A law firm that has carved out a reputation for aggressively pursuing automakers over diesel emissions has found a new target: Ford's heavy-duty pickups.
The suit comes just days after Ford announced details for its upcoming F-150 diesel and is the latest in a string of accusations following VW's massive diesel emissions scandal in late 2015.
Law firm Hagens Berman said in a release that it believes Ford and German supplier Bosch installed "emissions-cheating software devices" in the Michigan automaker's 2011-2017 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickup trucks. The law firm alleges that the trucks pollute "at levels up to 50 times legal limits."
In its own testing, Hagens Berman claims it has evidence that, "in certain common driving conditions, such as modest uphill road grades, or with the use of a trailer that adds weight, emissions exceed the standard by 30 to 50 times.”
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan, covers at least half a million heavy-duty pickup trucks. It suggests that Ford and Bosch knowingly manipulated software to make the heavy-duty Ford trucks perform differently during EPA emissions testing.
Ford denied the allegations. In an emailed statement, the automaker said, "Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices. We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims."
Ford also said that its trucks comply with EPA and California emissions regulations. Emissions testing for big trucks like the Ford Super Duty pickups is less stringent than that for passenger cars and SUVs.
Hagens Berman is no stranger to pursuing automakers over diesel emissions. The Seattle-based law firm has filed class-action lawsuits against VW, GM, and FCA over allegations that the automakers intentionally fitted emissions defeat devices.