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Navistar clients file 3 lawsuits claiming OEM ‘misled’ them about MaxxForce being EPA certified

The lawsuit seeks to recover lost profits due to the unreasonable downtime, out-of-pocket expenses related to the breakdowns and the diminished value on trade-in or resell for the units due to their excessive repair histories and failure to be EPA 2010 certified.

The Trucker Staff

7/9/2014

 DALLAS — The law firm of Miller Weisbrod has filed lawsuits in three cities against Navistar saying that Navistar misled three of the law firm’s clients regarding Navistar’s exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) MaxxForce engine being certified to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions standards.

The suits were filed in McAllen, Texas, on behalf of Americorp Xpress Carriers; in Nashville, Tennessee, on behalf of First Express Inc., and in Tacoma, Washington, on behalf of Floyd Blinsky Trucking Inc.

The lawsuits involve model years 2011 and 2012 International tractors with MaxxForce engines. 

The lawsuits also allege that the plaintiffs have experienced repeated and excessive breakdowns to their trucks powered by the MaxxForce engines including components such as the EGR cooler, EGR valve, turbochargers, and clogged fuel injectors.

The lawsuit seeks to recover lost profits due to the unreasonable downtime, out-of-pocket expenses related to the breakdowns and the diminished value on trade-in or resale for the units due to their excessive repair histories and failure to be EPA 2010 certified.

A spokesperson for Navistar said the original equipment maker does not comment on pending litigation.

Navistar was the lone OEM that chose EGR over selective catalytic reduction (SCR) as a method of meeting the 2010 standards.

But the technology failed to live up to what Navistar had promised and a period of turmoil over the EGR decision led to negative publicity, decreased sales and several management changes, the last being the hiring of former Paccar executive Bill Kozek as Navistar’s president of North American trucks and parts.

During the fallout over the EGR decision, there was talk of bankruptcy, the well-publicized management changes, the introduction of the International LoneStar, which did not spark the sales surge like the one caused by the ProStar, and as a result, Navistar’s Class 8 market share in 2013 dropped to the lowest level in some 15 years.

Finally, Navistar announced that it was ceasing the production of all 15-liter MaxxForce Class 8 heavy-duty diesel engines and was abandoning the use of its EGR-only technology on all other Class 8 engines.

 “We believe the evidence is going to show that Navistar chose a path different than all other engine manufacturers when it decided to forgo the SCR technology and rely upon engine heat to lower the NOx emissions to EPA permissible levels,” said Clay Miller, partner in the law firm. “It should have been obvious that raising engine heat to such high levels would lead to breakdowns and component part failure. We believe that engineers inside the company were warning management of the risks of raising the engine heat and that the EGR-only strategy would not meet the EPA requirements for NOx emissions.”

Miller said his firm’s investigation had revealed the problems with the MaxxForce engine were pervasive throughout the trucking industry.

“Our firm is representing numerous other companies and anticipate filing dozens of more cases in states across the country,” Miller said. 

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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