Caterpillar faces at least 15 fresh lawsuits

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, is facing at least 15 lawsuits over claims that engines for trucks, charter buses and school buses it sold between 2006 and 2010 were prone to frequent breakdowns and in some cases caught fire.

While the contended flaws aren’t known to have caused deaths or injuries, the suits are a potentially costly humiliation the firm, which also makes a variety of engines used to power oil-production equipment, ships, electricity generators, trains and industrial machinery. In fact construction, not mining lifted Caterpillar’s latest quarterly results published late April.

The news, reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes after Caterpillar’s settlement this past Wednesday, when it payed $46 million to settle a lawsuit involving a marine engine that caught on fire in 2009.