A class action lawsuit has been filed against Ford Motor Company by Ford owners who purchased Ford Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers, and Lincoln Aviators between 2002-2005.
According to the lawsuit, the tailgates on these vehicles are defective in a life threatening way. Although the vehicles are no longer under warranty, Ford owners allege that the defect was inherent due to a faulty re-design for more than 1.5 million vehicles, causing the tailgates to crack, and rear-windows to fall out, creating serious safety hazards. Ford has acknowledged the problem, but despite thousands of complaints, including 337 separate complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they have chosen not to act. Allegedly, Ford knew about the problem as early as 2002, but repeatedly refused service to anyone who sought to fix it.
The lawsuit claims that Ford violated the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, and broke its common law warranty with its customers, and deceptively enriched itself at the consumer’s expense. Even though they acknowledged the issue in 2003, they insisted that the tailgate cracks were caused by outside forces, and released a bulletin explaining how to fix the cracks. Many people brought their cars in for repair because they were still under warranty, but other cracks began showing up despite the initial fix, and in a lot of cases, years after their warranty ended, yet Ford refused to acknowledge they were due to inherent defects, leaving consumers who discovered cracks with multiple service bills of up to $800 per crack. In 2006, they offered a brief “special assistance program,” where they paid a portion of repair costs for out of warranty vehicles, but have since disbanded the program for unknown reasons.
Because the cracked tailgates are not considered a safety defect, there is little chance of Ford issuing a recall, yet you can still help build a case against them by contributing to useful statistics that report dangerous trends. You can do this notifying the Center for Auto Safety and reporting a safety concern to the NHTSA.
If you or a loved one have experienced loss or personal injury due to inherently defective parts on your automobile, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are here to help you. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.