Judicial order puts Indianapolis Navistar factory back to work

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A Michigan judge ordered diesel engine maker Navistar International Corp. to resume shipments to a Ford Motor Co. truck plant, the Associated Press reported Thursday, March 1. A dispute between Ford and Navistar had forced the automaker to announce that it was temporarily halting production. Likewise, Navistar on Monday, Feb. 26, stopped work in Indianapolis, where it makes a 6.4-liter diesel engine for Ford.

But on Wednesday, Feb. 28, Oakland County Circuit Judge John McDonald granted Ford’s motion for a temporary restraining order requiring Navistar to resume producing and shipping diesel engines to the truck plant in Louisville, Ky., Ford spokeswoman Becky Sanch told the AP. The judge also ordered Ford to pay Navistar for all engines received, Navistar spokesman Roy Wiley told the AP. “We’re going to get back up in Indy as soon as possible,” Wiley said.

Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar builds the engine used in the 2008 F-Series Super Duty trucks. Ford sued Navistar in January, alleging the company failed to pay for its share of recalls and repair costs from the 6-liter diesel used in the 2002-2007 model years. Ford said it was withholding some of those costs from payments to Navistar on the new engine.

Navistar’s last load of engines to Ford arrived Feb. 22. Wiley told the AP that production in Indianapolis could resume as soon as next Monday, but shipments of engines built before the shutdown could be done before then. “We’re happy because the issue was never building engines for Ford,” Wiley said. “The issue was getting paid for what we built and shipped.” Ford will resume regular operations at its plant as soon as it starts receiving engines, Sanch told the AP.

Wiley told the AP that McDonald’s order also prevented Ford from withholding warranty-related costs from its payments to Navistar on the new engine. He declined to say how much money Navistar claims it is owed by Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford. Another hearing on the dispute was scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, before McDonald. About 40 percent of the nearly 800,000 F-Series trucks sold by Ford last year were diesel-powered.