Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
January 11, 2018
By Kartikay Mehrotra
Ford rigged at least 500,000 heavy-duty trucks to beat emissions tests, drivers claimed in a lawsuit, adding to the tally of car makers linked to diesel-cheating allegations worldwide that started in 2015 with Volkswagen.
Ford’s F-250 and F-350 Super Duty diesel pickups, a slice of the top-selling F-Series, are spewing emissions as much as 50 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide pollutants, according to the complaint. The trucks sold from 2011 to 2017 cost $8,400 more than their gasoline-fueled counterparts, the filing shows.
Ford marketed the trucks as “the cleanest super diesel ever,” while the lawyer behind the suit said they should have been called “Super Dirty.”
“The vehicle’s own on-board diagnostic software indicates emission control system to be operating as Ford intended, even though its real world performance grossly exceeds the standard,” attorney Steve Berman said in the complaint.
Ford worked with German automotive supplier Robert Bosch to mask the vehicles’ inefficiencies in order to maintain overall performance, according to the complaint filed Wednesday in Detroit federal court. Bosch is named as a defendant in the proposed class action.
Ford is at least the fifth carmaker accused of diesel cheating in the United States, once again raising questions about the effectiveness of diesel technology. The dispute also casts a shadow on Ford’s “precious” F-Series, the top selling line of vehicles in the United States every year since 1981.
The lawsuit could pose a risk to Ford’s plans to introduce a diesel engine in its smaller F-150 pickup. The automaker has said it expects the powertrain will boost fuel economy to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. That would confer significant bragging rights for Ford and potentially help its trucks outperform new models from General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles coming out this year.
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