• Jun 7, 2007
Wow, talk about a strained relationship! With so much money passing hands between Ford and Navistar, you might think they would find a way to negotiate a deal regarding their diesel engine partnership(s). You would be right, assuming you think that starting yet another lawsuit is a way to patch things up. That's right... another lawsuit. This one is still about diesel truck engines, but instead of the large 6.4 liter Power Stroke, this one cites a smaller 4.4-liter diesel engine slated for the F-150 truck in 2009 or 2010. Navistar has been Ford's long-time supplier of diesel engines that carry the "Power Stroke" moniker for Ford, and Navistar is claiming that if Ford goes to market with the 4.4-liter engine, it would constitute a breach of contract. At this point, it seems unclear whether Navistar is claiming to have designed the engine in question, or if it believes it had a contract to do so, but either way, things could get even messier between the two companies.

[Source: Automotive News (sub. req'd) via AutoblogGreen]


To recap: Ford started having problems with its (flame-throwing) Power Stroke engines from Navistar. Ford stopped paying Navistar for the engines, because it decided Navistar owed it for warranty work incurred from the last-gen Powerstroke diesel. Ford sued Navistar. Navistar stopped shipping engines. A Judge intervened, told Navistar to start shipping engines again and Ford to start paying. Ford started work on its own diesel engine. Navistar sued Ford for $2 billion. Navistar sues Ford again, this time for "hundreds of millions of dollars" – which is today's sad story. I think that about covers it.


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  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is incorrect to link the flame throwing episodes to these lawsuits. The flame throwing was a result of excessive regeneration of the truck's aftertreatment system on the vehicle exhaust - a feature owned, designed, and controlled by Ford. Navistar had nothing to do with it, but Ford supporters will obviously find anything to crucify the cornered diesel engine maker.

      Secondly, the 6.0 liter was diluted by Ford's "shadow" engineering on International's efforts. This is the same trait that has seen Ford surrender the number 2 position to Toyota in the US, with products that either have problems or people don't want to buy. It is also the same reason why Ford had to do some serious white collar house cleaning recently.

      For years, Ford plundered Navistar by bullying on the engine price, securing its own bottom line on these high profit margin trucks and leaving Navistar with peanuts. It is no secret that Ford has eradicated or compromised its suppliers' bottom line by a system of force, blame, and punishment. Navistar is no pushover though. So when Ford files a lawsuit and Navistar fires back two at it, you know why.

      Lastly, technical information on Ford’s 4.4 liter shows that it is a straight derivative of Europe's Lion V-8 that Navistar helped Ford develop. Whether Navistar can prove it in court is another thing but it has a better chance of doing it in Illinois than in Michigan. Need I say why?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Years ago, Ford contracted ITEC to develop and supply light duty diesels for the 02 Expedition and 03 F150. ITEC built an engine, and Ford decided not to buy it, leaving ITEC holding the bag on a lot of development costs. This motor is now in the little Ford and International Cab-over trucks. Because of this broken contract, ITEC may have a leg to stand on.
      The 4.4L V8 is a derivative of the Lion V8, in itself a derivative of the Lion V6. I could see a V10 variant in the Super Duty's future. Wouldn't bee that hard, and it would package similarly to the gas V10.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I keep reading that the new automotive diesels don't smell bad like the old ones did, but then I pass a diesel pickup and it smells like an old bus! Is there something wrong with these diesel engines, or are they out of tune, or what? I have a JD tractor with a Yanmar diesel that has much less smell.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, you might be running into a lot of johnny-be-tuner clowns that have messed with the fuel maps to make "free" horsepower. Even at that point, they don't smell any worse than a gasoline engine does with no catalytic and unskilled tuning. Some people like that.....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, truck diesels dont have to pass the same laws as cars equipped with diesels. Truck diesels do smell but they arent as bad as they used to be. I have been next to and behind a lot of the new 6.4s, Duramaxs and Cummins and they are nothing like they were five years ago. There will always be a diesel smell...there really isnt any way to get rid of it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you ask me gas engines smell too! Diesels are great engines. I talked to a Ford Mechanic that is now rebilding my 4.6 from my F150 and he said the diesels are a pain to work on at times. Now the 6.4 had cool features. But to me if its a Ford it should be a Ford. Ford used to make good products. Look at the C-6, C-4 Trannies. Bullit proof. The 4.9L I6! Need I say anyting bout them parts? Ford made, Ford lasted! Then early 90's or around then the Ranger gets an auto from I belive Germeny and I seen a few of them fail badly. I belive I seen that Ford had got new tooling to build there own engines and trannies again. I think that would be a great move! If not, Super duties would look good with CAT power! But nothing beats Ford Power! Also while I am at it, how about a big V8? Or at least a stick in the F150? The main thing I also see with the what was it 12.7 Million loss last year, is only build what you can sell! If your 6.4L is know to be a firecracker who is going to buy it? And if you make too many of them your stuck with the loss. If you can only sell 10 cars dont make 10,000. The 4.4L sounds great its about time, but make it with a 6 speed stick! There must be at least 20 too many over paid office idiots at Ford. Build your own diesels! Save the guys that cant afford them but need them there hard owned money! A 7K option for a 6.4L ARE YOU NUTS? Some of us work hard for our money and if that price keeps up no one will buy. Cummins (Dodge in a generic wraper) diesels are looking better. Chevy aint half bad also. And they offer big V8's too, 6.0 in a half ton, 8.1 1 ton I belive. But that just my $0.02. Ford offer a workin family man a job on how you should conduct your company.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Navistar is being a fool here. Wow! They are biting the hand that feeds them! Pretty soon they will be on the outside looking in, and it won't be anyone's fault but their own.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shirt...obviously people aren't leaving Ford behind. Plus, the flame thrower problem only happened to, what, three trucks? And the media was actually pretty good about it and explained what happened and that it was an easy fix.

      jw...the engine is a piece of crap? I beg to differ. Also, dealers CAN fix them and they do. Heck, there was a point when dealers wouldnt sell Super Duties until a problem was fixed (I cant remember if it was the flame thrower problem).

      I personally can't wait until the contract is up. I wanna know who renewed it. After the issues with the 6.0L PS, if I were in control of Ford, I would tell Navistar to piss off. I am sure Ford could engineer it's own engine that would kick the 6.4's ass.

      Also, I know Navistar is a joke but why do people give Ford flack for outsourcing, yet they dont say anything about Chevy and Dodge?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well at least Navistar's legal department is still functioning. If their accounting worked as well their stock wouldn't have been delisted. Engineering seems to have weakened as well. They are buying their new heavy duty engine from MAN in Germany.

      To put a cherry on top, if they hadn't bailed on the pickup market in the 70s they could have had all the profits from the Power Stroke Pickups.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As far as I'm concerned, Ford has he technical expertise to develop their opwn Diesel engine. Screw Navastar, and their iinept designs and manufacturing. The fact that Navastar has digressed to relying on the legal system as a last resort supports my position.
      jw
      • 7 Years Ago
      there engine is a piece of crap!! dealers can't fix em... thats why ford isn't paying navistar........
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 4.4 isn't exactly a "brnad new" powerplant. It's one derived from a Euro engine.

      I think Navistar filed this to steal some thunder from a yet to be announced announcement, if there was to be one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Since quality is Job #1! Ford's suppliers should not try and screw around with its bread and butter models or else Ford will just go elsewhere. Anyone remember the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire problem? Ford changed suppliers and continued to produce Explorers until the price of petrol skyrocketed and that market niche cooled.

      For the Super Duty line, people actually need $75,000 trucks to work with and are fiercely loyal. Seeing video's of these trucks shoot flames is not reassuring for a customer to buy this vehicle. If you loose a few customers the rest will follow!

      This is a weak move by Navistar since the F-150 will be expanding to include a diesel model (possibly 2009) and with that step Ford will simply produce their own Super Duty engine (possibly by 2012).

      With the Mustang/Fusion/Edge/Taurus/Flex/Expedition and new Lincoln models, The BOLD MOVE here is "Quality is Job #1!" .....
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's what Ford gets for outsourcing something as critical as engine design to a 3rd party. How much more in wasted time and money is this going to cost them?
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