A proposed class action filed against Ford Motor Company alleges the company’s best-selling F-Series pickup trucks possess an elemental defect that prevents the vehicles’ doors from locking when the temperature drops below freezing.
“As a result, consumers have been injured by being forced to incur out-of-pocket costs to fix the defective doors and overpaying for a product that has diminished value due to its defective nature,” the case claims.
The complaint notes that model year 2015, 2016 and 2017 Ford F-150 pickup trucks may experience door latch problems related to low temperatures.
The suit claims that Ford has never recalled any vehicles afflicted with the alleged door locking defect, nor corrected its “misleading” advertising. The complaint argues, however, that Ford has known about the problem for years, going so far as to issue two separate technical service bulletins pertaining to affected vehicle models.
An April 2015 service bulletin noted that some “2015 F-150 SuperCab and SuperCrew Cab vehicles built on or before 3/25/2015 may exhibit inoperative door latches during or after freezing temperatures.” Although this bulletin brought dealers and mechanics up to speed on the alleged defect and specific service procedures—some of which involve rather tedious and time-consuming tasks such as removing all interior door panels and installing entirely new door latch assemblies—to fix the problem, no such disclosure was provided to F-Series vehicle owners, the suit claims.
Ford’s second service bulletin on the temperature-sensitive door latches, issued in November 2016, provided dealers and servicers with a “broader, more detailed” plan of attack. Still, the complaint says that Ford “made no general, widespread disclosure of these continued defects” to consumers. Further, this second service bulletin encompassed all F-150 models for 2015, 2016 and 2017, not just the SuperCab and SuperCrew Cab models.
The complaint takes particular issue with Ford’s claims that its F-Series pickups are tough and durable and includes hyperlinks to advertisements promoting the vehicles’ superior quality. Consumers, on the other hand, have been dealing with the alleged defect since at least 2015 and have taken to online message boards to share their stories, the complaint says.
One owner, on F150Forum.com, wrote the following: “I woke up this morning to below freezing temps. This is the second time I had this type of problem, my doors and locks weren’t opening or unlocking.”
Another owner detailed his do-it-yourself fix for the alleged defect on TorqueNews.com:
“I have a 2016 F150 Sport. So the first hard freeze here in the NW, and I open my truck door, and it won’t (sic) latch shut. I cycled the locks, I even used the keypad on the driver side, still no latch. I went and got a hair dryer, finally it latched. Did it the next morning too, so I went back to the dealer,” the man wrote.
The lawsuit seeks to cover a proposed class of consumers who, within the application time period, bought or leased a 2015, 2016, or 2017 Ford F-150 model vehicle in New York.
Despite the company’s marketing and advertising, the 24-page lawsuit claims the pickup trucks in question are not “built Ford tough.”
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