We previously mentioned the class action lawsuit filed against Caterpillar Inc. involving its bus engines. The company has now won preliminary approval for a $60 million settlement in the lawsuit. It was alleged that Caterpillar sold bus engines with a defective anti-pollution system. U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle found the settlement amount to be fair and reasonable. A final approval hearing will be held in September. Judge Simandle said in his order:
The court has conducted a preliminary assessment of the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the agreement, and hereby finds that the settlement falls within the range of reasonableness meriting possible final approval.
The settlement calls for a $60 million common fund. Class members would be eligible for $500 to a maximum of $10,000 per engine, or $15,000 for losses stemming from repairs. Settlement administrator Epiq Systems Class Action & Claims Solutions Inc. will set up a settlement website, giving notice and the necessary forms to potential class members. Plaintiffs in the five consolidated class actions alleged that an exhaust emission control system used in Caterpillar’s C13 and C15 heavy-duty on-highway diesel engines is defective.
The cases claim that buses or trucks with the engines suffered repeated failures and fault warnings that resulted in time-consuming and costly repairs. The engines contain technology, known as ACERT, that recycles exhaust back through the engine to reduce emissions, which Caterpillar developed to comply with a series of tougher emissions regulations that went into effect in 2002, according to Salud Services Inc., which does business as Endeavor Bus Lines.