Ford Motor Company has sold—and continues to sell—millions of diesel trucks equipped with high-pressure fuel injection pumps that are proverbial ticking time bombs, wholly unbeknownst to an unassuming American public who pays for these vehicles’ fictitious “durability,” “longevity,” and “top notch fuel economy.” As alleged, Ford promised consumers the continued reliability of their diesel engines with increased fuel efficiency and power at greater fuel efficiency. However, this came with a hidden and catastrophic cost that was secretly passed on to consumers.
The culprit is the Bosch-supplied CP4 high pressure fuel injection pump, which unbeknownst to consumers is a ticking time bomb when used in American vehicles. As Ford knew before and during the Class Period (2011-2018), Bosch’s CP4 pump was never compatible with American fuel standards. The CP4 pump is not built to withstand the specifications for U.S. diesel fuel in terms of lubrication or water content, and it struggles to lift a volume of fuel sufficient to lubricate itself. As a result, the pump is forced to run dry and destroy itself as air bubbles allow metal to rub against metal. The pump secretly deposits metal shavings and debris throughout the fuel injection system and the engine until it suddenly fails without warning, further contaminating the fuel delivery system with larger pieces of metal.
This pump failure often can occur as early as “mile 0,” as the fuel injection disintegration process begins at the very first fill of the tank. This total fuel injection system failure and consequential engine failure results in an outrageously expensive repair bill, all for a repair that will not truly ameliorate the issue so long as the vehicle is being filled with U.S. diesel. And, although complete and total pump failure takes time to occur, the defective CP4 pump starts damaging the vehicle’s fuel injection system and engine immediately upon the vehicle’s first use. Further, the sudden and unexpected shutoff of the vehicle’s engine while it is in motion and then subsequent inability to restart the vehicle present an inherent risk to consumer safety—one which Ford itself has recognized in the past. Thus, Plaintiffs and other Class members have suffered from a defect that existed in the Class Vehicles, upon the first use of the Class Vehicles. Plaintiffs and other Class members are seeking recovery for this manifested and immediately damaging defect, in addition to any and all consequential damages stemming therefrom.
According to the complaint, Ford blames the failures on “fuel contamination,” which is not covered under their warranties because it is “not caused by Ford.” Consumers are left with repair bills that range from $8,000.00 to $20,000.00 per vehicle.
Ford sought to use the CP4 system in American vehicles, promising consumers exactly what they were looking for—improvements in torque, horsepower, durability, and fuel economy. But Ford could never deliver on that promise for American vehicles because the CP4 fuel pump is not compatible with American diesel fuel; in fact, Ford knew this before and during the Class Period, and equipped its modern Power Stroke diesel vehicles with the European-designed CP4 fuel pump anyway.
Ford knew, from the specifications of the pump as compared to the specifications of American diesel, the Bosch-made CP4 Pump was clearly incompatible with the ordinary use of American diesel fuel. That is, well before Ford ever chose to implement the CP4 component part (as incorporated in the diesel engines of the subject Class Vehicles), the issue of incompatibility was (or should have been) known and yet was totally ignored in the design of the Class Vehicles’ engine systems. This is further evidenced by the fact that Ford had experience with widespread catastrophic fuel injection pump failures when cleaner diesel standards were first implemented in the 1990s. By 2002, the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (“EMA”)—of which Ford is a member company1—acknowledged that the lower lubricity of American diesel could cause catastrophic failure in fuel injection system components that are made to European diesel specifications.
Not only did Ford fail to inform American consumers and fail to stop touting the fabricated benefits of the vehicles containing CP4 pumps, they actively attempted to shift the blame to American consumers. For instance, in 2010, Ford claimed it was consumers’ improper use of contaminated or substandard fuels that damaged the vehicles’ fuel system, even when Ford knew that the malfunction was actually the result of the CP4 fuel injection pump design, which was simply not fit for American diesel fuel.