Differences in US and European gasoline are at the heart of this class action. The complaint alleges that the CP4 fuel pump does not receive enough lubrication from US gas and that the pump’s creators and the auto makers who used it in their vehicles knew it. In fact, it claims that the use of the pumps amounts to a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act conspiracy, in addition to other violations of the law.
A class and a number of subclasses have been defined for this action.
The affected brands include certain vehicles under the Ford name, under GM brands Chevrolet and GMC, and under FCA brands Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, and Chrysler.
The CP4 high-pressure fuel injection pump was designed by Robert Bosch GMBH and installed in diesel engines made by VM Motori, SpA. The engines were then used in the Ford, GM, and FCA vehicles. The CP4 pump promised greater fuel efficiency and power than its predecessor, the CP3 pump.
Unfortunately, the pump was designed to work with European diesel fuel. According to the complaint, this is the problem: American diesel fuel is cleaner, and when it is run through the CP4, the pump “struggles to maintain lubrication.” The cleaner, thinner fuel lets air pockets form in the pump, which causes friction between metal parts. This creates metal shavings, which are dispersed throughout the fuel system, contaminating it and ultimately destroying the fuel injection system and the engine.
In short, American fuel does not work properly with the CP4 pump. The complaint claims that the pump often fails around the 100,000 mile mark, but it is possible for it to fail much earlier than that. Repair or replacement costs vehicle owners from $8,000 to $20,000.
According to the complaint, the vehicle makers knew this: “By 2002, the Vehicle Manufacturer Defendants, through the Engine Manufacturers Association (or “EMA”), acknowledged that the lower lubricity of American diesel could cause catastrophic failure in fuel injection system components that are made to European diesel specifications.” However, they blamed the problem on consumers’ use of contaminated or substandard fuel.
The complaint says there are no good fixes for vehicles with the CP4 fuel pump, at least none that would make owners whole. In addition to the RICO violations, it claims fraud by omission, violations of deceptive and unfair trade practices laws, and breaches of warranty, among other things.