“Death Wobble” Class Action Filed Against Chrysler for Dodge Ram Steering System Defects
In a class action filed in California federal court, five consumers who purchased Dodge Ram vehicles from dealerships located in California, Texas, and Utah sued Chrysler Group, LLC for defective steering system components found in certain Dodge Ram vehicles manufactured between February 14, 2008 and January 21, 2012. The defect at issue concerns the failure of tie rods in the steering linkage system of these vehicles, which can cause unexpected loss of steering control at high speeds, termed a “death wobble.”
According to the complaint, Chrysler became aware of the defective tie rods shortly after releasing the 2008 model year Dodge Rams, but “opted to conceal the existence of the Defect from Plaintiffs and the general public.” After a January 2011 recall of model year 2008-2011 4500/5500 vehicles and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation leading to the expansion of that recall to 2008-2011 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 vehicles in August 2011, the problem still was not remedied and tie rod defects continued to occur in several vehicles.
In October to December 2013, Chrysler issued a recall of 2008-2012 Dodge Ram 2500/3500/4500/5500 vehicles, again citing safety issues related to steering tie rod fractures. Despite promising to repair vehicles free of charge, Chrysler conceded that “the parts required to provide a permanent remedy for this condition are currently not available.” Chrysler then allegedly secretly advised dealers of “an order restriction on the parts needed for the recalls,” and that the parts were not expected to be available until April 14, 2014, after “recertifying the part and developing a new part number,” and then only in “limited quantities.”
The plaintiffs filed their class action on behalf of all persons within the US who purchased or leased model year 2008 to 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 4×4, 3500 4×4, 3500 Chassis Cab 4×2 or 4500/5500 4×4 vehicles in the United States on or after June 10, 2009. The complaint seeks actual and consequential damages, rescission, restitution and disgorgement of profits, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees for Chrysler’s alleged violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, various State warranty statutes, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and other causes of action.
If you or someone you know has purchased an unsafe product or been involved in an accident, you may be entitled to relief. Please call Khorrami Boucher, LLP for a confidential consultation.