Seventeen plaintiffs have put their names on a proposed class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company that centers on high-pressure fuel injection pumps installed in diesel trucks that are allegedly “ticking time bombs” stricken with a potential catastrophic defect.
According to the 90-page lawsuit out of Florida’s Southern District, millions of Ford diesel trucks—F-250 and F-350 models—are equipped with Bosch-supplied CP4 high-pressure fuel injection pumps that were “never compatible with American fuel standards.” For all of Ford’s posturing about the supposed durability, longevity and “top-notch fuel economy” of its diesel trucks, the complaint claims the CP4 pump is simply not built to withstand U.S. specifications for diesel fuel with regard to lubrication or water content and struggles to “lift a volume of fuel sufficient to lubricate itself.”
The lawsuit says that the high-pressure fuel pump’s shortcomings cause it to run dry and effectively destroy itself from within as air bubbles cause metal to rub against metal. This, in turn, causes the pump to deposit metal shavings and debris into a diesel truck’s fuel injection system, the suit continues, before the engine “suddenly and cataclysmically” fails without warning. As the case tells it, this sequence of events can kick off as early as when a vehicle is fresh off the dealer lot.
“This ‘catastrophic’ (i.e., complete and total) pump failure often occurs as early as ‘mile 0,’ as the fuel injection disintegration process begins at the very first fill of the tank,” the complaint reads. Stating the obvious, the suit says that once this happens to a truck, a consumer can expect to receive an “outrageously expensive” bill—anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000—for repairs that may not even truly fix the problem.
With regard to the question of Ford’s knowledge of the alleged issue, the lawsuit claims the automaker viewed non-party Bosch’s CP4 fuel pump as a means to “take advantage of consumers’ desire to drive diesel vehicles” that checked all the boxes for fuel-efficiency and durability. While the pump worked successfully in vehicles in Europe, the component was not up to the task in the American market, the case says. The complaint alleges Ford knew this all along but equipped certain diesel trucks with the CP4 fuel pump anyway.