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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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Welcome....

Guess what, you are not the first. Not the first to have a strange fire and not the first to have any responsibility or warranty coverage denied by FCA.

Look around this forum and find posts by others on this topic. Maybe you and others can file enough cases with FCA or incident reports with some Federal agency to at least get answers. For now it's probably on your insurance company.
 

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They are refusing to pay for repairs under warranty????????? Breach of contract and consumer affairs laws in your state.

Wtf got into the idiot who typed the letter. Guy is an idiot.
I would immediately ask my insurer to get a cause and origin investigation going and refuse to authorize repairs until completed.




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Welcome....

Guess what, you are not the first. Not the first to have a strange fire and not the first to have any responsibility or warranty coverage denied by FCA.

Look around this forum and find posts by others on this topic. Maybe you and others can file enough cases with FCA or incident reports with some Federal agency to at least get answers. For now it's probably on your insurance company.
Are there really other stories like this? Only other fire I remember is Vern's wire harness.
 

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I think now is when you hire an attorney? I wouldn't take no for an answer, they have to do something, it is still under warranty.
 

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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???
I am sorry to hear about your Fire , and loss of vehicle. How large (heavy) was the equipment trailer you were towing , was it still attached to the truck when they investigated ? Also , did you receive any error message on the screen during the first time it stalled out ?
 

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There is a recall on the water pump. It can fail and cause engine fire. Does is possibly look like the fire emanated from that area?

Very sorry for you loss. If all recourse fails with FCA your insurance company will cover replacement. I would definitely be in touch with them. Let them repair/replace and then they can deal with getting FCA to cover the bill. This is part of the reason to have insurance. They will take on the burden of retribution after you are back down the road.
 

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I think now is when you hire an attorney? I wouldn't take no for an answer, they have to do something, it is still under warranty.
Well sorta.. If I park my truck over a leaf pile , and it starts on fire , don't think that is a warranty issue. Point being , if they can show negligence on the part of the owner , they will deny deny deny. In this case the owner restarted his truck , possibly after it thru codes and warning messages , which could be seen as negligence on his part. I hate to sound like a dick , as I know I do right now , just playing devils advocate. There are many variables to every story. FCA Claiming responsibility would most likely cause a safety recall on ALL our trucks. Not saying there is not something to be concerned with , but it would have much greater consequences than ,, just fixing OP's truck.
 

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Your best route is likely your insurance company and let them duke it out with FCA. You pay the insurance premiums, let them bare the pain. Wash your hands of the whole thing and sleep well.

If your Vindictive, call FCA back once more (highest level you can get through too) and tell them they will be dealing with your insurance company from here on in, and that you are contacting the media and going "public" with this incident to help ensure "no one is severely injured or killed" by a FCA vehicle fire.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The origin of the fire from what I see, and by all means I'm not a combustion forensics expert, is an electric harness just to the left of the common rail below the supply/ return diesel lines that come through the firewall and run over the top of the engine to the high pressure pump. My guess is the electrical fire caused the fuel lines to melt. There is also a reinforced rubber fuel line that comes off the end of the common rail that looks compromised. The dribbling diesel then worked into the plastic fire and added fuel to the existing combustion. I read about the water pumps overheating, but that doesn't seem to fit the circumstances. Regarding the insurance company doing an investigation, that may be more complicated to write about than the events of the fire. In my mind it's about what is right and wrong. FCA is on the wrong unless they demonstrate reasonable doubt as to the cause was not a manufacturer issue beyond a simple letter. The equipment trailer is a medium duty, ball hitch type, tandem axle. 7000# capacity. It was empty having borrowed it up from my father and was on the return home trip. The trailer was removed prior to being towed to the dealer as it was a traffic safety concern on the shoulder of the bridge overpass.
 

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The origin of the fire from what I see, and by all means I'm not a combustion forensics expert, is an electric harness just to the left of the common rail below the supply/ return diesel lines that come through the firewall and run over the top of the engine to the high pressure pump. My guess is the electrical fire caused the fuel lines to melt. There is also a reinforced rubber fuel line that comes off the end of the common rail that looks compromised. The dribbling diesel then worked into the plastic fire and added fuel to the existing combustion. I read about the water pumps overheating, but that doesn't seem to fit the circumstances. Regarding the insurance company doing an investigation, that may be more complicated to write about than the events of the fire. In my mind it's about what is right and wrong. FCA is on the wrong unless they demonstrate reasonable doubt as to the cause was not a manufacturer issue beyond a simple letter. The equipment trailer is a medium duty, ball hitch type, tandem axle. 7000# capacity. It was empty having borrowed it up from my father and was on the return home trip. The trailer was removed prior to being towed to the dealer as it was a traffic safety concern on the shoulder of the bridge overpass.
let your insurance company deal with FCA and they can conduct a thorough analysis. I would not waste the time it takes to type it up. If you had standard bumper to bumper 3/36 and it is not a power train issue that caused the fire, they do not have warranty responsibility to cover it. However, if you get your insurance company involved, maybe they can push and you could also get DOT or NHTSA involved. So, just to play devil's advocate, you said FCA is in the wrong unless they prove otherwise. So, that leads to guilty until proven innocent type line of thought. Best to wait until all of the facts can be established.
 

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Unfortunately you fighting a loosing battle,I've been to numerous engine compartment fires ,unless you have a definitive cause,you have no case . A mouse could have chewed the wiring to cause the fire , ( very common) And I do understand FCA position on these issues. I wouldn't let it affect my mental health. Fix it and move on .
 

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That response from FCA is utterly reprehensible. Wow. Yes you restarted the truck, but no codes, warnings, etc anything to tell you otherwise that you shouldn't have done that? And besides they didn't list that as a reason for rejecting this. They're just washing their hands of it.
Wow is about all I can say. At least your dealer is in disbelief too. I am as well.

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Make a claim with your insurance company, and file a report with the NHTSA - https://www.nhtsa.gov . If there are many other similar reports on file, FCA will be in the spotlight.
 

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Would insurance cover this instance? I would think they would if a total loss, but not just the engine. It is great you acted quick for the safety of others and the environment, but if it were mine I would of let the whole truck go up...that way insurance would sure cover a total loss.
 

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In hindsight, it appears the big mistake was putting the fire out! Let it burn to the ground and file an insurance claim!
 

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All the calls to let it burn aren't really helpful when you consider some of us carry a lot of stuff in our vehicles. Yeah, it would all be covered, but in reality it takes a lot of time to go out and have to buy all that stuff over again. All the little things we carry that we would have to shop around for and buy again, some maybe irreplaceable. Having to shop for, buy accessories, and install them to another new truck all over again. Toolboxes full of tools, takes a lot of time to replace all those kind of things. Time isn't free. Better to put the fire out and if the truck is a loss anyway, most of your accessories are still reusable, tools and belongings intact, etc. You still have to spend time to transfer items and reinstall accessories, but at least you don't have to spend all that additional time associated with shopping for everything.

I also wouldn't be surprised with insurance companies always looking to suck every bit of blood, er, money out of you, that if one had an extinguisher onboard and didn't use it, the insurance would have some way out of it...

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