Chrysler Facing Valve Stem Lawsuits Related to Tire Pressure Monitoring
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Chrysler alleging that faulty valve stems result in issues related to the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The lawsuits targeted valve stems in the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country, both minivans.
The amended complaint included one plaintiff who had purchased a Dodge Grand Caravan. The original plaintiff asked that Thomas Hromowyk be added to the lawsuit as a class representative. However, Hromowyk has since pulled out of the class-action lawsuit. Below, we’ll discuss why.
Hromowyk alleged that he had purchased a 2010 Dodge Caravan in October of 2009. By February of 2013, he had to take the vehicle to a third-party repair shop to have each of the four tires replaced. Unfortunately, Hromowyk did not see any part of the repair work and the parts were thrown out after the repair work was complete. Other than the fact that the repair work required that the TPMS be replaced, there was nothing that Hromowyk could present in court to support his argument.
Two years later, Hromowyk noticed that the vehicle was reporting that the tire pressure was low. Hromowyk decided to put air in the tires when he noticed that one of the TPMS valve stems was missing. He brought the vehicle back to the repair shop to have the valve stem repaired. Months later, he noticed his tires were still losing air and found that another valve stem was missing. Hromowyk replaced the valve stem. Two years later he had the front right TPMS unit needed to be replaced entirely. At this point, Hromowyk requested that the parts be returned to him.
In 2018, Hromowyk brought the vehicle back again to have the left-rear TPMS unit replaced after he noticed a valve stem nut had cracked. A year later, he needed to replace the rear TPMS unit on the other side of the vehicle for the same reason.
Why Chrysler Won
Chrysler was able to get Hromowyk removed from the suit because they alleged that Hromowyk had damaged or destroyed the evidence. This is known as a sanction for spoliation. Essentially, Chrysler alleged that Hromowyk had failed to keep evidence that could have been used in the case.
Hromowyk insists that he told the mechanics to keep the TPMS units on at least three occasions, one before the lawsuit and two after. Hromowyk also insists that he didn’t know that the units were the subject of a lawsuit.
The mechanic who performed the work, however, testified that it requires significant force to remove the TPMS system and it is likely that the parts would be destroyed in the process of removing it. The court agreed and barred the plaintiff from acting as a class representative.
Talk to a Florida Defective Auto Part Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured due to a defective auto part, call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today and will investigate the situation. If we believe that you have a solid case, we’ll take it at no charge to you. Call today to learn more about how we can help.