their new vehicle used three quarts of oil in the first 3,000 miles of use. The lawsuit also claims that if the oil indication system was working properly it would alert the driver’s engine oil was low. It wouldn’t change the excessive oil consumption issue but would avoid the engine shutting off from a lack of sufficient oil.
The lawsuit also accuses Fiat Chrysler of “fraudulent concealment”
Fiat Chrysler is being accused of concealing the oil consumption issues by labeling the defects as “normal” in service bulletins. It says the company is doing this to avoid a recall of millions of vehicles to fix the issues. The lawsuit goes on to say that Fiat Chrysler was violating several state consumer-protection laws. Because of this, the suit claims that this amounts to “fraudulent concealment.”
This is the second lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in as many weeks. The one filed at the end of April dealt with Jeep sway bars disconnecting while the vehicle is in use. Both Ford and GM have had their share of class-action lawsuits in recent months.
The lawsuit was filed Apr. 29, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Compensation in the form of monetary relief and also punitive damages for fraud and gross negligence are being sought. If you own a Fiat Chrysler vehicle with the 2.4-liter TigerShark and are experiencing similar problems it would behoove you to contact the lead firm.