Lawsuit: Chrysler Pentastar 3.6L V6 Engine Oil Problems

by Aryn Plax

Feb 15, 2022

Fiat Chrysler’s Pentastar 3.6L V6 engines allegedly experience contamination of the engine oil, according to a class action lawsuit that claims defects lead to engine failure.

The Pentastar V6 problems include hesitation, misfires, surges, ticking, bucking, loss of power and, ultimately, engine failure. The following vehicles with the Pentastar engines are included in the class action lawsuit:

  • 2014–2020 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2014–2020 Dodge Charger
  • 2014–2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2014–2020 Dodge Challenger
  • 2014–2020 Dodge Durango
  • 2014–2020 Chrysler 300
  • 2016–2020 Chrysler Pacifica
  • 2014–2020 Ram 1500
  • 2014–2020 Chrysler 200
  • 2014–2020 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2014–2016 Chrysler Town & Country
A 3.6L Pentastar engine, exposed under an open hood.

What Causes The 3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems?

According to the Pentastar engine lawsuit, several engine components allegedly fail prematurely and cause problems with opening and closing the valves. The lawsuit claims the rocker arms and lifters to be defective and alleges problems with the engine control module software, which controls the timing and function of the lifters.

When these Pentastar engine components fail, they cause metal particles and debris to contaminate the engine oil. The contaminated oil circulates throughout the engine, damaging it. As a result, the Pentastar engine defects cause stalling and failure.

3.6 Pentastar Engine Complaints

Owners of Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with the 3.6 Pentastar engine have submitted complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The following complaints report engine problems such as oil leaks, rapid oil consumption, frequent stalling and vehicle shut-offs. They have been edited for clarity.

2016 Jeep Wrangler, Nov. 2, 2021

“2016 JEEP WRANGLER UNLIMITED SPORT. Vehicle has 41,500 miles. 3.6 Liter Pentastar V6. Gushing oil from the oil cooler onto the exhaust and smoking to the point of catching fire. [This is a] known issue from what I am reading online. I guess Chrysler is waiting for one of us Jeep owners to die in a car fire! $1,200 to replace… UNACCEPTABLE that a recall has not been forced on Chrysler!”

2016 Jeep Wrangler, Aug. 4, 2021

“Oil filter housing/Oil cooler cracked. Dealership says it’s a common problem on 2014+ Jeeps with a 3.6 liter engine, yet Jeep hasn’t issued a recall. Dealer stated that this seems to happen around 50,000 miles on the vehicle. No warning lights came on, I noticed smoke coming from under the hood when driving from oil falling onto exhaust. When pulled over, a large amount of oil was coming out from underneath the Jeep. This happened with 43k miles on the vehicle which is right around where the dealer said they were seeing a large amount of failures for this part.”

2018 Dodge Charger, June 8, 2020

“After reaching 23,500 miles it started acting funny, as in slowing to a complete stop. Accelerating, it would lose RPM, then go up then it hard shifts up until the 4 gear. Putting it in reverse, it would make a rocking noise under the hood. To stop it, I would have to put it in park. This happened 4 times. I brought it up to mechanics and they could not figure out the problem.”

2016 Dodge Durango, Sept. 16, 2021

“My car showed all kinds of notices on the screen and was not turning on correctly and shaking while driving or standing. I took it to the dealer and was told my entire engine will have to be replaced due to oil sludge on the engine and this cost will be around $9,000. I’ve been researching and it seems this tends to happen a lot to Dodge car engines. My car has under 60,000 miles.”

2017 Chrysler 200, Sept. 24, 2019

“I purchased my vehicle brand new in 2017 and started experiencing issues within the first year. The car has cut off multiple times while driving, without warning, in the middle of rush hour traffic. It also frequently stalls. I’ve taken my vehicle to 3 different dealerships in 2 different states at least 10 times. Two of the three dealerships claimed that the problem was some sort of fuse underneath the driver’s seat. After the car continued to shut off without warning, I was told that it was due to low oil. I’ve called Chrysler’s headquarters who has given me a free oil change package and instructed me to return to a dealership every 500-1,000 miles for an oil consumption test. They know that the car is burning an unusual amount of oil, which is a clear indication that there’s a problem. Instead of issuing a recall, they continue to put lives in danger by giving them back their death trap of a car and instructing them to check and get frequent oil changes. I’m guessing their hope is to keep the oil changes going until the warranty runs out. Someone’s going to lose their life or get seriously injured in these cars, I just pray that it’s not me.”

Fiat Chrysler’s Response: 3.6L V6 Pentastar Engine Problems

Fiat Chrysler allegedly knew about and concealed the Pentastar V6 engine problems since at least 2013. As a result, customers were made to pay repeatedly for repairs and replacements. According to the lawsuit, replacements could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500 for individual components and more than $6,000 for engines themselves. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicle owners allegedly received replacement parts that were equally defective.

Source: NHTSA.gov, CarComplaints.com


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