First time post, frequent reader. Sorry for the length, but I want to be accurate. Last week (10/3/17) my 2015 Ecodiesel with 46k miles engine caught on fire. While driving and towing and empty equipment trailer at highway speed ( 55mph ) the engine began to make high pitched knocking noises, followed by partial power, and the truck started decelerating as the engine rpms dropped, then stalled. I re-started the truck and the idle seemed normal, no check engine lights displayed, I was wondering if it was a fuel filter issue causing a lean air/fuel mix or computer issue and began to drive again but quickly realized there was no power, and poor acceleration. The engine began to decrease speed and again stalled, but this time gray, then black smoke came into the cabin through the air vents, and black smoke started rolling out of the front grill and hood seams. Black smoke that smelled like burning diesel in addition to plastic. Quickly adding up the senses produced the fact that I had an engine compartment fire. I happened to have a good sized fire extinguisher in the trailer hitch tool box, without much delay in realizing car fires spread quick and not wanting a fire bomb on the US Route 20 bridge overpass to NYS Route 88, I opened the hood with pin pulled extinguisher in hand and noticed black smoke and flames coming directly from under the plastic cover at the center top of the engine ( the one that covers up the fuel and injector lines). I was able to extinguish the fire in short order. Shaken up a little as this is a first for me, I called for a towing company to take the truck to the dealership. The dealership started to look at it the following morning, they were told to stop work repair until Chrysler could send an investigator. I had a short phone interview on 10/6/17 where basic questions were asked. Monday 10/9/17 an investigator examined the truck. I received a letter today from "Mr. Kon" stating that the investigation result has led them to believe that the fire was not due to manufacturing responsibility. No additional details were offered or disclosed as to cause and would not be offered if requested as that information is proprietary. The truck is entirely stock, no modifications, and has been serviced regularly at the dealership where purchased. No assistance will be offered by Fiat Chrysler of any sort and this will not be covered by the warranty. The cost is on me. I lodged a complaint at several levels today. Chrysler could care less and offers no avenue for discussion. The dealership is shaking their heads in disbelief of the letter. No parts were taken for examination or study (melted wiring harness, melted fuel hoses/lines), without any detail provided, it appears the investigation was entirely superficial. The truth is I want to know why did this happen? It is not normal order to have an engine catch on fire. If there is a 3rd party cause, then what happened? There are many thousands of Ram 1500 Ecodiesel trucks driven daily, at this point I am led to believe each of us have a genuine risk of a fire under the hood above and beyond what is deemed acceptable. Statistically this could be a real rarity or it could be just the beginning and a matter of time for all of these trucks to catch fire. Fiat Chrysler will not pay to repair this engine fire despite still being well within the power train warranty time frame, Fiat Chrysler will not pay partial expense, will not offer to pay for something as simple as a loaner car till the repair is complete, they will not buy the burned vehicle back, they will not communicate any further on the matter. If by choice I will not purchase any FCA vehicle, and based on my experience- I would seriously question anyone in the public buying their product from Chrysler. An engine fire in a 2015 model year 46,000 mile diesel fueled truck under warranty that will not be covered by the manufacturer is not normal. Any other engine fires out there???
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