A South Carolina man has filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against Fiat Chrysler after discovering that the Ram 1500 he bought last year didn’t have the heavy-duty axle for which he had paid extra.
The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Carolina. Robert Besley Jr. bought a 2014 Ram 1500 Big Horn pickup from Triangle Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Graniteville, S.C., in January 2014.
According to the vehicle’s Monroney sticker, the pickup came with an optional heavier-duty rear axle that had a ratio of 3.55-to-1, instead of the pickup’s standard 3.21-to-1 rear axle.
In general, the higher the axle ratio, the more torque is available at the rear wheels and the better a vehicle is at towing, though fuel economy is decreased. According to Ram’s consumer website, ramtrucks.com, the 3.55-to-1 axle ratio is a $50 option on a 2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn pickup.
After owning his pickup for nine months, Besley was notified by FCA that his Monroney sticker was wrong, and that his pickup instead had a 3.21-to-1 rear axle ratio. According to the suit, the automaker offered Besley “750 Mopar dollars” that could be used to buy service or accessories. The suit says that the automaker at no time “offered a complimentary replacement of his rear axle.”
The suit seeks punitive and other damages from FCA.
Mike Palese, a spokesman for FCA, said the company had not yet been served with the lawsuit and therefore couldn’t comment on the allegations. Another spokesman for FCA declined to say how many 2014 Ram pickups had different axles from those described on their Monroney stickers.