Ford Motor set up software that allowed its F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks to cheat at passing federal emissions tests, according to a lawsuit filed by truck owners on Wednesday, a claim the automaker called “baseless”.
The lawsuit claims Ford manipulated the emissions system in infraction of federal requirements and the affected trucks released two times the legal limits of emissions during regular driving. An emission-cheating scandal that emerged in 2015 cost German automaker Volkswagen tens of billions of dollars in settlements and charges.
Ford stated that all of its vehicles abide by all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions regulations.
“Ford automobiles do not have defeat devices,” the company stated. “We will safeguard ourselves against these baseless claims.”
The law firm representing the owners, Hagens Berman, has launched lawsuits in 2017 against General Motors and Fiat Chrysler in addition to engine maker Cummins Inc, making similar accusations.
In the tests Ford carried out on the F-250 and F-350 vehicles, “emissions are consistently as high as five times the standard,” the lawsuit stated, quipping that the trucks must bear the moniker “Super Dirty.”
Erik Gordon, a specialist in entrepreneurship and technology at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, stated that if real, the “allegations would expose Ford to the threat of billion-dollar liabilities and punch a hole in its efforts to place itself as an automobile technology leader”.
The lawsuit, submitted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, also named German auto provider Robert Bosch GmbH as an offender.
In a statement Wednesday, Bosch stated accusations against the company “remain the subject of investigations and civil litigation” and it takes accusations of diesel software application adjustment “very seriously”.
In 2017, Bosch agreed to pay $327.5 million to U.S. owners of Volkswagen AG vehicles for its part in setting up illegal emissions-cheating software.