Is “Ford Tough” Tough Enough?
Some say that freezing lemons might be beneficial to your health.
But when the potential lemon is a brand new truck whose doors allegedly won’t close or lock properly in freezing temperatures, there is certainly no health benefit to that practice. In fact, the owners claim it can be downright dangerous.
The Lemon Law was an acted to protect owners and lessees of new vehicles from repeated or recurrent problems with their new vehicle. Often these defects or warranty problems substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle and result in an unreasonable amount of repairs and/or time in the shop. In many cases, repeated attempts to repair the issue fail, leaving owners and lessees increasingly frustrated. Many do not realize they have legal recourse.
Lemon Law claims differ by state and are tied to the mileage and age of the vehicle. For example, in Pennsylvania, the Lemon Law covers the first year or 12,000 miles, whereas in New Jersey it covers the first two years or 24,000 miles.
In both states, problems that occur beyond the limitations of the Lemon Law statute may still be protected under consumer protection laws such as the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Act or the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. These similar statutes are designed to discourage “unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” including but not limited to representing the goods have characteristics, uses or benefits that they don’t have.
A recent proposed class-action lawsuit by owners and lessees of 2015 to 2017 Ford F—150 trucks alleges “Cold weather and freezing temperatures prevent the doors from being closed or locked”.
The New York plaintiff who initiated the action claims that contrary to its “deceptive advertising” or marketing that “there’s nothing ‘Ford tough’” about truck doors that don’t latch or lock in freezing temperatures. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges “the front, rear, driver and passenger side doors would not latch closed and the electric locks would not open.”
Other Ford customers, some who had children in the vehicle at the time of the incidents, have complained of similar problems including:
- getting the doors to shut or open appropriately,
- doors that “popped open while in motion”,
- having to “bungee my door somewhat closed” to get home,
- being “unable to drive the car without holding the door shut”.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges that as early as April 2015, Ford knew about the F—150 door latch problem on “2015 F150 Super Cab and Super Crew Cab vehicles built on or before March 25, 2015 “based on a technical service bulletin (“TSB”) to its dealers advising the specific service procedures they should take to fix the defective latches on that class of trucks. Over a year and a half later, a second and more expansive TSB was issued in November 2016 covering all 2015 to 2017 F-150 trucks.
Because a TSB is not an auto recall, “Ford wasn’t required to notify F-150 truck owners” about the allegedly defective latches and apparently elected not to do so.
If you think your vehicle may be a “lemon”, or you may be the victim of consumer fraud by an automaker or dealership, you may be entitled to damages including a full refund of your down payment, trade-in, monthly payments and taxes, or a brand-new car or a cash settlement.
Timothy J. Abeel & Associates PC is exclusively devoted to Lemon Law, breach of warranty and fraud cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 1-888-611-5481 for a free consultation.