A proposed class action alleges the diesel particulate filter found in certain 2018-2020 Jaguar, Range Rover and Land Rover models is prone to clogging under normal operating conditions, posing an “extreme and unreasonable” safety hazard in that the vehicles can shut down without warning.
Filed in New Jersey federal court, the 29-page lawsuit says Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC began equipping its diesel models with a diesel particulate filter in 2009 in an effort to improve emissions. Per the case, a diesel particulate filter is efficient at capturing and storing soot particles from exhaust gases and can thereby help lower tailpipe emissions and better protect the environment. In order to keep a vehicle’s diesel particulate filter clean and unclogged, an engine’s soot particles must be burnt through a process known as regeneration, the case says.
A high temperature is necessary for regeneration to take place, however, and a vehicle must be driven on a regular basis at highway speeds for prolonged periods of time for regeneration to occur automatically, according to the lawsuit.
As a result, the complaint says, the diesel particulate filter found in the automaker’s diesel vehicles is prone to clogging under ordinary driving conditions, including stop-and-go traffic. The case further claims the green, amber and red warning light in vehicles equipped with a defective diesel particulate filter often activates only after it is too late for regeneration to occur, forcing drivers to incur costly repairs. In all, the defect can cause a Range Rover, Jaguar or Land Rover to lose power suddenly and unexpectedly or otherwise severely limit vehicle performance, according to the suit. Moreover, the apparent defect poses a heightened safety risk given a driver can potentially become stranded with an inoperable vehicle, the lawsuit says.
“As a result of the [diesel particulate filter] defect, numerous Class Vehicle owners have had to replace their [filters] at exorbitant costs,” the case reads.
The plaintiff, a Brooklyn resident who bought a new 2018 vehicle from Land Rover Manhattan in New York, claims the amber warning light, indicating that the diesel particulate filter is in need of replacement, has illuminated roughly 10 times since he’s owned the car. The man argues that the time allowed by his vehicle for regeneration, i.e. the span between an amber and red warning light, has “typically ranged from fifteen minutes to one hour” and has never surpassed more than a few hours.
As the suit tells it, this window “can translate to driving a distance of three or four miles in congested traffic before the amber light turns red."
According to the complaint, Jaguar Land Rover North America knew at the time of sale or lease that the vehicles were defective and not fit for their intended use of providing safe and reliable transportation. The automaker nonetheless actively concealed from drivers the true nature and extent of the diesel particulate filter issue, the suit claims. Had the plaintiff and similarly situated owners and lessees known of the problem, they would not have bought or leased their vehicles, or would have paid less than the sticker price, the lawsuit asserts.
Despite being on notice of the diesel particulate filter defect from pre-production testing, warranty data, customer complaints, dealership repair orders and other sources, Jaguar Land Rover North America has neither recalled affected vehicles to repair the issue nor offered drivers a suitable repair free of charge, the case continues. Similarly, Jaguar has not offered to reimburse those who’ve paid out of pocket to diagnose and repair their vehicles, the suit says.
The lawsuit looks to represent those nationwide—or, alternatively, in New York—who bought or leased a 2018-2020 Land Rover, Range Rover or other diesel-engine powered Jaguar Land Rover vehicle equipped with a substantially similar diesel particulate filter.
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