ArvinMeritor and ZF promise vigorous defense against Eaton’s legal actions

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TROY, Mich. — ArvinMeritor Inc., ZF Friedrichshafen AG and ZF Meritor LLC announced that they are committed to a vigorous defense against the legal actions launched recently by Eaton Corporation against the three companies in connection with the ZF Meritor FreedomLine automated manual heavy truck transmission.

“Eaton has a very significant share of the North American heavy truck transmissions market and their actions are the latest in a series of disruptive actions that appear to be designed to block truck operators’ access to the field-proven innovative FreedomLine,” said Tom Gosnell, president of Commercial Vehicle Systems, ArvinMeritor.

Wolfgang Vogel, Executive Vice President, Commercial Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology, ZF Friedrichshafen AG said ZF Friedrichshafen AG stands by its technology and are confident that they will prevail against Eaton in their latest attempt to eliminate a viable competitor from the North American heavy truck transmission market.

The FreedomLine transmission is the most advanced, automated manual transmission in North America, featuring the first “no clutch pedal” design making it easier to learn and operate than competing “three-pedal” automated systems. FreedomLine provides significant fuel economy and driver comfort benefits, and its innovative design is protected by numerous patents worldwide.

This is the latest in a series of patent-related legal actions that Eaton has thus far unsuccessfully taken against ArvinMeritor and related companies in its drive to secure total dominance of the North American heavy transmission market.

“The public deserves choice, particularly when it is as superior as it is in FreedomLine’s case,” Gosnell emphasized. “With this in mind, ArvinMeritor and ZF intend to restructure our relationship.”

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