DETROIT — A lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses Ford Motor Co. of deceiving customers about the mileage of its 2019 Ranger pickup and other vehicles amid a newly disclosed criminal investigation of the automaker's emissions certification process.
Hagens Berman, the Seattle law firm that has led class-action cases over unintended acceleration in Toyotas and Volkswagen's cheating on diesel emissions, this week filed a complaint alleging that Ford "deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing" and that the process "includes a mileage cheat device."
A Ford spokeswoman said: "We haven't been served with this complaint yet. When we are, we'll review it and respond appropriately."
Ford, which first disclosed the certification issue in February, has said a Justice Department investigation that began in April does not involve so-called "defeat devices," popularized by VW's emissions scandal. Still, the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit on behalf of people who own 2019 Ranger pickups and other potentially affected vehicles, says Ford lied to its customers.
"Ford deceptively advertised its Rangers to consumers as 'best-in-class' in fuel economy," Steve Berman, the firm's managing partner, said in a statement. "Ford knew that consumers pay a premium for fuel efficiency and that less fuel burned means less emissions, and therefore more profits."
When Ford disclosed the issue, it said "there's been no determination that this affects Ford's fuel economy labels or emissions certifications."