A proposed class action filed in California federal court claims Ford Motor Company, in partnership with Robert Bosch GmbH, equipped its F-Series trucks with 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engines that were designed to cheat emissions tests. Also filed against Ford’s current and former CEOs, Bosch’s CEO, and Robert Bosch LLC, the lawsuit alleges the defendants have deceived consumers into buying vehicles that don’t comply with state and federal emissions standards despite promising to deliver “cleaner” trucks that live up to Ford’s reputation for power and reliability.
According to the lawsuit, the vehicles at issue – F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty trucks – contain diesel engines developed by Bosch that are equipped with “defeat devices” designed to activate the trucks’ emissions control systems only when the vehicles are being tested. The effect, the complaint explains, is that the vehicles pass emissions standards when they go through initial testing but emit an unlawful level of pollutants under normal driving conditions. In fact, in an expert investigation performed at the direction of the plaintiffs’ counsel, two F-series test vehicles hit much lower emissions levels while being tested on a dynamometer as opposed those produced during on-road driving, the case says.
“This pattern,” the suit reads, “indicates that the vehicles’ software distinguishes between dynamometer operation and on-road driving—that the vehicle ‘knows’ whether it is being tested—and that the software contains illegal defeat devices that minimize emissions scrubbing when the vehicle is not being tested.”
The device effectively allows Ford to sell trucks that pass emission regulators’ certifications while maintaining the stellar fuel efficiency and power of “dirty” diesel engines, the suit alleges.
The plaintiffs claim they were deceived by the defendants’ promises of newly designed engines that produced “significantly reduced emissions” without sacrificing their “best-in-class performance.” According to the complaint, the plaintiffs would not have purchased their vehicles, nor paid the $8,000-plus premium for a diesel engine, had they known the trucks were not compliant with federal and state emissions standards.