Ram Class-Action Lawsuit Over Diesel Engine Failures

A class-action lawsuit was just filed by a Ram 5500 Chassis Cab owner. He claims these diesel-powered Rams are prone to engine failures. It includes all 2019-2020 Ram 5500 Chassis Cab trucks with Cummins diesel engines.

The lawsuit says Ram did recall of these trucks in 2020 

The front grille of a Ram 2500 pickup truck
Ram 3500 | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

This goes back to September 2020 according to carcomplaints. Ram had a recall of 2019 and 2020 Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks. It focussed on engine fires and outright failures. The problem was described as a rod bearing failure because they weren’t getting the proper amount of oil during warmups. 

With a lack of oil film, the connecting rods would fail. Then they would punch out of the engine block. Hot oil would leak out and start fires from hitting components like the exhaust manifolds. The fix was to flash the engine calibration software so that engine warm-ups improved engine protection. 

The plaintiff bought a new Ram 5500 Chassis Cab in 2019. He paid around $75,000 for it. After less than a year’s use, the engine locked up on the freeway with no warning. The engine had seized. He had the truck towed to a Ram dealership.

The Ram’s warranty did not cover the engine failure

2021 Ram 5500 heavy-duty chassis-cab truck
2020 Ram 5500 heavy-duty truck | Stellantis

Almost three months passed before the dealership gave him the bad news. His warranty did not cover the repairs necessary to get the Cummins engine up and running. The dealership claimed that the truck has low oil pressure for 3,000 miles and that was the cause of the engine failure. 

A service invoice for the repair noted, “Concern Customer states oil leak Cause tech found a large hole in the engine block. Tech started case #101775894. Star engineering and Cummins verified failure is not warrantable due to low oil pressure at the time of failure. Correction warranty repair denied by Chrysler and Cummins. No repairs made.”

Cummins refused to fix or replace the engine

2021 Ram 5500 heavy-duty truck
2020 Ram 5500 heavy-duty truck | Stellantis

Once the plaintiff received the denial, he contacted Chrysler and got a case number. He was then contacted by Chrysler which told him that Cummins would not fix or replace the engine. With that, the owner took the truck to an expert diesel mechanic. 

He found no evidence of anything wrong leading up to the failure. A note from him says, “After inspection of the vehicle I found a huge hole in the side of the engine block. One of the connection rods broke, which caused the hole in the block. This is caused by connecting rod bearing failure due to a lack of oil pressure. While doing some research on this particular truck and engine combination, I came across a service bulletin recall on this exact truck.”

An outside mechanic has an idea as to why Ram launched a recall

2021 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty, one of the best new diesel pickup trucks according to Edmunds
2020 Ram Heavy Duty | Stellantis

Based on this info, the mechanic determined that the recall included reprogramming the computer because it was found there was not adequate warm time. The initial program lowered the oil pressure when the engine was cold to lower warm-up times. 

After all of this time, the Ram truck is still not functional. Still needing the use of a truck, the owner has purchased a different make and model. That, while his Ram truck continues to depreciate as time goes on.