Lawsuits allege Caterpillar concealed defects in 2007-2010 engines

| May 07, 2014

Caterpillar C15Nearly 10 class-action lawsuits have been filed against Caterpillar claiming that its 2007-2010 year model ACERT C13 and C15 engines were defective — driving up costs for owners and driving down resale value — and that the company concealed the information from buyers and owners. 

The lawsuits — the most recent of which was filed April 30 — stem from Caterpillar’s emissions controls system. Plaintiffs say the company’s Caterpillar Regeneration System (consisting of a diesel particulate filter, aftertreatment regeneration device and an electronic control module) was defective, “causing the vehicle to not function as required under all operating conditions on a consistent and reliable basis, even after repeated emissions warranty repairs and replacements,” according to court documents. 


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Caterpillar in March filed a motion to have the cases consolidated and transferred to a U.S. District Court in Florida or New Jersey, arguing that consolidation would prevent duplicate proceedings, as the lawsuits center on the same allegations. The judges who heard the motion have not yet made a ruling. 

Owners of the engines suffered damages that included lost vehicle value and the cost of buying a new engine that also was compliant with 2007 emissions standards, according to the April 30 lawsuit filed by Scenic Boundaries, a carrier based in Minnesota. 

Scenic further alleges that the CRS “repeatedly and frequently [experienced] warning, de-rate (hp reduction to prevent damage) and shutdown commands issued by the ECM,” causing the need for diagnoses from a shop and “costly and time consuming emissions warranty repairs rendering them unreliable and unsafe for the transportation of goods,” according to the court documents filed last month. 


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The lawsuit also claims Caterpillar knew about the problems with the engines and “concealed the defect from owners and/or buyers … and/or has failed to alert owners and buyers” of the defective nature of the engines, according to court documents. 

Scenic’s lawsuit, like the others, is suing for breach of warranty and violation of deceptive trade laws and consumer fraud laws and is seeking compensatory damages, interest and attorney’s fees and court costs.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of anyone who owned or leased a truck with a 2007-2010 C13 or C15 within the warranty period.

Caterpillar no longer makes the engine line.

  • Rich Miller

    Exactly why CARB needs to back off. The new engine technology isn’t even close to being reliable or credible.

  • Brian Taylor

    Yea and my company made no admissions as to how awful this engine is and now I am forced to either seriously modify it and delete the dpf system altogether and make it into a normal c15 cat …then the truck is reliable again but useless for resale

  • Rich Miller

    It’s not just CAT having these problems. Cummins and Detroit are having plenty of issues as well. It used to be exhilarating to buy a new truck. Unfortunately, now it’s as unpredictable as playing roulette in Vegas

  • Loren Hutnick
  • localnet

    More like Russian Roulette in some seedy dealership.

  • localnet

    I have two words, “Glider Kit”.

  • Deez Nuts

    Glider kit, 6nz. There, I fixed it for you.

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  • jan johnson

    You got that right.

  • mike

    I used to mechanic some, I pull the hood and see a two turbo set up on the yellow motor, I close the hood and tell the driver, take it to the dealer. On Detroit, with egr valve and complaint of power loss, the fix is change the $900 egr valve. I could not gamble that much for a fix. Go see the dealer. I have an 04 Cat motor in my Columbia. Good to me so far. Little thirsty and kinda slow. But I get there.

  • Mike R

    How do I get my name on the class action, action? I’m barely hanging on because of that garbage engine.

  • Rich Miller

    Glider kits or running older engines are great as long as you don’t have to go to California…..

  • Robert DeJonge

    I have a 07 IH 9900 with a 550 Cat that I bought new I used to trade every 4 or 5 years, Im holding on to this as compared to the new tree hogger junk after 07!

  • greg

    04 cat engines are junk to if u have the mbn c15 1 year only for that paperweight

  • MarsRiver

    I actually asked a Cat Dealer if they could remove my Regen System. I was told yes, however they would never be able to perform services on the engine again until the system was reinstalled and they would not reinstall it . I can only imagine that other well branded facilities would follow the same track if an engine has been modified from its original anti-pollution condition. I just replaced my DPF. In a previous post I noted the Cat Dealership personnel told me I was the first they had seen in their facility to exhaust the life of a DPF. It was topping out internal pressures due to the filter being so encrusted with particulate matter. To give a round figure it cost ( including labor ) $6,000.00. The mileage at replacement was 768,951 on the speedometer. I did run the engine from my last posting. I began to experience the Check engine lamp as the DPF was unable to reach proper operating temperature. That doesn’t take into account the 9-12 month intervals of ARD Head changes at $9-1,200.00 each time.

  • mike

    That is what I have and I put 250K miles on it. Just change the oil and filters. Have had to change most things attached to the motor but the motor is treating me good. Sometimes it loses the prime and I have to use starter spray.

  • Carmen Bastos

    How do I get my name on the law suit?

  • knightwolf

    Maybe they should bundle Cummins in that lawsuit, for the crappy things they did to the isc 8.3 motor

  • whf3826

    I know this article is about CAT’s lemon the ACERT, but we are running the 13 Liter PACAR engine.
    Within the first 30,000 miles 2 have blown an injector.
    When this happens, be prepared to replace the whole head as the injector seat is non repareable.
    I hate it for the 2nd owner of these trucks who thinks he is getting a good deal.

  • Ed

    Acert engines are the best ever made. Even better than my 750hp 6NZ but you have to get rid of the factory programming in the ECM.

  • Kevin Frank

    this guy says the acert is better than his 750hp 6nz! You need to down flash your 6nz to atleast a 585hp and try it again. The 6nz engine can not stand the extra torque or hp.over 40psi manifold pressure withuot finding a way to bleed pressure somewere! You figure it out.

  • large car

    They will starve before I bring them anything!!!!

  • Jim Kennedy

    u do see the issue don’t u? its not just the engine repair/replacement costs, right. Its the inspections by DOT personnel who issued citations to operators based on faulty engines, who received citations during that time (2007-2010 CAT engines)?

  • Troy T

    This engine cost me and my family everything plus bankruptcy. I tried to fight them in BBC Supreme Court alone and had to drop the case because of no income. I have lots of info to share or add. Cat should be held accountable. Anyone needing this info call me at 2506430076 would be happy to share. They spent over $200k trying to fix the screw ups and still couldn’t make it work. Left the truck at the Peterbilt dealer who also left me hanging and had to actually walk away from it.

  • Troy T

    The dealers loved it they made more then the owners doing the warranty work on these pieces of crap.

  • truckermatt

    Just replaced my ARD last week. It was failing to ignite and regen. Cat Dealer told me the C15 Acert is an awesome engine, its the smog stuff on it that makes it junk. He also said I would love it if I took out the DPF and reprogrammed the ecm. hmmmm, was he telling me to do something?

  • john driver

    HOW do we get added to this lawsuit? My c13 dpf always clogging, lack of regeneration has cost me thousands in lost revenue from out of service time. I run a knuckleboom crane truck. Lots of idle and stop and go town driving. Bought truck new. Always has been a problem. Really has hurt me financially. I’m not a suing type of person, but I agree they owe me. WHO DO WE CONTACT???? Plus when a parked regeneration works, it gets SO HOT it has melted my outside lift axle guage under the cab. Luckily I noticed it in the beginning and I place a big alumninum shovel to deflect the heat during parked regens.

  • Burnie White Reyes

    I have a C-13 in an 09 Peterbilt too many issues with the DPF. how do I get rid of the factory programming?
    Burnadette 801-792-5351
    please let me know

  • Martin Mikaeili

    I bought this 2008 freightliner with C15 Acert April of 2013 and I have been working for our local tow trucks and mechanics because of all the brake downs involving this motor among with the DPF. I’m afraid that this truck will put me out of business real soon. don’t know where to turn. any one with the same problem that knows the solution please send me an e mail, strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.