Lawsuit claims Ford rigged Super Duty pickups to beat emissions tests

Ford becomes the latest automaker accused of lying about its diesel efficiencies.

  • Image Credit: Ford

A new proposed class-action lawsuit claims that Ford Motor Co. manipulated at least 500,000 of its Super Duty F-Series trucks to beat diesel emissions tests, and they spew as much as 50 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide pollutants despite being marketed as "the cleanest super diesel ever."

The lawsuit, first reported by Bloomberg, was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. It targets F-250 and F-350 Super Duty diesels sold from 2011 to 2017 and makes Ford the latest automaker to come under fire for alleged cheating on diesel emissions, which started in 2015 when Volkswagen acknowledged wrongdoing in rigging diesel emissions tests.

It comes just after Ford revealed specs on its first-ever diesel F-150, which aims to get 30 miles per gallon on the freeway, a 4-mpg improvement over its most efficient F-150 V6 gasoline engine. Ford also recently announced new best-in-class specs for its 2018 F-Series Super Duty trucks, but they did not include any mention of fuel economy ratings, official or otherwise. Many of those specs would likely have to be lowered if the allegations prove true.

"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 of Hagens Berman said in the complaint. It alleges 58 violations of state consumer law, false advertising and claims of racketeering.

In a statement sent to Autoblog, Ford said all of its vehicles comply with emissions regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board. "Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices," the company said. "We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims."

The lawsuit also names auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH as a defendant in the suit, alleging that it helped Ford mask the trucks' inefficiencies by developing software to adjust fuel levels, exhaust gas recirculation, air pressure and urea injection rates during emissions testing. Bosch faces similar allegations in diesel-emissions cases against VW, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. It has denied any wrongdoing.

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