Trucking Company Sues Caterpillar Over ACERT Engine Technology

April 08, 2013

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Caterpillar advertised its C15 engine with ACERT technology for 2007 at an industry trade show.
Caterpillar advertised its C15 engine with ACERT technology for 2007 at an industry trade show.

Caterpillar is again facing legal action as a result of the ACERT engine technology it used to meet EPA's 2007 emissions regulations.

According to a website for business lawyers,, a proposed class action suit filed last week in New Jersey federal court alleges Caterpillar sold defective engine systems that constantly failed and did not last as long as Caterpillar said they would.

BK Trucking Co. alleges that Caterpillar has known for years that its Caterpillar C13 and C15 Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction Technology diesel engines were defective, yet concealed the problems while still touting the engines’ high quality and reliability.

“This action arises from defendant’s failure, despite longstanding knowledge, to disclose to plaintiff and other consumers that the emissions and regeneration systems of the engines are defective and predisposed to constant failure,” the complaint says. “Caterpillar actively concealed the defect and that the existence of the defect would diminish the intrinsic and resale value of the vehicles.”

BK Trucking said it bought 10 new trucks with the C13 or C15 engines between 2007 and 2010 and that they break down every seven or eight weeks. Emissions and regeneration systems were cited as the main culprits. The problems include repeated instances of check-engine lights, engine de-rating, and diesel particulate filters clogging due to faulty regens, with soot buildup that causes requent engine shutdowns, the suit alleges.

The suit alleges Caterpillar provides only temporary repairs or replaces it with another equally defective and  failure-prone system.

A spokesman for Caterpillar told that the company does not discuss pending litigation.

It's not the first legal challenge Caterpillar has faced over its ACERT technology. In 2010, we reported on a similar lawsuit in Texas, which chronicles problems with Caterpillar C15 Acert engines produced with exhaust emissions equipment designed to meet federal limits imposed in January 2007. That suit involved 90 Cat-powered trucks run by three fleets.

BK Trucking Co. is represented by James C. Shah, Natalie Finkelman Bennett and Scott R. Shepherd of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah LLP and by John W. Trimble of Trimble & Armano. The case is BK Trucking Co. v. Caterpillar Inc., case number 1:13-cv-02076, in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey.


  1. 1. Earl Scott [ April 08, 2013 @ 12:44PM ]

    Lets blame caterpillar. Instead of the government. Cat had a good engine until the government stepped in, like they always do. There so called global warming crap. They need to do, like we do, around my part of the U.S. We just pulled all of the regen and emission crap off. Just stay out of CA. Get almost 2 miles better fuel mileage, and runs a lot better. All the new trucks have problems. They should be thankful,l they do not have any new internationals!

  2. 2. Dr Diesel [ April 08, 2013 @ 06:57PM ]

    Should this not read "Trucking Company Sues Navistar Over Maxxforce" A Failed Engine Period.

  3. 3. Jim B [ April 08, 2013 @ 07:55PM ]

    The Maxxforce basic engine is a Caterpillar with Navistar fuel injection system. The Acert was the beast engine before that with twin-turbo's. Many owners with Caterpillar Acert engines I know pulled all that trash off the right side of the engine including installing new single turbo. Navistar pulled the Caterpillar based Maxxforce engine from production, it's finished. Not sure what failed on Maxxforce as I don't know anyone who owns or drives a truck with one installed. Too bad Caterpillar can't return to it's former 3406E engine as that one was alright.

  4. 4. TomC [ April 09, 2013 @ 12:07PM ]

    The Maxforce13 engine is a M.A.N based engine that International uses with it's own injection and exhaust system that never really worked correctly. The Cat CT13 is the Maxforce 13 engine painted yellow. The Caterpillar based C15 to make the Maxforce 15 never got into production. Seems amazing that both International and Caterpillar that have been in partners for years (both the DTA466 and Cat 3126 used the same injection system) that both have failed the on road engines. Now International is finally converting to the DEF system and using Cummins engines while converting their Maxforce 13 engine over. Not certain what engine will be installed in the Caterpillar truck-certainly not a Cummins!

  5. 5. ETRS [ May 14, 2013 @ 09:28AM ]

    Nobody, not even the government told CAT to release their new engines. They rushed to get it done. If they didn't have a perfected motor they should have bailed on it before releasing it to the consumers. I own one of these trucks and while CAT was a good motor, put a DPF on it, they fail it is horrible and the repairs are astronomical. I have been forced to buy extended warranties on the DPF, which only covers the DPF, not the days off that I miss. And I have missed many days to this motor. My first year, it was in the shop more than I drove it, or earned money with it. Another issue is, no other service facility can't scan it for an engine code. Do you know why? CAT wants you to bring it back to them for their enormous hourly labor rate. Is that fair? If you bought a FORD and you had a service guy who was highly qualified to repair your car, but he couldn't because FORD could only scan it and diagnos it, you would be fit to be tied and that would be called a MONOPLY. They have a monoply on the failure motor they produced and they knew it, otherwise they would have realesed the tools for others to be able to diagnos and repair. They win all the way around. Until this efects everybody, you the consumers, the average person will not care. But it will someday because nothing in your house came in a car, it was all delivered by a truck at some point. No trucks, or costly repairs, can be passed onto the consumer eventually. Can you afford to pay more? A DPF is equavilant to putting a hand over your mouth all day. The government can't filter everything, even though they try. Here's anology a human has to eat food and drink water, but the government doesn't want you to deficate or urinate, that would be detrimental to your health. Just like a motor with a DPF and diesel. They want the diesel to produce no residual, it can't happen, it won't work. It is detrimental to the truck and it's perfmance as have experienced for the last 4 years.

  6. 6. BULLHUSK [ May 30, 2013 @ 09:53AM ]

    When Detroit had the 92 Series back in the day, they failed realy bad !! But they stood beheind them an put the new Silver Series in all the trucks that came with the OO-92. On the other hand Cat, cut bate and ran, leaving guys like me with 4 of these monsters holding the bag! I don't know what the hell I was thinkin back then in 06 07 but I had a all Detroit fleet and was talked into it by the Brooklyn F-Liner dealer! I'm still kickin myself in the ass! Cat knew they were trouble but they went ahead an sold them anyway and now they should pay the price, It's not like the don't have the money! Detroit is the way to go,I have an 09 with 800,000 mi and no troublesI only had to clean the muffler one or two times

  7. 7. Berryhill [ June 23, 2013 @ 06:00PM ]

    So all the acerts have these problems? Or just the first generation?

  8. 8. HECTOR MONTANI [ August 30, 2013 @ 12:27PM ]


  9. 9. Pattie [ January 22, 2014 @ 01:09PM ]

    Hector, did you ever find out how to get involved in this or any other lawsuit?

  10. 10. Trucker Matt [ February 07, 2014 @ 02:08PM ]

    I can't make any money with my 2008 Cat C15 Twin Turbo constantly in the shop and gets horrid fuel ecomomy. How do we join in the lawsuit???

  11. 11. James Stai [ February 15, 2014 @ 01:29AM ]

    I have a 06 peterbilt with a c15 avert built in Mexico and I've been having probelms with it not happy at all, fuel mileage probelms and horsepower probelms , could this be one of them motors

  12. 12. James Stai [ February 15, 2014 @ 01:29AM ]

    I have a 06 peterbilt with a c15 avert built in Mexico and I've been having probelms with it not happy at all, fuel mileage probelms and horsepower probelms , could this be one of them motors 608-567-9962

  13. 13. Kyle Chamblin [ February 15, 2014 @ 09:37AM ]

    Don't feel alone everyone. I Googled about Detroit 60 series EGR equipped motors and this came up. I have very similar problems with my 60 series EGR motor they are junk as well. I know of 15 so far motors that had to be over hauled with an average life of 300,000 miles. Very eerie similar issues. I have an appointment on Feb 18th for a possible class action with a power house law firm taking the case on a contingency basis. If they did not feel there was no suit there. They would not be taking the case on contingency.

  14. 14. troy [ March 02, 2014 @ 02:23PM ]

    I currently have 2 trucks an 03 Coronado 575 det and new purchase of 08 westen star 475 twin turbo cat c15 . my coronad has 1.8 km on it never been touch had it 5 yrs next to no problems except minor alt star had 9 months been nothind but problems and all being this burn unit anyways had enough of it it's getting bypassed before I'm broke I said I only have 2 trucks very small business and this truck if I keep going like I am I will be out of business and not because of cat but our government......Thanks to emmisions for putting my business at risk of failing. tks so much

  15. 15. Paul [ March 03, 2014 @ 12:26PM ]

    We are pursuing a class action against CAT over these engines and would like to speak with folks who are having trouble with these engines. Call us at 847 433-4500 ext. 2601 or email [email protected]

  16. 16. Brian [ March 22, 2014 @ 06:47AM ]

    My ACERT went the whole 600,000 mile warranty period with zero warranty claims. I am about to turn 900,000 and I have had very few problems. My 90 day average mpg is 6.92, and I run mostly in the NW. This C-15 is the best engine I have ever had.

  17. 17. Kennedy 5358 [ April 05, 2014 @ 05:59AM ]

    Man this (2014) year alone ive spent $15000 on this regeneration system and its only April. I'm having mine removed as soon as possible, before I lose my home behind this system .in January I had the R head and flame sensor s replaced . February back in shop for clogged r head .u never have it right. Ok done with it

  18. 18. [ May 05, 2014 @ 07:06AM ]

    Caterpillar is hurting everyone to make more. They call it Acert for a reason. it hurts your bottom... line.

  19. 19. Harry Towner [ June 20, 2014 @ 02:10PM ]

    The third time I have had problems wilt the regeneration system,alone with valves, and crams filer.

  20. 20. MGNM Logistics [ July 03, 2014 @ 09:14PM ]

    I just had one of my drivers call me - 2010 Kenworth with POS Cat stranded him in ND Now I have to send another tractor and go myself and tow it home,
    I will Delete that crap when I get it back here and California can do without my company anymore I have had it with this.

  21. 21. Rick Sully [ September 04, 2014 @ 11:53PM ]

    I got a Pet 388 2011 and in the last 6 months my lost in work is 12000$ about and i have put over 6000$ in that systeme and some work wase done under waranty and now 1 tech from Cat change the ECM in my truck because he wase saying my ECM wase infected by a Virus that wase put on at a oder dealer.. lolll well i did 400 milles after i got it out the shop.. and the Regen probleme came back.. a virus probleme he said well i will never buy a truck with a Cat engine again ...

  22. 22. Jon Diesel [ September 11, 2014 @ 06:25PM ]

    Only way to fix these things right is to spend $4000 on them at diesel freaks up in grayling MI. PDI costs $7500 and there is a guy in TN that removes them for about $5000

  23. 23. Thomas duncan [ October 23, 2014 @ 02:25PM ]

    The culprit here that should be sued is the government for forcing all this cap on all of us using bulls hit science

  24. 24. Ray Kelsey [ October 28, 2014 @ 08:55AM ]

    I am mechanic and i think i may solve some of your problems If you have not heard of xp3 you need to try some . xp3 burns so clean it decreases regin burns reduces engine heat oil stays clean longer . see details on web site www.670460.gdiresults,com see what other truckers are saying about xp3.

  25. 25. J.Lauer [ January 27, 2015 @ 10:19PM ]

    I had a ACRT C-15 and every two months always have a check engine lights. It's a tremendous blow by.. It is really a craft..


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