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Borg-Warner in Ithaca, New York

borg warner

Photo Credits
Author:Arbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall 
Licensed under creative commons


History of BorgWarner Inc. and Consolidated Subsidiaries

BorgWarner is a multinational company founded in 1928. It was the result of a merger between Borg & Beck, a company that produced carburetors, and Warner Gear. The company became known as BorgWarner Inc. and Consolidated Subsidiaries in 1987.

BorgWarner manufacturers multiple automotive industry parts and components, among them transmissions and component parts, including clutches. For many years, BorgWarner clutches contained asbestos.

With 60 manufacturing facilities across the world, BorgWarner counts all three American automakers as customers and supplies parts to manufacturers of original equipment in Europe and Asia. Two of their facilities were located in Upstate New York: one in Cortland and another in Ithaca.

BorgWarner in Cortland, New York

BorgWarner had a plant in Cortland, NY, which began a shutdown process in March 2012, resulting in the loss of 158 jobs. The plant produced auto-transmission components.

BorgWarner in Ithaca, New York

The Morse Chain company, which would join the newly-formed Borg-Warner Corporation in 1929, built an 80,000 square foot plant in Ithaca in 1906. At the time, automobile chain was manufactured there. The plant saw significant expansion and modernization over the years and today, BorgWarner is one of the largest employers in Ithaca, where it produces transmission and engine timing components.

Asbestos and Automotive Transmission Components

Auto transmission components include parts made with asbestos. An automatic transmission consists of small metal rings known as friction clutches housed with gears in a metal transmission band. Each friction clutch is covered with a clutch plate made from heat-resistant friction paper, often containing asbestos. Linings were bonded to the interior of the transmission band and made from the same friction paper. Asbestos was also used in manual transmission clutch plates.

Asbestos friction paper was cut, pressed, and shaped and then placed on components. BorgWarner did not manufacture the friction paper used in its Cortland transmission component facility but purchased the paper from companies like Armstrong World Industries and Mead Corporation. BorgWarner was the largest producer of transmission friction components.

Diseases Caused by Asbestos Exposure

When exposed to asbestos you face increased risk of developing lung diseases that include mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a cancer typically found in the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart.

There is also a risk of second-hand exposure to asbestos, as workers often carried asbestos fibers into their homes as they returned from work. Family members have been found to develop asbestos-related disease as a result.

Mesothelioma has a long latency period and victims typically fall ill 15-60 years after asbestos exposure. Because of this disease symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and lack of appetite, may be mistakenly associated with other conditions. If you experience any mesothelioma symptoms and have a history of asbestos exposure, seek immediate medical evaluation.

What to Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

The nationally-recognized law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, has over two decades of experience representing victims of mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. For years, the mesothelioma attorneys of Belluck & Fox have represented Upstate New York families in lawsuits against manufacturers that failed to warn about the dangers of asbestos. We are familiar with the companies that supplied asbestos to BorgWarner facilities in Cortland and Ithaca. To learn how we can assist you with your claim against an asbestos company, please contact Belluck & Fox for a free case review.


Ithaca, NY