With VW still reeling from an FTC settlement that could cost the company as much as $14.7-Billion, the same law firm that brought suit against it has now targeted Ford in a similar complaint that accuses the domestic automaker of cheating emissions standards to gain a market advantage. The suit names all 2011-2017 Ford F-250 and F-350 models, and lists Robert Bosch Gmbh as co-defendant. Bosch manufactures the engine-control computer used in the affected models. It’s unclear how many 6.7-Liter Diesel vehicles were sold, but the suit alleges there are over 500,000 potential class members.
The detailed 273-page complaint details very strict testing parameters that the law firm undertook to prove that the truck varies its performance and emissions depending on conditions it might recognize as an emissions test. They allege that under normal driving and towing conditions that the emissions exceeded government-mandated minimums by as much as 30 to 50 times. The class action hits Ford and Bosch with a total of 58 counts of violations of state consumer laws, false advertising laws, deceptive trade laws as well as violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
Ford released a statement in response, saying that all of its vehicles comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions regulations.
“Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices,” the company said. “We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims.” For its part, Bosch released a statement saying that allegations against the company “remain the subject of investigations and civil litigation” and it takes allegations of diesel software manipulation “very seriously.”
The law firm, Hagens Bergen LLP, has also pending litigation covering General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes vehicles as well. All of the suits allege false advertising and ‘cheat devices’ that recognize when a vehicle is in possible test conditions and are able to change the running parameters to pass the test. Currently, the VW suit is the only one that has been concluded, with the financial toll for the company reaching $30 billion by some estimates.
Owners who are interested in seeing if their vehicles are a part of the class action suit can check the law firm’s website: hbsslaw.com/cases/ford-f-250-and-f-350-super-duty-truck-emissions. The EPA has not yet released a statement on the action. Ford’s stock fell today as news of the lawsuit broke, closing down .4% at $13.03 per share.
Besides the allegations of false advertising, the suit claims that as in the VW case, owners unwittingly spewed more carbon emissions into the environment than they believed they were doing. At the time of that settlement the acting FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez had this to say: “Today’s announcement shows the high cost of violating our consumer protection and environmental laws. Just as importantly, consumers who were cheated by Volkswagen’s deceptive advertising campaign will be able to get full and fair compensation, not only for the lost or diminished value of their car but also for the other harms that VW caused them.”
A similar judgment against Ford would be a blow to the Detroit-based manufacturer, who’s F-Series pickups dominate the marketplace and are the best-selling vehicles nationwide.
Want to be a part of the suit? Check the law firm’s website: hbsslaw.com/cases/ford-f-250-and-f-350-super-duty-truck-emissions