Consumers Bring Product Liability Class Action Against Ford
Consumers from 14 states have filed a federal class action against Ford Motor Co. in connection with alleged defects in Ford’s vehicles causing and failing to prevent unintended acceleration of those vehicles. The suit seeks compensatory relief on behalf of a proposed class of potentially millions of purchasers and lessees of Ford vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2010.
The action was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in Huntington by leading securities litigation and consumer class action law firm Grant & Einsenhofer P.A. and other firms.
“This case is about Ford Motor Company fixing its cars, compensating consumers and potentially saving lives,” said Adam Levitt, a Grant & Eisenhofer director and head of the firm’s Consumer Practice group. “Ford’s unfortunate history of unintended acceleration problems has been detailed at length in the public record. While our clients seek recovery for the lost value of their cars, they also want Ford to fix the problem so that no more people are injured and no more lives are at risk because of the documented accelerator problems with Ford’s vehicles.”
Plaintiffs contend that Ford vehicles equipped with an electronic throttle control system are vulnerable to sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) events and that Ford has admitted that some of its vehicles are in fact prone to such acceleration. Their complaint alleges that the Ford vehicles share a common design defect in lacking adequate fail-safe features, including a reliable brake-over-accelerator (BOA) system. Such a system is designed to allow a driver to overcome unintended throttle opening by returning the throttle to idle when certain conditions are met, allowing a driver to mitigate unintended acceleration by depressing the brake.
The cars named in the complaint are:
• 2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird
• 2002-2004 Mercury Cougar (XR7)
• 2003-2006 Lincoln LS
• 2004-2010 Ford Explorer, Ford F-Series, Mercury Mountaineer
• 2005-2007 Ford 500, Ford Freestyle, Mercury Montego
• 2005-2009 Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis
• 2005-2010 Ford Econoline, Ford Escape HEV, Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, Mercury Mariner HEV
• 2006-2010 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln Zephyr, Mercury Milan
• 2006-2008 Lincoln Mark LT
• 2007-2010 Ford Edge, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Lincoln MKX
• 2008-2010 Ford Focus, Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable
• 2008-2009 Ford Taurus X
• 2009-2010 Ford Escape, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, Mercury Mariner
• 2010 Ford Transit Connect, Lincoln MKT
The suit contends that Ford owners have experienced unacceptable rates of sudden unintended acceleration, citing a report issued in October 2011 by the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General. Plaintiffs allege that Ford should have prevented the SUA incidents by including the brake-over-accelerator system or other failsafe systems in its vehicles. They maintain that, while Ford began installing a BOA system on some of its North American cars beginning in 2010, the company has failed to remedy or even warn drivers about the lack of a BOA system on its earlier vehicles.