A patent infringement suit was filed by BorgWarner Inc. against Cummins Inc., which is being accused of violating three patents on a titanium wheel used in engine turbochargers. According to the complaint filed last Wednesday in federal court in Asheville, N.C., Cummins is using the inventions "with reckless disregard" of BorgWarner's rights. The compressor wheels at issue in the case direct air to an engine's intake manifold.
Turbochargers improve the power and efficiency of smaller engines. This is particularly significant now since governments are pressuring automakers to raise the fuel economy of their vehicles.
Last July, BorgWarner said that its second-quarter profit nearly doubled, partly the result of the higher sales of turbochargers. BorgWarner had raised its forecast for revenue and profit for this year due to the rising sales.
BorgWarner had a similar suit against Honeywell International Inc. but the case has already been settled in May for $32.5 million. Cummins said last Tuesday that sales in its components unit (including the turbochargers) increased by 32% to $1.02 billion.