- Dodge wasn’t shy about promoting the 710-hp 2021 Durango Hellcat SUV, telling potential customers they only had “one shot” at getting behind the wheel of the fastest team bus in the dropoff lane.
- Buyers were understandably disappointed when Dodge said last year that it would bring back the Durango Hellcat as a 2023 model.
- Seven original customers have now filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, seeking more than $5 million in damages.
A class-action lawsuit was filed last week against the idea of the 2023 Dodge Durango Hellcat. Well, technically, the lawsuit alleges that Dodge used “false and misleading advertising and marketing” in 2020 when it told potential buyers that 2021 would be the only year the Durango Hellcat would see production, but then in late 2022 reversed course when it announced the 2023 Durango Hellcat with nearly identical features.
The lawsuit is seeking more than $5 million in damages, citing a few instances where Dodge representatives claimed it seemed like nothing more would happen after that year. the big one? Dodge CEO Tim Kunisakis said in a Dodge promotional video that “The Hellcat Durango will be a single-model-year run. When we turn the order book over to the ’22 model year, the Durango Hellcat will go. So you only got one shot.” [to buy one],
The lawsuit also quotes from a Dodge press release that credits Kuninskis: “The 2021 Durango Hellcat is only a single-model-year run, ensuring that it will be a very special, sought-after vehicle for years to come.” The latter will be the performance SUV. Based. On the anticipated demand, all dealer allocations have already been reserved, but there is still some time to secure unsold dealer orders.”
crazy enough to sue
Based on those quotes, the case appears to have at least some merit. Dodge promoted it as a limited-edition, power-mad SUV, and some people paid a lot for it. The lawsuit states that some people paid as much as $115,000 for their Hellcats. Now, all of a sudden, Dodge is making more of what is basically the same vehicle, and those people are furious with the litigation.
Of course, there’s another side to this: why Dodge said it would only build a year’s worth of Durango Hellcats.
Let’s start with a brief timeline. The “One Shot” video mentioned above was part of the July 2020 introduction of the Hellcat Durango. That same month, Kuninskis told Muscle Cars & Trucks that the Durango Hellcat would not be a serialized, limited-edition vehicle. Instead, Dodge was only building a small number due to the pandemic:
“With all the changes we made to the plant to come back [to production] With the sequencing and spacing in the plant after COVID, it has changed the number that we can make. , , I don’t have the exact number but it would be less than 2000. I don’t know how much less than 2000 would be. It will be determined by customer demand and how much we can manufacture in that six month period. Quoted as saying.
No cap on 2023 production?
Covid was part of the problem, but it has become part of the solution. Global chip shortages allowed Dodge to build more Durango Hellcats by adjusting production to other models. The final nail in the coffin was that the fuel-consuming Hellcats weren’t helping Stellantis meet its emissions goals. According to Motor Authority, COVID-related disruptions are decreasing, and Dodge engineers were able to meet emissions regulations by replacing the fuel tank, fuel filler and carbon canister, citing a Dodge spokesperson as saying that the 2023 Durango The Hellcat will not be a volume-limited model.
Dodge did not respond car and driverS Request for comment prior to publication. The company told other media outlets that it does not comment on pending litigation.
Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrid and hydrogen cars since 2006. New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk, and other outlets. His first green-car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the move away from gasoline-powered vehicles and exploring the new technology’s importance not only to the auto industry, but to the entire world. have been , Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or on good days behind the wheel of a new EV.