Volkswagen may soon have more company in the ranks of accused cheaters now that Ford is being accused of doing the same thing. The Blue Oval finds itself in the crosshairs of a lawsuit that’s accusing the automaker of rigging at least 500,000 heavy-duty pickups to beat emissions tests. The lawsuit claims that models of Ford’s F-250 and F-350 Super Duty diesel pickups sold between 2011 and 2017 are releasing emissions that are 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants.
The lawsuit, which was first reported by Bloomberg, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit by law firm Hagens Berman. Interestingly enough, Hagens Berman is the same law firm that accused Daimler and Audi of similar cheating devices in 2016. Steve Bermann, a managing partner in the law firm, claims that Ford’s own onboard diagnostic software “grossly exceeds the standard.” In addition to Ford, Hagens Berman also named Robert Bosch GmbH — better known simply as Bosch — in the lawsuit, accusing the German parts supplier of working with Ford to mask the vehicles’ inefficiencies in order to maintain overall performance.
To no one’s surprise, Ford and Bosch have vehemently denied the allegations lobbied against them by the law firm. Ford spokesman Daniel Barbosa responded to the suit, saying that all Ford vehicles, including models running on diesel engines, “comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations.”
“Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices,” Barbosa added in a statement to Bloomberg. “We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims.”
For its part, Bosch also released a statement through spokesman Rene Ziegler. “Bosch takes the allegations of manipulation of the diesel software very seriously,” Ziegler said. “Bosch is cooperating with the continuing investigations in various jurisdictions, and is defending its interests in the litigation.”
It is interesting that Hagens Berman finds itself in the middle of another lawsuit against an automaker. The law firm claims to have represented drivers against a list of automakers that include Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Daimler, and Audi.
As serious as these allegations are, it is curious that Hagens Berman is always the one that aggrieved drivers turn to for their gripes. Either the firm is as good as it says it is, or this tactic of accusing one automaker after another of cheating has become a go-to trick to get payouts. Hopefully, we’ll find out more details about the lawsuit as they become available.
Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.
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