Class action complaint filed in Canada over Caterpillar ACERT engines

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 9/5/2014

A law firm in Canada has filed a national class action complaint against Caterpillar Inc. and Caterpillar of Canada Corp. over alleged defects with its C13 and C15 engines.

Jeff Orenstein of the Consumer Law Group told Land Line in September his cases filed in Quebec and Ontario are similar to the cases filed in the United States over problems with Caterpillar Advanced Combustion Emissions Reduction Technology (ACERT) engines. The complaint in Canada includes Caterpillar engines from model years 2007 to 2011.

“I have heard from quite a few people, and the amount of money they have spent repairing these engines is amazing,” Orenstein said. “We have heard from fleets that have leased or purchased these trucks to the smaller guys who have all lost money in not being able to work. The massive cost of repairs has put some people in financial ruin.”

He said the cases in Canada are still in the early phases, and his firm is still “determining the jurisdiction where we will proceed” with the case. At this point, Orenstein said he was unsure of the exact number of trucks that have been sold in Canada with ACERT engines problems.

Orenstein said he has heard from Canadian truck drivers who say they have experienced problems with their regeneration systems and have had to pay costly repair bills to replace their emissions and regeneration systems, sometimes multiple times if the repairs were not covered under warranty. Others have had to pay pricey towing bills to have their trucks towed to a Caterpillar-certified repair facility in Canada because the computer technology is proprietary. They have suffered a diminished value of their vehicles because of the alleged defects.

“The amount of money they have spent on repairs is amazing, and we are hoping to help them recover some of this money,” he said. “We realize that for some people, they need the money now and they can’t wait, but we are fighting the good fight.”

In the U.S., a dozen lawsuits have now been filed against Caterpillar over alleged defects with its C13 and C15 engines from model years 2007 to 2010. Recently, Paul Weiss of the Complex Litigation Group LLC in Highland Park, Ill., told Land Line the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled that five proposed class action lawsuits over the Cat engines would be consolidated and heard in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

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