Class Action over Alleged Shuddering of Ford F150s

A class action lawsuit was filed today against Ford Motor Company, alleging that the company’s Ford F150 trucks contain a dangerous safety defect which causes the trucks to shudder or shake violently, and even stall when the driver attempts to accelerate.

The complaint, filed on behalf of at least 20 owners, arises out of frightening situations in which the trucks stall suddenly as the drivers were attempting to change lanes or pass, while driving in dense freeway traffic. It is scary to imagine attempting to navigate dense traffic and having your truck or car’s engine suddenly cut off completely. It’s not immediately clear whether this stalling occurred only at slower speeds, or if it also occurred while drivers were driving at full freeway speeds.

One theory is that the problem is caused by moisture moving into the engine as the drivers attempt to accelerate,causing the vehicle to shudder. In some severe cases, it is alleged, the F150’s computer system senses the change in the engine, and thus forces the vehicle into a so called “limp mode” in order to prevent incurring engine damage. It is believed the problem may lie within the Charge Air Cooler (CAC) system, which regulates cooling and temperature in the engine.

The suit further claims that Ford has been aware of the issue, and not only failed to address the issue, but may have even gone so far as to warn dealers of the potential defects in an internal document, stating that the vehicles may, “stumble and/or misfire on hard acceleration after an extended drive at highway speeds during high humid or damp conditions.”

Defective Automobiles and Products Liability

The alleged defects with the Ford F150s are most likely being pursued under products liability theories of the law. Products liability is an area of the law that focuses in on the defective or dangerous nature of products, which are therefore unsafe for use by consumers. The quintessential example of this is the hypothetical exploding toasters. We expect properly working toasters to toast, not to explode suddenly.

In addition to providing a protection to consumers who are wronged, and providing an incentive for companies to ensure that their products are safe, the policy behind the law is to make sure that the businesses responsible for putting defective products into the market bear the costs when those defective products later cause injuries or other damage.

The Personal Injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen represent the rights of people in the Washington, DC area who have suffered injuries due to defective or dangerous products. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online or by calling (800) 654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Court Dismisses Putative Class Action Alleging Defective Tires, in Part for Failing to Allege Injuries or Damages, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 6, 2013
Federal Government Reports on Improvements to Approval Process for Medical Devices, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 22, 2013
Federal Tort Claims Act Requires a Clear Allegation Against a Federal Employee or Agency, DC Court Rules: Moorman v. United States, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published November 16, 2012

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