When it rains, it pours. After multiple other recalls and lawsuits in the past month, the manufacturer is now the subject of a massive class action lawsuit regarding the safety of the Super Duty truck line.
According to the lawsuit, from 1998-2016, Ford sold Super Duty trucks with defective roofs despite knowing that these trucks were not as safe as those in other lines. The plaintiff alleges that Ford was aware of the dangers in the line and chose to sell them anyway as a cost-saving measure. Furthermore, the plaintiff argues that the issue “significantly reduces” the value of his truck and those like it.
This lawsuit comes in the wake of a $1.7 billion verdict against Ford after a 2002 Super Duty truck rolled over and killed two people when its roof collapsed. The class action argues that all other Super Duty year models made between 1998 and 2016 pose similar risks.
The year models named in the class action were selected due to regulations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Before 2017, heavy trucks like the Super Duty line were not required to follow the same roof load standards as light trucks like the F-150. However, Ford was well aware of the requirements for light-duty trucks and could have followed similar guidelines in its Super Duty line. The suit claims that Ford was negligent by following the bare minimum requirements for the heavy truck line to save costs, putting owners at risk.
Whether the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed is yet to be seen. Should it move forward, it could give Ford owners a chance to have their roofs repaired at no cost. Here’s what you need to know about how class action lawsuits work and what you can do if you’re concerned about your truck’s safety.
How Do Class Action Lawsuits Against Car Manufacturers Work?
A class action lawsuit allows a “class” of people to band together against a party that’s harmed them in similar ways. For example, in the Ford lawsuit, the class comprises anyone who owns a Ford Super Duty truck made between 1998 and 2016.
When a class action is filed against car makers, the goal is to push the manufacturer to compensate consumers for manufacturer defects or advertising inaccuracies. Depending on the grounds of the lawsuit, potential remedies may include free repairs, warranty extensions, reimbursements for past repairs, or cash damages.
Class actions are best used for wide-reaching problems. The Ford case is an excellent example since it applies to more than five million trucks. However, class action cases tend to take years to resolve, and only people who fit the narrow definition of the class are eligible for compensation. Furthermore, if the plaintiff loses, the manufacturer doesn’t have to do anything to address the problems. As such, class actions are rarely the best solution for manufacturing defects.
A better alternative is a lemon law claim. These claims allow individual owners to fight manufacturers for their specific issues. Furthermore, successful claims may enable consumers to receive a complete refund for their vehicle, which is vanishingly rare in class actions.
What Can Drivers Do About Unsafe Ford Trucks?
If the class action lawsuit is accurate regarding years and models with weak roofs, it is unlikely that owners are eligible to file lemon claims in most cases. Unless you purchased an extended warranty such as Ford’s eight-year/150,000-mile PremiumCARE offering, your warranty has most likely expired.
That means Ford is no longer required to repair significant manufacturing defects under California law unless the manufacturer issues a recall or the problem was first identified and a repair attempt was made while the truck was under warranty. If you’re concerned about your roof, you will need to wait for the outcome of the class action lawsuit to find out whether you can get it repaired at no cost.
However, the roof problem is far from the only issue facing Ford trucks. The 2022 Ford Super Duty line has been recalled eight times for issues from missing safety labels to faulty airbags to dangerous driveshafts. If you’re concerned about manufacturing defects in your truck, you may be able to get it repaired, replaced, or refunded as long as it’s under warranty.
California’s laws regarding vehicle warranty claims are straightforward. Manufacturers must repair factory defects at no cost to the consumer as long as the vehicle is covered. The truck is considered a lemon if the manufacturer can’t fix the issue. Brands like Ford must either replace or refund lemon owners because the vehicle doesn’t perform as it should.
There are several requirements cars must meet before a lemon claim is possible. Your truck may be eligible if:
- A manufacturing defect was identified, and a repair was attempted within 18 months or 18,000 miles of when you bought or leased the truck.
- The manufacturer had four attempts to repair non-fatal problems or two attempts to fix potentially deadly issues, and the defect returned.
Your truck may also be eligible for a lemon claim if it has been in the shop for manufacturing problems for 30 days or more within the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of acquisition. You can learn more about whether your truck qualifies by reviewing our checklist.
Helping Truck Owners Protect Themselves From Dangerous Vehicles
You shouldn’t have to live in fear because of your truck’s dangerous manufacturing defects. If you have a Ford truck still under warranty, you’re likely eligible to file a lemon claim for any factory flaws. Talk to Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys today to find out if you might have a claim. Call 866-761-2317 or use this online form to tell us about your vehicle and have us get in touch with you.