BK Trucking challenges Caterpillar over ACERT engines

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 4/12/2013

A New Jersey-based trucking company has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Caterpillar, claiming its C13 and C15 engines sold from 2007 to 2011 were defective.

Between 2007 and 2010, BK Trucking Co. of Newfield, NJ, purchased 10 tractors with C13 or C15 Caterpillar Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction Technology (ACERT) diesel engines.

According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, BK Trucking alleges that problems with each of the tractors they purchased with this technology “began shortly after the vehicle was purchased, usually within 25,000 miles.” The company cites “numerous breakdowns of the engines, specifically the emissions and regeneration systems” usually every seven to eight weeks, which forced drivers to pull over and shut down.

BK Trucking complains that after a breakdown, the truck had to be towed to a Caterpillar-authorized repair facility, because the computer codes and software were proprietary and BK’s own mechanics or other truck repair facilities were not able to repair or service the ACERT system or the DPF.

BK Trucking also claims in the lawsuit that it has sustained economic losses stemming from the alleged problems with the C13 and C15 engines. The company states it sustained economic losses because of “multiple catastrophic engine failures and attempted repairs to the engine, and substantially lower resale values associated with the vehicles containing the engines because the problems with the engines are widely known and feared in the industry.”

The class that the plaintiff seeks to represent is defined as “all individuals in New Jersey who purchased, not for resale, trucks and other heavy duty vehicles containing defective emissions and regeneration systems in their model year 2007 through 2011 Caterpillar C13 and C15 ACERT diesel engines.”

A New Jersey-based trucking company has filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar, claiming its C13 and C15 engines were defective.

A similar challenge was filed in Texas in 2010 after a company there purchased buses with 90 C15 ACERT engines.

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