ford diesel lawsuit

Ford latest for diesel-cheat suit

Ford is the latest Bosch customer to be named in a lawsuit for falsifying diesel emissions tests.

The class action suit, aimed at Ford, Robert Bosch GMBH (the German headquarters), and Robert Bosch LLC (the American subsidiary), was filed yesterday in the Federal court for the Eastern District of Michigan by attorney Steve Berman.  It covers 2011-17 Ford “Super Duty” trucks with diesel engines — an $8,400 option.

Legal firm Hagens Berman claimed that the companies sold “Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks with emissions-cheating devices that mask the release of illegally high levels of NOx.” NOx, or nitrides of oxygen, have been implicated in health problems.  Ford marketed the engine as “cleanest Super Diesel ever.”

According to Hagens Berman, independent testing revealed twice the legal limits of emissions, during normal driving.  The law firm is also suing Volkswagen, GM, Mercedes, and Fiat Chrysler.… Read the rest

closed dealer

Dealing with your car dealer on repairs and warranty work

There are good and bad dealers within any brand, from Acura to Volvo. Here are some tips if your dealer is less than ideal. Before we go on, though, let us set out two ground rules:

  1. Always be calm and courteous, even when you are not treated well.
  2. The service guy might just be right — we at least need to be open to that possibility.

Nearly every car dealer is independently owned.  Automakers usually try to get their dealers to be honest, helpful, and competent, but some push dealers to cut corners on warranty work; and some dealers react by converting warranty work into profitable customer-paid work, pretending that the automaker will not pay for the repair (when in fact they would, even out of warranty).

Some problems, even past the usual three (or five) years, can be covered by a Federal warranty which can go up to 100,000 miles.… Read the rest

output sensor fix

Hidden and emissions warranties

The universal “hidden warranty”

Every car sold in the United States comes with a warranty you may not be aware of, which covers a variety of components for up to ten years or 100,000 miles. This is a set of “emissions warranties,” designed to ensure that cars do not over-pollute.

This mandated warranty was actually quite clever: it placed the burden of emission system reliability on the automaker, so they had an incentive to make the car stay “clean” for as long as they can. As a result, emissions systems tend to be very reliable over the years.

Check your warranty booklet for details; you may find that the factory covers not just the obvious emissions-related items, but also the fuel injection, spark plugs, speed and temperature sensors, throttle body, and turbocharger. (Some are only covered to the first replacement interval – e.g.… Read the rest

Avoiding dealer scams and unnecessary maintenance

The tune-up

There was a time when tune-ups were serious business: gapping points, replacing spark plugs, rotors, and caps, setting engine timing, and changing the fuel mixture, float level, and idle speed. That was back in the 1970s and 1980s. Then distributorless ignition and electronic fuel injection came; everything is controlled by computers and there’s nothing to adjust, and not much to replace. Even fan belts (now “accessory belts”) are self-adjusting.

So why do some shops charge hundreds of dollars for a tune-up, and claim you need them every year or two? What do they do?

  • The parking brake often needs to be manually adjusted (though this often isn’t done in a tune-up anyway).
  • Belts and fluid levels should be checked; some shops do this and some don’t.
  • They can replace the spark plugs and air filter.
Read the rest