Ford has not been having much luck with the 6.4-liter diesel engines for its Super Duty trucks of late. In the latest twist of a saga that began in January, Navistar, the company that makes those engines, had added additional charges to its $2 billion counter-suit against Ford.
Navistar has been the exclusive maker of Ford's Super Duty diesel truck engines since 1979. In January of this year, Ford sued Navistar over the price of the engine and excessive warranty claims. In February, Navistar halted shipments of the just launched 6.4-liter engines, saying Ford had stopped paying for them. Ford got a court order to compel Navistar to ship the engines (which Ford paid for) -- then Ford had to recall more than 8,000 trucks because customers were reporting tailpipe fires. Navistar has now filed a counterclaim that seeks more than $2 billion in damages, and alleges that Ford is planning to develop its own diesel engines prior to 2012. There is no indication as to which party, Ford or Navistar, has a better case. For now, though, while the engine issues can't be good for Navistar, it is far more damaging for Ford to have to deal with these kinds of problems with its newly-launched bread-and-butter vehicle.