Ford Authority

Ford Facing Up To $1.3 Billion In Penalties On Imported Transit Connect Models

Prior to 2013, the Ford Transit Connect was produced at the Ford Otosan Assembly Plant in Turkey but has been built at the Ford Valencia Assembly Plant in Spain ever since. As Ford Authority reported back in March, the next-gen Transit Connect will be reportedly be built at the Ford Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico alongside the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Maverick, however. Regardless, the automaker is still facing some hot water in regards to some imported Transit Connect models that were built in Turkey.

According to Reuters, Ford is facing monetary penalties of between $652 million and $1.3 billion, along with $181 million in added penalties levied by the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for failing to pay proper import duties on imported Transit Connect models.

The CBP claims that Ford “designed, marketed, sold, and delivered the van to consumers exclusively as a two-person cargo van. But to avoid the higher rate of duty that applies to cargo vans as compared to vans principally designed for passenger transport, petitioner imported each Transit Connect with a temporary, cheap rear seat that was designed to be immediately removed as soon as the van cleared customs.”

When the ruling was made in 2013, cargo vans were subject to a 25 percent import duty, while passenger vehicles were subject to a mere 2.5 percent duty.

Meanwhile, Ford maintains that it did nothing wrong, arguing that the imported Transit Connect vans were “street-legal passenger vehicles” with seat belts for every possible seating position. Regardless, the CBP claims that the seats in the van were “upholstered with cost-reduced fabric that did not match that of the front seats,” and did not come with head restraints. Ford’s 2020 appeal claimed that the automaker has already paid the more expensive duty prices, plus interest, on older imported models.

We’ll have more on this and all of Ford’s outstanding legal cases soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. The Gentle Grizzly

    Subaru did it with the BRAT, why not Ford?

    1. Notabot

      Subaru left the seats in the bed when they delivered the Brat’s to customers!

  2. The Gentle Grizzly

    Re the BRAT: Ahh. You are right; point taken.

    Now, I think it is time for the chicken tax to be repealed.

  3. John

    I believe RAM did the same thing, but since they did not send their seats back to Turkey for round trip after round trip (which I am just guessing is the issue) but instead filled landfills with them it was all good.

    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      That or they were used as shop chairs in junk yards.

  4. royl

    Cheating the American public, the American work force with this sort of thing is terrible. Nothing like building in turkey or spain, keeping American’s from a job, then cheating the entire country by not paying their taxes. the Tax code should be amended to say, “or can be easily modified to a higher taxable configuration”, or something like this. Job one at ford, “Make money”! My guess, joe and hunter will see to it, ford does not pay a cent, as they “support” the wokes…..

  5. Charles

    Obviously they got caught purposefully trying to get around taxation. Come clean and pay your dutiful amount of taxes you owe just like everyone else who gets caught by the IRS. If not, someone up high on the ladder should go and serve jail time. Then when they get thru serving, make payments on those taxes you owe!

  6. royl

    I could not agree more, great post! my guess is, joe and hunter will receive a “donation” and not one person will be held responsible, maybe ford -the corporation will pay a fine, or a small portion of the money owed, but not one ford ceo type will ever see the inside of a jail cell. I wonder what would happen to the rest of us, if we were caught cheating the govt. out of 1/100th of that amount!


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