Dodge Durango Hellcat Owners Sue Dodge for Bringing ‘One-Year’ Model Back for 2023
The Durango Hellcat was originally pitched as a one-year-only special model in 2021. Now it’s back for 2023, and owners say their trucks are plummeting in value.
Last August, Dodge surprised everyone by bringing back the 710-horsepower Durango Hellcat. The automaker originally claimed the truck would be sold only in 2021, after a production run of roughly 3,000 units. The vehicle's return upset at least one owner, Stacy Phillips, because the SUV was no longer as exclusive as he thought it would be. It was enough for him to consider a class-action lawsuit representing himself and other owners. Just a few days ago, Phillips and others filed their suit. Yes, Dodge is being sued for making too many Durango Hellcats.
Phillips' claims are not without merit. As we previously reported, the automaker's CEO Tim Kuniskis was quoted in a press release saying "The 2021 Durango Hellcat is only a single model-year run, ensuring that it will be a very special, sought-after performance SUV for years to come." Likewise, at the vehicle's launch event, the executive stated "The Hellcat Durango will be a single model year run," and "You've only got one shot [to buy one]."
The lawsuit hangs its hat on that. It states the Durango Hellcat was advertised as "a single year run limited edition Vehicle," and that "In so doing, Defendants sought to capitalize on marketing the Vehicle as a unique, once-in-a-lifetime and exclusive opportunity for large Vehicle (e.g., SUV) enthusiasts." It goes on to claim that this exclusivity and marketing hype was used to charge a premium for the truck and that since it's no longer exclusive, owners have a right to compensation.
The lawsuit claims Dodge's actions constitute "a classic bait and switch scheme." To support that assertion, it cites consumer protection laws in several states, including New York, Texas, and Virginia, where the plaintiffs live. The full list of states currently represented includes California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia, Texas, and Florida.
The lawsuit cites a few articles from The Drive as a part of its case as well, including our original coverage of this lawsuit before it was filed.
The exact number of owners represented by the case is unclear. The lawsuit does not state an exact figure. A Facebook group created to organize the efforts of owners has 416 members, however, I am also a member of this group and decidedly not a Durango Hellcat owner.
A Stellantis spokesman told The Drive it wouldn't comment on pending litigation.
UPDATE: This story has been updated with comment from Stellantis.
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