Understanding Ford Lemon Law
Ford trucks are some of the most popular vehicles on the road. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. In fact, Ford trucks have been known to have a number of problems. We get more complaints about the Ford F-150 than almost any other vehicle. If you’re driving a Ford truck and it’s been giving you trouble, you may be able to get a refund or a replacement vehicle through lemon law.
Common problems with Ford trucks
Ford trucks are known for a number of problems. Some of the most common defects with Ford trucks that we see are:
- Problems with transmission: Jolting, lunging, stiff gear changes, slipping gears, clunking noises
- Engine failure and engine issues: knocking noises, complete engine failure, auto start/stop system issues causing shutdown, blown spark plugs, defective engine block heater
- Electrical problems: dash lights come on unexpectedly, screen going blank, malfunctioning door locks, battery drain, complete loss of power
- Malfunctioning brakes: E-brake comes on while driving, leaking brake fluid, brakes fail without warning
- Vibration of the axles: vibrating, shuddering, groaning noises (often worse when towing)
- Oil consumption issues: excessive oil consumption (even complaints of using a quart of oil every 1000 miles!)
- Stall outs: stalls when slowing to a stop
If you’re experiencing any of these problems, you may be eligible for compensation, a refund, or a replacement vehicle under state lemon law or other consumer protection laws.
What is lemon law?
Lemon law is a law that protects consumers from faulty vehicles. If your Ford truck meets certain requirements, you may be able to get compensation, a refund, or a replacement vehicle from the auto manufacturer.
Lemon law requirements are slightly different in each state, and you should get the advice of an experienced lemon lawyer to find out what the law is where you are. In very basic terms, lemon laws make auto manufacturers replace, or refund the purchase price of, a vehicle that they cannot repair. They may also have to pay you compensation for other costs that you have incurred such as out-of-pocket costs for vehicle repairs or a rental vehicle.
What you do NOT have to worry about under lemon laws are attorneys’ fees. The law makes the auto manufacturer pay for your legal fees. Lemon laws are designed to protect ordinary consumers so the law intentionally shifts the responsibility for legal fees onto the auto manufacturers who produced the defective vehicle.
Under state lemon laws, auto manufacturers are given a reasonable chance to repair the vehicle. Lemon laws in different states limit how many times the manufacturer can try to repair the vehicle and how long the problem vehicle can be in the shop for repair so that owners are not stuck in a never-ending cycle of promises of repair.
Shortage of replacement parts delaying repairs to Ford trucks
The global semiconductor chip shortage is affecting repair times of Ford trucks and other vehicles across the country but this has not changed the time limits under state lemon laws.
The effect of the global semiconductor shortage can be seen on every car sales lot across America. Auto manufacturers do not have the parts to make the number of vehicles that they have made in the past and are not making enough vehicles to meet consumer demand. Car lots lie empty. Ford even announced in March 2021 that it was going to start making Ford F-150 trucks without certain parts and hold them until they could be finished.
The chip shortage is also affecting repairs. Some Ford truck owners have complained to us that their truck has been in the dealership for weeks waiting for the parts to repair their defective Ford truck. Many Ford truck owners use their truck for work and being without it can have a huge impact on their ability to make a living.
If your Ford truck has been waiting for repair, you are protected by state lemon laws. Most states require the manufacturer to cover the cost of a comparable rental vehicle while your Ford truck is being repaired. And if you have been without your Ford truck for an unreasonable time (which will be different depending on the law in your state,) you may be entitled to bring a lemon law claim against Ford for compensation, a refund or a replacement vehicle.
What should you do if your Ford truck is a lemon?
If you think that your Ford truck may be a lemon, it’s important to contact an experienced lemon law attorney. A lemon law attorney can explain the applicable laws in your state, and help you determine whether or not you’re eligible for compensation, a refund or a replacement vehicle under the lemon law.
Even if you are still in the early days of having problems with your Ford truck, there are still things that you can do to protect yourself. If you have only brought your Ford truck in for repair once, you may not be able to bring a lemon law claim yet but, if you continue to have problems, you want to have everything in order for a future claim. Keep a record of all your repairs and expenses, and make sure you get repair orders and invoices for every trip to the dealer. Check out our Lemon Law Tips for other important things to remember.
If you would like to contact our lemon law team to find out more about your rights, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have helped many Ford truck owners to get compensation, a refund, or a replacement vehicle, and our experienced lemon law attorneys are ready to help you too.
How to File a Ford Lemon Law Claim
If you’re the unfortunate owner of a Ford lemon truck, it’s essential to understand the steps involved in filing a lemon law claim. As daunting as it may seem, it is a process designed to protect consumers. Here are the steps involved:
- Identify the Issue: The first step is identifying that your Ford truck has a recurring issue that qualifies as a defect under the lemon law. Ford has a history of problems ranging from transmission isues to engine failure and excessive oil consumption.
- Report the Issue: Once the issue is identified, it needs to be reported to an authorized Ford dealership for repairs. Document everything meticulously, keeping all repair orders, invoices, and any correspondence relating to the problem.
- Allow Reasonable Repair Attempts: Your state’s lemon law will define what constitutes a “reasonable” number of attempts to fix the issue. This generally means multiple unsuccessful repairs within a certain period or mileage or if the vehicle has been out of service for a specific number of days.
- Contact a Lemon Law Attorney: If the issue persists after reasonable attempts to fix it, it’s time to seek the help of a lemon law attorney. An experienced firm will guide you through the legal process, ensuring you gather the correct documentation and take the right steps. They’ll also help you understand whether you’re eligible for a refund, replacement vehicle, or compensation.
- File Your Claim: With your attorney’s assistance, you will submit your lemon law claim, along with all the necessary documentation, to Ford. If the manufacturer denies your claim, your attorney will help you take the case to court.
- Settlement or Litigation: The manufacturer may offer a settlement to avoid court after filing. You may choose to settle if the offer is satisfactory and in line with what the law requires. If not, your attorney will represent you in court.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ford Lemon Law Lawyer?
The cost of hiring a Ford lemon law lawyer is essentially zero for the vehicle owner. Lemon laws, both at the federal and state level, are specifically designed so that the auto manufacturer is responsible for the attorney fees in the event of a successful lemon law claim. This provision ensures that financial constraints do not prevent consumers from seeking justice and receiving appropriate compensation.
Which Ford Truck Models Most Commonly Experience These Problems?
While any vehicle could potentially have defects, most complaints are typically for the Ford F-150. lemon law cases saw a spike for this model manufactured between 2015-2019. However, it’s important to remember that any model of a Ford truck could potentially become a lemon.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Lemon Law Attorney?
Hiring a lemon law attorney helps ensure your claim is handled correctly, maximizing your chances of a successful resolution. Attorneys understand the ins and outs of lemon laws, which vary by state, and they can guide you through the complex process, saving you time and stress.
How Long Does the Ford Lemon Law Claim Process Take?
The timeline for a Ford lemon law claim can vary significantly depending on the specific details of each case. Some cases may resolve within 90 days, while others might take longer. It’s critical to consult with an experienced lemon law attorney early on for proper guidance throughout the process.
What if the Manufacturer Denies my Claim?
If your claim is denied, it doesn’t mean the end of the road. An experienced lemon law attorney can help you take your case to court, where a judge will make a decision based on the evidence.
Are Used Ford Trucks Covered Under the Lemon Law?
Yes, used Ford trucks can be covered under the Lemon law, but the specifics depend on your state’s regulations. Some states may only cover vehicles that are still under the original manufacturer’s warranty, while others might have specific laws for used vehicles.
Does the Lemon Law Apply to My Leased Vehicle?
Yes, the Lemon law applies to leased vehicles. The law covers new and used vehicles under a manufacturer’s warranty. However, in states like Florida, the vehicle must be new or leased for personal, family, or household purposes. In Pennsylvania, the law applies only to leased new vehicles. As specifics may vary by state, it’s recommended to consult with an experienced lemon law attorney in your region for detailed guidance.
Remember, if you think your Ford truck may be a lemon, reach out to a lemon law attorney immediately. They can help you navigate this challenging process, advocate on your behalf, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t hesitate to contact the office of Timothy J. Abeel & Associates, P.C. for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have experience helping many Ford truck owners and are ready to help you, too.