The car that cares

Ford says it could face $1.3 billion in new penalties on Transit imports

WASHINGTON — Ford Motor Co. mentioned Thursday it could face up to $1.3 billion in penalties in a lengthy-operating dispute more than import responsibilities compensated on Ford Transit Join cars.

The No. two U.S. automaker mentioned just after the Supreme Court declined to hear its charm in 2020 that it compensated greater responsibilities for some prior imports, plus curiosity.

U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) is now searching for extra responsibilities of $181 million and is contemplating searching for a monetary penalty of “as considerably as $652 million to $1.3 billion,” Ford mentioned. The automaker included that it would vigorously protect its actions and noted any penalty “would be primarily based on our stage of culpability as determined by the courts.”

CBP ruled in 2013 that Transit Connects imported as passenger wagons and later converted into cargo vans were topic to the twenty five % responsibility relevant to cargo cars, instead than the two.five % passenger car or truck responsibility.

The vans were assembled in Turkey.

The Justice Office mentioned Ford “designed, marketed, bought, and delivered the van to buyers exclusively as a two-man or woman cargo van. But to stay clear of the greater fee of responsibility that applies to cargo vans as compared to vans principally designed for passenger transportation, petitioner imported each and every Transit Join … with a momentary, cheap rear seat that was designed to be quickly taken off as quickly as the van cleared” Customs.

The governing administration noted the seats lacked head restraints and were “upholstered with expense-lowered fabric that did not match that of the entrance seats.”

Ford argued the rear passenger seat achieved all federal security benchmarks, had seat belts for every seating position, anchors for the rear seats and seat belts and were “street-lawful passenger cars.”

The twenty five % tariff stems from a 1960s trade war involving frozen chicken, and the larger sized tariff on cargo cars is recognised as the “chicken tax.”