A Cummins 6.7-liter emissions class-action lawsuit has been dismissed after the judge ruled the plaintiffs couldn't prove their case.
The lawsuit included the following diesel trucks:
2007-2010 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins diesel (2WD, 4WD) 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD) 2012 Ram 2500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD) 2007-2010 Dodge Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel (2WD, 4WD) 2011 Dodge Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD) 2012 Ram 3500 with Cummins diesel (non-SCR systems, 2WD, 4WD)
(Note: Dodge made “Ram” its own brand in 2012)
According to the plaintiffs, Chrysler conspired with engine supplier Cummins to create diesel trucks with emissions defeat devices that cause the trucks to emit illegal nitrogen oxide emissions even though the trucks are supposed to contain “clean diesel engines.”
The trucks are allegedly equipped with emissions systems that turn off or limit emissions reduction systems. The plaintiffs claim they performed emissions testing on one 2012 Ram 2500 truck to reach the conclusion all the trucks nationwide contain defeat devices.
The lawsuit also alleges the trucks were manufactured to pass emissions testing in a lab, but emit illegal emissions when the trucks are on the roads.
The lawsuit also references a “worldwide emissions scandal” as factual support for claiming the Ram trucks are illegal, as the beginning of the lawsuit says:
“[t]he world is besieged by a scandal involving tens of millions of diesel cars that violate relevant emissions standards and were sold under false pretenses that they were ‘clean’ or ‘cleaner than gas vehicles,’ or environmentally friendly.”
According to the plaintiffs, vehicles made by multiple manufacturers emit significantly more pollutants on real world trips than they do when undergoing laboratory tests. The plaintiffs use as proof the Volkswagen emissions scandal that involves millions of vehicles worldwide.
To support their claim the Ram trucks are illegal, the plaintiffs reference investigations and studies from Europe that show various vehicles from automakers tested higher than normal for nitrogen oxide emissions. But as the judge points out, the plaintiffs admit none of the referenced studies ever tested Chrysler vehicles, much less the Ram trucks in the lawsuit.
According to the judge, he dismissed the Ram emissions lawsuit because it “lacks sufficient well-pleaded facts that allow this Court to draw a reasonable inference that the results from Plaintiffs’ PEMS [emissions] testing of one vehicle plausibly shows the presence of a defeat device, a defect in the tested truck, or a defect that exists” in the Ram diesel trucks.
Furthermore, the judge points out the lawsuit has more than 100 references to defeat devices allegedly installed in the trucks, but the judge said it’s meaningless in court because the law demands more than “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.”
The judge ruled a lawsuit offering mere “labels and conclusions” and “naked assertions” devoid of “further factual enhancement” will not do.
The lawsuit also alleges that the emission system used to trap particulate matter must be “monitored and controlled” by the engine control unit, but the judge ruled the plaintiffs “plead no facts to support a reasonable inference that their conclusory allegation is correct.”
In addition, the judge found there is no evidence that the nitrogen oxide absorber catalyst is defective or was ever deactivated.
The judge further found the testing of only one truck to be fine for that one truck, but not to a nationwide of Ram trucks.
The plaintiffs also claim Chrysler has been in trouble before with diesel trucks based on actions by the U.S. government, but the judge ruled the engines in those trucks are different than engines named in the lawsuit.
The judge ruled in favor of Chrysler’s motion to dismiss the entire case, but the judge says he will grant the plaintiffs 45 days to amend the lawsuit, then Fiat Chrysler can file a response within 28 days thereafter.
The Ram emissions lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - James Bledsoe, et. al., v. FCA US LLC, and Cummins Inc.
The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman.