Ford Dealers Sucked Into Navistar Dispute

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ford dealers sucked into navistar dispute

The court case pitting Ford against engine maker Navistar continues, as both sides wrangle over liability for $800m worth of warranty work performed on Navistar's 6.0-liter diesel. According to Dealer Magazine's resident legal expert, Navistar's looking to lay blame for the big ass bill at the doorstep of Ford dealers for performing unnecessary repairs, failing to follow proper repair procedures and, in some cases, not actually doing claimed repairs. Rich Sox says Navistar's subpoenaed 24 dealers (his clients) in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Texas requesting thousands of pages of warranty documents. Sox' dealers aren't happy about the prospect of Ford and Navistar pawing over their warranty records– not because they have anything to hide, right? "Of course, we have to be careful how we object to these subpoenas. It would not go over very well with the judge to argue that the warranty records shouldn’t be produced because dealers may have done something wrong." Sox' strategy: resist the legal request on the grounds of confidentiality, inappropriateness (go after Ford first) and, failing all that, squeeze some money from the deal (make sure Navistar pays for the time and expense of assembling the paperwork). And that's why Sox gets the big bucks.

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  • VLAD VLAD on Jul 25, 2007

    NickR Want to bet that they find what they are looking for?

  • Blunozer Blunozer on Jul 25, 2007

    Ford really needs to put this issue behind them. Navistar produces diesel engines for one of Ford's last true "stranglehold" products... Ambulances. No ambulance operator in their right mind is going to want a gas engine in a 100,000 mile/year ambulance. Ford has enjoyed a free pass in the conversion market so far since most after market tooling is specific to the 80's spec Econoline van. (I'm sure moon windows and shag carpet are still widely available) If Ford can't hear GM and Chrysler (both with excellent van chassis and diesels) salivating, they must be going deaf.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Jul 25, 2007

    This doesn't make any sense. (a) Ford let's their dealers do whatever they want to customers' diesel motors under warranty. (b) Dealer charges Ford the work they did, or claim they did. (c) Ford then tries to get Navistar to pay the bill. Sounds like extortion to me. No different than the medical billing practice I have to deal with now. (a) Wife goes to doctor for routine medical treatment. Is given quote. Is billed by doctor. (b) Doctor hires lab to do tests. (c) Lab bills my wife directly for work. Yet when I question the lab about the excessive work or their prices, they claim I have to pay it. Despite that fact that it was the doctor, not my wife, who chose them as a vendor and ordered their services. A scam...

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jul 26, 2007

    I feel sorry for diesel engines in pickups. Probably more than half of them are running way above design power levels, with no way for the dealer or manufacturer to prove it. The only person I know with a diesel that isn't chipped has been towing his 5th wheel camper for 5 years with a 6.0L with zero problems. That said, the Cummins and Duramax seem to have been better designed to handle the extra abuse.