Let’s just say this is not the way to conduct a recall. Fiat Chrysler issued a recall for the Ram 1500 over exhaust gas recirculation or EGR cooler cracking in diesel applications back in 2019. But the rub is that at the time it told Ram owners “the remedy for this condition is not currently available.” It went on to say Fiat Chrysler was “making every effort to finalize the remedy as quickly as possible.”
Owners were told they would be notified when a fix was figured out
Owners were told they would be notified when a fix was figured out. That would indicate a fix was forthcoming soon. Further, owners were informed to monitor coolant levels and if they were consistently low they were to contact their local dealer.
Recall notices started to trickle out and owners went to dealers to have the EGR cooler replaced. But many times dealers informed owners that the replacement EGR coolers were not available. Dealers also say the factory informed them replacement parts were in limited supplies and they were only to replace the parts if they failed completely.
All of this has now led to a class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler according to carcomplaints. It says that the company concealed the cooler defect and led customers to believe a fix was coming shortly. Then turned away owners when they showed up to the dealer for the fix. A specific tale of a truck burning down was related in the lawsuit.
The dealer said there were no parts currently available
A plaintiff’s 2016 Ram 1500 received a recall notice in the latter part of 2019. The notice said that at the time there was no fix available. The owner was to monitor the coolant levels and contact the dealer if they were low. He tried getting his truck into a dealer to have it fixed but the dealer said there were no parts currently available.
Seven months later the interior started filling up with smoke as the owner was driving. Then the power went away. The occupants safely exited the truck right before a number of explosions occurred. Immediately afterward the truck was engulfed in flames. A fire department eventually put out the fire.
The dealer’s schedule put his truck into the shop sometime toward the end of 2020
When the owner went back to the dealer to explain what happened the dealer told him it could only fix one EGR cooler per week. He was then informed he was number 20 on the list of trucks to be fixed. That would have put his truck into the shop sometime toward the end of 2020 to get fixed.
Affected trucks were built between June 2012 and October 2019. It covers hundreds of thousands of Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic trucks built with 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engines. It states, “An EGR cooler with an internal crack will introduce preheated, vaporized coolant to the EGR system while the engine is running. In certain circumstances, this mixture interacts with the other hydrocarbons and air in the system potentially resulting in combustion within the intake manifold which may lead to a vehicle fire.”
With the filing of the lawsuit today we’ll see if there is any restitution for those waiting for their Ram 1500 trucks to be fixed and losing them to fires caused by the EGR cracking.