Cohen Milstein represented current and former truck owners and lessees in New Jersey, Ohio and Texas in a putative class action against PACCAR, the third-largest manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the world, and its subsidiaries, Kenworth Truck Company and Peterbilt Motors for breach of warranty, unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices related to the manufacture and sale of defective products.
On January 12, 2021, the parties arrived at a confidential settlement.
Filed on August 20, 2015, Plaintiffs allege that despite representations and warranties, their Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles containing the 2010 PACCAR MX-13 diesel engines, which included a specially designed After-Treatment System emissions control unit (ATS), suffered from a common defect that rendered them unreliable and resulted in the engines failing, derating, or requiring repowering, even after repeated warranty repairs and replacements.
The ATS and integrated systems, including a diesel particulate filter system (DFS) and a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) technology, were specifically designed to be in compliance with the EPA’s 2010 Heavy Duty On Highway Emissions Standard and California’s Air Resources Board emissions standards. Once an emissions malfunction is detected a malfunction indicator light illuminates in the truck cab to inform the driver of the malfunction, necessitating the driver to drive the truck to a PACCAR authorized dealer for immediate servicing. The complaint alleges that the changes made to the engines to comply with the updated EPA regulations rendered the engines defective and that Defendants were aware of the defective nature of the engines prior to bringing them to market. Defendants saw a sharp increase in warranty repair work immediately after the introduction of the engines, beginning with the Model Year 2010. Further, numerous complaints were posted on the internet, including accounts from class members who complained about the consistent ATS failures to Defendants. Notwithstanding this knowledge, Defendants intentionally concealed, withheld from, and/or misrepresented this material information to Plaintiffs and other purchasers of the defective engines and vehicles. Meanwhile, Defendants made numerous affirmative statements touting the high quality, durability and reliability of the vehicles, as well as the attempted repairs, which were also false and misleading.