The plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Ford have asked a federal judge in California to approve a $77 million settlement resolving claims of defective transmissions in some Ford vehicles, stating that class members have already received more than $47 million through an arbitration program.
In their renewed motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, the plaintiffs state that Class Members may be rewarded a cash payment of up to $25,000 or more for returning a vehicle that they could have been driving for many years.
In addition, the plaintiffs state that, in some cases, the Class Members may not need to be in possession of their vehicles to receive the cash payment.
“And unlike consumers pursuing individual lemon law cases, who have waited several years for a jury trial, Class Members with valid lemon law claims can obtain complete relief within 3 months after first providing notice to Ford, through a speedy process paid for by Ford,” the motion claims.
The original Ford class action lawsuit was filed by Omar Vargas in September 2012, who claimed that the transmission in the Ford vehicles caused them to slip, buck, jerk, and suddenly accelerate. In addition, Vargas claimed that the transmissions caused delayed acceleration and delays in downshifts.
The class action lawsuit claimed that Ford violated consumer protection laws, breach of express warranty, and breach of implied warranty under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
A settlement in the case was made in October 2017, but that settlement was appealed in February 2018 by objectors who complained that that the deal was not large enough. Those objections have now been withdrawn, according to the motion for preliminary approval.
If the judge approves this round of settlement motions, it would put to rest all claims that the Class Members have had for the defective Powershift transmissions in the 2011 to 2016 Ford Fiesta and 2012 to 2016 Ford Focus models.
“The proposed Settlement is the culmination of lengthy discussions between the Parties, consultation with their experts, comprehensive discovery, and thorough analysis of the pertinent facts and law at issue,” states the motion for preliminary approval of the Ford class action lawsuit.
This new settlement would also include a guarantee by Ford that they would pay a minimum of $30 million for the cash portion of the settlement and a $20 payment to Class Members who claimed that they have been “turned away” from obtaining a transmission repair, among other stipulations.
Under the deal, Class Members who visited their Ford dealers three or more times for service repairs can receive up to $2,325 or a certificate toward the purchase of a new Ford, the motion states. Ford has also agreed to pay up to $8.8 million in attorneys’ fees.
“Due to the settlement’s consumer-friendly rules and speed of resolution, most class Members would do better under the arbitration program rather than in court and Ford has already paid $47.4 million to class members for claims proceeding under the settlement’s repurchase remedy,” states the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement.
Do you own a Ford that is part of this settlement? Leave a message in the comments section below.
The plaintiffs are represented by Ryan H. Wu of Capstone Law APC, Russell D. Paul of Berger & Montague PC and Thomas A. Zimmerman of Zimmerman Law Offices PC.
The Ford Transmission Class Action Lawsuit is Vargas, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., Case No. 2:12-cv-08388, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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