Law firm’s second filing adds additional vehicle owners representing eight states against automaker
Owners of Fiat Chrysler cars containing a dangerous low oil pressure defect have filed a class-action lawsuit against the automaker stating that it knowingly sold millions of the affected vehicles that can consume abnormally high amounts of oil and shut down unexpectedly during operation, according to attorneys at Hagens Berman.
The lawsuit brought May 18, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan contains accounts from nine vehicle owners from eight states – Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and seeks to represent individuals from all states.
The class action states that the following FCA models with 2.4L TigerShark MultiAir II engines are affected: 2015 - 2016 Chrysler 200, 2013 - 2016 Dodge Dart, 2016 - 2020 Fiat 500X, 2014 - 2020 Jeep Cherokee, 2017 - 2020 Jeep Compass and 2015 – 2020 Jeep Renegade.
Attorneys say that Fiat Chrysler has been made aware of the low oil pressure defect plaguing owners of its vehicles. "…FCA has expressly acknowledged in other unrelated safety recalls that ‘an engine stall could cause a crash without prior warning,’" the lawsuit says.
"Every day more Fiat Chrysler owners step forward to share their story of narrowly avoiding harrowing accidents, as they endure expensive repairs and drive in fear of a major crash," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing the class of vehicle owners. "Fiat Chrysler has known about this oil pressure defect affecting its various models, yet it continues to stand idly by, offering its customers little to no recourse."
Lawsuit Details Owners’ Near Crashes
Hundreds of owners of affected Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Jeep vehicles have taken to online forums and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to report the low oil pressure defect, overconsumption and unexpected engine shut offs/shut downs, and the lawsuit filed May 18, 2020 details plaintiffs’ first-hand experiences with the low oil pressure defect:
- In November 2019, Plaintiff was driving 60 miles per hour on the freeway when the Affected Vehicle shut down on him without warning. This was particularly dangerous because the other vehicles on the freeway also had no warning that the Affected Vehicle would suddenly slow down.
- Plaintiff has experienced the Oil Consumption and Oil Indicator defects over the duration of ownership. Plaintiff’s Affected Vehicle has shut off on her multiple times without warning while driving. The first time this happened was within the first six months of purchase, when the Affected Vehicle had less than 5,000 miles on it.
- In September 2017, Plaintiff was driving the Affected Vehicle on the highway with his family inside and the vehicle shut down without warning. This was particularly dangerous because Plaintiff was driving fast at the time and the steering wheel locked up. Plaintiff was able to get the vehicle to the side of the road and called a friend to come and tow the Affected Vehicle back to his home. In December 2018, Plaintiff was driving the Affected Vehicle home after Christmas and the vehicle shut down multiple times without warning.
- …about six months after Plaintiff purchased the Affected Vehicle, the Affected Vehicle shut down without warning while her 18-year-old daughter was driving it. Plaintiff’s daughter took the vehicle to a nearby friend’s house after she was able to restart it and the friend’s parents checked the oil and it was four quarts low.
- Plaintiff has contacted FCA repeatedly to discuss her concerns about the Affected Vehicle’s excessive oil consumption. FCA keeps telling Plaintiff there is nothing that can be done…
The lawsuit accuses FCA of violating various state consumer-protection laws, as well as fraudulent concealment. Attorneys are seeking monetary relief for owners of the affected vehicles, as well as punitive damages against the automaker for its fraud.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with nine offices across the country. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of "Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm," and MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.