Ford Motor Co. told dealers it will loosen some requirements of its electric vehicle certification program, but some who have expressed opposition to it say they still have concerns about its fairness and legality.
Changes detailed at the Ford brand's NADA Show make meeting in Dallas Jan. 28 include lowering training costs and eliminating an annual EV sales cap for some dealers, increasing marketing visibility and no longer making stores keep their chargers available to the public around the clock. Executives and dealer council officials hailed the adjustments as a positive sign of collaboration over what's become a clunky rollout of the program.
But Ford still faces legal action over the program in states such as Illinois and New York, and those involved in the cases say their position remains the same.
"Ford's changes to the EV program do not change our clients' core concerns," said Rich Sox, one of the attorneys representing four dealers in New York suing Ford over the EV certification program. The suit accuses Ford of "unlawful franchise modifications, unfair pricing requirements, margin reductions and unlawful allocation systems."
Sox, in a statement to Automotive News, said he opposes Ford's mandate that dealers offer Level 3 charging to the public, even at more limited hours, citing the "significant liability" involved. He also objects to what he calls a "one-size-fits-all list of charging and training requirements" as well as "onerous e-commerce platform" standards.