Is FCA in a Lot of Trouble?

Is FCA in a Lot of Trouble?

Ever since we saw the Volkswagen diesel scandal take place two years ago it seems that every automaker that has a diesel offering in the US has been under some fire by either lawyers or the US government.  Even so, some of these lawsuits, similar to what Volkswagen dealt with, seem to have some merit to them and need to be discussed.  Right now we’re seeing the Ram truck brand being sullied in the courts because of filings against the heavy-duty trucks offered with the diesel engine and the trouble they could cause with one particular part.

FCA has had a long-standing partnership with Cummins to make the diesel engines offered in their Ram trucks.  In a recent lawsuit filing, claims were made that at the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine has a faulty selective catalytic converter (SCR) system that can break down and cause some serious problems.  To start with, the filter can get clogged and when it does more fuel needs to be burned which causes a lower fuel mileage number, her emissions and can even lead to expensive repairs to make this SCR system work the way it’s supposed to once again.

In an effort to fix this problem, FCA dealers have been re-flashing the computers for these trucks but this still causes more fuel to be burned to keep the filter clean, which leads to inflated fuel numbers.  The fuel economy loss for these engines is stated to be as much as 25 percent, making this a serious problem.  If this was something new that neither Cummins or FCA knew about a lawsuit might not be filed, but the lawyers, in this case, claim both companies have known about this problem for several years and have done nothing about it.

Another issue that has come up during these legal filings is a problem with the wash coat sealant applied to the SCR system which also contributes to the higher emissions.  This is another problem that’s claimed to have been known since at least 2014 with no action being taken.  In fact, both companies have known about this problem and have filed suits against each other in court claiming the problem is within the other company and they should be held responsible. Cummins claims they and the customers are being held hostage because FCA has refused to issue the recall because they didn’t feel they should have to foot the bill on this issue.

As if these issues weren’t enough, there is separate class-action lawsuit already filed by the same lawyers against FCA and Cummins regarding a claim of diesel engine emissions cheating software being present in these trucks.  FCA is already under fire from the US Government for alleged emissions cheating software that’s claimed to be present in the smaller 3.0-liter diesel vehicles, adding these larger models and bringing Cummins into the fray of this trouble would only add to the mix and the drama that will eventually unfold in the courts.

Has FCA been selling trucks that are knowingly cheating on the emissions testing?  Do these larger Cummins engines have a problem and if so which company should be held responsible to fix this problem?  Do the lawyers or the US government have a case against FCA?  Should FCA foot the bill and issue the recall needed?  These are all questions that are being faced with this new information that has come up regarding these engines.  It seems like every diesel engine on the market is being put to question since the latter half of 2015, and so far, several of them are being questioned heavily in courts. 

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