Customers sue Ford over alleged emissions cheating

A new customer lawsuit alleges Ford rigged certain Super Duty diesel pickups to cheat on emissions tests.The s...

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 10:15 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 10:15 PM

A new customer lawsuit alleges Ford rigged certain Super Duty diesel pickups to cheat on emissions tests.

The suit accuses Ford and German-based firm Bosch of "knowingly installing emissions-cheating software devices in 2011-2017 Ford 250 and 350 Super Duty diesel pickup trucks," according to a statement from Hagens Berman, the law firm behind the suit. Ford denies the claims.

So far, six customers have signed on to the lawsuit, which will seek class-action status. Hagens Berman said it's received "significant' interest from other potential clients after filing the lawsuit Wednesday.

Hagens Berman is a consumer rights law firm that has 11 offices across the U.S. It's handled similar emissions lawsuits against other automakers including Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes, General Motors and Volkswagen. Bosch, which is accused of developing emissions cheating software, is also named in those cases.

VW made emissions cheating the subject of international scandal in 2015 when the company admitted it rigged millions of diesel cars worldwide to hide their illegal pollution levels. The automaker faced federal prosecution in the U.S. and a hoard of other lawsuits over the wrongdoing. It's cost the company more than $30 billion.

As of Wednesday, U.S. regulators had not accused Ford of criminal wrongdoing.

Related: Germans are falling out of love with their carmakers

The complaint filed Wednesday against Ford claims the company violated 58 state consumer, advertising, trade and federal collusion laws.

It alleges Ford "concealed and suppressed material facts concerning what is evidently the true culture of Ford-one characterized by an emphasis on profits and sales above compliance with federal and state clean air laws and emissions regulations."

Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman said in a statement to CNNMoney that Ford deceived customers while also marketing the vehicles as low polluting.

"Ford's advertising of these Super Duty pickups is littered with over-the-top promotion of fuel economy and so-called 'cleanest ever' power," Berman said. "Ford not only cheated emissions in these trucks, but cheated consumers as well, playing up promises it couldn't keep."

The complaint says Ford charged $8,400 more for diesel versions of its heavy duty trucks, compared with the versions powered by regular gas.

In a statement Wednesday, Ford said its vehicles "do not have defeat devices."

"We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims," the statement reads.

For its part, Bosch said it "takes the allegations of manipulation of the diesel software very seriously."

"It is a well-known fact that these allegations remain the subject of investigations and civil litigation involving Bosch. Bosch is cooperating with the continuing investigations in various jurisdictions, and is defending its interests in the litigation. As a matter of policy, and due to the sensitive legal nature of these matters, Bosch will not comment further concerning matters under investigation and in litigation," a statement from the firm reads.

--CNNMoney's Charles Riley contributed to this report.

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