Class Action Emission Fraud Lawsuit

On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Fiat Chrysler of outfitting certain vehicles with software that enables them to emit illegal amounts of nitrogen oxides into the air.

Affected vehicles: Dodge Ram 1500 diesel trucks and diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees made between 2014-2016.

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How to Join the Class Action

If you own a Dodge Ram 1500 diesel truck or a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee made between 2014-2016, you might be entitled to compensation. The auto maker failed to disclose the installation of Auxiliary Emission Control Devices on diesel and light duty trucks in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Fiat Chrysler & Dodge Truck Models with Emission Cheating AECDs:

  • 2014 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2015 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2016 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The EPA is accusing Fiat Chrysler of rigging the affected vehicles in a way that makes them operate differently during emissions tests than when they are on the road. Many truck owners have decided it’s time to file an emission fraud lawsuit against the manufacturers for using emission cheating software. According to the agency, there is “no doubt” that the vehicles were emitting illegally high levels of nitrogen oxides.

Unfortunately for owners of these vehicles, they may see a substantial reduction in their value. They may also need to have repairs performed to bring their vehicle into compliance with the federal government’s Clean Air Act. But if you own one of the vehicles allegedly outfitted with the software, you may be able to fight back. Contact Baron & Budd to learn more.

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Which Vehicles are Affected?

According to an article that appeared in The New York Times, the affected models include the following:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured in 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Dodge Ram 1500 diesel trucks manufactured in 2014, 2015 and 2016

There could be as many as 104,000 Fiat Chrysler vehicles that were outfitted with the software, the Times reported.

The Dangers of Nitrogen Oxides

Nitrogen oxides are gases that are made of nitrogen and oxygen, with two of the most common being nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide.

These gases are typically released into the air from the exhaust of motor vehicles as well as the burning of diesel fuel, oil, coal and natural gas. When combined with other organic compounds, nitrogen oxides form smog. When combined with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides can cause acid rain.

But nitrogen oxides are also extremely harmful to humans as well as the environment. When exposure to high levels occurs, it can cause swelling of tissues in the upper respiratory tract and throat, making it very difficult to breathe. It can also result in fluid build-up in the lungs as well as throat spasms. Nitrogen oxide exposure can also result in the following problems:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Long-term exposure can result in severe respiratory issues, including tissue damage and severe coughing. In some instances, this exposure can be fatal.

Another “Cheat Device?”

In its announcement, the EPA stated that the affected vehicles were outfitted with eight emission control devices, but the manufacturer did not disclose that fact to regulators when Fiat Chrysler applied for approval to sell the vehicles in the U.S. According to the agency, the devices appeared to result in the vehicles performing in a different manner when they were being tested compared to when they were in normal use. There was “no doubt,” the EPA said, that the vehicles were illegally emitting pollutants.

The Times reported that the agency’s description of the software was very similar to allegations leveled against Volkswagen. In that case, the EPA accused the German automaker of outfitting several models of cars with software designed to “fool” emissions testing equipment by making it appear that the vehicle’s emissions are in compliance with the Clean Air Act. Once the vehicle senses it is not being tested, it deactivates the software and the car reverts back to emitting illegal levels of pollutants.

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