Navistar files lawsuit against Ford again

Navistar International Corp has filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co for breach of contract relating to a diesel engine contract involving the Ford F-150 pickup truck. The suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County IL, seeks “at least hundreds of millions of dollars” in damages

Navistar contends that Ford plans to introduce a new diesel engine that actually was designed by International Truck and Engine Corp, Navistar's principal operating company.

According to the suit, Ford is developing a 4.4-liter diesel engine for production in North America by late 2009 or 2010 — or possibly earlier — and intends to produce the engine itself for use in the F-150 and possibly other vehicles. The suit contends that Ford cannot do that without violating its contract with Navistar. Reportedly, Ford is considering producing V-8 diesel engines at a Ford facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The lawsuit alleges that International spent millions of dollars and years of its employees' time to develop a next-generation diesel engine named “Lion” for use in vehicles including the F-150 pickup trucks in which Ford had not previously offered diesel engines. Ford agreed that International, which has been the exclusive diesel engine supplier for Ford's heavy-duty pickup trucks since 1979, would manufacture the new diesel engines for Ford in North America.

The lawsuit, filed June 4, is separate from previously reported litigation between the two companies.

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