Hagens Berman and Hilliard Martinez Gonzales have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of consumers accusing Ford of knowingly installing a mileage cheat device and misrepresenting fuel economy ratings in a line of 2019 vehicles.

The companies say it impacts Ford Ranger trucks, but according to a press release issued Wednesday, emissions-cheating devices could also be installed in F-150 series trucks and possibly all other Ford vehicles.

The class-action complaint, filed May 6, 2019 in the The companies say it impacts Ford Ranger trucks, but according to a press release issued Wednesday, emissions-cheating devices could also be installed in F-150 series trucks and possibly all other Ford vehicles.U.S. District for the Eastern District of Michigan, accuses Ford of deceiving consumers with false misrepresentations regarding its Ranger vehicles, which it marketed as its “All-New Ford Ranger Rated Most Fuel Efficient Gas-Powered Midsize Pickup in America.”

“Ford deceptively advertised its Rangers to consumers as ‘best-in-class’ in fuel economy,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Ford knew that consumers pay a premium for fuel efficiency and that less fuel burned means less emissions, and therefore more profits.”

“Its own employees questioned its fuel efficiency calculations,” Berman added. “Ford chose to blatantly ignore the clear warning signs it was given.”

From the press release:

The lawsuit states that Ford deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing in order to report that its vehicles used less fuel and emitted less pollution than they actually did. The certification test related cheating centers on the “Coast Down” testing and “Road Load” calculations.

Coast Down testing measures the forces working against the vehicle by driving it up to speed, and then shifting to neutral, allowing it to coast down, being slowed by forces such as wind resistance, rolling resistance of the tires, and other forces working against the vehicle.

Ford miscalculated “Road Load,” which is a measure of those forces, defined as the force that is imparted on a vehicle while driving at a constant speed over a smooth, level surface from sources such as tire rolling resistance, driveline losses, and aerodynamic drag.

This measure of forces acting against the vehicle during real-world driving is critical to the simulation of actual driving when a vehicle is tested in the laboratory. Ford’s internal lab tests did not account for these forces, which lead to better—and entirely inaccurate—fuel economy projections, and claims that the vehicles emitted less pollution than they emitted in reality.

AFFECTED VEHICLES

The complaint states that the class is defined as all owners and lessors of 2019 Ford Ranger trucks. Because the F-150 is similarly failing to measure up to its advertised mileage, the cheating likely includes the F-150. The lawsuit states that the class is likely to be expanded and could potentially include all Ford vehicles certified for sale in the U.S. for a number of years.

DECEPTIVE MARKETING

Ford used the fuel efficiency ratings as a selling tool to entice consumers into purchasing the 2019 Ford Ranger claiming that it “is the no-compromise choice for power, technology, capability, and efficiency.” Ford knew that to sell the Ranger, it had to tout it had fuel-efficiency, and a promise that was important to consumers.

The suit says Ford deceived consumers in calling its Ranger “fuel efficient,” and that without manipulating its testing procedures and ignoring common road conditions, Ford could not achieve the fuel economy and range it promised.

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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as agricultural news. She has a background in Political Science, with a focus in local government, and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. She's a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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