Lawsuit Claims Ford 'Rigged' Its Diesel Truck Engines

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
lawsuit claims ford 8216 rigged its diesel truck engines

Are you an automaker that’s currently producing, or has ever produced, a diesel engine? If so, the odds are pretty good you’ll eventually be sued over its existence. A new lawsuit by truck owners, filed on Wednesday, alleges Ford Motor Company installed emissions-cheating software in F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks — built between 2011 and 2017 — to ensure they passed federal testing.

At this point, all of the Detroit Three manufacturers have been accused of some form of diesel deceit. Which makes us wonder how warranted these lawsuits are. Volkswagen’s scandal started when an independent source tipped off U.S. regulatory agencies, but these truck cases frequently begin as class-action suits on somewhat specious grounds.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that many diesel systems are intentionally designed to burn off accumulated particulates during a filter-regeneration process before returning to normal operations. In this way, the software responsible for regulating diesel-particulate filters (DPFs) could theoretically be confused with a defeat device. However, the lawsuit, filed by automotive class-action heavyweight Hagens Berman in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, makes no obvious reference to DPFs.

According to Bloomberg, the suit against Ford assessed fuel consumption over time. The group pursuing it claims to have conducted rigorous testing to support its claim of the F-250 and F-350 emitting 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants.

“Emissions are routinely as high as five times the standard,” the lawsuit read, dropping the insult that the Super Duty trucks should referred to as “Super Dirty.” The suit includes 58 alleged violations of state consumer law, false advertising, and racketeering claims.

Maybe we’re just burnt out after the string of lawsuits that followed Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, but it’s clever stuff like the Super Dirty pun that makes us wonder how seriously we should take the accusations. Ford is at least the fifth carmaker accused of diesel cheating in the United States, which raises questions about the effectiveness of diesel technology and the ability of various groups to effectively measure emissions. We’re going to wait until the Environmental Protection Agency chimes in before making any assumptions.

The lawsuit also names German auto supplier Robert Bosch as a defendant. Bosch said allegations against the company “remain the subject of investigations and civil litigation,” adding that it will take all claims of diesel software manipulation seriously. Bosch faced similar accusations in cases against VW, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors.

Ford’s team said the automaker will issue a comment on the matter soon.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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5 of 34 comments
  • E85 E85 on Jan 11, 2018

    stupid really. all you've got to do is run these engines on ethanol. we've got plenty and can make more. they run cleaner and make more torque and power, and it's cheaper. what's not to like? you just need a cetane enhancer. all diesel engines in brazil run on ethanol. it can be hydrous too, with 5% water, which makes it even better and cheaper since you don't have to bother taking the water out.

    • See 2 previous
    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 11, 2018

      @Flipper35 There are additives for fuel to prevent this occurring. Its used in the aviation industry. But the stuff is carcenogenic.

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Jan 11, 2018

    Hagens Berman are just the automotive equivalent of scumbag ambulance chasing personal injury lawyers. Maybe reason will prevail, and this will get tossed out of court. Bwahahahaha!

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