June 2014

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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24 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | JUNE 2014 N early 10 class-action lawsuits have been filed against Caterpillar claiming that its 2007-10 model-year Acert C13 and C15 engines were defective – driving up costs for owners and driving down resale value – and that the company con- cealed the information from buyers and owners. Caterpillar no longer makes the engine line. The lawsuits – the most recent of which was filed April 30 – stem from Caterpillar's emissions controls system. Plaintiffs say the company's Caterpillar Regeneration System (consisting of a diesel particulate filter, aftertreatment regeneration device and an electronic control module) was defective, "causing the vehicle to not function as required under all operating conditions on a consistent and reliable basis, even after repeated emissions warranty repairs and replacements." Caterpillar in March filed a motion to have the cases consolidated and transferred to a U.S. District Court in Florida or New Jersey, arguing that consolidation would prevent duplicate proceedings, as the lawsuits center on the same allegations. Owners of the engines suffered damages that included lost vehicle value and the cost of buying a new engine that also was compliant with 2007 emissions standards, according to the April 30 lawsuit filed by Minnesota-based carrier Scenic Boundaries. Scenic further alleges that the CRS "repeatedly and frequently [experienced] warning, de- rate (horsepower reduction) and shutdown commands issued by the ECM," causing the need for diagnoses from a shop and "costly and time-consuming emissions warranty repairs, rendering them unreliable and unsafe for the transportation of goods." The lawsuit also claims Caterpillar knew about the problems with the engines and "concealed the defect from owners and/or buyers … and/or has failed to alert owners and buyers" of the defective nature of the engines. Scenic's lawsuit, like the others, is suing for breach of warranty and violation of deceptive trade laws and consumer fraud laws and is seeking compensatory damages, interest and attorney's fees and court costs. – James Jaillet Lawsuits allege Caterpillar concealed engine defects Text INFO to 205-289-3554 or visit The lawsuits stem from Caterpillar's emissions controls system, which plaintiffs allege was defective.

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