Caterpillar agrees to settle, resolving class action lawsuit

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief | Friday, July 01, 2016

A $60 million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit related to whether Caterpillar brand engines with exhaust emission control systems, known as the Cat Regeneration System, failed to work reliably.

Plaintiff Caterpillar customers claim the defective regen systems caused C13 and C15 on-highway diesel engines to lose horsepower and shut down. The trucks then had to be towed to a Caterpillar-authorized repair facility for repair because the computer codes and software are proprietary and require qualified technicians to repair the engines. According to official settlement information website, technicians “allegedly could not effectively do” repairs.

The technology Caterpillar used in the engines was the engine maker’s solution to EPA 2007 emission compliance – known as Advanced Combustion Emissions Reduction Technology, or ACERT. The engines involved in the class action were ACERT engines.

Caterpillar, which left the on-highway engine business in 2009, denies legal claims in the case and denies that it acted improperly in any way but endorsed the settlement as a realistic resolution. The court has not decided who is right.

The settlement offers payments to current and former owners and lessees of vehicles with EPA 2007 compliant Caterpillar on-highway C13 and C15 engines manufactured in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. The settlement payments are expected to range between $500 and $10,000, based on the number of engines and repair history.

The settlement resolves a number of lawsuits filed. Those actions were consolidated earlier this year and transferred to the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

Those who have owned or leased a truck, bus or other vehicle with certain Caterpillar engines, may be entitled to a payment from this class action settlement.

Class members must file a claim in order to receive a cash payment. The claim filing deadline is March 20, 2017, for online claims. Mail-in claim filings must be postmarked by March 20, 2017.  Class members who prefer to pursue legal action can exclude themselves and get no benefits. Class members can also object to this settlement by writing to the court. Another option is that to do nothing and get no benefits. By doing nothing, class members give up any rights they might have to sue Caterpillar about the claims resolved by this settlement.

For information on the settlement, filing a claim, objecting or exclusion from the settlement, click here. Questions can also be mailed to the Settlement Administrator at Caterpillar Engine Settlement Administrator, PO Box 4153, Portland, OR 97208-4153, or call the toll-free number, 1-888-593-5379.

A fairness hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20, 2016.

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