Ford sued over emissions
Yet again, a big name automaker is in hot water over an emissions scandal. Customers are suing Ford, saying the company “rigged” some diesel pickups to beat emissions tests. According to the lawsuit, Ford and another company, Bosch: “knowingly installing emissions-cheating software devices in 2011–2017 Ford 250 and 350 Super Duty diesel pickup trucks…”
At least six Ford customers are currently members of the suit, and they are hoping to achieve class-action status. Ford has denied the allegations. The legal team handling the suit, Hagens Berman, has a good track record for wins in the automotive industry. The firm previously sued Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes, GM, and Volkswagen. One thing those suits have in common with this one is Bosch, the company accused of creating the emissions cheating software.
While it happened back in 2015, the Volkswagen cheating on emissions scandal still feels fresh in the minds of many consumers, so it’s likely that will be brought up as this current story makes its rounds in the media.
That’s not to say the issue with Ford will go to the extreme the Volkswagen case did. In that one, VW was forced by federal regulators to pay more than $30 billion to fix the situation. Ford, to date, has not been accused of any wrongdoing by federal agencies. But it’s early yet.
The case, as filed, claims Ford violated at least 58 consumer, state, trade, advertising, and federal collusion laws. In part, the complaint reads:
“(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.”
Some consumers may read that particular statement respond with the equivalent of, “Well, yeah… of course, a company focuses on profits…”
If that’s the prevailing attitude, the case may not gain very much steam, at least in the minds of the public. What happened with Volkswagen landed a lot harder because of the amounts involved, mainly. In that case, all the evidence hit the media at the same time, creating a major story. The Ford cases are starting much slower and with much less fanfare.
That said, Hagens Berman is making a strong narrative, accusing Ford of intentionally deceiving customers. This is what the firm reported to CNN:
“Ford’s advertising of these Super Duty pickups is littered with over-the-top promotion of fuel economy and so-called ‘cleanest ever’ power… Ford not only cheated emissions in these trucks but cheated consumers as well, playing up promises it couldn’t keep.”
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.