Trucking Companies Sue Navistar Over Defective Engines

July 15, 2014

Three trucking companies that purchased vehicles in California, Illinois, and Washington state filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Navistar International Corporation, according to Jonathan D. Selbin of the law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. The firm is representing Denis Gray Trucking, Carmichael Leasing d.b.a. Carmichael NationaLease, and GTL Enterprises, Trucking Info reports.

The complaint, filed July 10, 2014 in federal court in Illinois, alleges that Navistar actively concealed that its 2008-2013 model trucks were equipped with diesel engines — the Maxxforce Advanced EGR diesel engines — that contained a defective emission system that caused the trucks to suddenly break down.

“The problems with these engines have cost buyers and lessees — including many small, family-owned businesses — thousands of dollars,” Selbin said. “In some cases, the unexpected mechanical problems endangered owners' ability to earn a living. The lawsuit seeks to hold Navistar responsible for the quality of its engines and ensure that buyers and lessees of Navistar trucks get what they paid for.”

The complaint alleges that the Maxxforce Engine is defective and the alleged defects lead to repeated failures, well before completion of its intended and expected useful life, requiring costly repairs often at the expense of owners and lessees. Further, the complaint says that when the trucks were brought in for repairs during the warranty period, Navistar did not properly repair the emission system and instead replaced them with another equally defective failure-prone system.

The complaint alleges that the defect rendered the Maxxforce Engines unreasonably dangerous at the time the Navistar trucks were purchased. The defect can and has led to sudden breakdowns, forcing trucks, often heavily loaded with cargo, to attempt emergency maneuvers, such as pulling to the side of the road. The defect also causes coolant and exhaust fumes to enter the passenger compartment of the Navistar trucks, causing risks of driver poisoning from the fumes.

The proposed class consists of all current and former purchasers and lessees of 2008-2013 model year Navistar vehicles nationwide equipped with Maxxforce Advanced EGR diesel Engines. Navistar sold trucks containing the defective Maxxforce Engines under its International brand name, including the following models: International Prostar and Lonestar; International Transtar; International Workstar and Paystar; and International Loadstar.

This complaint follows similar suits filed earlier in the week, Trucking Info reports.