We expect gas station stops to go fairly quickly—just enough time to fill the tank, on our way to somewhere else. But the complaint for this class action says that your stop might be a lot longer if you have a Dodge Ram, made by FCA US, LLC. It alleges that the fuel tank filler necks are too steeply angled, so that gas nozzles can get stuck in them, forcing motorists to summon help.
The class for this action is all persons in the US and its territories who, during the statute of limitations period, bought any new or used model year 2015-2019 Dodge Ram. There is also a California subclass.
FCA is one of the biggest automakers in the world, and Dodge Rams are one of the most popular truck brands in the US. The company regularly updates its vehicles, but it seems that the current filler necks, offered since 2015, are steeply-angled. The complaint says that “standard fuel pump nozzles become lodged in the truck’s filler neck and cannot be easily removed.
Plaintiff Kelly Kingston says that he has had to spend twenty minutes trying to remove the nozzle. Once he had to call the American Automobile Association (AAA), which took two hours to get there and remove the nozzle. Owners who don’t have roadside assistance may have to call the local fire department. At times, when he has managed to remove the nozzle himself, he has been sprayed with highly-flammable fuel.
And that’s not the only problem. The complaint says, “Additionally, owners have difficulty refueling because the filler neck’s angle triggers standard fuel pumps’ automatic shutoff function, causing the pumps to stop fueling every few second and forcing owners to refuel their vehicles with mere ounces at a time.”
The complaint quotes postings from online Ram forums complaining about the problem:
“Last night it took 2 entire hours. … I couldn’t even pry it out with the tire iron.”
“I have been filling up A LOT of different vehicles in my time driving but have NEVER experienced anything like this fuel filler … it has gotten stuck 4 times in the 5 fill-ups. Even the gas station attendants stopped trying to get it out as they didn’t want to hurt my truck.”
“It’s a catch 22. If you try not to push it in too far, it clicks off. If you push it in far enough to seal the vapor recovery, it gets stuck.”
Since complaints have been made since the release of the 2015 Dodge Ram, the complaint says, FCA US must have known about the defect for a while. However, it has done nothing about it, has not recalled the trucks, and has not told consumers about the problem. The complaint alleges that the fix is fairly simple and shows an image depicting two different filler necks—one the too-steep filler neck, Part 68400788AA, and the other a less-angled potential replacement, Part 68448220AA.