Lawsuit Investigation: Jeep, Dodge Heating & AC Problems
Last Updated on October 13, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who owns or leases a Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Journey, Dodge Avenger or Dodge Charger and had problems with their car’s heat, defroster, and/or air conditioning.
- What's Going On?
- Attorneys are investigating whether a defect has led to heating and cooling problems in these vehicles. If so, they may be able to help people get back the money they spent on repairs through a class action lawsuit.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak to anyone who owns or leases any of the following vehicles and experienced problems with their car’s heat, defroster, and/or air conditioning:
- Jeep Wrangler
- Dodge Journey
- Dodge Avenger
- Dodge Charger
They're investigating whether a defect is causing the cars’ heating and cooling systems not to work properly, resulting in costly repair bills that should – but aren’t being – covered under drivers’ warranties.
What’s Believed to Be the Problem with the AC and Heaters?
Attorneys suspect that the problem stems from a chemical reaction between coolant installed by Chrysler and aluminum components in the vehicles’ Pentastar V6 3.6-liter engines, particularly those that make up the heating and cooling system.
This reaction can allegedly cause sludge to build up in the heater core and other components of the heating and cooling system, causing problems with the AC, heat and defroster.
Fiat Chrysler has already been sued over its 2012-2017 Jeep Wrangler vehicles, but complaints from drivers suggest that the problem may extend to certain Dodge models as well.
What Does the Lawsuit Say Exactly?
According to the suit against Chrysler over its Jeep Wranglers, the alleged defect compromises the safety of the cars. From the lawsuit:
"In the absence of a properly functioning Cooling System, operators cannot sufficiently defrost their Class Vehicles’ windshields, rendering the vehicles difficult or impossible to drive in cold-weather conditions, like when freezing precipitation occurs when driving. In addition, certain vulnerable drivers and passengers are unsafe when the vehicles’ Cooling Systems do not operate properly. Vehicles without sufficient heating cannot safely be used to transport passengers in extremely cold temperatures, and without sufficient air conditioning cannot safely be used to transport people in extreme heat.”
- HANUSEK, ET AL. V. FCA US LLC, Case No. 3:18-cv-00509
The case is also claiming that Fiat Chrysler is telling Wrangler owners that repairs are not covered by their warranties because:
- The issue was created by “external factors” or “owner misuse”
- The warranty period expired
Further, the lawsuit claims Chrysler knew or should have known of the heater core issue as early as June 2012 due to pre-sale testing, public customer complaints and internal complaint records identifying “large-scale heating and cooling failures.”
Consumers Complain About Heat, AC Not Working
A number of consumers have posted online about problems they’ve experienced with their Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Some of these complaints can be read below [sic throughout].
Just replaced heater core dodge journey 2010 problem was hot air driver side less hot air passenger side find out by openning the heater core that almost half of it was clogged on passenger side of the core.”
OK I have a problem with the heater core in my 2013 Dodge Avenger. I’ve taken it to the dealership and they tell me that the heater core is plugged. After further investigation on the internet I learned I’m not the only consumer with this problem. The dealership tells me it a defect in the manufacturing of the heater core from the factory but no recall has been issued.”
—NHTSA ID No. 10938426 Union Grove, Alabama
With both driver and passenger levels set the same temp the drivers side will be hot and the passenger side cold (again at the same temp settings). - The driver side / passenger side vents will blow air at different speeds which is technically impossible given there is only one fan. The car is now in the dealership for the second time to try and get things right. More to follow on the result but I'm not optimistic and my warranty will expire shortly."
— Dale P., Olive Branch, MS, CARCOMPLAINTS.COM
The Heater core seems to be a major issue with this vehicle. Especially if you live in cold areas. The Heater only blows warm air on the driver side of the vehicle and cold air on the passenger side. Dodge is well aware of this issue but has not done a recall on this placing the cost to repair this problem onto the consumer…The cost can be anywhere from $900 to $1300 to repair depending on your area mechanics.”
— Frank, VehicleHistory.com
How a Class Action Lawsuit Can Help
A class action lawsuit could:
Help drivers get their money back for repairs
Order Chrysler to declare that the issue will be covered under warranty
Require Chrysler to inform affected customers of the alleged defect
Help ensure Chrysler and other automakers take more care in verifying their vehicles are free from defects when they’re released onto the market
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