Chrysler Seeks to Dismiss Dodge Ram Steering Problems Lawsuit

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Los Angeles, CAA class-action lawsuit over Chrysler Dodge Ram Recalls alleging defective steering should be dismissed, the defendant claims, because Chrysler’s efforts to undertake ongoing recalls answers and therefore negates any claims over defective products alleged in the putative class action.

This, in spite of many plaintiffs alleging they have had to wait months, after a recall has been announced, for parts to become available - amongst other claims.

According to court records, the putative class action was filed this past April and alleges defective products - specifically defective tie rods, which are an integral part of the vehicle’s steering mechanism. The plaintiffs assert that Dodge Ram trucks built between 2008 and 2012 are plagued with excessive shimmy caused when a tie rod loosens. The shimmy has been popularly dubbed the Dodge Ram “death wobble” due to excessive vibration that allegedly reduces the capacity for a driver to adequately control the vehicle at higher speeds.

The Chrysler Dodge Ram Recalls lawsuit further alleges that the excessive shimmy can begin when one of the front tires encounters a groove or bump in the road, triggering a vibration that can only be controlled when the vehicle is brought to a complete stop. There have been reports of injuries and even deaths alleged to have been caused by the problem.

Specifically, according to the lawsuit, the tie rod ball stud in those models affected is not strong enough to withstand the rigors of normal use, and can fracture under normal driving conditions - a far cry from the rugged use depicted in marketing campaigns.

“The weakness is exacerbated by the defective design of the cross car steering linkage system, which allows contact between the ball stud and the ball housing, thereby weakening the stud,” the complaint said.

Chrysler responded with a defective steering-system tie rods recall. The company also reportedly offered to reimburse owners of defective Dodge Ram trucks for having to repair their vehicles themselves. Dodge Ram vehicles are favored by contractors and farmers for agricultural and industrial work, and the truck becomes an integral part of their operation. Dodge Ram trucks, in fact, are marketed with that thought in mind - a rugged brand for the hard-working American who needs a truck as tough as he or she is…

However, according to the lawsuit, plaintiffs claim they have not been reimbursed either for repairs of the tie rod system or resulting damage to the vehicle stemming from the alleged failure. Plaintiffs also claim that Chrysler has failed to reimburse them for loss of use.

Plaintiffs claim they have been unsuccessful in scheduling appointments with their respective dealers to have the tie rods repaired or replaced. The Dodge Ram defective automotive recall was announced in 2011, following testing of the allegedly defective vehicles in response to reports of the now-infamous Dodge Ram “death wobble.”

Undaunted, Chrysler has moved to have the putative class-action lawsuit tossed out on grounds that the automaker has offered appropriate relief that moots any claims in the class action. Chrysler also claims that there are various legal deficiencies in the lawsuit involving warranty, fraud and negligence claims.

The case is Shaun Sater et al. v. Chrysler Group LLC, Case No. 5:14-cv-00700, US District Court for the Central District of California.

Chrysler Dodge Ram Recalls Legal Help

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Reader Comments

Posted by

My truck is a 2008 Dodge Lone Star 4x4 1500 quad cab. I bought it in 2010 (traded in a 2006 4x4 Dodge Mega Cab). I got the 2008 truck used at the largest local Chevrolet dealer.

The 2008 had 33,000 miles and now 6 years later I have 80,000 and long past the extended warranty. I have not experienced the death wobble, but became aware of it two years ago. I received a flyer two years ago from the local Dodge dealer saying the truck was on recall for the front end problem. They also said my truck would receive an extra 10% trade-in over Blue Book if I traded it in. Also that they would contact me for the repair when parts came in (which they never did).

Earlier this year (2016) I asked my loan officer what my Blue Book value was and he said $13,000 to $15,000 (I have a second refinance loan now for about $5,000 remaining). When I saw a $10,000 Dodge Caravan I drove it and asked for an estimate of my trade-in. They offered $10,000 for my Dodge truck. I was not very happy at that lowball offer. Now I know they offered a lousy trade-in value. Dodge corporation should be required to buy all the affected vehicles at values to be determined by a class action lawsuit. We are all getting screwed and it's time they own up to their deadly conduct.

Posted by

I have a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Last August I was driving to Nashville (70 to 75 mph, ramping on/off changing lanes etc.) a loud popping noise would occur as I turned the wheel. I got out to check several times and parked couldn't find anything wrong. The next morning I pulled in my church parking lot and when I attempted to back out the wheel fell over. No steering whatsoever since the tie rod pulled completely out of the wheel connection. Talking about close calls and near death situation! I had the Jeep towed to the dealership and made several complaints to Chrysler customer care. I was told it was human error and there was nothing they could do since my warranty was out. I recently contacted the Chrysler care center again to request if some sort of reimbursement could happen due to recent events with other vehicles. After 2 weeks I received a reply to say recalls were current on my Jeep and they didn't know what I was referring to. It's not just trucks and I thank God, literally, that the failure happened when it did. I love my Jeep and am disheartened to know that issues are not being dealt with in a forthright manner since lives are at stake. I have pictures of the tie riod if anyone is interested.

Posted by

I have a 2012 dodge ram 3500 4wheel drive truck. I received the recall and took my truck to the dodge dealer and was told the replacement parts were also being recalled. They told me to just bring my truck in the next time I got an oil change and they would hope the replacement parts would be in by then. Before that time the tie rod on my truck broke. I was only going about 20 miles an hour at that time and could not steer the truck but managed to come to a stop without hurting anything or anyone. I called the number on the recall notice and they told me to take it to the nearest dodge dealer and they would repair it for free and also pay for my towing. I follewed the instructions they gave me so they would reimburse me the towing cost of $300. After waiting weeks and weeks and several phone calls they said they could not verify the tow bill with the tow company and then told me the time had run out and the claim would be left unpaid although they would give me a free front end alignment. I checked with the tow cmpany and they told me they were never contacted by dodge or anyone concerning our tow. My wife was in the truck with me at the time the tie rod broke and it was a scary and intense situation trying to stop the truck without being able to steer it. I would like to join any suit filed against Dodge.

Posted by

I have a Dodge 2002 caravan and it having issue too should I have this included or what should I do. I dont want to die.

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