If you drive a diesel truck or RV, it may have components from Cummins. The company is famous for its quality engines; however, they’ve had some bumps in the road.
But who owns the company, and what are some of the problems drivers are experiencing?
We’ll take the road less traveled to find the good and bad about this business. This is information you’ll want to know if your rig has an engine or parts made by Cummins.
So buckle up, and let’s find out!
The History Cummins
Cummins Inc. is a multinational corporation with headquarters in Columbus, Indiana. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. It also provides service for these systems.
The company was founded by banker William G. Irwin and Clessie Cummins, a local mechanic, on February 3, 1919. Their goal was to develop the diesel engine invented 20 years earlier.
However, it was not until 1933 that they found success with the Model H engine. From 1952 to 1959, the N Series engines were used in more than half of all heavy-duty trucks built.
By 2013 Cummins operated in 190 countries and territories via a network of more than 600 independent and company-owned distributors. In addition, approximately 7,200 dealers offer the company’s products.
Why Are Cummins Engines So Good?
The main reasons Cummins engines are so good are power, reliability, and durability. Initially built for heavy-duty, commercial work, it fills the needs of the most demanding work and recreation. This quality crosses over to all Cummins engine designs and applications.
Cummins designs engines to deliver a long piston stroke that improves torque, and this is what you need for hauling power and towing capacity.
The main bearings in the engine are massive and built to last. The company also uses a steel timing gear instead of the typical chain or belt that other companies use.
Cummins utilizes simplicity to improve performance, eliminating the problems found in other engines.
Which Vehicles Use Cummins Engines?
It would be nearly impossible to list the vehicles that use Cummins diesel engines. However, with over 100 years in business, their powertrains have powered thousands of vehicles and machinery.
One of the most popular engines built by Cummins is the ISB 6.7-liter I6. It’s used in third and fourth-generation Ram trucks. The first three generations of Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 trucks use the ISB 5.9-liter I6 engine.
This engine also powers Freightliner RV chassis, medium-duty trucks, and Peterbilt school buses.
B-Series and C-Series engines also power Ford F-650 and larger medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.
Are Cummins Engines Made in the US?
As a multi-national corporation, Cummins has manufacturing plants across the globe. Many of these plants build engines and components for industrial use and are often separate entities owned by Cummins.
There’s a long list of countries where Cummins has manufacturing plants. Some build engines, while others create various systems and components.
The list includes Cummins Power Generation in Ramsgate, England, Komatsu Cummins Engine Company in Oyama, Japan, and BMC Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. in Izmir, Turkey.
Besides diesel engines, it builds natural gas engines in Vancouver, Canada, and Daman, India. In addition, the company has a technical center in Darlington, England, where it develops products for the European, Middle Eastern, and Asian markets.
There are no fewer than 11 manufacturing plants in the United States.
Why Was Cummins Sued By Consumers?
There have been bumps in the road for Cummins recently.
On Oct. 22, 2021, a consumer rights law firm filed a class-action lawsuit against Cummins and Fiat/Chrysler. Attorneys brought the suit on behalf of 600,000 people who owned or leased a Cummins-equipped Dodge RAM Heavy Duty diesel truck.
These vehicles have a defective CP4 fuel injection pump that the judge said poses an imminent safety risk to the public. The defect results in a sudden and unexpected engine shutoff while in motion.
The lawsuit accuses the automaker and manufacturer of conspiring to conceal the critical defect and its safety risk.
A review of consumer complaints found that most power loss incidents occurred at speeds greater than 25 MPH and resulted in permanent vehicle disablement.
In addition, Fiat Chrysler refuses to fix the trucks under warranty, blaming the issue on contaminated fuel. As a result, the costs to repair each vehicle are at least $10,000.
The case is still in litigation.
What Are Some Problems With the Company’s Engines?
Despite the improvements Cummins has engineered into the ISB 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine, its problems are widely known. So let’s look at a couple of this model’s most reported issues.
The most reported issue is clogged Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) on RAM Cummins engines. Dodge offered the 6.7-liter diesel in the first few years, but these trucks didn’t use diesel exhaust fluid.
That meant it had to run on the rich side for emissions. That, in turn, creates particulates, which clog the DPF.
Others report blown head gaskets. Head gasket failure can be a problem with higher compression in the cylinders. The head gasket will most likely fail when you need the extra power.
A blown gasket allows coolant to enter the cylinders, which will cause white exhaust smoke. That means there’s water in the mix. And it’s worse if the coolant contaminates the oil.
Fortunately, there’s only one head gasket. But unfortunately, the gasket can cost between $100 and $200. The bad news is that the replacement labor can top $1,000!
So, Who Owns Cummins Today?
Despite rumors that its parent company is Ford or Dodge, Cummins is a publicly-traded independent corporation.
All-in-all, their diesel engine is a beast that’s unwilling to die. Cummins dominates the market when it comes to truck engines because of its reputation for longevity.
It’s rare for a company to build vehicles from start to finish, and most manufacturers team up or source their engines from Cummins to complete their diesel trucks.
Ultimately an engine is only as good as the use you get out of it, and Cummins commits to giving customers the power they need to get the most from their vehicle.
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