A class-action law suit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit alleges that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Cummins Inc. deceived consumers by not disclosing the correct emissions levels emitted by the Cummins diesel engines in Ram heavy-duty pickup trucks.
The Detroit News and Automotive News (subscription required) are reporting that the suit filed on behalf of almost 500,000 owners of model-year 2007-12 Ram 2500s/3500s claims the companies conspired and rigged the trucks to hide nitrogen oxide emissions that were as much as 14 times higher than permitted by law. The companies are accused of fraud, false advertising and racketeering. The Detroit News reports that the EPA has taken no actions against the companies.
According to both news outlets, FCA and Cummins are reviewing the complaint.
"Based on the information available to it, FCA US does not believe that the claims brought against it are meritorious," Automotive News reported FCA said in a statement to Reuters. "FCA US will contest the lawsuit vigorously."
Jon Mills, a spokesman for Cummins, told Automotive News the lawsuit has no merit and contains false and exaggerated claims.
"Cummins is deeply disappointed in this effort to tarnish our image and we plan to vigorously defend ourselves," Mills said. "Cummins has a robust certification and compliance process and we prohibit the use of defeat devices in our products. We're transparent with all governing bodies in these processes, from the disclosure of the design and operation of the emission control systems, to test processes and results."
FCA and Cummins also are embroiled in a lawsuit regarding as many as 130,000 recalled model-year 2013-2015 Ram 2500 Cummins-equipped pickups to correct emissions issues resulting from intrusive moisture. FCA initially sued Cummins to recover $60 million it spent to repair 42,000 affected trucks and Cummins has countersued, Automotive News reports.
The latest suit comes at a time when Volkswagen Group is attempting to finalize details of its $14.7 billion settlement of its diesel emissions lawsuit.