No wonder why they're now suing.
This all began as part of an EGR cooler recall on 2014-2019 Ram 1500s and Ram 1500 Classic trucks powered by the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. For those who don't know, an EGR cooler is a device used to help cool down diesel engine exhaust gas before being sent back into the engine to further reduce NOx values. In regards to the Rams, the trucks' coolers are prone to thermal fatigue and can eventually crack internally, leading to a loss of power and in some cases catch on fire.
That FCA-issued recall, however, allegedly failed to remedy the issue and now a class action lawsuit has been filed against the automaker. The recall was first announced in October 2019 for nearly 108,000 Ram 1500s from those aforementioned model years.
At the time, the automaker told owners the fix for the problem was "not currently available" but "every effort [was being made] to finalize the remedy as quickly as possible." In the meantime, FCA instructed owners to monitor their truck's coolant levels and to contact their dealers if those levels dropped and remained consistently low. The plaintiffs claim these instructions created the impression that simply monitoring the coolant level would be good enough until a permanent fix was ready and they could continue driving the trucks.
One plaintiff says he tried to have the EGR cooler fixed at a dealer but replacements remained unavailable. Although he continued to monitor coolant levels, about seven months after receiving the recall notice the truck began to fill with smoke while he was driving and quickly lost all power.
The driver and his occupants managed to leave the vehicle unharmed but within minutes it was engulfed in flames. The owner informed his dealership about the incident but was allegedly told only one EGR cooler fix could happen per week and his truck was number 20 on the list. It was too little, too late.
The lawsuit specifically states the following: "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 other hydrocarbons and air in the system, potentially resulting in combustion within the intake manifold, which may lead to a vehicle fire."
Until the coolers are replaced, these trucks could be a potential fire risk.